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The sudden death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this weekend in West Texas throws yet another Texas ranch property into the spotlight: Cibolo Creek Ranch, owned by Houston billionaire and Washington D.C. insider John Poindexter.

Poindexter says he invited Scalia, age 79, to his ranch this weekend as a guest along with about three dozen others. One of Scalia’s sons was to come but cancelled at the last minute. Poindexter says Justice Scalia was animated and engaged during dinner Friday night, but did retire early at 9 p.m. saying it had been a long week, and he was tired.

Poindexter tried to awaken Scalia about 8:30 the next morning, but the Justices’ door was locked and he did not answer.

Three hours later, Poindexter returned to the ranch after an outing. He and a Scalia friend from Washington got into the room, and discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled, indicating that perhaps he had died shortly after retiring the night before.

“He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap,” he said.

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Established in 1857 by Milton Faver, known as the first Texas cattle baron west of the Pecos, Cibolo Creek Ranch is now a five-star resort, a rugged oasis of a retreat, once a grouping of real life forts where Indian attacks were fended off. One of the more artistic forts remaining is  “El Fortin de Cibolo.” Many millionaires and celebrities have visited the 30,000 acres near the Chinati Mountains including Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones. One of the Dixie Chicks, Emily Erwin, was married there. Rooms run $350 to $700 per night. Cibolo Creek Ranch was bought by Poindexter in 1988 when it was not in the best of shape. He meticulously renovated three of the forts into a luxury, 33-room resort with a pool, dining room, horseback riding facilities, hunting and private airstrip. The atmosphere is comfortable luxury — lots of sinkable leather chairs and sofas, luxurious rooms with a ranch theme. Located about 30 miles south of Marfa, most guests fly in by private plane to the airstrip or fly to Midland and drive 3.5 hours to the remote ranch near Shafter and Marfa.

Poindexter was profiled in this 2006 Texas Monthly story by John Spong, when he was trying to buy 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park. He was described by Spong as a rather “stiff dude” who has never married (“It wasn’t that I didn’t like the ladies enough; it’s that I liked them too much.”) – ha!: (more…)

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I was sitting in Craig Martin’s office up at Windsong Ranch — if you haven’t seen or experienced the amazing Windsong Ranch in Prosper, then you don’t know  North Texas real estate greatness —  and he was telling me about this amazing ranch in the Hill Country just north of Fredericksburg.

Boot Ranch I asked? I love the place!

Yes, he said. We are buying it!

But I was sworn to secrecy until the deal was closed. Closed, signed and sealed it is: Terra Verder Group LLC, the devloper of Windsong Ranch, has indeed purchased the 2,000 acre Boot Ranch north of Fredericksburg. Terra Verde and financial partner Wheelock Street Capital bought the luxury vacation home golf course community from Lehman Brothers.

Boot Ranch, the brainchild of Texas golfing great Hal Sutton, opened in 2006 just in time for the Great Recession. Like so many of its brethren, Boot fell into foreclosure. But during the four years that Lehman Brothers operated it, the community slowly, steadily kept the momentum moving forward. In fact, Boot Ranch may well become a poster child success story for how a vacation home community survives a downturn.

“The previous developer opened the project at the wrong time in the market,” said Terra Verde founder Craig Martin. “Our plan is to complete the development.We like Boot Ranch because of its proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Midland-Odessa – within a 4-hour drive.”

Read more about this amazing acquisition on CandysDirt.com!

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Summer months in Texas reach scorching hot temperatures. You need a home where you can beat the heat in style with family and friends. Look no further than 472 White Rock Road – your own personal vacation spot at Richland Chambers Reservoir. While just an hour away from Downtown Dallas, it is a convenient and easy way to spend a few weekends or an entire summer. This large, inviting Mediterranean style house boasts all the amenities for an idyllic retreat. (more…)

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I’m not the only one who is in love with my later-in-life hometown of Poetry, Texas. Author Janice Thompson even wrote a novel starring the 1800s version of this darling little town. Located just over 10 miles east of Rockwall, Poetry is a charming country community with sandy loam soil, populated almost entirely by horse owners, earning the unincorporated township the nickname “Little Aubrey.”

Locals are fond of saying “Poetry isn’t a location, it’s a lifestyle.” Less than an hour to Dallas, but it’s still the country out here. The waitresses at the BNF Diner know your name and your order by heart, and the food is good enough at Richards Smokehouse that even your visiting “city friends” will approve. (Prepare to eat your weight in the just-like-grandma-made ’em rolls. Poetry may be for lovers, but it is not for the waistline-conscious.)

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If you’re not quite ready for a huge ranch, but want a little privacy from the neighbors and room for a few horses, the darling one-story home at 9738 County Road 2432 is the perfect transition from city to country. Built in 2005, the extremely well-constructed three-bedroom, two-bath home on three acres features flattering touches such as extra-high ceilings, crown moldings, stained concrete floors, and beautiful automatic gated entry.

