Horseshoe Bay Waterfront Properties

Horseshoe Bay Waterfront Properties

Horseshoe Bay Waterfront America's Sweetspot About Horseshoe Bay Horseshoe Bay Growth About Horseshoe Bay Waterfront Inc. Our Undeveloped Lots Our Projects My Horseshoe Bay Beacon Articles Area Maps Area Info

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

WHY HORSESHOE BAY IS EXPERIENCING RECORD GROWTH

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

VIII. Forces Driving Today's Huge Interest in HSB.
IX. HSB's New Development Activity Estimated at $2+/- Billion

X. The Marriott Redefines HSB Resort.
XI. The Oil Factor Favors HSB.
XII. The Islamic Factor Favors HSB.
XIII. The Dollar Factor Favors HSB.
XIV. The Impact of Such Forces on HSB's Lakefront.
XV. HSB's Inventory of Available High-End Lakefront Homes Is Limited.

XVI. HSB's Inventory of Available Full-Size Lakefront Lots is Limited.



Last Updated: 12/15/2006

VIII.  WHAT'S DRIVING TODAY'S HUGE INTEREST IN HORSESHOE BAY?  HSB offers what America's second-home buyers look for.  A report appearing in the October 2003 issue of Builder Magazine found that 76% of second-home buyers prefer waterfront property, 69% consider water sports as their preferred recreational activity and the median distance between primary and secondary homes is 185 miles - a mere three hours of driving time.  HSB fits these second-home buyers' preferences perfectly! 

The article went on to say that 85% of second home buyers have no children younger than 18, that second home sales jumped nearly 22% between 2001 and 2002, and that second home buyers want their second home to be a good investment - not surprising considering people buying second homes likely have a history of making good investments.  Furthermore, the National Assn of Realtors report that second home sales increased another 24% last year.  With all this going for it, can HSB's lakefront lots be anything other than truly outstanding investments?

And as technology continues to produce ever faster and better communication systems, HSB becomes increasingly attractive even to primary home buyers.  More and more self-employed people find less and less need to locate in metro areas.  The higher quality of life offered by rural "Agurbs," such as formed by HSB and its neighboring community of Marble Falls, is becoming increasingly irresistible.  In that regard, the extraordinary appeal of the HSB-Marble Falls Agrub is such that a Spring 2004 report by NAIOP found our Agrub be one of the nation's 100 fastest growing non-metro areas.  

The study was based on data collected in 2003, when construction on HSB's new Marriott Resort Hotel and Conference Center had just began.  The HSB-Marble Falls Agrub should get a huge boost from the new facility, possibly enough to jump from "among the fastest growing non-metro area in the country" last year to being "the fastest growing" by 2005.

The Marriott has bee the driving force behind HSB's renewed growth.  It is the catalyst that led to the arrival of Escondido, Centex Destination Property's The Waters, National Recreational Properties, Marble Falls Riverwalk, Castle Rock, Flatrock Springs, Waterside, Lago Escondido, Lake of the Hills Regional Medical Center, Crossroads Medical Campus, and most recently, Bayplace, under the new ownership/development of Sam Martin and Armand Biglari - all listed in order of public announcement). 

Besides offering all the aforementioned exceptional attractions, HSB is also extremely well located with respect to major metropolitan areas.  It is within a mere 3 1/4-hours drive of five of the 19 largest cities in America, namely:  #4 Houston (3 1/4-hours); #9 Dallas (3 1/4-hours); #7 San Antonio (1 1/4-hours), #16 Austin (45 minutes) and #19 Fort Worth (3 hours).  In addition, numerous residents or former residents of more distant El Paso (the #21st largest) and Midland/Odessa (headquarters for a large number of small oil and gas operators) have primary or second homes in HSB.  In today's world, with vacationers concerned about the safety of otherwise attractive foreign venues, HSB's superb, worry-free location is practically irresistible. 

And new fuel for growth is being added daily as America's economic rebound from the stock market's March 2000 Crash and the  9/11/01 Tragedy continues, as the oil and gas business feasts on what appears to be a long period of high prices, as HSB becomes better known, and as more and more "Baby Boomers" take notice.  The first of the Baby Boomers' generation reaches age 65 in 2010.  

High oil and gas prices not only produce greater demand for HSB real estate, they also lead to lower interest rates than would otherwise exist, which of course also benefits HSB real estate.  While giving a huge boost to Texas real estate, high energy prices hold back the national economy as a whole, penalize the non-oil states' economies and keep interest rates lower than would be if the national economy weren't being hurt by the high energy prices.  HSB, until recently one of Texas' best kept secrets, should accordingly be among those select areas benefiting most as its recent  marketing push takes hold.  

HSB's nearness to Austin, a major high-tech center where a revival of activity is well underway, is also a significant factor.   High-tech players discovered HSB as the value of their stock options soared in the late 1990s and carried the HSB market until tech stocks crashed in early 2000.  Tech survivors are nibbling again as Austin is uniquely poised to take advantage of the economic recovery.  Recognizing this, Business 2.0 Magazine predicted in early 2004 that Austin will be the country's fourth fastest-growing job market during the next four years.  

Finally, consistently successful investors look for low-risk, high-return investments and generally find such opportunities associated with limited supply situations, such as on HSB's lakefront.  When thinking about a home here, primary or second, one might wonder about the possibility of market-busting new supply overwhelming HSB's lakefront market, leading to the question: "With undeveloped lakefront homes/lots now in short supply in HSB, what's the chance of new supply coming on from a comparable HSB-like development built somewhere else?"  

Considering there's no other lake like LBJ and the creation of another one seemingly out of the question, the practical answer must surely be:  "None!"  The HSB-Lake LBJ combination is unique, one-of-a-kind, and apparently always will be!  Back to Top


IX.  HSB's NEW DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY ESTIMATED AT $2+/- BILLION.  With all this going for HSB, it's not too surprising to see HSB experiencing record investment activity.  Major players found the HSB-Lake LBJ combination compelling and moved aggressively to address development opportunities here after the stock market peaked and began its monumental collapse in March 2000.  The fact that the investing occurred during America's worst recession in a generation and that more investment dollars have been committed to HSB-related developments since the market peaked than during any comparable period in HSB's 35-year history is a significant indicator of great things ahead for HSB. 

The following HSB projects, which collectively represent built-out investments of approximately $2+/- billion, have been announced, completed or are underway in one form or another since March, 2000.  The area considered hereunder as being in HSB encompasses a triangle formed by US Highway 281, Texas Highway 71, Sandy Creek and the south shore of Lake LBJ.  The nature, magnitude and timing of these projects speak volumes about the overall appeal of HSB, its immediate surrounds and the strength of its future!

