12/23/16 2:09pm

 

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Six months has gone by fast for me writing about vacation homes for SecondShelters.com. What have we been covering? Beach, lake, ranch, and mountain abodes, among other destinations of interest to North Texans. Year end is a time to look back and reflect. What are the top spots for vacation homes for DFW residents?

Gas up the virtual jet and click to see highlights; we’re taking a tour of some of our favs…

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12/02/16 4:56pm
Boot Ranch

Longhorn Lake. All photos courtesy of Boot Ranch.

Lucky me (Lucky I?) was invited to be a guest at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg this past month, to learn details of news from the 2,000-acre luxury residential development and private golf and swim club set in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. We’ve written about Boot Ranch before. On the agenda now: an introduction to the Village Homes at Metzger Park, a condominium-like option added to the array of residential offerings here; and planned Longhorn Lake amenities: a party pavilion, tree houses and jumping rocks off the spring fed lake’s shore. A road trip was in order to check out the new features. Here’s the scoop: (more…)

12/01/16 9:00am
Flat Rock Creek Ranch

All photos courtesy of TheRanchAdvisors.com.

Forget Southfork — if J.R. Ewing were for real and among us, this would be where he’d want to live. Because, no doubt, while the oil market is depressed, he would be diversified into (what else?) tech.

This cool ranch 90 miles outside of Dallas (with plenty of room for a heliport) would be just the thing for J.R.’s pad. The Hill Country-esque Glen Rose area in Northern Bosque County is scenic, a setting for exotic wildlife (Fossil Rim), and home to Dinosaur Valley State Park.

Indeed, there are dinosaur tracks on the 267-acre property known as Flat Rock Creek Ranch (physical address: 674 PR 2955) in the tiny community of Eulogy. It’s listed by Jim Brosche of The Ranch Advisors in association with Keller Williams Realty at $4.69 million.

Flat Rock Creek Ranch’s owner is a tech buff who has outfitted the four-bedroom, seven-bath Hill Country vernacular main house designed by noted architect John Lively with state-of-the-art electronics. In Preston Hollow it would be gorgeous. Set in the countryside near Glen Rose, its beauty is over the top. Even if you’re not shopping this price range, it makes for a fun house porn viewing romp. Feast your eyes: (more…)

11/14/16 3:00pm
Alys Beach

All photos courtesy of Alys Beach

News from Alys Beach, the stunning Florida Panhandle luxury home and vacation rental community inspired by the traditional architecture of Bermuda: a new phase of custom three- and four-bedroom rowhouses is scheduled for construction with an estimated completion date of Spring 2019. The new project, called Clermont Courts, mimics the design of Caliza Courts, the first phase of rowhouses offered at Alys Beach, which sold out in two weeks when its marketing opened in 2014.

It’s no wonder, really. Located off Highway 30A in South Walton County, on a bluff overlooking the Gulf Coast, Alys Beach is unique in its gorgeous architecture, a modern rendition of the Spanish Colonial-Baroque styling found in Bermuda and Antigua. Structures in the community feature white stone walls, antique cypress wood, and private courtyards. Charming shaded walkways and bike paths connect residents to the Town Center and posh amenities spread throughout 158 landscaped acres. Residents and vacation guests enjoy 1500 feet of white sand beachfront, an uber-chic beach club, amphitheater, swimming pools and restaurants, extraordinary fitness facilities, and lush parks and nature trails.

Alys Beach

The Clermont Courts rowhouses will be the most compact of the Alys Beach residences, which also include free-standing villas and compounds valued at up to $6 million or more. Here’s a look at the plans for the custom townhouse designs, along with photos of a similar Caliza Courts home to give you a visual of what’s in the works, and the amenities in the community. (And, psst! Should you want a rowhouse that’s available now,  the home we’re using for illustration is a pre-owned property that’s now listed for sale.)    (more…)

11/02/16 2:20pm
Christy Rost

Swan’s Nest in Summer. All photos courtesy of Christy Rost.

If you follow television and radio chefs and cooking teachers, you’re likely to be familiar with Christy Rost, who hosted the Texas-based television cooking and lifestyle show Just Like Home for 12 years, and a PBS special in 2009 that has become a Thanksgiving tradition, re-airing nationally every November since. Rost and her husband, Randy, maintain a home in DallChristy Rostas where they live for much of the year, but bought a second home in Colorado in 2006, which they have renovated to applause. The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance recently honored the Rosts with the Theobald Award for historic preservation and advocacy for their outstanding remodel and preservation of Swan’s Nest, a house built in 1898 by Colorado gold baron Benjamin Stanley Revett for his bride.

Christy and Randy purchased the property in August 2006 and spent years restoring the home, preserving practical historic detail, but bringing its infrastructure up to modern standards. A registered nurse by training, Rost has authored 3 cookbooks, is a regular on the cooking TV and radio circuit, and does all her own home design. Here’s more on this lovely lady, her top-caliber mountain home renovation, the Thanksgiving show that presents highlights of the project and inspiration for holiday meals …

 

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10/17/16 2:35pm

 

Aspen, Colorado

All photos by Shawn O’Connor. Floor plans are courtesy of the Residences at the Little Nell.

 

Seven weeks ago while visiting Denver, we decided on making a quick road trip to Aspen for a night. As always, I was awestruck by the beauty of the Colorado roadways — rugged rocks, lush green forests, blue skies, scenic vistas, not a speck of litter in sight during several hours of driving. Heading over a pass near the end of our journey to Aspen, lacey white particles began falling from the sky, denser and denser as we climbed, accumulating on the ground around us. Snow! In August! In this hemisphere!

The moment brought to mind: it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming ski season— what better place to start is there than Aspen, a preeminent location in the Rockies and one of the most popular destinations for Texans seeking a top-tier mountain homes? (more…)

10/12/16 3:39pm

Kelly Nyfeler

A second home on the coast of France? It may sound out of reach for most of us, but, believe it or not, it’s actually not that much of stretch in certain areas not as well known as say, Nice, Cannes, or Saint-Tropez. Kelly Nyfeler, the director of sales for the Uptown Dallas office of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty recently purchased a vacation home in the French coastal city of Narbonne for under $600,000. The stylishly decorated three-bedroom townhouse with a saltwater pool and modern kitchen and bathrooms is located in Narbonne, a bit of a foodie mecca near beautiful beaches, vineyards, and ancient historic structures.  You can experience it firsthand, too, as the house may be privately rented via Airbnb.  Here are details:

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10/10/16 6:30am
Long Cove

Photos courtesy of Long Cove

Fall is here. Winter’s coming! Does your boat have a home for the winter? Or perhaps you need a new vessel? Here’s news from East Texas: This past month, Long Cove on Cedar Creek Lake opened a new marina complete with dry dock storage, and it’s open to the public!

Even if you’re not a homeowner in the luxury lakeside residential community, you can rent space to store your boat during the off-season, out of the water and safely sheltered from the elements. Adding to this, Lewisville-based Buxton Marine Sales, the world’s largest Nautique luxury boat dealer, has opened a satellite location adjacent the marina, making shopping and maintenance all the more convenient in this knockout development with concierge services that take care of the work that goes into the care and maintenance of a lake home and boat.

Long Cove

Here are more details:

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