Monday, July 25, 2005

From Bankrupt to Giddyap

Old ranches never die, they just become ranchettes. A new residential enclave is coming alive on the site of a Montgomery, Texas ranch once owned by Gary Akin, who was embroiled in a financial scandal and eventually declared insolvent. A Houston paper says the 458-acre site, named Perfection Ranch, has been bought and will become a luxe community -- complete with 14-acre lake and one of the largest private indoor riding arenas in the United States.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Second Homes on the Range

In some parts of Wyoming, "25 to 50 percent of the housing market is second homes," David 'Tex' Taylor, a community development specialist at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture, told a local paper. 'That's pretty substantial. In the state as a whole, if you look at 1990 to 2000, there is a growth rate (in second homes) of over 30 percent.'"


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Straw is Green

I'm spending a few weeks in Carbondale, CO, down the road from Aspen, and there's great interest here in enviro-friendly homes. Big deals include straw bale construction and photo-voltaic cells to capture the abundant sunshine for energy. A local outfit, Solar Energy International, gives regular workshops on such things. Interested? Call 'em at 970-963-8855 or e-mail them:


Decoration Day

Housing boom = design boom. The Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach, FL -- at 775,000 square feet, the country's largest design campus -- launched its Designer on Call service eight years ago in response to consumer demand. "Years ago, here in South Florida people with second homes would say to a decorator, 'Here is a blank check. I'll see you in six months.' Now, consumers know want to be an active part of the process," said executive vice president Joan Kerns Kaufman.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

You Call This Affordable?

A deed-restricted home in Steamboat Springs, CO has sold for $250,000, and another still is on the market for $387,000, the local paper reports.
"The main objective of deed restrictions is to ensure that a house remains affordable for low- to moderate-income families," according to a local housing official. Well, guess quarter of a million now defines "affordable" in gold-plated ski resorts.


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Ah, the Perils of Mogul Gridlock

Tuesday July 5 shapes up as Gridlock Day for the Sun Valley (ID) Airport, and biz bigwigs are not happy. It's the day top brass flies into the mountain resort for Herb Allen's annual mogul retreat, but it's also the end of the long weekend, according to the AP. The FAA rejected plans to give big private jets precedence over smaller planes. Instead, everyone will wait in line to use the one runway. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said the moguls "don't appreciate much delay or inconvenience." The airport manager says "we could be overwelmed."


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