A) The Marriott Hotel and Conference Center;
B) The Trails of Lake LBJ;
C) Lake LBJ Yacht Club & Marina;
D) Bayplace, including a Jack Nicklaus' Signature golf course, went back on the front burner in early June, 2006.  
E) The Village at Bayplace, the first of Bayplace's commercial areas to be developed;
F) The Peninsula, including its fabulous new entrance;
G) converting The Yacht Club into a member-oriented facility, moving out all administrative offices;
H) The Resort's new Administration Facility at #1 HSB Boulevard;
I) a new HSB Boulevard Entrance;
J) Expanding the kitchen and dining facilities at the Waterfront Restaurant;
K) Improvements to Lake LBJ's Wirtz Dam, upgrading its floodgates and strengthening the dam's foundation;
L) Interior Redecoration of Resort Facilities;
M) Renovation of the Adventure Inn into the Paseo Suites;
N) Siena Creek; 
O) Escondido, including its Tom Fazio course;
P) La Ventana, located four miles east of HSB at RR 2147 and US 281;
Q) a Complete Reworking and Resurfacing of Matern Court along the Island's entire length;
R) a 50 to 200-bed Regional Hospital;
S) Enlargement of the HSB Health Clinic two-fold by adding the HSB Specialty Clinic;
T) The West Oak Plaza commercial building;
U) Construction of a new, rerouted entrance to Island Drive and an upgrading of HSB West's Low-water Crossing;
V) Widening HSB's main thoroughfare, RR 2147, into a three-five lane guttered boulevard;
W) The Waters of Horseshoe Bay Resort, Centex Destination Properties' new lakefront development, involving ten seven-story lakefront condominium complexes, totally 340 individual lakeside units, at the old Hideaway Inn and Beach House sites, and on two smaller nearby sites;
X) Renovation of the Yacht Club, addition of a "Y" Bar and Outside Dining Deck, new roof and rest rooms, substantial enlargement of its Beach area, addition of 60 boat day docks and conversion of the Sport Court to a Special Events Facility;
Y) The Thanksgiving Mountain project ("Bella Vista"), involving a high-end, eight-story, 120-unit Condo/Hotel and 120 mountain-side condominiums with six hillevators, six swimming pools and much more at a cost of $50 million, all on a 25-acre Thanksgiving Mountain site overlooking HSB and Lake LBJ. 
Z) The Hills of Azurite, a HSB West development consisting of 40 luxury golf-course townhouses;
AA) Conversion of the Waterfront Restaurant to La Bahia, featuring upscale deep-Mexican cuisine in four separate casual settings:  Downstairs Lounge-style Dining with multiple giant TV screens, intimate Upstairs Dining with lake and marina views, extraordinary Lakeside Deck Dining and Roof Top Dining with magical views of fountains and sunsets;
BB) Converting HSB's Airport into a first class Jet Center catering services and products to jet aircraft owners and operators, including improving its GPS approach, lengthening its runway from 6,000 to 7,000 feet, deer-proof fencing the runway, electronic gate systems accessing the runway, state-of-the-art lighting renovations, refurbishing of the Terminal's interior, additional aircraft tie-down space, covered parking, and new gated access to the airport direct from Highway 71;
CC) Bay Pharmacy on RR 2147, a new addition to HSB located next to and immediately west of the Tall Texan Building;
DD)  A widened and strengthened US Highway 281 Bridge over the Colorado Rivere at Marble Falls, including an underhanging pedestrian walkway connecting both banks, tieing in with the Marble Falls' Riverwalk concept.
EE)  A new $7,500,000 to $10,000,000 bridge crossing of the Colorado River, located immediately down river from Lake LBJ, connecting RR 2147 with RR 1431, which would afford an alternate route between HSB and Marble Falls;
FF)  Remodeling and Enlargement of HSB's Bayside Spa and Fitness Center;
GG)  Castle Rock, a Marley Porter-Bob Peerman development located on the north side of RR 2147, overlooking the Lake LBJ Marina.  The first phase of this huge development is funded and work will begin during the summer of 2006; 
HH)  Reworking all HSB streets and adding Ribbon Curbs at a cost of approximately $15 million;
II)  Villa Dal Lago, a 64-unit condo development located at Rocky Road and RR 2147 on Lake Marble Falls, to be priced up to $300,000..
JJ)  New "L"-shaped Strip Mall, anchored by a Restaurant, located on RR 2147 immediately east of the Space Center;
KK)  a master-planned Research and Development Center, to be located off Highway 71 immediately east of the Airport;
LL)  Flatrock Springs, a 1,057-acre development occupying the northwest quadrant of the US 281-Highway 71 intersection; 
MM)  "US Highway 281 Bridge Renovation Project."  Texdot will be giving the bridge a much need facelift in 2007.  It will be widened to include a median and shoulders, beneath which will be a bicycle path and pedestrian walkway, tieing together the north and south shores of Lake Marble Falls;
NN)  the "Marble Falls' Riverwalk Project," announced September 5, 2005.
OO)  Widening RR 2147 from HSB's eastern city limits to the eastern city limits of Cottonwood Shores.  Texdot has been acquiring right-of-way for and has plans to widen 2147 to add shoulders and a center turn lane over a distance of more than two and a half miles.  Although planning is well along, the state has not funded the project and work may not begin for a few more years;
PP)  High-end Builders descending on HSB from Austin and Dallas, with aggressive plans to build speculative for the up-scale market; 
QQ)  LBJ Lakefront Inc's $6,250,000 "Spec" home on Matern Island, HSB's Finest New Home Offering, Ever!
RR)  Terramark Development's 26 high-end condos, located off RR 2147 on Lake Marble Falls, to be priced between $350,000 ad $500,000.
SS)  National Recreational Properties, an Irvine, California company, came into HSB in late September, 2005 and committed between $25 to $50 million toward acquiring undeveloped interior lots in HSB, which has about 7,000, relatively few of which are developed.  Since demand for such lots has been limited, an overwhelming supply has overhung the market.  As of March 1, 2006, NRP had either purchased or contracted for in excess of 1,000 HSB lots, soaking up the best available deals.  Indications are that they may eventually acquired as many as 1,500.
TT)  Granite Peninsula (S/2).  On December 22, 2005, Brady Oman, Escondido's developer, contracted to buy the south half of the undeveloped Granite Peninsula, being a 14-acre tract located on Lake LBJ immediately upstream from Applehead Island.  It is contiguous with HSB Resort property and was acquired from Wayne Hurd.  The tract was dedicated to HSB Resort by Mr. Hurd.  
UU)  Horseshoe Bay Marketplace, under the tenacious leadership of Fred Barrington, is looking for a developer.  The developer who had plans for 80,000 square feet of mixed-use space, featuring an upscale grocery, restaurant and hardware store, among others, failed to perform. 
VV)  The Resort's New Airport Fly-in Business Park.  The Jaffe's announced plans in early February, 2006, for a new project calls for building 40 business suites, each with a private hanger, at the HSB airport.  It represents an extension of HSB's long-standing "Hanger Homes" concept.  The suites will be on the immediate southeast side of the runway, located on their TP ranch property. 
WW)  Waterside Condo Development.  A gated community of 26 high-end townhouses located off RR 2147 on the south bank of Lake Marble Falls, just downhill from La Ventana.  Construction begins this summer.  The units will be priced between $350,000 and $500,000 and feature Hill Country/Tuscan architecture.
XX)  Granite Peninsula (N/2).  
During the first quarter of 2006, Brady Oman, Escondido's developer, contracted to buy the north half of the undeveloped Granite Peninsula, a second 14-acre tract located immediately north of and contiguous with the one acquired earlier from Wayne Hurd.
YY)  Lake of the Hills Medical Center, which includes a Regional Hospital. 
It will be located on the Crossroads Campus (see below).
ZZ)  Crossroads Regional Medical Campus. 
The campus is planned for a 116-acre tract located immediately west of the Flatrock Springs development.  It fronts on Texas Highway 71.  It wlll house the regional hospital and medical arts center, plus an assisted care and independent living development.
AAA)  HSB's New Water Purification Plant.  The $10 million facility was completed under budget in July, 2006.
BBB)  Lago Escondido.  
A newly platted, 28-acre, upscale lakeside development - closely affiliated with Escondido and located on Lake LBJ immediately upstream from Applehead Island.  It is comprised of the two Granite Peninsula tracts.
CCC)  The 63.1-acre Crownover tract. 
Sam Martin has placed this tract undeer contract.  
DDD)  The Grey Horse Group.  Since the first of 2006, Grey Horse has been in HSB buying undeveloped lots NRPI did not want.  As of June 1, 2006, it has acquired about 200 at a cost of about $5,500,000.  Grey Horse, which is out of Houston, plans to build spec homes on them that will sell in the $300,000 to $500,000 range.  It is somehow affiliated with the Shanks people out of Houston.  Shanks was the party that got NRPI interested in HSB.
EEE)  Caprock & Vicinity.  In coordination with the City, the Resort is developing plans to renovate the clubhouse and restaurant, enlarge the parking lot, and add an attractive Casita development.
FFF)  Horseshoe Bay Corridor.   In coordination with the City, the Resort is developing long-range plans to substantially redevelop its infrastructure along the boulevard, including a rebuilt marina.

BAY PLACE:  For the past few years, Bayplace has been under the lead of JDS Capital, an affiliate of Dell's CFO.  However, this 679-acre tract went under contract to a group led by Sam Martin during the second week of June 2006.  A September 2006 closing is scheduled.

The Martin Group intends to resurrect plans for the Resort's fourth golf course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.  The plans are substantially complete.  The Bayplace golf course architect handling project design for Nicklaus also did the Nicklaus' Signature courses at Cimarron Hills, located outside of Georgetown, and Lakeway (Flintrock Falls).  The architect says the Bayplace course matches the best these two offer and has the makings of another Muirfield, Nicklaus' acclaimed masterpiece.  

In addition to the Nicklaus Course, the Martin Group's plans call for a Golf Academy with an accompanying Nine-hole Three-par Course.  The Academy and Three-par Course are scheduled to be located at the corner of RR 2147 and Highway 71 and will be open to the public.  

