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Horseshoe Bay Waterfront Properties

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The internet's most current and comprehensive guide to development activity in Horseshoe Bay, Texas

"America's Sweet Spot!"

Why HSB may soon be widely recognized as not simply
the Best in Texas, but the Best in America: "America's Sweet Spot!"

Map of Central Texas Showing Its Principal Geologic-Geomorphic Provences

Aerial Photo Showing Outline of Texas' "Sweet-spot"

Chart of Crude Oil Prices Showing that HSB's Well-being Tracks Oil Prices Closely

Current Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prices

Related Articles on Oil Prices


A) America and the world will remain oil-based economies for decades.

B) Oil is sold/traded on the world market priced in U.S. dollars.

C) The U.S. dollar has lost almost half its value in the past five years, which means the world’s oil producing states, such as OPEC members, would be getting half as much for their oil if they had not doubled the price just to stay even during the period.

D) High oil prices hurt America’s overall economy more than elsewhere in the world because America uses by far the most oil.

E) Although America’s overall economy is in this manner being damaged, all is not equal. Economies of our oil-producing states benefit from higher prices and therefore perform above the norm, whereas economies of our non-producing states take a larger than average hit.

F) Texas, a state known as friendly to business, is the fastest growing state in the oil patch and among the fastest in America.  Many think it will be America’s fastest growing over the next couple of generations.

G) HSB is blessed to be located in the Sweet-spot of Texas - that small, exceptionally appealing area in the heart of Texas where the four most attractive sectors of central Texas overlap - namely the Texas Hill Country, the Llano Uplift, the Central Mineral Region and the Highland Lakes.  No other city is so favorably located - see Aerial Photo Showing Outline of Texas' "Sweet-spot" and Map of Central Texas Showing Its Principal Geologic-Geomorphic Provences.

H) But that's hardly the half of it. In addition to having all that going for us, HSB is a geological paradise of the highest order! HSB is located in the the center of a window into the Earth's crust that affords a look into Earth history that ranks among the best in the world. Practically every geological student schooled in the southern US has come here to study our outcrops, which reveal geologic history spanning about 1.3 billion years of time.

I) The area's unique geologic history has produced an under-appreciated, but nevertheless major landmark - the Canyon of the Colorado, located on the Colorado River in Marble Falls, just downstream from the US 281 bridge. This Canyon, a mere 1/16th as deep as the Grand Canyon, is 50 times older. It dates back 250 million years, whereas the Grand Canyon is a mere five million years old.

J) HSB is also blessed with an exceptional climate - tending toward the semi-arid. It makes for a wonderful, year-around playground featuring mild temperatures, comfortable humidity and a prevailing southeasterly breeze. Our summers are not too hot and winters not too cold.

K) And HSB is uniquely notable for having a small to non-existent mosquito population, making way for pleasing evenings enjoying the prevailing breeze on one’s lakeside deck or possibly a ridge-top patio, all made possible by the fact that HSB’s porous granite gravel soils don’t support the accumulations of standing water required for mosquito breeding.

L) HSB Resort has the country’s finest, largest and most state-of-the-art private airport - the HSB Jet Center. Its 6,000-foot runway - night-lighted, newly laid, all-weather, and soon to be lengthened to 6,500 - is among the longest of the nation's privately-owned strips.

M) The cities of HSB and Marble Falls, with a combined 2000 population of about 7,500 residents, sit immediately adjacent and feed off one another in a close symbiotic relationship.  They are located 45 miles northwest of Austin and qualify as an Agurb, meaning they’re a rural community with a population less than 50,000 that is located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area (“MSA”). The United States contains 3,142 counties. Of these, 2,320 lie outside MSA areas. 

N) The HSB-Marble Falls community is recognized as one of America’s Top-100 Agurbs, being the crème de la crème among America’s 16,000 small towns.  In addition to being prosperous growth areas, first and foremost, the Top-100 are also identified by the quality of their healthcare, education, recreation, culture, taxes, cost of living, crime rate, environment, climate and access to major airports and highways.

O) Examples of other Top-100 Agurbs include Eagle Pass, Durango, Glenwood Springs, Telluride, Vail, Jackson, Taos, Ruidoso, Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley, Prescott, Apalachicola, Picayune, Thomasville, Hilton Head Island, Hendersonville, Greencastle, Bowling Green, Ames, Branson, Cape Girardeau and Marion - among the better known.  For more on Agurbs, see Google for “The Boomtown Institute.”

P) Texas' economy led the country from 1973, when the Arab Embargo began, to 1986, when oil prices collapsed practically overnight.  Thusly weakened and with people moving to other areas of the country seeking jobs, the economies of Texas and the adjacent oil patch states (Oklahoma and Louisiana) could not support their real estate values, which led to the 18-year depression while the nation's other states thrived during the long period of low oil prices.

Q) Oil prices continued to fall for 14 years, until 1999. They didn't get back above average until 2003.

