Kathryn Roan 1

Is there a more perfect last name for an equestrian than “Roan”? Seriously, we think Kathryn Roan, an Ebby Halliday Realtor with Texas Equestrian Properties, was made for this business. With only a year under her belt as a Realtor, Kathryn already has excellent perspective on the market.

You’ll be seeing more of Kathryn on SecondShelters.com, and occasionally on CandysDirt.com, too, as our farm and ranch correspondent. We’re thrilled to have this talented Realtor and horse-lover on our team.

Want to find out about this lovely gal? Our Q&A with Kathryn is after the jump!

CandysDirt.com: Where are you from?

Kathryn Roan: I was born in Midland, Texas, and raised in Dallas, graduating from Highland Park High School in a year I’m not willing to share!

CD: How did you get into real estate?

Roan: After spending 10 years in the oil and gas industry, it was time for a career change that involved less traveling. The time frame from when I decided to go into real estate to the point I had my license was about six weeks. When I interviewed with Ebby Halliday Realtors, I had yet to start my real estate classes. It was all a bit spontaneous.

CD: You specialize in farm, ranch, and equestrian properties with Ebby Halliday Realtors. Tell us: What are some unique challenges that Realtors face in this market?

Roan:Farm and ranch owners are a breed all their own. They don’t respect money, labels, or high heels. They respect hard work and a willingness to get dirty. On a recent listing appointment, to which I had worn boots and jeans, one of my current sellers said to me, “Our last Realtor showed up in heels and stepped around all the horse poop. We didn’t like her.” A rural realtor has to understand that the land and the barn is more important than the house. If the land doesn’t “work,” it doesn’t matter if the house is the Taj Mahal. Sometimes a client loves the land, and hates the house … or loves the house and hates the land. You have to find the right combination of both.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?

Roan: I live on an 8 acre horse farm in a community east of Rockwall called Poetry, TX. It’s a darling horse-owning paradise on sandy loam soil, earning the area the nickname “Little Aubrey.” In true horse person fashion, I purchased for the land and not the house, which we all lovingly refer to as “The Shack.”

Kathryn Roan 2

CD: And you drive a … let me guess, Mercedes Benz?

Roan: I had a Mercedes in college. A dark gold 1985 turbo diesel. It looked like a baby Rolls and I LOVED it. But alas, practicality wins the day and I drive a Chevy 3500 dually diesel for showing big property and pulling the horse trailer. Not to be left out, my daily driver, a Nissan Altima, has driven a few properties! Only got it stuck once …

CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?

Roan: I really do love the Rockwall area. There is something to the lake-culture-meets-East Texas thing. People are just nicer on this side of the lake! It’s very city-meets-country.

CD: What was your best/highest sale?

Roan: A lakeside house in Rockwall.

CD: Likewise, what was your most challenging or memorable transaction?

Roan: My most memorable thus far was a property that had quite a few different personal issues going. My sellers did not get along, and the buyers were from out of state. The house had been vacant for over a year, so I ended up doing a lot of clean-up on the house myself, and went through about 30 cans of wasp spray. I was elated and relieved to get that one closed!

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?

Roan: Not very. Farm and ranch property takes time. Its extremely rare to see a property sell in a matter of days like you’ll see in the city.

CD: How much did you sell last year?

Roan: Zero. I was still working in oil & gas last year!

CD: What words of wisdom do you often share with clients?

Roan: Not to panic that they will have nowhere to go when their house sells. Moving a farm to a new farm is a production. You cannot just pack your boxes and call a moving van. There are often horses, cows, and farm equipment to consider. I explain their options and am happy to start looking for property before they have a contract on their current home, so they’re reassured that they won’t be standing on the curb holding leadropes on closing day.

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…

Roan: Probably go back to oil & gas.

CD: Do you have a second home? If so, where?

Roan: I do not. But if I did, it would be 100 acres of sandy loam soil, all pipe fenced, with a 30-stall barn and a huge indoor arena. A girl can dream, right?

Knudson Home by Jennifer Pickett

(Drawing of the Knudson home: Jennifer Pickett)

UPDATE: The Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour day was previously incorrect. It is Friday, Dec. 6. And like the US Postal Service, the show will go on whether ice, snow, sleet, or whatever else Mother Nature may throw our way!