As of the end of June 2006, the Martin Group had also tied up the 396-acre McFarland Ranch, contiguous with Bayplace on the west, and the 600-acre TP Ranch, contiguous on the east.  These are also scheduled to close in September 2006.  As many as five other smaller tracts may eventually be added to the package, which will end up being somewhere between 1,625 and 1,800 acres in size.  As of July 26th, Martin had 1,731 acres tied up

OTHER JDS CAPITAL PROJECTS:  JDS Capital had been among HSB's most active developers during the period 2003 to mid-2005.  In addition to Bayplace, JDS was involved in several other projects.  It opened a new HSB sub-division called Siena Creek, located on RR 2147 across from the HSB West entrance.  Siena Creek features 16 full-sized homes sites positioned along tree-shaded Pecan Creek, which borders a beautiful 3-par hole planned for the Nicklaus course.  The lots are priced in the $150,000s.  Four single-family homes are currently under construction. Bishop Abbey Homes, a Dallas-based custom home builder acquired the remaining portion of the development during the summer of 2005.

In September 2004, JDS began construction on The Hills of Azurite, its 40-unit HSB West golf course townhouse development.  Two units were built, but development is now stalled.  It was not favorably received due to poor floor planning.  Furthermore,  plans for its 50-acre Village at Bayplace, a commercial development located on RR 2147 across from the Space Center, are also on hold.  Six 5,000 square foot office buildings and five smaller buildings were planned for the western-most nine acres of the 50-acre tract. 

YACHT CLUB:  The Resort's face lift of The Yacht Club is truly superb - reflecting a new, patron-friendly ambiance benefiting both the membership and Marriott's guests.  The Club comes off now as an elegant, socially-oriented facility, featuring a trendy new bar and lounge area, live entertainment and regularly scheduled activities.  Useable lakeside space was tripled to meet increased demands from hotel guests - providing space for an enlarged beach area, a lakeside wedding chapel and poolside dining.  

ESCONDIDO:  Construction on the fifth golf course announced for the immediate HSB area, a Tom Fazio Signature, began during June 2004 on the Dillon Ranch tract that fronts on RR 2147 just east of the HSB post office.  This course is associated with a project called Escondido - an exclusive, 482-acre country-club community located between HSB Proper and HSB West.   It is an independent operation and not connected with the Resort.  

Escondido (www.escondidotexas.com), which acquired the Ranch in May 2004, has been exceptionally well received.  The development has approximately 350 lots platted for sale, consisting of 221 Estate lots, 64 Villa lots and 65 Casita lots.  Twenty-five of the 221 estate lots are located on the lakefront.  

It sold 72 of the estate lots and raised $17 million through its first seven-months, ending 12/31/04.  A considerable part of its marketing effort has been focused outside the HSB area and approximately 50% of the 72 sales made during 2004 went to non-HSB parties.  Escondido maintained this exceptional pace during 2005, selling 90 more for a total of 162 sold.   

Through May 2006, it had sold another 44, bringing the total sold to 206, representing lots sales totally in excess of $40 million.   As of that date, only 65 of its 221 Estate lots remained available, 11 of which were lakefront lots, and only 14 of its 64 Villa lots remained.  None of its 65 Casita lots had been offered.  They will come on the market next year, after Casitas have actually been built on the Casita lots.

Escondido didn't began marketing its 25 waterfront lots, priced from $500,000 to $1,200,000, until March 2005.  All are estate lots that front on Pecan Creek, directly opposite Oak Ridge - a small, independent community that is surrounded by and predates HSB.  Many of these  lots contain huge, centuries-old Live Oak and Pecan trees.  Escondido had sold 14 of them by the end of May 2006, averaging one sale per month.  At that rate, they'll be sold out of waterfront lots in another year.

This outstanding development has proven a wonderful new draw for the HSB community.  Proof positive is demonstrated by the nature of its sales.  Only 20 to 25% of its sales have been to parties currently living full-time in HSB.

Escondido started off selling its golf course lots for up to $460,000 - two to three times that announced for Bay Place, even though Bay Place's typical lot is a spectacular golf course/view lot combination.  Better yet, it was getting at least four times what HSB owners were getting for comparable lots currently available on HSB's three existing world-class courses, proving HSB's real estate was indeed substantially undervalued.  In view of its marketing success, Escondido raised the price on the best of its remaining golf course lots to $675,000 in May 2006. 

Escondido's success in attracting high-end outsiders is of more significance than practically any other matter reported on this webpage, being a tell-tale message that the plan is working.  The message, loud and clear, is that when the HSB story reaches high-end outsiders, they will come, being glad to pay premium prices for HSB's quality offerings.  

It also says that HSB real estate is substantially undervalued relative to comparable opportunities available at better known locales.   And finally, it says that HSB's recognition as a fully-appointed, genuinely world class, high-end destination (whether for a weekend or a life time) is finally at hand - long overdue.  HSB is no longer be "The Resort World's Best Kept Secret."

Work at Escondido is progressing on schedule toward a Grand Opening on Labor Day, 2006.  A Soft Opening was held over Memorial Day weekend and the course will be open for play five days a week until Labor Day, after which it will be open six days.

Its fairways have been sodded with Zeon Zoysia, being one of only two courses in Texas with it.  The first cut of rough is sodded with Jammer Zoysia, which has a healthy, thicker blade.  The second cut is sprigged Buffalo Grass, a heat resistant, low-maintenance grass.  The bunkers are sodded with Vijay Zoysia.  Tee boxes are Emerald Bermuda - the same grass used on Wimbledon's grass tennis courts.  Greens are the A1-A4-G6 variety of Bent Grass, which is like that used at Augusta.  The Greens are underlain with an underground, air-movement system.

PGA Pro J. L. Lewis, formerly of HSB, has said the Escondido's course is destined to be one of Fazio's best and is the talk on the Tour.  Fazio tells locals a large budget is the main ingredient needed to produce a great course.  He says he has that at Escondido.  PGA Pro Fred Funk will represent Escondido on the Tour and plans to call Escondido his home.

THANKSGIVING MOUNTAIN:  The Thanksgiving Mountain project ("Bella Vista") is another of the HSB area's exciting planned projects.  The Developer exercised its option and closed on the property at the end of April, 2005.  Construction on its first phase, consisting of 48 mountain-side condominiums that will face north, overlooking HSB and Lake LBJ, was scheduled to begin in 2006, but that start is currently clouded by litigation and other complications.  Construction on its 120-room, eight-story condominium hotel was scheduled to begin two years later. 

CENTEX DESTINATION PROPERTIES:  In March 2005, the old Hideaway Inn and Beach House sites, located near HSB's Yacht Club, were committed to Centex Destination Properties, which is noted for building noteworthy developments nationwide and adding value to prime vacation real estate in resort areas like HSB.   Centex closed on the acquisition on September 19, 2005.  It plans to build 327 upscale lakeside condominiums on these and two other nearby sites.  The development, known as The Waters of HSB, a totally self-contained community, with its own amenities parking and green belt, is located within walking distance of many of HSB's most popular amenities.  It will be serviced by a new, 120-slip, private covered lakeside marina, day docks, shoreline boardwalks, lush landscaped gardens and a huge, private community swimming pool (see The Waters - Centex Project).  

The units will occupy 10 seven-story buildings that will house an average of  32.7 finely constructed units each.  Prices range from $200,000 to $800,000 for units varying in size from 800 to 3,333 square feet - containing from one to three bedrooms.  Centex expects to have all 327 units built and sold within three years of its September 2005 arrival.  As of February 25, 2006, Centex had pre-sold 79 units worth $35.6 million for an average price of $462,000 per unit, which is a remarkable start.  

Construction on three of the four buildings in Centex's Phase One began in late October.  The four are scheduled for completion in November, 2006.  As of mid-June 2006, Centex had sold out its first three units, representing the sale of 98 units, and was well into selling its fourth unit.  Phase Two construction begins in September, 2006. 

Centex Destination's arrival on the HSB scene is a big deal, amounting to a $170 million project.  It is the Second Home/Resort Division of Centex Homes and is known for nothing but exceptionally successful projects, such as at Lake Las Vegas in Nevada, the Palm Coast of Florida, the Hawaiian Islands, the Highlands of North Carolina, the Texas Gulf Coast and the Texas Hill Country.  It's presence adds another powerful, independent marketing arm to HSB's growing list.  Centex is promoting its HSB project with a seven-figure budget.  

