Villas at Cortina

You know how much I like vacation homes, so this is the best news ever. The National Association of Realtors says second-home buyers from Cape Cod and New York’s Hamptons to Miami and Lake Tahoe, California, are returning to the housing market as “surging stock prices, job growth and low interest rates boost purchasing power and consumer confidence. U.S. vacation-property sales jumped 57 percent last year to an estimated 1.13 million, a record in data going back to 2003.”

Coincidentally, buyers are snapping up vacation homes faster than investment properties: Realtors report a 7.4 percent drop in deals for buying investment properties, down to 1.02 million, as rising prices cut into potential profits.

Purchases of owner-occupied homes fell almost 13 percent to 3.23 million, the Realtors group said. Buyers know they missed the bottom of the market, and now they don’t want to miss the bottom of interest rates.

 Vacation-home buyers had a median household income of $94,380, up from $85,600 in 2013, and the typical property was 200 miles (320 kilometers) away from a buyer’s primary residence. About 40 percent of purchases were in beach areas, 19 percent were in the country, and 17 percent were in the mountains.

Vacation homes accounted for 21 percent of all transactions last year, the most since the National Association of Realtors survey was first conducted 12 years ago.

This might be a great time to pick up a condo in Telluride, where you can enjoy cooler summers as well as a snowy ski season.

The Villas at Cortina is the newest Mountain Village development offering the most amenities of any ski-in/ski-out development in Telluride: a heated year round outdoor pool and hot tub, private owners lounge, a kids and adult game-room, private shuttle service to go to the grocery store, out to restaurants, or to the free gondola into town. Prices for the ultimate in care-free mountain home luxury begin at $1.59 million. We have the whole story over on…

Cortina Villas

Chocolates make you fat, flowers wither away after a week. Why not make a sound investment in love and get your Valentine a vacation home that you can actually make some moola on? I just saw this report from HomeAway: did you know that second home owners are monetizing their vacation homes and covering 75% or more of their mortgage by renting it out just 18 weeks out of the year, which still leaves them plenty of time to enjoy the home as well.

As a result, more owners are listing their homes with the goal to cover all of their expenses (73% in 2014 vs. 46% in 2008) or generate a profit (11% in 2014 vs. 3 in 2008).

My choice du jour is Telluride. (more…)

Boot Ranch

I hate it when I miss a good party, or a whole weekend of parties.

I cannot believe I had to miss Boot Ranch celebrating more home sales down in Fredericksburg with the likes of representatives from Sports IllustratedThe Dallas Morning News, ForbesTexas Golfer, KLBJ Austin, NBC Sports Radio, Texas TravelerAvid GolferFredericksburg Standard, Austin Food and Wine Alliance, Houston Links, The Society Diaries, and more. It’s one of my favorite Hill Country spots. And now, it’s getting even bigger and better because the dream that golfing great Hal Sutton had years ago is sticking: golf and luxury in the Texas Hill Country is getting to be everyone’s cup of tea for second home living. Thanksgiving is next week, and folks who own second homes at Boot Ranch are gearing up for a true get-away Turkey Day… even if they are shooting their own bird. Read the whole story on…

River Ranch (3)

We told you that Anteks, that fabulous rustic home furnishings store in the Dallas Design District, has spun a sibling. It’s called Anteks Curated, a home accessories, furniture, and gift shop in the Plaza at Preston Center. Oh the main store is still on Dragon Street in the Design District, but this location sure beats a 15 minute drive on the tollway! (more…)

Beach PrivacyIf you build it, can they look?


We know Julio was responsible for the goodness that knocked me over at 3241 Merrell Circle. Just found out that Julio also handled the renovation down at Lake Austin Spa Resort, where I am taking my daughter next weekend for her birthday. According to an article in F!D Luxe, “McAdams tapped his longtime Dallas decorator, Julio Quiñones, to redecorate 14 adjoining lake-view cottages on the lush property. The rooms are now dressed in a nature-inspired sage, teal and taupe color palette complemented by watercolor works by Dallas artist Scott Winterrowd, the curator of education at the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University. “ (more…)


It seems that Tom and Cinda Hicks are getting ready to build another vacation home in La Jolla. We know they already have one place on the water in that delectable beach town, bought in 1994 for $1.875 million, but according to my colleague, Neil Leitereg at The LA Times, Tom and Cinda have purchased a circa 1950’s home on a corner lot within walking distance of La Jolla Bay.


Alpine Dan gIt’s that time of the year where I want a second home so much I could scream! After being in Albany last weekend, now I have Alpine to drool over: Dallas-based designer extraordinaire Dan Nelson has created an oh so comfy retreat inside a real log cabin in Alpine for a Dallas family. I honestly never thought I would want a log house — stone and metal-roofed Fredericksburg casita or clapboard Seaside bungalow, yes.

But now methinks I have a new house heartthrob: the sexy log cabin. Check out Dan’s handiwork (and a whole lot more) over on… (more…)