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The floor plan accomplishes being both open and cozy at the same time, with all rooms overlooking the white pipe fenced pasture. The third garage space has been semi-converted to an exercise room, but could be a workshop or even go back to garage use. Small “dog room” offers indoor/outdoor access to your furry family members, and yes, the back yard is safely fenced for dogs, separated from the horse pasture.

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The back porch area is perfect for grilling out with friends, and enjoying the summer stars you’ll be able to see oh-so-clearly out here.

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Your horses will feel right at home in the treed pasture, complete with pond and freshly painted white pipe-and-cable fencing. The barn has three beautiful heavy duty steel framed stalls, with water and electric already supplied for ease of care.

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Located on one of the nicest streets in Poetry, with several $500,000-plus country estates and even an equine veterinary center, this lovely horse property is offered for $339,500 by myself, Ebby Halliday Realtor Kathryn Roan.

If you’d like to move to Poetry, we’d love to have you!

“A horse is poetry in motion.” – Author Unknown

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

 

My favorite real estate blogger, Mama dear over at The RealStalker, got the scoopola straight from Austin: Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, have a giant 11,000 square foot plus house on Lake Austin under contract and are ditching sunny Cali to raise their twins here in the Lone Star state, or at least, in that part that is most like California: Austin.  My colleague Sheree Curry at AOL talked to their LA agent, who told Sheree that “one of her favorite features of the Pacific Palisades home they are leaving behind is ‘a great set of huge vintage wood doors that Dennis and Kimberly put in to enter the master suite. They add a wonderful ambiance and set the scene for entering the room.’ ”  Well, I’ll take being on Lake Austin over vintage wooden doors any day, no offense.

And look how much more space the Quaids are getting in Texas: their 8,400-square-foot main house in LA has 8 bedrooms and 8½ baths, a master suite with a fireplace and private balcony. Fireplaces are everywhere: the gourmet kitchen, the beamed living room and the covered loggia that overlooks the swimming pool and spa. A converted gym sits above the kitchen, but the space can be used as a maid’s quarters. There is also an office and a wine cellar. On for $16.9 million.

In past interviews, Quaid has hinted that he bought a couple of acres on Lake Austin, back when he first met his bride, Kimberly Buffington, who worked in real estate in Austin. According to TREC records, Buffington holds an inactive Texas real estate license. Her father is the CEO of Austin-based Buffington Signature Homes. Last time she was in Austin, she was doing PR for a Title Company. Oh, and talking about multiple homes: the Quaids own their home in Pacific Palisades,  the one on the market, and a ranch near Paradise Valley, Montana, near Yellowstone National Park.

Or will he keep it as a second home? Is he going anywhere? The Dallas Morning News is reporting (I subscribe!) that Chuck Greenberg will be replaced as the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers and CEO of the club’s operating holding company. Expect the announcement later today. Something is apparently rotten in Denmark: a source told the Dallas Morning News that  Greenberg left the Rangers’ spring training facility in Surprise, Arizona abruptly on Saturday, this during what was supposed to be a fun-filled, happy, joyous weekend for the partners. And oh dear: Greenberg did not show to a party he and Nolan Ryan were supposed to host on Sunday.

(You what that meant when Rhonda Aikman did not show at Troy’s holiday party.)

It’s only been seven months since the MLB’s approved Greenberg, Ryan and more than a dozen others to purchase the club for more than $590 million. And the Rangers even made it to the World Series! Last April 26, Chuck Greenberg put a contract on this lovely little number at 2211 Vaquero Estates Boulevard (this video of the home is a must-see) owned by former Cowboy Tony Banks, which was listed for $3.5 million with Roxann Taylor and Associates realtors. The home had been on the market for awhile. It’s Mediterranean style, with  8754 square feet and a view of Vaquero’s 17th and 18th fairways. It’s on a cul de sac and has amazing custom finish-out amenities throughout like most Vaquero spreads — huge formals, multiple living areas, master suite with his and her closets and full coffee bar, fabulous kitchen with top of the line gourmet appliances, auxiliary kitchen, wine cellar, game room with microwave and drawer-type dishwasher, full media room, huge sparkling pool. The  loggia comes with a 42-inch flat screen and outdoor kitchen. One of my trusted sources tells me Vaquero is getting quite active these days, I quote: “things seem to have picked up quite a bit in Vaquero with several home and lot sells since the first of the year”. It must have helped that Forbes.com named Vaquero as America’s Most Affluent Neighborhood.

P.S: Last time I was out there, it appeared that the Greenbergs were doing some work on the house, so I did not snap pics. You don’t take a picture of a girl when she’s in the middle of a face-lift!