There has been much talk about Centex's site plan being exceptionally dense and overcrowded.  However, the concern will ultimately be determined by the marketplace.  If inferior, overcrowded or overpriced products are brought to market, whenever or wherever, they won't sell, dictating product modifications.  If Centex sells out the project, that will settle the issue, and Centex Destination Properties has a record of knowing what it's doing. 

WIDENING HSB's MAIN THRUWAY:  The Texas Department of Transportation will be constructing a three to five lane, guttered roadway from the Slickrock bridge east to the eastern edge of HSB.  TexDOT has completed all engineering work, some $400,000 to $500,000 worth, and is in the final stages of preconstruction prep-work.  Construction on the $3.5 to $3.8 million project is scheduled to begin in late spring, 2006

NEW WIRTZ DAM CROSSING:  In January 2006, TexDOT completed a study regarding feasibility of a proposed Wirtz Dam Crossing - a new Colorado River Crossing located on Wirtz Dam road immediately downstream from Lake LBJ.  The crossing would offer HSB a much-needed alternative route from HSB to Marble Falls.  The proposed crossing and road leading to it from RR 2147 and RR 1431 will cost between $7.5 and $10 million.  Texdot advised in February 2006 that the cost/benefit ratio did not meet the criteria necessary to make the project feasible in its eyes, but the possibility exists that federal funds will be available for the project.

WEST OAK PLAZA:  In August, 2004, Jimmy Jones (developer of the Bottle Shop building) completed construction of a new retail/office building called West Oak Plaza, located at RR 2147 and Hi Circle West.   

BAY PHARMACY: HSB's first pharmacy opened during the fall of 2005 in a new building located on RR 2147.  It was built and is owned by David Mitchell , one of HSB's most successful developers.

HSB CLINIC:  HSB's Lake Area Health Center Foundation, which developed the HSB Health Clinic that Llano Memorial Hospital now operates, doubled its HSB facilities in 2004, added a second building.  It opened in June 2004 as a Specialty Clinic.  The new building will provide a substantial improvement in local health care.

THE LAKE OF THE HILLS REGIONAL HOSPITAL:   The HSB area appears poised to get a new $60+ million dollar, state-of-the-art regional hospital with approximately 80 beds.  Leakage of health care dollars from our region to points beyond is estimated at 77%.  It is estimated that as much as 70% of healthcare services rendered to area residents are administered outside the area, bypassing our area's currently limited medical services. 

Continued growth of infrastructure by regionalizing local health care will help stop this leakage, while providing good paying jobs and a substantial property tax base for the area.  The project has the backing of the Horseshoe Bay Clinic, Hoerster Clinic, Llano Memorial Hospital, the City of Marble Falls and many other entities.  As late as mid-June, 2006, the position of Seton, the largest local healthcare provider, remained unclear, but Seton has led many to believe it is intent on undermining the regional project.

On January 15, 2005, the Llano County Hospital Authority Board voted unanimously that such a new hospital was needed and should house a full
array of specialists in the fields of Orthopedics, Cardiology, Neurology, Pulmonology, Gynecology, Rheumatology, Oncology and EN&T, along with
Intensive Care and 24-hour Emergency Care facilities.  In mid-June, 2005, the Board approved forming a non-profit, 501C-3 corporation for the express
purpose of creating a new hospital and is now looking for suitable partners.

Marble Falls, by eliciting its own feasibility study, shows their interest in facilitating a regional hospital within the City limits of Marble Falls.
At the "State-of-the-City" luncheon on January 9, 2006, Mayor Raymond Whitman stated: "a feasibility study for a hospital in Marble Falls is
in the early stages of being returned.  The city hopes to build a hospital in the southern portion of town where the city annexed several parcels of land in 2005.  If I don't do anything else while I am mayor, I want to do this."

Marble Falls' Hospital Feasibility Study was completed In late March 2006.  It concluded Marble Falls was long overdue for a regional hospital requiring 100+ beds, at least 150 full-time physicians, 122,000 square feet of space, costing $81-$109 million in start-up costs with a working capital of $17 million.  Mayor Whitman of Marble Falls believes Llano Memorial, Seton Highland Lakes and private investors will join together to get it built and fully operational by January 2009.  The study indicated that a 100-bed hospital should start showing a profit after 30 months of operation.

In late May 2006, a site at US 281 and Texas 71, immediately adjacent to Flatrrock Springs, was announced.  The hospital will be the anchor for the Crossroads Medical Campus.  The Crossroad's location is not only the most viable, it is also best located to serve the greatest needs.

Save for the City of Llano's leadership, practically everyone else is convinced the Llano Memorial Hospital System is the ideal leader for our regional hospital.   In an op-ed piece published in the June 14, 2006 edition of The Highlander, Mike Dickey, a well-informed and well-spoken local M.D., reported that it "has the best current medical infrastructure, . . . an established network of local physicians with relationships with numerous specialists, both in and out of the area, . . . (and) the long standing tradition of LMHS's excellent relations with its doctors, . . . an attitudinal difference that is seemingly impossible for the local larger healthcare entity to master."

However, on June 12, 2006, the City of Llano, in one of the dumbest, most misguided moves it could possibly make, filed suit against the Boards of Directors of the Llano Memorial Hospital and the Lake of the Hills, a direct offshoot of Llano Memorial, in an attempt to block the project.  This action puts in jeopardy the well being of the entire Llano Memorial Healthcare System, including Llano Memorial Hospital, the HSB Clinic and the system's nine other satellite clinics, whose future the new regional hospital is designed to foster.  The Court ruled against the City of Llano on August 10, 2006.

LA VENTANA:  La Ventana, located between HSB and the heart of Marble Falls at the southwest corner of US 281 and RR 2147, is shaping up as a wonderful, major addition to the area.  The up-scale, "old world," 237-acre development, 138 of which were recently annexed by Marble Falls, features a great mix of residential and commercial elements.

The development is substantially committed, with more than 100 lots sold to three residential builders/developers.  It also includes a 74-suite La Quinta Hotel, now under construction; a hospital site; a 22-acre First Baptist Church site; a four-acre medical center; 21,000 sf of office space; a 50,000 sf outlet mall anchored by a branch of Austin-based Treaty Oak Bank; high-end shops; a 25-acre townhouse development; a first-class restaurant; and much, much more yet to be announced publicly.  

CASTLE ROCK ("Lake LBJ Marina Overlook"):  This Marley Porter-Bob Peerman development overlooks the Lake LBJ Marina from the "mountain-top" located immediately north of the Summer House Restaurant.  The project is on go, having received the required permits and zoning changes in early August, 2005.  It will be multi-purpose project featuring 30,000 feet of retail, 52 condos 3 - 6 stories tall.  The project is funded and construction of Phase One, involving 30, three to six story condominiums, a restaurant and covered parking, will start this fall, 2006.

FLATROCK SPRINGS:  This 1,057 acre development (see www.flatrocksprings.com) involves $65 million of infrastructure, occupies the northwest quadrant of the US 281- Highway 71 intersection, has a mile of frontage on the two highways and extends northwestward to the Marble Falls city limits.  Ken Carr,  developer of the Bee Cave Mall that opened during the 2nd quarter of 2006, has acquired commercial rights to all available US 281 and Texas Highway 71 frontage.  The development, which is in Marble Falls' ETJ and will be annexed into Marble Falls, will be a major regional draw for the area and help attract needed services.

The project includes an office park, mixed retail, malls, restaurants, approximately 960 residential lots, 300 multi-family units, and an 18-hole, Bechtol-Russell signature golf course centered along a year-round spring-fed creek.  An adjacent 116-acre development known as the Crossroads Regional Medical Cempus will house our area's proposed new hospital - Lake of the Hills Regional Medical Center - The campus is located immediately west of the Flatrock Springs development and fronts on Texas Highway 71.  In addition to the regional hospital, it wlll house a  medical arts center and an assisted care/independent living facility.

When built out, the Flatrock Springs and the Crossroads Regional Medical Campus projects are expected to cost $850,000,000, combined. 

CROWNOVER TRACT:  This 63.1-acre tract located on the southeast corner of RR 2147 and Highway 71 is under contract with Sam Martin, a HSB developer.  