R) Economic circumstances and real estate values in HSB remained below 1985 levels until 2004.

However, beginning in the mid-1990s, central Texas' economy did pick up relative to the rest of Texas, led by Austin's hi-tech industry.

T) The stock market crash of 2000 set back the nation's economy, country-wide, but hit central Texas and HSB extra hard because the tech-wreck hit so close by.

Just as the economies of central Texas in general and HSB specifically were regaining their feet, the 9/11/01 tragedy occurred, sharply setting back economies of the travel industry and resort world, delivering another huge blow to resort-oriented communities like HSB.

V) HSB's economy and real estate values broke out with upward momentum in 2003, a couple of years ahead of the state in general.

W) Texas' statewide real estate values did not turn around as quick, ranked as having the best value in the nation as late as 2005.

X) HSB's well-being has tracked the price of oil in precise, mirror-like fashion since mid-1971, when ground was first broken - see accompanying Chart of Crude Oil Prices Showing that HSB's Well-being Tracks Oil Prices Closely.


1) With oil priced in U.S. dollars, OPEC must continually raise oil prices as our dollar declines to maintain market value.  Although other factors such as supply/demand and terrorism influence world oil prices, the dollar’s huge importance is generally overlooked.

2) Although higher oil prices hurt the overall U.S. economy, the economies of major oil producing states like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana (the “oil-patch”) benefit immensely, especially from the independent sector. The exact opposite occurs when the price of oil falls to the base of its pricing cycle, as last happened at the end of 1985, when oil prices crashed precipitously, remaining depressed until 2003.

3) The economies of oil producing states benefit from higher oil prices through the higher margins our independent operators (our in-state producers) receive.  That extra cash received for the same-sized barrel of oil that sold for much less during the downturn lifts these companies and in turn the economy of the producing region as the producer repays its bank loans, invests in new projects, buys new oil and gas leases, drills more wells, drills deeper wells, lays pipelines, buys drilling rigs and heavy duty trucks, employs more people, ad infinitum.

4) The benefits pass through many hands as they trickle down through untold layers to the local lumber yard, neighborhood furniture store, your local car dealer, your travel agent, your favorite restaurant, your dentist, et cetera as people buy new homes, new furniture, new cars, take vacations, go out on the town, take better care of their health, et cetera. 

5) Today, after four healthy years, Texas’ producers have their businesses pretty much back in shape and are beginning to treat/reward themselves, such as looking for second homes and outside investments. And where will they go for that? 

6) These guys, along with many other Texans, are coming to HSB in record numbers because: a) it’s no more than 3.5 hours driving time from Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Ft. Worth and Dallas - five of the country's 19 largest cities; b) we have the finest public-accessible golf in the state and among the best in America; c) it sets on the shore of Lake LBJ, America's largest constant-level lake and is the lake of choice for lake-side enjoyment/living, and d) it situated in an awesome setting - a geological paradise whose mix of stone outcroppings and spring-fed creeks spins a pleasing, relaxing, intriguing, spiritual tale that is wonderfully laid back and friendly.

7) The HSB Jet Center brings distant Texas cities within range, like El Paso (the country's 21st largest city) and the home cities of many of Texas’ independent oil men - like Midland, Odessa and Lubbock. 

8) And for those that don’t own their own plane, the Resort has its own private fleet of jets, four planes in all, that seat from five to 30 passengers, the three largest being Dornier 328 models.  All are available for charter on short notice and are housed at HSB’s Jet Center, which recently received a $7 million upgrade. The private service, called Air Horseshoe, is available to Resort members and guests. The service will soon expand to include public charter.

9) Although the depression lasting from early 1986 into 2003 drove Texas real estate values down to America's cheapest, times have changed. In a prophetic article published in the December 25, 2006 issue of Fortune Magazine, Texas real estate was forecast to appreciate more over the next couple of years, which was the study’s length, than anywhere else in the country. 

10) Several investors had the foresight to see this change unfolding. In that regard, during the past seven years, beginning in late 2000, commitments to the immediate HSB-Marble Falls area began to accumulate. These will total about $8 billion in today’s dollars when completely built out around 2015.

11) However, the coming trend was not that clear in late 2003.  For example, Scott & White (‘S&W”), a major Texas hospital headquartered in Temple, Texas, just south of Waco, decided to give up operation of the local HSB Clinic, which it had been managing as a referral center for their primary hospital facility in Temple, not realizing HSB was bottoming out.

12) This past spring, a mere four years later, S&W saw the trend had changed and reacted promptly, reversing its thinking, announcing it was returning in a big way, intending to build a 120-bed, full-service, acute-care Regional Hospital between HSB and Marble Falls (our city limits are a mere three miles apart) offering quality medicine ranking with Austin’s very best.

13) S&W had conducted extensive demographic studies of population trends and found that savvy investors were way ahead of the game, having already announced plans for over 12,000 new housing units within the immediate HSB-Marble Falls area - amounting to $5 billion worth of new homes. 