Full of family homes and interesting architecture from myriad styles and schools, Lake Highlands is an incredible neighborhood that spans a broad swath of northeast Dallas. A stone’s throw from White Rock Lake, the area not only has views and amenities, but considering that much of the area is inside the Richardson ISD attendance boundaries means it attracts families with school-aged kids.

But not everyone uproots when the kids graduate and move off to college on their own. In fact, there’s a lovely community of women in the Lake Highlands Women’s League that has truly stood the test of time. Each year this group donates money and time to great causes throughout their community, funding their endeavors with their annual Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour.

This year the Sunday FRIDAY, Dec. 6, tour will include some amazing homes, but you’ll love the people inside these great houses, too. Take Suzanne Knudson, for instance, who, along with her husband, Mark, is opening up their Lake Highlands home for this year’s tour. Suzanne took a few moments to answer some questions about her house, her community, and this year’s home tour.

Keep reading to find out how you can win a pair of tickets to this year’s home tour after the jump!

CandysDirt.com: What are your favorite design elements in your home and why?

Suzanne Knudson: It would be the openness that brings our home to life.

CD: Which rooms do you and your family love the most?

Suzanne: First it would be our kitchen which reflects my love of cooking. We also love our “Flamingo Lounge,” better known as the “party room” with a full-service, large granite bar and 144 wine bottle cellar refrigerator for entertaining our guests. My husband, Mark, loves the dinning room, because it lets us sit comfortably and enjoy our family and friends.

CD: What are you doing to prepare for the Holiday in the Highlands home tour on Dec. 6?

Suzanne: Our remodeling had been completed in 2012, so all I have done is added some fun art and decorated with all my many years of Christmas decorations.

CD: What feature, furnishing, or artwork should home tour goers pay special attention to?

Suzanne: Our home is a reflection of us the Knudsons, including our dogs all over the house! We love all our artwork, The Dirty Chef Coat, “All Done” in the kitchen, the Tango Dancers in the main room and the funky art collection in our bar room.

CD: What does it mean for you to have your home featured on this long-running tour, benefitting the community through the Lake Highlands Women’s League?

Suzanne: It means a lot for Mark and I to be able to give back in this special way and help out our Lake Highlands community. We feel very blessed to have raised our children in Lake Highlands and I personally have loved being a member of Lake Highlands Womens League all these many years …

Want to win a pair of tickets to the Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6? Comment below and confirm your entry by sending your name and daytime phone number to jo@candysdirt.com! We’ll select a winner after 5 p.m. today!

Clay Hill Gate

You have to check out this week’s Ranch of the Week over on SecondShelters.com, if not to check out all of the gorgeous photos of rolling pastures and wildlife, but to read more about this property’s history of moonshiners and shootouts!

Find out more about Clay Hill Ranch from Hortenstine Ranch Company right here.

339 Town East Blvd. extFirst of all, Dad, take a peak at these vitals: 3986-16-8000. No, that is not some super huge bust size –it’s the square footage on this amazing country estate in Sunnyvale that comes on 16 acres with a stocked pond, rolling terrain, and asses in the backyard.

Yes, asses, as in donkeys.

8000? That’s how much your total property taxes are, in U.S. dollars. Nope, haven’t started drinking yet. 15 of the total 16 acres are ag exempt.

This spread was built in 2002 and brings you a total ranch get-away feel about 20 minutes outside of Dallas. Located in Sunnyvale on Town East Blvd., you are far enough away to get away from traffic and airport noise, yet close enough that you won’t sit your butt in the car all day to get there. Technically, it’s 12 miles east of downtown Dallas. The spread is actually a donkey farm and mare hotel, home to one of the largest donkey breeding operations in North Texas. The acreage spreads across the pond to a barn with spacious living quarters above. The little donkeys — jacks and jennys — live in the far rear of the ranch. Horse/donkey facilities include a wash rack, six loafing sheds and pens, and a 3,000 square foot barn. Donkeys are pack animals used for draught work in transport or agriculture.  In developed countries like the U.S., sturdy donkeys are used to sire mules, to guard other animals on the ranch, and as pets. Donkeys can also pastured or stabled with horses and ponies, where they have a calming effect on nervous horses.

And they make terrific nannies: if a donkey is introduced to a mare and a foal, the foal may turn to the donkey for support after it has been weaned from its mother.