"JERRY CLOUD's" SUBDIVISION:  Cloud sold this 63-acre tract, complete with utilities, in mid-June to a Florida developer for approximately $1.1 million, being $17,400 per acre.  The prominent Florida developer came into HSB thinking Florida real estate had about topped out for now.  He saw HSB and Lake LBJ as having great investment potential and promptly placed the tract back on the market for $38,000 per acre.  The development is located on the north side of Highway 71, just west of its intersection with RR 2147.

KRUMM RANCH:  This 353-acre tract, directly across RR 2147 from Cottonwood, sold for a reported selling price of $4.25 million.  There were several backup offers received for this property - proof positive that a lot of investors continue to hunger for HSB opportunities.  The ranch will be subdivided into 350 half-acre homesites placed in groupings separated by large green spaces, with the frontage on RR 2147 reserved for commercial and multi-family.

ANOTHER WIDENING PROJECT FOR RR 2147:  In August, 2005, Texdot began obtaining right-of-way to widen RR 2147 from Horseshoe Bay east through Cottonwood Shores.  The 2.5 mile project is scheduled for fiscal year 2008, meaning it will follow the HSB widening project by about 12 months.

AUSTIN'S PREMIER BUILDER, SERENO HOMES, PLANS TO BUILD UP-SCALE HOMES IN THE HSB/LAKE LBJ AREA:  Sereno Homes, ranked as Austin's most premier builder for the past four years, is making plans to build 20 to 30 up-scale homes in our area during 2007, some speculative and some as customs for others; 

HIGH-END BUILDER MAX CANNON FROM DALLAS/FT. WORTH TO BE LEAD BUILDER FOR ESCONDIDO:  Max Cannon, on the the premier builders at the up-scale Vaquero Club in Southlake, Texas has purchased 14 Villa lots at Escondido and will be Escondido's exclusive Villa builder (all 57 lots).  He will also be building 76 Casitas for Escondido (out of 84 total).  In addition, Cannon is contracted to build Escondido's clubhouse, gatehouse, golf course comfort stations and its perimeter rock wall that parallels RR 2147;   

DALLAS-BASED CUSTOM HOME BUILDER BISHOP-ABBEY ENTERING HSB's HIGH-END MARKET at SIENNA CREEK:   In early 2006, Bishop-Abbey began building speculative and custom homes at Sienna Creek.  Phase One consists of 25 units out of the 50 planned single-story, 2,100 to 2,500 square-foot, zero-lot line, self-contained condominiums it plans for the property.  The price of the homes will start in the low $300,000 range.  The company plans to landscape the creek and build many of the homes on waterfront lots on the south side of the creek.  The development, which is called the "Villas of Siena Creek" and which will eventually be gated, will provide the 50 home owners a clubhouse with swimming pool and BBQ pits.  

NATIONAL RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES:  Since September, 2005, this highly successful Irvine, California company has been in HSB buying undeveloped lots, mostly remote upland interior ones located west of HSB's airport and in HSB South, with an intent to acquire an inventory  costing approximately $50 million.  The company's MO is to identify and buy undervalued, unimproved residential lots on what it considers a wholesale basis in resort areas with superior amenities and great growth potential for subsequent resale to California investors on a retail basis.  

The company has a long string of successful promotions across the country.  It has a track record of unlocking the inherent real estate value in communities such as HSB, where in HSB's case, a huge supply of interior lots had previously over whelmed their limited demand, producing stagnant prices.

As of June 1, 2006, NRP had acquired or contracted for in excess of 1,200 lots and spent an estimated $30 million, including buying out a 200+ lot inventory held by Wayne Hurd's Lake LBJ Improvement Corporation.  It is still buying, with apparently some $40 to $50 million of total acquisition funds.  Though initially focused on inexpensive interior lots that previously sold in the $2,500 to $10,000 range, the company bought up all lots available at that level and followed up by buying widely, paying as much as $105,000, which NRP paid for a multifamily lot.  It has bought no waterfront lots.

Their package of lots are being offered in a professionally-produced, nation-wide TV promotion.  NRP's method of operation is to identify parties of interest, screen them for viability, fly them to Austin, put them up in an Austin hotel, bring them to HSB for brief stay, return them to Austin for the night, and fly them back to California the next day - all at its expense.   

It began bring in prospective purchasers on April 28, 2006 and has been closing sales with about 67% of the prospects it has brought in.  Although they do offer showings during the week, most prospect come in on weekends. NRP will entertain 30 prospects on a typical weekend.  It will generally close a sale with 20 and the typical sale ranges between $50 and $60,000. 

Typically, the company moves rapidly in and out of an area of interest - within a year or too.  Their marketing effort, which is being coordinated out of the old Summer House Tea Room site on RR 2147,  gives HSB another big boost towards being recognized as a well-known, world-class destination resort.  

NRPI will not be marketing its properties through the Multi-Listing Service, which means its sale prices will not be available as comparables for appraisal purposes.

RIVERWALK MARBLE FALLS PROJECT:  The Ausmus' portion of the Marble Falls Riverwalk Project, announced September 5, 2005, is located at the south side of the US Highway 281 bridge and fronts on Lake Marble Falls.  It will feature a condominium-hotel/conference center, two Texas-based restaurants, a shopping mall and a lifestyle center with waterfront amenities - all set in an European village atmosphere.  Phase One of the project will develop waterfront on the immediate southeast corner of the bridge.  Phase Two will follow and develop waterfront on the southwest side of the bridge that is currently occupied by an RV park, which will continue operating in the interim in  It will tie into an extension of Marble Falls' Main Street.  When fully built out, "Riverwalk Marble Falls" will have 300,000 square feet of upscale shops d restaurants.  The shopping integrates with parks, trails and water access on both sides of Lake Marble Falls.  It connects with Mike Walsh's retail/office project on the immediate northeast corner of the bridge via a pedestrian walkway attached to the the bridge's underside. 

HSB RESORT's AIRPORT FLY-IN BUSINESS SUITES WITH HANGERS:   The Jaffe's announced plans in early February, 2006, for a new project that calls for building 40 business suites, each with a private hanger, at the HSB airport.  It represents an extension of HSB's long-standing, single-family "Hanger Homes" concept.  The 40 suites and 40 hangers will be built as modules consisting of four to six suites/hangers on the immediate southeast side of the runway, located on their TP ranch property.  The modules will have two stories, encompass 2,000 square feet, and consist of three office rooms and a conference room. The hangers will span 68' x 70', sufficient to accommodate air vehicles from a two-seater Piper Cub to a 12-passenger Gulfstream G-5.

LAGO ESCONDIDO:  Brady Oman, Escondido's developer, has combined his two 14-acre Granite Peninsula tracts into a ultra high-end, gated, lakefront development that will be a part of the overall Escondido development, with full rights to all Escondido amenities.  It consists of 38 homesites - 25 waterfront lots and 13 lake-view lots.  The waterfront lots, ranging in price from $400,000 to $2.2 million, and the view lots, priced from $395,00 to $795,000, went on the market over the Memorial Day weekend, 2006.  

The average asking price of the 25 waterfront lots is $1.51 million.  The average price of the 13 view lots is $573,000.  Lago Escondido's six most expensive waterfront lots, the average asking price of which was $1,950,000, plus two other waterfront lots averaging $1,650,000 and one view lot at $750,000, went under contract over the Memorial Day weekend, amounting to contracts totaling $15,750,000.

Don't be surprised if this exceptionally talented, two-man team announces additional nearby Hill Country developments during the next several months. 

However, Brady is by no means the only major player on the scene.  Sam Martin has put together an investment group and will be announcing a wonderful, 1,731-acre development for our immediate area this summer.


X.  THE MARRIOTT REDEFINES HSB RESORT.  To understand where HSB is headed, one should focus on the Marriott's reason-for-being.  Although HSB has long been recognized as an up-scale community, the Resort was looking to attract an even higher-end cliental, for three reasons:  1) to increase demand for pre-existing high-end services - the Yacht Club, La Bahia, Fitness Spa, White Water, Marina, Ship's Store, etc;  2) to increase demand for its real estate interests - Bay Place, HSB Resort Realty, etc; and  3) to increase play on its three existing championship golf courses (Slickrock, Applerock and Ram Rock) while helping justify  fourth (Saddlerock).  

