It starts getting quieter the minute you turn off the northern-most stretch of the Dallas North Tollway, about 30 miles north of Dallas, and head west towards Pilot Point on 380, or University Boulevard. If you go west, you’ll be in Denton, which is I guess why the road is (aptly) named “University”. Go east, there’s McKinney.
A bit north of 380 is Aubrey, where you are away from the maddening crowds of city life.
That highway gets quieter as you turn north. But then it gets even more remote: the asphalt gives way to gravel, and soon you have meadows and trees on either side!
And then, the horses. This is North Texas horse country extraordinaire because of the unique soils found here called sandy loam. It has sand and silt, but lower levels of clay. It doesn’t crack when dry and hard, which means horses’ delicate hooves don’t get caught in the cracks. This eliminates potential injuries. Loam is considered ideal for gardening and agricultural uses because it retains nutrients well and retains moisture, while still allowing excess water to drain away.
And here, on what was once part of a 70 acre tract peanut farm, are 10 verdant, hilly acres where you can have horses and country ’till the cows come home. Enjoy the woods, trees, sandy loam and nature, but when you walk in your door at night, a special home with all the haute conveniences of a chic Preston Hollow, Park Cities or Plano mansion await you.
This is 5000 Bridle Path, Aubrey. Not in MLS yet, the custom built and designed home is being offered for sale as an off-market listing With Ebby Halliday’s Evan Stewart.
Custom built in 2014, the home is very private and cannot be seen from the road. In fact, the entire driveway is screened. The 6400 square foot spread features formals, five bedrooms, six full baths, two offices (one up, one down), a huge gourmet kitchen loaded with name-dropping appliances and amenities, a theater, cigar porch, a complete water reclamation system that is NOT gray water, huge guest suite, and the crowning glory: a unique master loft with a ladder to an observatory where you can see every bright star in the Texas sky at night, or vast miles of horizon during the day.
Enter the contemporary, clean-lined stacked rock and Craftsman style home into a gracious foyer. Inspired by a home in Buena Vista, Colorado, the home has a full metal standing seam roof. The walls are trowel-ed beige with crisp white trim, the doors rich chocolate to blend in with the coffee colored, wide-planked, 4-inch oak hardwood floors. The hall leads to a bedroom wing with en suite bath on the right, to the formal Great Room on the left. Every bedroom in the home is oversized, and all bathrooms are as big as most master baths. Wisely, there is no formal living room because it would be wasted in this home. Instead, the current owners designed the space to accommodate the way a real family lives. There is a formal dining room takes in the grounds, complete with storage for family dining events.
The heart of the Great Room is the huge remote-activated fireplace, the room large enough for a couple grand pianos. The kitchen and breakfast area are open, revealing a kitchen that is as functional as a commercial chef’s dream. The kitchen sink is a Kramers farm-style in stainless, two extra-quiet high grade dishwashers on either side of it, a commercial gas range, two self-cleaning convection ovens, SubZero, a huge island which doubles as a breakfast bar made from one single slab of rare granite, custom cabinets that pressure-close to prevent slamming, imported backsplash from Spain, stone treatments, and a unique walk-in pantry featuring galvanized sheet metal cabinets inside to keep it as neat and tidy as the kitchen. So much careful thought has gone into the cabinets, several are designed for specific use cook and tableware, such as platters, pans and cookie sheets.
There is a full wet bar in a nearby hallway, which also serves the media room located off the kitchen.
“We thought it made sense to have the theater off the kitchen where food could easily be prepared and served,” says the owner. “And the theater is away from the other bedrooms, so one loud movie won’t keep a whole household awake.”
The theater has 5.1 surround sound, and no windows, creating the optimum viewing experience even during brightest daylight. Seating is for 12 but more seats can be added.
Off the Great Room is the stairway to the second floor, with a unique custom rail designed by the homeowner of metal and cable.
Off the kitchen are the first floor study with a full bath: potential extra bedroom. The laundry room is as big as Highland Park Village, or at least as big as four downtown condo kitchens put together. The laundry room even has a sky-blue ceiling, emulating the great outdoors right outside.
The master is downstairs. Large and expansive with full views of the land, it features one of the most unique master baths I have seen. There are double vanities, loads of storage space and a unique shower-tub room. All lined in tile, the shower room features an overhead waterfall shower that will mentally take you to Hawaii, while a stainless steel Japanese soaking tub is in the heart of the room.
“The water temperature in the tub is always constant,” says the owner. “It retains heat perfectly.”
There are two separate, huge his and her closets, both with built-in shelving and packing counters, and her closet is plumbed for a full-sized washer and dryer. This is also where the safe room/tornado shelter is located.
In the master, too, is a handsome stairway up to a second story loft office space, the second office in the home. (Both offices have closets.) In this loft is a secure ladder to a third story observation room with 360 degree glass views of the property and countryside. There is enough room for a telescope for star-gazing and pillows — a wonderful spot to snuggle with grandchildren or sleep under the stars.
Three more bedrooms are upstairs, all oversized, equipped with double walk-in closets and en suite baths the size of most home’s master baths. Strike that: the size of most LUXURY home’s master baths. Some of these baths could hold furniture. The regular bedrooms all have sitting areas and some are decorated with unique reclaimed wood walls, the lumber coming from an old, historical house original to the property. The guest quarters are upstairs, featuring a large bedroom that would easily accommodate a king bed and furniture, private tiled en suite bath with long vanity, game room large enough for BOTH a ping-pong AND pool tables, and more than 500 feet of easy-access, walk in attic storage space in an attic that is a return air Plenum for the second story HVAC — in other words, air conditioned. Your styrofoam holiday ornaments will melt no more!
The home is on a septic tank with one septic line, and a water purification system collecting water from the roof gutters purifies rainwater with UV light to render the water potable.
“It’s the best tasting water,” say the owners. “It’s chlorine free — grandchildren love it.”
There are two 5,000 gallon tanks, barn space, room for a chicken coop or chicken village, and a full orchard with apple, pear, apricot and peach trees. Yet for all this back-to-nature, the front of the home has a walled front yard with a small, manicured lawn for a very suburban feel in the middle of the woods.
Two porches offer the homeowners a chance to relax, observe and enjoy their land, one off the main living area, the other off the master bedroom. Needless to say if you want a swimming pool, you have ten acres to seek the perfect spot. Of course, the land has an agricultural exemption, and the buyer is free to have livestock and horses, which is what you do in the country. The home is listed with Ebby Halliday’s Evan Stewart, Ebby’s Little White House.
Now I hope you are sitting down on a soft spot when I tell you the price: $1,440,000. For everything, magnificent home and ten acres, everything including the sandy loam.
Go ahead and faint: if it’s good enough to cushion horses’ hooves, it’s good enough to cushion a human tush.