But all that nuzzling and nurturing is going on in the far back of this ranch. Back in the main house, you have an exquisite, high-end finish out in an energy-efficient stone structure. All windows are low-e, the standing seam metal roof will outlast the owners, and the home is wrapped with extra insulation which results in lower energy bills. The floors are hand-scraped rugged, the kitchen loaded with a farm sink, high-end appliances, walk-in wine closet, and Labradore Antico granite counters that I’m told are no longer available. I’m also coming over for Thanksgiving because the convection oven cooks a 17 pound turkey perfectly in 2.5 hours.

339 Town East Blvd. ext front 339 Town East Blvd. pond 339 Town East Blvd. LR 339 Town East Blvd. DR 339 Town East Blvd. kit 339 Town East Blvd. kit 2The master is as jazzy as the kitchen, with a see-through fireplace, and a master tub inspired by the Four Season Las Colinas own jacuzzis: heated backrest, and heated air in the jets, and self-dry to eliminate icky tub jets. There is a television near the tub, and the huge glassed-in master shower is a steam unit. All that’s missing is the bar, which is actually a few steps away.

339 Town East Blvd. girlie room 339 Town East Blvd. master bath 339 Town East Blvd. masterSpeaking of steps, the master is on the first floor. There are four bedrooms, three and a half baths. Three are down, one is up with full bath. Also upstairs over the three-car garage is a media room with surround sound that is like a private movie theater because it IS a private movie theater. Let it get as loud as you want — no one else in the house can hear that Star Wars battle.

Ok Dad, getting excited? No, well how about grabbing your fishing pole and go catch you some black bass or croppy. Tell you what else will excite you: this property is available for $1,275,000. Less than $1.3 million.

And just one more future Father’s Day treat: a brand-new golf course will be practically next door. Last month, the Dallas city council approved construction of the 400-acre Trinity Forest Golf Course, a $20 million to $60 million new golf course on Loop 12 near Interstate 45 in southern Dallas. Dallas-based AT&T will become the new title sponsor of the Byron Nelson Championship in 2015, taking that role from Hewlett-Packard and bringing them to Trinity Forest to golf.

According to real estate experts, the new golf course development will drastically change the landscape in southern Dallas, and buyers are eyeing Sunnyvale more than ever.

Happy Fathers Day to all our dads, jack-asses and all!339 Town East Blvd. overview

 

 

339 Town East Blvd. extFirst of all, Dad, take a peak at these vitals: 3986-16-8000. No, that is not some super huge bust size –it’s the square footage on this amazing country estate in Sunnyvale that comes on 16 acres with a stocked pond, rolling terrain, and asses in the backyard.

Yes, asses, as in donkeys.

8000? That’s how much your total property taxes are, in U.S. dollars. Nope, haven’t started drinking yet. 15 of the total 16 acres are ag exempt.

This spread was built in 2002 and brings you a total ranch get-away feel about 20 minutes outside of Dallas. Located in Sunnyvale on Town East Blvd., you are far enough away to get away from traffic and airport noise, yet close enough that you won’t sit your butt in the car all day to get there. Technically, it’s 12 miles east of downtown Dallas. The spread is actually a donkey farm and mare hotel, home to one of the largest donkey breeding operations in North Texas. The acreage spreads across the pond to a barn with spacious living quarters above. The little donkeys — jacks and jennys — live in the far rear of the ranch. Horse/donkey facilities include a wash rack, six loafing sheds and pens, and a 3,000 square foot barn. Donkeys are pack animals used for draught work in transport or agriculture.  In developed countries like the U.S., sturdy donkeys are used to sire mules, to guard other animals on the ranch, and as pets. Donkeys can also pastured or stabled with horses and ponies, where they have a calming effect on nervous horses.

And they make terrific nannies: if a donkey is introduced to a mare and a foal, the foal may turn to the donkey for support after it has been weaned from its mother.

But all that nuzzling and nurturing is going on in the far back of this ranch. Back in the main house, you have an exquisite, high-end finish out in an energy-efficient stone structure. All windows are low-e, the standing seam metal roof will outlast the owners, and the home is wrapped with extra insulation which results in lower energy bills. The floors are hand-scraped rugged, the kitchen loaded with a farm sink, high-end appliances, walk-in wine closet, and Labradore Antico granite counters that I’m told are no longer available. I’m also coming over for Thanksgiving because the convection oven cooks a 17 pound turkey perfectly in 2.5 hours.

