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“Trophy Ranch” has become a trademark expression in Texas. Today, we bring you a property that defines it. Meet Lone Star Ranch, a premier East Texas Equestrian and Cattle Ranch on the north shore of Lake Bob Sandlin, just 90 minutes east of Downtown Dallas. The 8,250 square foot Hill Country style main house overlooks a negative edge, salt water pool, and wide-open spaces that go on for miles.

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cp fishingWe’ve looked at a few ski areas recently (namely Aspen and Taos), but as the temperatures warm and ski season begins to wrap up, it’s time to return closer to home and talk about the really important stuff: bass fishing! (more…)

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Because really, who doesn’t love Paris? If trans-atlantic travel just will not fit into your busy schedule, the gorgeous ranch at 632 County Road 43400 in Paris, Texas, just may be the perfect locale to get you and the family out of the hectic city. This property is so much more than a vacation home, it is truly an estate. Located on 22 sprawling acres complete with a six-acre lake, attention to detail abounds on this stately compound.

Gated entry with stained concrete circle drive.

Gated entry with stained concrete circle drive.

Designed with friends and family at the forefront, the main house is absolutely built for entertaining. Featuring three living areas, the kids, teens, and adults can all have their own space. No fighting over the television here! MainLivingArea

FamilyRoomSecondLivingArea

It’s hard to say what kitchen you’ll like more – indoor or outdoor? Both spaces are state-of-the-art with Subzero and stainless steel appliances.

MainHouseKitchen

OutdoorKitchen

The crown jewel of this property is really the outdoor space. The property has an astounding total of seven (yes, seven) fireplaces, including one outside, and a firepit for marshmallow-roasting lovers.

FirepitOutdoorFireplace

The sparkling 60-foot saltwater pool is overlooked by a cozy outdoor seating area, perfect for sipping cocktails and watching the sunset.

Pool

OutdoorLiving

One of the major standouts of this outstanding property is the choice of both the 1,800-square-foot carriage house or the newly constructed 2,000-square-foot guesthouse for lodging. The simpler carriage house is perfect for kids or teens, while the guesthome features a stone fireplace and full master suite.

Carriage House Apartment

Carriage House Apartment

Guesthome

Guesthome

This peaceful, quiet property is such a gem, it is not to be missed. The ultimate in private family compounds, this ranch is just waiting for your friends and warm summer nights.

Your new weekend paradise is offered for $1,098,00.00 by Ebby Halliday Realtor Dee Evans.

“…You could say goodbye to everyone and retreat to your land, hunkering down and living off it.” – Jeanette Walls, Half Broke Horses

Kathryn Roan 1Kathryn Roan is an Ebby Halliday Realtor focusing on farms, ranches, and equestrian properties. Kathryn lives in Poetry with her 7 horses. Contact Kathryn at Kathryn@TexasEquestrianProperties.com

Kathryn Roan 1Let’s give a warm welcome to Kathryn Roan, and Ebby Halliday Realtor with Texas Equestrian Properties. Roan, who was born in Midland, raised in Dallas, and has a background in oil and gas, is a horse-lover who lives in Poetry, TX.

Find out more about this lovely gal on CandysDirt.com, and stay tuned right here on SecondShelters.com for farm and ranch news, as well as a regular “Ranch of the Week” feature from Kathryn!

 

equest_graze_600x900@72dpiRanches, cowboys, horses and cattle are Texas icons—just look at some of our professional sports teams. The Cowboys, Rangers, and Mavericks all harken back to the state’s historic roots. And remember famous “Southfork,” the site of many a double deal in the TV drama Dallas? It’s increasingly surrounded by development (and it’s a whole lot smaller than it seemed on TV).

There are still BIG ranches out there, such as the King Ranch, 6666 (the Four Sixes) and the YO Ranch (currently for sale for $81 million), but ranching and cattle are generally not the core business any more. More and more, ranches are purchased and owned for 3 reasons: (1) recreation, (2) energy development and (3) investment (which often means wait until it can be carved up and developed for higher prices).

While there is a powerful connection with the land, Texas has also historically led the nation in the amount of raw land converted to development property. This rampant expansion is continually changing our landscape. And let’s face it; much of what is developed and constructed does not have the most lasting value. Kind of seems like the same type of development gets repeated about every 5-10 miles no matter which direction you’re headed.

What does this all mean? Some areas have taken action to protect their heritage. In Austin, thousands of acres have been placed in conservation easements to protect open space, view sheds, wildlife, and water resources. The trend is also taking hold with some of our western neighbors. Recently, the Walls Street Journal reported that Scottsdale just purchased an additional 2,365 acres to add to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, bringing it to 30,000 acres and making it the largest municipality-owned urban park in the U.S. While, in North Texas, the “drill, baby, drill” slogan has been adapted to “build, baby, build.”

However, at Cross Pines Ranch in East Texas (near Mineola and about 30 minutes from Tyler), over 1,800 acres have been permanently protected from future development by a conservation easement. This is beautiful and pristine property that had been planned for a 400-lot, high-end second home sporting community, complete with, among other things, a Tom Fazio golf course, riding stables, and skeet and sporting clays courses. While that would have made a stunning and high-quality development, the owners ultimately determined that they wanted to preserve the land in as close to its natural state as possible, while allowing a very limited amount of development.