The Resort built the new hotel and lined up Marriott to operate it in a display of great foresight, rightly convinced its business objective could best be met utilizing Marriott's marketing power and prowess.  And in an even greater display of business skill and competency, the Resort did the deal, arranged the financing and built the hotel in the midst of the huge worldwide depression in the Travel and Resort business that followed 9/11/2001 - an accomplishment even the most positive-minded thought impossible.  

And you guessed it, Marriott, the world's leading Resort hotelier, has focused its marketing effort on the highest-end segment of its cliental and these people have shown great interest in this new destination.  For example, the HSB Marriott opened in October 2004 with more pre-booked reservations than any Marriott property had previously experienced.

Mr. J. W. Marriott, himself,  made a personal visit to HSB a few weeks after the opening and was so impressed at how HSB's existing amenities and the new hotel complimented one another that he arranged a visit for all of Marriott's top executives.  In addition, all of Marriott's national executive meetings were held at HSB during the hotel's initial year of operation.

Adding the spectacular new Marriott Hotel and Conference Center to HSB's unmatched mix of superlative amenities filled a large void and has simply redefined HSB Resort.  The development overshadows all other HSB projects and has sparked new interest, new opportunity and new momentum, providing a previously unimaginably strong boost to HSB's national and international exposure.

Its Grand Opening, held October 2, 2004, was a huge success, attended by a thousand guests.  The hotel predicted privately that it would attract a huge, 10-fold increase in annual hotel guests during the 2005 season over what HSB had previously averaged since 9/11/01, when the Travel and Resort business tanked worldwide.

HSB had actually announced the new hotel a few months before 9/11. The announcement ended up compromising occupancy even further after 9/11 as many prospective post-9/11 guests put off visiting HSB, choosing to wait until after the new hotel and conference center opened.

The truly fabulous facility, the first Marriott Resort Hotel in Texas, has now been open for more than a year and is out-performing predicted occupancy by some 25%.  The hotel is on schedule to average 70% occupancy by 2009.  

However, in spite of this huge increase in traffic, Marriott's guests are not overwhelming golf-course play at the Resort, as they are guaranteed only 68 tee times daily (25,000 rounds per year), most of which are for afternoon play.  A large portion of its guests come on corporate outings, where they convene for morning "work" sessions and have free afternoons for golf, tennis and the like. 

HSB's three courses can reasonably accommodate 120,000 to 135,000 rounds per year.  Pre-Marriott, they were averaging only 75,000, meaning HSB's golf courses could take a lot of additional play without being materially impacted.  To the contrary, play by Marriott's visitors actually benefits HSB members in that visitors' green fees help the Resort maintain members' recreation costs at relatively low levels.  Filling up the courses also greatly benefits the Resort's bottom line.

The hotel also prompted other changes in the Resort's layout as it rendered certain facilities obsolete.  The Equestrian Center and adjacent 19th Hole Building, the Beach House and the Hideaway Inn were sold to third parties in mid-2004. The Hideaway Inn and the Beach House have since been demolished, making room for Centex Destination's development. Back to Top 


XI.  THE OIL FACTOR FAVORS HSB.  Dating back to its beginning, HSB's well being has been substantially tied to the well being of the oil industry.  The fact that the industry has entered an apparent long-term uptrend after two decades of hardship bodes well for HSB's future.  During the prior period of high oil and natural gas prices, lasting from 1973 to 1985, the oil industry boomed while our nation's stock markets went nowhere - their indices staying practically flat.  When oil prices finally collapsed to less than $10 per bÍarrel in 1986, the economies of "oil patch" states like Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma got their due.  While the rest of the country thrived on the lower prices, these states were overwhelmed with foreclosures.  Dating back to its beginning, HSB's well being has been substantially tied to the well being of the oil industry.  The fact that the industry has entered an apparent long-term uptrend after two decades of hardship bodes well for HSB's future.  During the prior period of high oil and natural gas prices, lasting from 1973 to 1985, the oil industry boomed while our nation's stock markets went nowhere - their indices staying practically flat.  When oil prices finally collapsed to less than $10 per barrel in 1986, the economies of "oil patch" states like Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma got their due.  While the rest of the country thrived on the lower prices, these states were overwhelmed with foreclosures.  

But that's history.  The worm has turned (see these three sites: The Coming Energy Crisis?, LifeAftertheOilCrash.net, and DieOff.org) and the oil patch is humming once again.  Oil and natural gas prices are currently among the highest they've been in twenty years.  Great news for the industry is great news for HSB real estate - and bad news for the stock market, save for sectors that benefit from rising energy prices and a declining dollar.

And the industry's long-term outlook is equally wonderful.  Oil and gas prices are expected to climb steadily over the next decade, if not decades, because as reported by the International Energy Agency, and others:  1) world crude oil demand is increasing, led by China's and India's awakening, the US' rebound and Japan's re-emergence;  2) China alone is consuming oil at a furious pace, with daily demand now double what it was a decade ago and likely to easily double again over the next decade, largely because China's businesses can handle the higher prices since labor costs are so cheap;  3) world demand is growing at a 4% annual rate, the fastest pace since 1980;  4) little help is available on the conservation side since most steps have already been taken;  5) the world has less than 1% spare production capacity, down from 8% just two years ago;  6) new supply coming to market is limited, more difficult to find and more costly to produce, partially due to environmental concerns;  7)  natural gas, the US' preferred fuel, is in shorter supply than crude oil because it is more difficult to import;  8) 2/3rds of the US' oil supply now comes from foreign sources;  9) 76% of the world's oil reserves are held by OPEC;  10) most of the middle east crude oil is sour, containing large percentages of sulfur which is difficult to extract, doubling refining cost;   11) since most US crude oil is sweet, most US oil refineries lack the capability of refining sour crude oil;  12) refineries in the US are substantially blocked by environmental laws from upgrading to meet today's refining needs, forcing up refining costs;  13) the world's fleet of oil tankers is inadequate, forcing up transportation costs, unable to accommodate demand due to unrealistic environmental restrictions;   14) significantly, the great majority of this foreign oil is located in and owned by increasingly unstable Islamic countries, with huge supply disruptions possible at any time;  and 15) Bin Laden has ordered the wholesale destruction of oil facilities worldwide, claiming "their" oil is being stolen by the Western world.

Today, our nation's oil industry is much more centralized than during the last boom and an even larger portion of the business is now managed from Texas - America's best business climate.  Major US oil and gas production, marketing, supply, operational and command centers like Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Midland/Odessa are thriving and are likely to continue doing so until alternate fuels become competitive, way in the future.  

HSB stands to benefit in a huge way because it is located central to this circle of renewed oil-induced prosperity.  All of these petroleum centers contributed immensely to HSB real estate sales during the last boom.  Individuals best positioned to benefit from this revived industry strength will once again be HSB's prime prospects.  

Proof that a new oil industry boom is underway and affecting our state's economy positively is in the pudding!  Midland/Odessa's economy is performing 50% better than the national average and its Regional Economic Index is at a record high, having moved steadily higher monthly since the beginning of 2003.   Conditions for additional growth are expected to continue for years. 

During the 1973-1985 period, oil prices rose as high as $94 per barrel in 2004 dollars.  This year, prices have traded in a range varying from the low-$40s to the low-$70s per barrel.  Better yet, natural gas has been selling at record levels.  If oil and gas prices stay for the next several years as currently predicted, demands by industry participants for second homes in HSB will drive HSB real estate, especially waterfront properties, far higher than predicted elsewhere herein (see Sections XV and XVI).

But many energy experts think oil and natural prices will go much higher.  In a cover story featured in the August 21, 2005 issue of "The New York Times Magazine" (see Article ), Matthew Simmons, who heads a Houston investment bank specializing in energy and is an advisor to President Bush on energy matters, predicted crude oil prices will grow to $200 per barrel by 2010, adjusted for inflation.  His reasoning is laid out in his new book, "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy."

One of the prime forces driving high prices in the prior up-cycle was eerily similar to today's - Islamic militancy and instability.  The prior up-cycle began with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and was followed six years later by the Iranian Revolution, which threw out the US-backed Shaw of Iran in 1979 in favor of militant Islamic clerics that rule Iran to this day. 

The Arabs' highly successful Oil Embargo demonstrated their massive economic power to an unbelieving world and marked the start of what militant Islamics' call their "Third Great Jihad."  The militants have since engaged the world in a complicated war - a clash of civilizations - that arose from and has been largely funded by this economic strength:  Arab oil production. 