14) Moreover, the average new home price exceeded $410,000, which was a conservative estimate in that if a development were said to include houses $250,000 and up, $250,000 was used across the entire development.

15) The other $3 billion covers housing projects announced since late 2000 that S&W’s study missed, such as Siena Creek, Lago Escondido, The Overlook, the 1,500 or so HSB lots that National Recreational Properties has acquired/resold to prospective new homeowners, and the many hundreds of other homes built in HSB since late 2000, or will be built in the next few years.  The balance of these billions have gone and will go into developments other than housing - such as HSB Resort’s Marriott Hotel, the Resort’s new HSB Boulevard Corridor redevelopment plan, new Resort projects like at Caprock in HSB West , several new golf courses and the rebuilding of several others in the area, new area infrastructure such as new office buildings and new roads and bridges, including $100,000,000 to rebuild Marble Falls’ infrastructure damaged by the 19” rain-bomb that overwhelmed the city on June 27, 2007.

16) Regarding new and newly rebuilt golf courses, HSB is on track to have three 5-star courses (Ramrock, Applerock and Summit Rock), one 4½-Star course (Slickrock) and two of America’s Top-100 Golf Courses (Summit Rock and Escondido’s Tom Fazio course) by the end of 2010, which would amount to best and highest quality golf offered at any single destination anywhere in the country. 

17) Actually, there’s every reason to believe Texas’ newly developing economic advantage will continue for quite a long time, not only because Texas’ real estate was depressed for almost two decades and has a long way just to come back, but also because the price of oil will likely continue to increase for decades to come, which will continue driving the state’s economy at a nation-leading pace.

18) It can be unequivocally shown that as the price of oil goes, so goes HSB - see Chart of Crude Oil Prices Showing that HSB's Well-being Tracks Oil Prices Closely.

19) Our small community is home to a higher percentage of second homes than any other city in America.  When the price of oil is strong, Texas oilmen beat a path to HSB for R & R.  When it is down, especially if down sharply like in early 1986, times get real tough real fast.  Second homes become expendable, especially when their values drop to 10-15% of what they were 12 months earlier, again like 1986, and are thrown overboard - literally abandoned.

20) HSB is therefore a reflection, a barometer, of how well the oil business is doing. It is believe to be more sensitive to the price of oil than any other city in America. 

21) For the above reasons, Texas’ oil producers are once again coming to HSB in record numbers, but not just to buy a second home.  They’re coming in knowing they can make a sound investment here. They realize that although their oil businesses struggled for the past 18 years, just as Texas' economy and real estate did, the tide has turned. 

22) The writing on the wall is becoming obvious.  A new crop of “wanna-be” Texans from states like California, Arizona and Florida has been trickling in here lately, checking us out.  That trickle could become a flood.

23) Although high oil prices and the country’s declining dollar is steadily weakening parts of the country, there’ll still be plenty of places in America with extraordinarily prosperous futures.  They’ll just be located in different places. HSB is the coming heart of that new world.

24) Here, in HSB, one will enjoy the best of a bountiful American way of life, sharing space in a spiritually uplifting state and a healthy, business-friendly environment with wholesome neighbors cut from a self-sufficient mode without having to deal with state income taxes, entitlement mentalities, and the like.

25) Being that HSB is Texas' most attractive and best located draw for R & R, the state's greatest demand for real estate will be focused for years to come.  Accordingly, HSB is positioned to be among, if not lead, those select American towns and cities that will see the nation's greatest real estate appreciation over the next few decades. 

26) HSB will retain this enviable position for as long as the country’s economy and lifestyle remain based on crude oil.

27) That’s the message. Call the moving van . Not only is it not too late; we're just a couple of years in on a 40+/- year role!

28) If one gets here as soon as possible, that’s all existing Texans ask. All is forgiven for taking so long and you’ll be warmly received as being a Texan. 

29) As a Texan, you’ll be privileged to enjoy and appreciate the global recognition Texans receive.  Everyone knows Texans are special!

30) But, don’t mess with Texas. Just respect its heritage; that's all we ask.

31) In summary, HSB possesses a wealth of appealing natural attractions. It has billions of new investment dollars pouring in. They'll continue coming for decades. Its Resort is strongly committed to be the nation’s best. Every resort in the world would die for its world-class amenities.

32) The Resort possesses world-class management that's the resort world's envy, led by G. Michael Thomas, who's widely recognized as the business' absolute best.

33) Furthermore, the Resort's superb leadership is complemented by the city's extraordinarily talented and devoted leadership, led by Mayor Lambert and our City Council.

34) In conclusion, if Texas’ economy is indeed poised to lead the country for the next several decades, which is destined to happen if our nation’s economy remains oil-based and the price of oil continues to climb as expected, then it clearly follows that HSB will not be just the Best in Texas.  It will be recognized as the Best in America - “America’s Sweet-spot.” Back to Top



Last Updated: 02/24/2007

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