2011 record bass

The result is a conservation-oriented sporting ranch, owned by no more than 40 families. Each owner has a 5-acre building site upon which to build a home and ownership in the remaining 1,800 acres of the ranch, which includes a clubhouse, equestrian barn, skeet and trap range, miles of hiking and biking trails and over 200 acres of lakes, professionally managed for largemouth bass and complete with boats at the ready. The fishing is spectacular. In fact, the world famous fly fisherman Lefty Kreh visited Cross Pines this fall and was so impressed that he’s discussed returning to use Cross Pines for his next video.

There is also a full-time ranch manager that takes care of the ranch (and its owners!) as well as a full-time equestrian manager, who will have horses saddled and ready for owners and who is always ready to lead a trail ride. The concept is really “plug and play,” where owners can show up and just enjoy their favorite activities, without all the hassle involved if they had to take care of it all. Since the ranch is about the size of Highland Park with virtually no fences, there’s plenty of room to spread out and play.

On the conservation side, in addition to the conservation easement that reduced the number of sites from 400 to 40, the owners implemented restrictions on building size, materials, tree removal and landscaping to preserve view corridors and encourage resource conservation. They are currently working on the re-introduction of native grasses as well as a significant ongoing reforestation program. These efforts earned Cross Pines Ranch a spot as one of the 4 finalists in this year’s Green Project of the Year-Non LEED category at the Green Gala & Awards put on by the North Texas United States Green Building Council. While the victor was the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (where the event was held), Cross Pines was certainly in good company.

Cross Pines June 2006 502

Is Cross Pines a model for future development? Due to its unique nature, it’s probably only suited for certain exceptional recreational properties. However, the real emphasis should be on integrating a focus on conservation, preservation and the environment into all of our developments. As discussed above, Dallas is not known for its environmental ethos. Maybe we should start changing that. Why? If you read my Aspen report, I coined a term “selfish sustainability.”

Think about it. We’re a magnet for jobs for many reasons, but we must continue to make choices to position ourselves and our area strategically for the long term. Resource use, resource conservation, land conservation, etc., is important to many people, particularly the “creative classes” that increasingly drive our economies. It’s all about making the right next choice. As I said before, if it makes economic sense today, helps protect and enhance businesses (or an area) long-term and helps protect the environment, that sure seems like a win-win-win. Cross Pines is a model for that kind of thinking.

Full Disclosure: I have been involved in the conceptualization and creation of Cross Pines Ranch from its beginning. We’ve always said that it’s all about the land, and we’re continually delighted when families see and enjoy this incredible landscape that has been protected in perpetuity.

Lake 4 boathouse_600x900@72dpi

 

Dallas Addison is a Dallas-based lawyer who has helped many clients throughout the country buy, sell, develop and manage all types of  real estate over the years, with a  particular focus on recreational and hospitality-based real estate,  such as golf courses, resorts, ranches, second homes, etc. He is also a founding principal of Preservation Land Company. He is a regulator contributor to SecondShelters.com.

A well-known LA production house will be in town very soon seeking Dallas-area women who “ranch” for a pilot on “beautiful, glamorous  Dallas women who have a ranch connection,” says the darling L.A.-living Janelle Randazza, who is casting for the show. She won’t tell me who the producer is, but  I hear they are the same folks responsible for Bethany Getting Married, Super Nanny, Football Wives and Real Housewives of NYC. The pay is about $500.

Here’s what Janelle says she wants — I’m totally thinking Sue Ellen Ewing:

“Wives or girlfriends of ranchers, or we’ll take daughters of ranchers… girls who can show their boyfriends how to ride, clean out a stall, and do it all while wearing their diamonds and turquoise.”

And their Luccheses.

In other words, pretty and glam, but tough as nails. I’ll bet they wouldn’t mind a cute little gal who could tote a rifle and snuff out a rattler without risking one gel-wrapped fingernail.

Oh. There is this age thing. Janelle wants gals under 40, over 21. Unfortunately, that removes some of us from the call. Interested? Email Janelle at  randazzacasting@gmail.com

Value and a pretty darn good view — beachfront or mountain — that’s what people generally want when they seek second home real estate. After all, that’s the whole point of buying a second home, getting out of Dodge and enjoying peace, quiet and nature. But one thing has changed since the real estate bubble burst: folks want smaller second homes. (Do you blame them? Give me a one-vacuum-cleaner home on the range.) Two to three bedrooms max, creative living space, multi-function rooms. According to the E360’s 2nd Home Trend Report,  45% of homeowners believe this year — maybe 2011, also — is the best time to buy a second home. No brain-killer here: timing, cheap interest rates, close-out pre-foreclosure sales; property characteristics, location, and price were the major preferences or influencing factors.

God, I hope they didn’t pay someone to dig up this earth-shattering news. Cut the consultants, just chop the price.Because guess what, the buyers are out there on the fence:

“More impressively, of the remaining 54% who indicated that now would not be a good time to buy 79% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to purchase in the next 2 years. Martin says “this is a strong indication that demand will continue to grow over the next two years and will strengthen the second home market”.

Why do second home buyers buy homes? 46% for lifestyle and leisure, 41% for investing, 11% for retirement. Maybe it’s only 11% for retirement because so few of us will be able to retire.  They really don’t want much space. One trend I saw at a lovely East Texas shared ownership and conservation development called Cross Pines Ranch was the porch dining room — second home buyers love large kitchens with eating areas but skip building a formal dining room. The large, screened-in porch can be a second dining or living area, especially if there is an outdoor fireplace. Screened-in means not air conditioned and heated which means, non-taxable square footage.