VacationHomes_PitchGraphic_v02

Breckenridge, Colorado; Santa Fe, New Mexico, which I have always called a bedroom community of Dallas, South Padre; Galveston and the Gulf Coast of Florida: Alys Beach, Watercolor, Seaside and Rosemary Beach. Panama City Beach was 8.3% of all Dallas originated searches. This according to a report from the folks at Trulia, who checked into which vacation hot spots are becoming more popular for second homes, and “which are being ditched in favor of sandier beaches.”

Interesting that Texas is becoming a popular destination for people in colder climates seeking warm weather, while we are escaping to cooler climes including McCall, Idaho. One of the top ten most popular vaca home spots is Hallettsville, Texas, a rural stretch in Lavaca County between San Antonio and Houston.  (more…)

MN-AJ010_WVA_M_20150506163339

Greenbrier Sporting Club: 7000 sft, 5 bedrooms, wine cellar, billiards room, pool, hot tub, grill, bocce ball court, apartment: $5.995.

It was about this time last year that Kyle Crews, Juli Harrison, and Doris Jacobs all of Allie Beth Allman, and I hopped a plane to Charlestown, West Virginia to visit the one of the most beautiful, breath-taking and affordable vacation home spots in the nation: the Greenbrier Sporting Club.

Why I am telling you this story now? First of all, it’s the beginning of the vacation home season, and we should all be there, dry and happy and out of the rain. We are going back in a few weeks.

Secondly, I am sick of the rain. I know we need it, but this is getting ridiculous. Does Mother Nature know nothing but feast or famine? The only good news is that we may be able to sell some of this water to parched places in West Texas.

Then, the owner of the Greenbrier, Jim Justice, is running for governor of West Virginia in a self-funded campaign. The self-made billionaire was in Dallas last fall at an event benefiting Arlington Hall at Lee Park, visiting with some local owners – – there are a handful of folks in Dallas who own vacation homes at the Greenbrier, and more are interested. The Sporting Club will get even more interesting if Justice wins the governors race —

Greenbrier in Dallas Jim Justice and ABA

Jim Justice with Allie Beth & Pierce Allman, Judy Pittman, Dave Perry-Miller

Justice’s wealth easily trumps Rockefeller’s. The 64-year-old built a $1.7 billion fortune in coal and agriculture, and has painted himself a job creator who bought and restored The Greenbrier historic resort.

The values are unprecedented. When you see the resort, one of the oldest and largest in the country, and experience the magnificent homes and mountain home-sites that surround it, you will fall in love and seriously consider making your second home at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Mountain mama, take me home.

2014-05-18 Greenbrier 2014 (6)

I come ready to hike!

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Greenbrier $950 635657440772825000_HC8_ext_1600x1200_NP

While flipping the filets yesterday, while it was pouring rain, I was aghast that I had left you with the impression that only a gadzillionaire could afford a vacation home at The Greenbrier. In fact, the Greenbrier Sporting Club is one of the best values in vacation home properties. I showed you a $5 million house, how about one for UNDER a million?

Lookie here: while the Sporting Club LOTS start at about $150,000, here is a 3-bedroom retreat, within close proximity to the resort, for less than a million. $989,900 to be exact. Reduced even.

And at this point I could at least grill on a LOT without rain seasoning the food! (more…)

weather watch farm

Photo: E.J. Murphy Realty

These days we tend to think of second homes as being located as a plane flight or at least a several-hour car ride from the primary residence, but it wasn’t always this way. In the days before cars, a smaller distance might provide all the respite necessary.

weather watch farm

Photo: E.J. Murphy Realty

Case in point: Weather Watch Farm, a country estate in Litchfield, Connecticut. The 28-acre estate offers rolling green vistas and tranquil meadows just as it has for centuries. The estate includes a colonial farmhouse that dates back to the 1800s and was once home to the Howe family among other residents. Ernest Howe (1872-1915), was a Yale-educated geologist who spent his winters in New Haven but his summers at the farm.

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