Since 1973, the "Islamic Factor" has been the most important of the "Oil Factors" - and by far the most unpredictable.  Accordingly, it's likely we'll be looking once again at $94 oil, if not worse, possibly sooner than later. Back to Top 


XII.  THE ISLAMIC FACTOR FAVORS HSB.  Islamism arose with Prophet Muhammad, who died in 632.  The first of Islamism's three Holy Wars accompanied the religion's rapid and dynamic "carrot or sword" rise during its first two hundred years.   Its "Second Great Jihad" accompanied the rise and fall of Islam's Ottoman Empire, which came to an end in 1683 after a series of monumental defeats.  The Empire's collapse from world prominence and domination led the Muslim world into deep decline and disarray, with some factions falling into the likes of Barbarianism.   Note that these two earlier Great Jihads each lasted more a couple hundred years, whereas we are merely entering the fourth decade of today's Third Great Jihad. 

Today's militant Muslims - al Qaeda and the likes - see this Third Islamic Holy War as a unique opportunity to regain world prominence and domination.  They see the opportunity arising largely from the fact that the world's ever-growing dependency on Islamic countries for its energy supplies gives Muslims a huge leg up.  They believe timing favors their cause and that they can succeed by merely achieving two goals:  1) gaining governing control over the Islamic countries that collectively harbor about 65% of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, thereby positioning themselves to perpetrate economic blackmail against a "fat" and weakened Western world largely favoring appeasement; 2) by obtaining weapons of mass destruction that are available today from several potential Third World sources for physical blackmail purposes, if not worse. 

They have positioned themselves to do both and are currently active on each front - attempting to acquire WMDs from third world sources while simultaneously undermining the governments of leading Islamic countries - Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the like.   These countries, plus Iran which they already govern, hold most of the oil reserves they are attempting to control. 

The US, Great Britain and Israel stand practically alone against this threat as the balance of the Western world continues to sit paralyzed.  The militants bank on naive and disheartened US voters forcing leftist policy decisions on the US that will lead to its withdrawal from the middle-East, just as happened in southeast Asia.  Such a retreat opens the door to Islamism's control over the world's energy supplies, to its acquisition of WMDs and to its annihilation of Israel.   If the militants accomplish either objective, it will send the Western world into chaos literally overnight - and the price of oil "to the moon!"  

But President Bush has demonstrated he's not only not backing down, he's prepared to carry the fight another four years, determined to keep the Western world from capitulating to the militant Islamic's demands - as they had widely anticipated.  That being the case, might the militants possibly put aside the Jihad they'll never win in favor of a more achievable path to economic freedom and improved living standards? 

After all, countries ranking higher in economic freedom have much higher levels of wealth.  Annual per capita income in free and mostly free countries ranges between $23,325 and $11,549, averaging $17,437, whereas the repressive and mostly un-free countries average a mere $3,529 (see Investor's Business Daily, January 19, 2005). 

Since all of the world's 23 Arab nations are dictatorships, save one (Iraq), the Islamic world is overcome with the hopelessness, frustration and despair that goes with living under authoritarian control - governments the US has freely supported in the past.  Bush is showing the way out, moving to correct this imbalance by fostering Freedom. 

The Islamic world, having witnessed the Iraqi elections, now stands in awe of his successful Iraqi strategy, which demonstrates the connection between hope, economic and political freedom, and improved living standards.   The average Islamic has learned America is intent on helping them meet this goal and in seeing their repressive, tyrannical dictators replaced with freely elected governments.  As the sincerity of Bush's initiative has become widely recognized, support for the militant opposition has waned. 

If Bush's initiative meets with success across the Islamic world, look for more stable, predictable and ever increasing energy prices.   Islamics comprise one-third of the world's population.  Raising their living standards will place huge additional demands on worldwide energy supply. 

So, the Islamic Factor leads to higher oil prices in either case - toward improved living standards (using more energy) or continued domination by militants (destroying oil and gas infrastructure, wasting energy).  And as energy prices go, so goes HSB!  Back to Top 


XIII.  THE DOLLAR FACTOR FAVORS HSB.  The return of high energy prices is also partly due to the weakened dollar, which until late summer, 2005, had been declining since late 2002 in response to today's massive shift in economic power to China and India, and due to higher energy prices.  OPEC, which controls world prices, has historically priced its oil sales in dollars.  With the dollar having declined sharply in value relative to major currencies, down 30% against the Euro, OPEC raised its prices accordingly to maintain comparable returns and cash flow.  As OPEC prices rise, US prices rise in tandem, all in step with the workings of worldwide markets. 

The dollar has strengthened since September, 2005, largely in response to terrorists' attacks in Europe specifically and a widening of the war on terrorism in general.  As the war expands, the safe harbor afforded by the US looks more and more appealing to the investor looking for safety.  This new trend will lead to lower US interest rates. 

High oil prices exert direct negative pressure on the dollar and the dollar finds itself in deep trouble.  The US' current account deficit, which was in balance as late as 1991, is now more than five percent of our gross domestic product.  Worst yet, the deficit has been expanding rapidly in recent months with the sharp price increase in oil.  With the US' dependency on foreign oil destined to continue unabated, the deficit will continue to grow and the dollar will continue its slide as a way of offsetting the deficit through devaluation. 

China is having its own special effect on the US' economy - gradually killing much of it.  Chinese competitors have strengthened in practically all labor-intensity industry sectors, and increasingly so even in high tech, to the point where they are devastating US industry.  The productivity of China's private industry has grown an astounding 17% annually for five years running and, accordingly, China's prices are today 30 to 50% less, across the board - whatever the category. 

Considering there's little reason to believe the Chinese will stop reaching for their piece of the pie or that world oil prices will decline materially, a sizeable and permanent dollar devaluation is at hand.  The devaluation is supported by the Bush Administration and Alan Greenspan as the best way to deal with our burgeoning deficit.  Accordingly, an orderly dollar devaluation has been underway since early 2003, leading to an orderly appreciation of the main non-dollar currencies. 

The point of all this?  Interestingly enough, our dollar's devaluation benefits HSB's real estate substantially.  The sizable decline of the dollar against foreign currencies makes HSB real estate less expensive and therefore much more attractive to foreign investors.  Back to Top


XIV.  THE IMPACT OF SUCH FORCES ON HSB's LAKEFRONT:  For all these reasons, investors have awakened and taken action - steadily since March 2001.  HSB's national and international awareness continues to build as more and more people connect. 

Evidence of this was found in an article featuring HSB that appeared in the July 2005 issue of the "Robb Report Collection", the article being entitled "Location, Location, Location;  Where the Smart Money Is Buying Real Estate This Month: Horseshoe Bay, Texas."  The magazine claims to be "a trusted guide for the world's most successful, demanding, and educated magazine readers" that continuously "strives to uncover the finest and most fascinating subjects to spotlight . . ."  

Furthermore, the Marriott is now bringing in more than 10,000 new visitors monthly.  As this stream of "new blood" discovers and gets to know HSB, nothing short of a marked increase in demand for HSB's real estate can be expected.  And don't forget, lakefront properties have traditionally led the pack. 

During 2004, 228 HSB homes and home sites were sold for a total price of $56,000,000, averaging $246,000 per sale.  Sale prices and the number of transactions should increase dramatically during 2005 and beyond for the multitude of reasons  discussed herein.  Last year was HSB's best year ever, but 2006 sales are up substantially from 2005 and look to double 2004, based on sales and commitments made during the first two months of the year.

With the national and and international marketing power of Marriott and Escondido moving to full steam, Centex well into its campaign, and National Recreation Property's marketing campaign underway as of late April, 2006, demand for HSB real estate is booming beyond most peoples' wildest imagination.  It is also fueled by the natural draw from California and Florida, and from the prosperous oil patch.  The ultimate discovery of HSB (and HSB's corresponding consummate real estate boom) is finally at hand - 35 years after HSB's opening.  

Furthermore, despite the high oil prices, the war on terrorism and a weakened dollar, the U.S. just experienced its best economic year in the past six - an exceptionally strong accomplishment considering the circumstances.  Better yet, continued strong national growth is expected.  Even better than that, Texas has become the nation's fourth-fastest growing state. 

