Saddle up folks, it’s time for our luxury ranch roundup! This week we found three sweet East Texas ranches that are among the best on the market right now. From a nationally renowned Longhorn cattle operation in Mineola, to a picturesque farm with bass stocked lake in Brenham, to an equestrian ranch with a reputation for breeding world champion paint horses in Winona, we’ve rustled up some winners – all ranging from $1.85 million to $6.75 million.

Take your pick of these East Texas ranches on now!

Come March, a unique East Texas property will be available via auction, which is quickly becoming the best way to pick up big, beautiful real estate. The iconic Timber Creek Ranch in Winnsboro is up for auction, and is hosting a pre-auction preview and barbecue there this Saturday, February 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It may be your only chance to see 428 acres of pure heaven.

I know we say this all the time, but this truly is one of the finest ranches in Texas. And one of the few with full lake access.

“Timber Creek Ranch ranks among the finest working and recreational ranches in Texas, and its lake frontage is especially unique,” says Kyle Crews, Executive Vice President of Allie Beth Allman & Associates.


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, and occasionally on, 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! 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?

Cross Pines June 2006 502 hosts contributor Dallas Addison today to talk about how conservation strategies should benefit all developments in the long run. For his article, Addison uses Cross Pines Ranch, a 40-lot conservation-oriented second home community in East Texas, as an example of how keeping an eye on conservation can help preserve Texas land.

“While there is a powerful connection with the land, Texas has also historically led the nation in the amount of raw land converted to development property. This rampant expansion is continually changing our landscape. And let’s face it; much of what is developed and constructed does not have the most lasting value. Kind of seems like the same type of development gets repeated about every 5-10 miles no matter which direction you’re headed,” Addison asserts.

Read more about Cross Pines and how developers can help conserve the Texas landscape today on

Proposition 6 Results by County


The results are in, and while many agreed that Proposition 6 was the best plan available to secure the future of Texas water, it garnered 73.37 percent of the statewide vote — a considerably safe margin.  Among constitutional amendment propositions on the statewide ballot, Proposition 6 garnered more votes that Propositions 3, 5, and 8.

What’s most interesting is the county-by-county reports from the Texas Tribune. While the Texas Hill Country and West Texas will likely be those most desperate for water, Proposition 6 didn’t pass muster in several counties throughout those regions. And many areas of East Texas shunned the proposed constitutional amendment that would tap the state’s Rainy Day Fund to secure more water resources. Find out more about Proposition 6 and its provisions here.

Check out more detailed results from last night here.

Liberty Pines PorchDoesn’t this porch look like the perfect spot to watch a storm roll in while you swap stories about your summer adventures? That’s what we want to do today. So check out our little write-up on this gorgeous ranch just east of Dallas on, and then shoot us a little ditty telling us all the deets on where you spent your summer vacay. We’ll post stories and photos on our sister blog, too!


A well-known LA production house will be in town very soon seeking Dallas-area women who “ranch” for a pilot on “beautiful, glamorous¬† Dallas women who have a ranch connection,” says the darling L.A.-living Janelle Randazza, who is casting for the show. She won’t tell me who the producer is, but¬† I hear they are the same folks responsible for Bethany Getting Married, Super Nanny, Football Wives and Real Housewives of NYC. The pay is about $500.

Here’s what Janelle says she wants — I’m totally thinking Sue Ellen Ewing:

“Wives or girlfriends of ranchers, or we’ll take daughters of ranchers… girls who can show their boyfriends how to ride, clean out a stall, and do it all while wearing their diamonds and turquoise.”

And their Luccheses.

In other words, pretty and glam, but tough as nails. I’ll bet they wouldn’t mind a cute little gal who could tote a rifle and snuff out a rattler without risking one gel-wrapped fingernail.

Oh. There is this age thing. Janelle wants gals under 40, over 21. Unfortunately, that removes some of us from the call. Interested? Email Janelle at

Value and a pretty darn good view — beachfront or mountain — that’s what people generally want when they seek second home real estate. After all, that’s the whole point of buying a second home, getting out of Dodge and enjoying peace, quiet and nature. But one thing has changed since the real estate bubble burst: folks want smaller second homes. (Do you blame them? Give me a one-vacuum-cleaner home on the range.) Two to three bedrooms max, creative living space, multi-function rooms. According to the E360‚Äôs 2nd Home Trend Report,¬† 45% of homeowners believe this year — maybe 2011, also — is the best time to buy a second home. No brain-killer here: timing, cheap interest rates, close-out pre-foreclosure sales; property characteristics, location, and price were the major preferences or influencing factors.

God, I hope they didn’t pay someone to dig up this earth-shattering news. Cut the consultants, just chop the price.Because guess what, the buyers are out there on the fence:

“More impressively, of the remaining 54% who indicated that now would not be a good time to buy 79% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to purchase in the next 2 years. Martin says ‚Äúthis is a strong indication that demand will continue to grow over the next two years and will strengthen the second home market‚Äù.

Why do second home buyers buy homes? 46% for lifestyle and leisure, 41% for investing, 11% for retirement. Maybe it’s only 11% for retirement because so few of us will be able to retire.¬† They really don’t want much space. One trend I saw at a lovely East Texas shared ownership and conservation development called Cross Pines Ranch was the porch dining room — second home buyers love large kitchens with eating areas but skip building a formal dining room. The large, screened-in porch can be a second dining or living area, especially if there is an outdoor fireplace. Screened-in means not air conditioned and heated which means, non-taxable square footage.