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Of all the questions farm and ranch Realtor Kathryn Roan gets asked, “What is an ag exemption?” is the one she hears most frequently. With Texas ranch properties getting snapped up left and right, being an educated buyer is critical. Find out more about this real estate misnomer and how you can make sure your property qualifies for massive tax savings over on SecondShelters.com. 

Berkshire Hawaii Small

Out on a morning walk, I saw a sign for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hawai’i and decided to give them a call. I wanted to get the insight into what Allie Beth Allman’s crew have gotten themselves into. A few days later, I met local president Tracy Bradley at that first-seen home’s open house. The short answer is that others in Dallas real estate should be a bit worried by the Berkshire firepower and savvy.

The Honolulu real estate playing field was at one time dominated by local brokerages that over time were acquired by national brands like RE/MAX, Prudential and such. Often what was gained in national presence was lost at the local level with layers of mainland management out of touch with the islands. Also, like many conglomerates, technology tools were not the best. Bradley told me of one of her agents who had been screaming for years for a way to embed a video into an email – no link, no Dropbox. Spoiler alert: now she can film a property on her phone and embed the impromptu tour into an email to her client from her phone.

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

One of Berkshire’s first real estate acquisitions was Prudential. Apparently, franchisees had the option of opting out and that’s what Hawai’ian offices did. With no presence in high-priced Honolulu, Berkshire approached Bradley and a select group of agents to be their start-up in Hawai’i. Little did I know how timely my meeting would be.

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935-1

I really cannot imagine a more perfect spot to enjoy this Fourth of July than right here on Lake Worth. This property is 3.2 acres right on the banks of one of Fort Worth’s best kept secrets, and is only 15 minutes from downtown.

Known by locals as “Camp T.,” this property is a great spot for getting together with the family for a few days, playing some dominoes, getting out on the boat, doing some fishing, and filling the evenings with sparklers, adult beverages, and some barbecue. If you’re expecting this to be your standard lake house, complete with less than luxurious appointments and a claustrophobic kitchen, you’re in for quite a surprise!

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We can’t imagine a more fabulous long weekend than sipping wine produced right here in Texas at one of the Hill Country’s best spots, Boot Ranch. Not only does this luxury second home development have a fabulous Hal Sutton-designed golf course and fully equipped spa, but it also has the daring and creative executive chef Aaron Staudenmaier who ready to wow you with novel food and wine pairings.

And that’s just a fraction of what guests and journalists enjoyed during the Wine Workshop at Boot Ranch. Oenophiles enjoyed discussions with some of the best wine critics and insiders in Texas, too. See what you are missing right here on SecondShelters.com.

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(Photo: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University)

(Photo: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University)

“The rules and tax-planning strategies for a vacation home are complex if the home is rented,” says Dr. Jerrold Stern, a research fellow at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Truly, that’s an understatement.

More and more people are buying vacation homes thanks to growing employment and stock market gains. And as services such as VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway become more popular, more and more people are renting out their vacation homes. Find out what you can do to keep the IRS at bay when tax day comes over on SecondShelters.com.

Photo: E.J. Murphy Realty

Photo: E.J. Murphy Realty

This Connecticut country estate is absolutely delicious, with a pool, gorgeous gardens, and room to run around. It also hearkens to a time when a second home wasn’t a long journey from a primary residence, says Deidre Woollard:

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.

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.

Read more from Woollard about this picturesque estate on SecondShelters.com today!

Photo: Leaskou Partners

Photo: Leaskou Partners

I love the homes that Deidre Woollard finds over on SecondShelters.com, and today’s beautiful home in Rancho Mirage is a snowbird’s paradise. This is sought-after location thanks to being the warmest spot in the U.S. come the chillier months.

The combination of bright sunshine and snow-capped mountains in the distance create a perfect backdrop for golf, and snowbird recreation. It began to flower in the 1940s and 1950s when Hollywood stars and monied Angelenos sought a warm retreat for the winter months.  Golf, martinis, and afternoons by the pool were the order of the day (and not out of fashion yet).

Find out more about this beautiful location and fabulous house on SecondShelters.com today!

Dogleg Ranch Bandera

Beauty seems so fleeting at times. Wouldn’t it be great to capture a moment, your home’s moment, in a book that you could share and hold on to for generations? Read more about the company that can do it — for a price, of course. That’s what Jane Stieren and Bill Lacy did for their Bandera ranch pictured above.

Those with family estates and deep pockets will love these gorgeous books created by a husband-and-wife company called Kubaba. Read about it on SecondShelters.com.