339 Town East Blvd. ext front 339 Town East Blvd. pond 339 Town East Blvd. LR 339 Town East Blvd. DR 339 Town East Blvd. kit 339 Town East Blvd. kit 2The master is as jazzy as the kitchen, with a see-through fireplace, and a master tub inspired by the Four Season Las Colinas own jacuzzis: heated backrest, and heated air in the jets, and self-dry to eliminate icky tub jets. There is a television near the tub, and the huge glassed-in master shower is a steam unit. All that’s missing is the bar, which is actually a few steps away.

339 Town East Blvd. girlie room 339 Town East Blvd. master bath 339 Town East Blvd. masterSpeaking of steps, the master is on the first floor. There are four bedrooms, three and a half baths. Three are down, one is up with full bath. Also upstairs over the three-car garage is a media room with surround sound that is like a private movie theater because it IS a private movie theater. Let it get as loud as you want — no one else in the house can hear that Star Wars battle.

Ok Dad, getting excited? No, well how about grabbing your fishing pole and go catch you some black bass or croppy. Tell you what else will excite you: this property is available for $1,275,000. Less than $1.3 million.

And just one more future Father’s Day treat: a brand-new golf course will be practically next door. Last month, the Dallas city council approved construction of the 400-acre Trinity Forest Golf Course, a $20 million to $60 million new golf course on Loop 12 near Interstate 45 in southern Dallas. Dallas-based AT&T will become the new title sponsor of the Byron Nelson Championship in 2015, taking that role from Hewlett-Packard and bringing them to Trinity Forest to golf.

According to real estate experts, the new golf course development will drastically change the landscape in southern Dallas, and buyers are eyeing Sunnyvale more than ever.

Happy Fathers Day to all our dads, jack-asses and all!339 Town East Blvd. overview

 

 

West, Texas home

801 N. Davis, West, Tx.

Just got off the phone with West, Texas Realtor Pat Grimm, of Slovak Realty, who tells me he has lived in West all his life. The town’s main business is farm and ranching, the town’s population about 2800. West was founded about 1882 around the KATY railroad, and a lot of Czech and German settlers nestled down to farm and ranch, much like Fredericksburg. The town is named after a major landowner, Thomas West.  This from the town’s Chamber of Commerce

“The Katy Railroad was laid between Hillsboro and Waco in the fall of 1881. The path of the railroad cut through land owned by Thomas West. Mr. West moved to the area in 1859. He farmed land that he had purchased and served as postmaster of Bold Springs. A train depot was built on the land he sold to the railroad company and the land running beside the tracks was divided into small sections and sold to people wanting to start businesses. The new depot included a post office and from that time forward it was known as the West Post Office. Mr. West served as postmaster while opening the first general store. He became a successful businessman later owning a hotel, a furniture store and a bank. The railroad brought prosperity to the area during the 1880′s. More businesses were opened and more surrounding land was purchased. Czech immigrants came to the area purchasing the rich lands to farm and start a fresh life in the new world. They also opened businesses sharing their European culture. By the 1890′s the Czech businesses flourished in West.”

Pat tells me 30 to 60 homes have been destroyed or will be declared un-liveable, those homes ranging in values from $120,000 to about $200,000. An entire apartment complex was just wiped out by the explosion:

Why they were located so close to the West Fertilizer Co. plant, and why a school was practically across the street, remains to me, rather baffling, as it does Tod Robberson over at the Dallas Morning News:

“So why didn’t local planners demonstrate an equal level of forethought and imagine what kind of problems could arise when you place a middle school, a retirement complex, apartments and houses next to a fertilizer plant with a 12,000-gallon tank containing highly volatile chemical compounds? “

Of course, this is a ranching town. Only recently have psychos figured out how to make terror bombs out of everyday items. We need to figure out, says Pat, where these people and families are going to live. As for the rescue workers and people who have been injured or killed, our hearts go out to you and your families. People are still missing and unaccounted for, and loved ones are fretting. How did this nightmare happen right in our own backyard?

We need a House Drive! Any home builders out there willing to get involved?

Pat has lived in West, Texas all his life and told me that yes, the place is pretty devastated, but what is heartening is the way so many are reaching out, helping and donating. I’m told the Dallas hospitals are loaded with people donating blood.

The town had a brand new City Hall, and was in process of building a city museum. Thankfully, Pat thinks most of the folks who lost homes did have insurance, but with homes and multi-family taking at least 6 months to build, they are going to need some sort of shelter immediately!

The adorable home you see here is in town, listed at $109,900 at 801 North Davis. I hope it is still standing.