River Road by Andrew Chalk

Editor’s note: Our esteemed contributor Andrew Chalk once again brings us second home nirvana four-ish hours south of Dallas real estate in Comal County.

In my previous post I described my stay in the picturesque village of Gruene. We not only explored the village, but also the surrounding area. One nearby neighborhood that is very popular with second home owners is the “River Road”, an intricate winding road that runs along the bank of the beautiful Guadeloupe River from just outside New Braunfels almost as far as the river’s confluence with Canyon Lake. Starting a car journey from the center of New Braunfels, head out to the 337 ring road and go to the junction where River Road starts. After a mile the road meets the Guadeloupe and hugs it closely for the next six or seven miles. For most of the journey the road is just a few feet from the river on a low bank but occasionally the road ascends a bluff, affording spectacular views of the river below. Really, you will have no idea you are still in Texas. There are places to park all along the route. In the summer, the river is popular with ‘toobers’ and progress along the road is slow in heavy traffic. On our journey on a pleasant 70º degree in February,  few other vehicles sharing the road with us.

Most of the land at the side of the road is still wood land but there are the unmistakable signs of burgeoning second home development. One interesting development is the River Road Treehouses. These are actual houses in the trees that sleep 4-8 and are finished out to a high specification and rented for daily ($295 high season/$195 low season), weekly ($1600 high season) or up to monthly stays (call ________________for rates). They are up near the ‘horseshoe’ tubing area of the river. Here there is also a new music venue known as the Whitewater Amphitheater with an associated bar, that serves cocktails, and a restaurant. The same developers built Hideout on the Horseshoe, a set of vacation cabins that is doing very well (according to sales tax records).

If you’d like to own in this area, it’s fairly reasonable: a single-family property at 7840 River Road is offered at $550,000. For this price you get views up and down the river, 3 bedrooms with one bath. Live there, keep it for your family, or lease it.

7840 River Road $550,000

7830 River Road $475,000

7840 River Road

An example of single-family property is 7840 River Road offered at $550,000. For this price you get views up and down the river, 3 bedrooms with one bath.

7830 River Road

Just down the road 7830 River Road is for sale at $475,000. It is smaller so that lower outlay translates into a higher per square foot. Like its neighbor it has direct river views.

Now if you want your own family compound, try 12651 River Road.

These are actually three adjacent properties listed for $1,080,000 that have been rental properties since 1990. Long rental records are available and can help defray the mortgage payments. The location is about two miles north of the other properties, closer to popular Canyon Lake, and likely why this one-half acre remains in high demand. Don’t get me started on the pink paint job: deduct $20,000 for a more subtle paint job. Seaside, Fla. this isn’t.

12651 River Road