HSB's stars are indeed aligned!  Back to Top 


XV.  HSB's INVENTORY OF AVAILABLE HIGH-END LAKEFRONT HOMES IS LIMITED.  For three or so years following 9/11/01, with vacationing out of vogue and its Conference Center basically shut down, HSB attracted little outsider interest.  In the face of little incoming traffic, real estate sales slowed.   Sales occurring during the period typically amounted to mere exchanges between existing HSB parties.  Nevertheless, in spite of this weak market, local interest was enough to absorb most of the high-end lakefront home listings offered. 

Actually, home values in HSB have been strong, historically.  For example, during the 10-year period from 1990 and 2000, HSB's median across-the-board home values increased an average of 14% per annum, as measured by CAPCO. 

After the lull, prices picked up again.  However, today HSB's lakefront property is in high demand, possibly in recognition of its limited, non-replenishable supply and thinking prices will be higher tomorrow.  However, HSB's lakefront has always been a major draw, with 950 of its 2,400 dwellings being located on the lakefront.

During 2005, 40 HSB homes sold in the $800,000 to $2,300,000 price range, all but one being located on the lakefront.  Twenty-three of these sold for more than a $1,000,000, seven sold for more than $1,500,000 and two sold for more than $2,000,000. 

In the 35-year life of HSB, approximately 100 custom lakefront homes have been built whose value today exceeds $2,000,000.  Only17 of these have ever been offered for sale and 10 have sold.   The first home to sell for more than $2,000,000 sold in late 2002.  From 2003 through 2005, four others sold in the $2,000,000 to $2,300,000 range, averaging $355 per square foot.  

In contrast, during the first half of 2006, six lakefront homes went under contract in the $2,000,000+ range.  Their contract prices and price-per-square-foot are reportedly as follows:  $2,000,000 = $606/sf; 2,100,000 = $550/sf; $2,300,000 = $434/sf; $2,900,000 = $501/sf; $3,500,000 = $537/sf; and $4,000,000 = $583/sf.  Their average price was $535/sf, up $214/sf, a 51% increase from the average per-foot price of the four $2,000,000+ sales made during the 2003 through 2005 period.   The home that sold for $4,000,000 had a $4,700,000 back-up offer ($686/sf) that failed to activate because the party in first position exercised  timely.  One other $2,000,000+ lakefront home has gone under contract since mid-year.  It sold for $600/sq ft.

Nine lakefront homes were available in the $2,000,000+ range as of December 15, 2006, priced as follows:  $6,250,000 = $752/sq ft; $5,750,000 = $1,165/sq ft; $5,200,000 = $1,040/sq ft; $4,500,000 = $1,044/sq ft; $4,250,000 = $897/sq ft; $3,500,000 = $700/sq ft; $2,800,000 = $612/sq ft; $2,595,000 = $605/sq ft; and $2,400,000 = $538/sq ft.  

By comparison, the most expensive home currently available that is not located on the lake is on a lake-view lot and priced at $2,850,000, or $544 per foot.  Only one HSB home located off the lakefront has sold for more than $1,000,000.  That sale involved another lake-view lot home and it sold for $1,400,000 in 2003. 

The positive impact the new forces are having on HSB's real estate is reflected by the fact that the three homes sold during 2004 at prices over $1,500,000 fell only one short of the four that had previously sold in HSB dating back to when it opened in 1971.  Seven more sold during 2005, 2.33 times the number sold during 2004. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Excepting HSB, home prices have been depressed throughout Texas for at least the past five-years.  As reported in the June 13, 2006 issue of USA TODAY, prices remained in a relatively flat, depressed state through the first quarter of 2006.  Worst yet, the study, which compared prices in 317 metropolitan areas across the country over the past five years, found the eight most undervalued areas in the country were all in Texas, including Bryan (-23.7%), Dallas (-18.9%), Fort Worth (-18.5%), Houston (-15.8%), Killeen (-15.1%), Midland (-13.6%), El Paso (-13.1%) and McAllen (-12.9%).

HSB's prices have shown remarkable strength bucking the trend.  Its real estate values prices began picking up during 2004, especially on the lakefront, and prices have grown progressively stronger ever since.  HSB's break out from the rest of the state is indicative of HSB's growing recognition as one of America's premier Resorts. 

And then there's the oil factor.  HSB, located as it is in the heart of Texas, has always marched to the drumbeat of the oil business.  That business, after a generation of difficulty, turned around in early 2003 and now looks sound for decades to come.  Adding this exceptional factor to the other favorable ones now generating demand for HSB's real estate is mouth watering, if not mind bogging.

Today, demand for high-end real estate at HSB is at an all-time high, yet HSB is grossly lacking in high-end inventory.  Speculative builders have been surprisingly slow to react to this demand or to recognize that high-end buyers are being attracted to HSB like never before.  For example, in the past three years, only one new lakefront home priced in the $2,000,000+ price range has been built on an uncommitted, speculative basis.  That home (see 415 Matern Court) happens to be the finest, largest, and most expensive home ever built in HSB on a speculative basis.  It was completed in late February 2006 and is available for $7.5 million.  


HSB LAKEFRONT HOMES CONTRACTED FOR, SOLD, OR CURRENTLY LISTED FOR SALE AT A PRICE OF $1,900,000 OR MORE, DATING BACK TO THE FIRST SUCH SALE, WHICH OCCURRED IN DECEMBER, 2002.

HSB Lakefront Home Listings or Contracts for Sale in Excess of $1,900,000. House Age (yrs)
Lake Frontage (feet)
Exposure
Water View Bdrms Baths Sq Ft List Price Lot Value House Value Replace Cost $/sf Total $/sf Pool or Swim Park Date of Contract
102-104 Applehead Island
1
178'
NE
Wide Open 6 7 8,800 $7,789,000 $3,050,000 $4,739,000 539 885 pool Aug-07
415 Matern Island
0
91'
E
Wide Open 5 8 8,311 $7,500,000 $2,200,000 $5,300,000 638 902 pool/park  
84 Applehead Island
8
315'
NW
Cove 7 8.5 7,635 $5,950,000 $1,200,000 $4,750,000 662 779 pool  
125-126 Applehead Island
7
190'
W
Wide Open 5 6.5 4,935 $5,200,000 $1,800,000 $3,400,000 689 1,054 no  
62-64 Applehead Island
11
268'
N
Wide Open 3+ 4 5,000 $5,200,000 $1,600,000 $3,800,000 760 1,040 pool  
112-111/2 Applehead Island
2
228'
NW
Wide Open 1 + 3 2.5 + 4 6,856 $4,700,000 $1,500,000 $3,200,000 467 686 pool Apr-06
64 Applehead Island
11
185'
NW
Wide Open 3+ 4 5,000 $4,500,000 $900,000 $3,600,000 720 900 pool  
124 Applehead Island
8
215'
NW
Wide Open 4 5.5 4,310 $4,500,000 $1,200,000 $3,300,000 766 1,044 no  
123 Applehead Island
6
95'
S
Wide Open 4 5.5 4,740 $4,250,000 $1,050,000 $3,200,000 675 897 no  
400 Lighthouse Drive
20
60'
NE
Wide Open 4 6 5,500 $4,200,000 $750,000 $3,450,000 627 764 yes  
112-111/2 Applehead Island
2
228'
NW
Wide Open 1 + 3 2.5 + 4 6,856 $4,000,000 $1,100,000 $2,900,000 423 583 pool Apr-06
117 Applehead Island
6
108'
SW
Wide Open 4 4.5 5,700 $3,999,000 $1,000,000 $2,999,000 526 702 no  
128-136 Applehead Island
10
222'
NE
Cove 3 4.5 4,800 $3,995,000 $2,315,000 $1,680,000 350 832 no Jul-07
147 Applehead Island
90'
W
Cove 5 6.5 4,500 $3,950,000 $725,000 $3,225,000 716 878 no  
154 Applehead Island
5
205'
N
Wide Open 4 6 6,522 $3,600,000 $900,000 $2,700,000 414 552 no Apr-06
410 Lighthouse
13
220'
N
Open Water 4 4.5 4,400 $3,500,000 $750,000 $2,750,000 625 795 no  
1009 Red Sail
23-1
275'
E
Cove 4 5.5 6,355 $3,500,000 $500,000 $3,000,000 472 550 pool  
209 No Return
12-R
100'
E
Wide Open 5 4.5 5,000 $3,500,000 $750,000 $2,750,000 550 700 pool  
101 Far North Ciccle
14-R
90'
E
Wide Open 3 4 3,138 $3,500,000 $750,000 $2,750,000 876 1,115 no  
20 Applehead Island
5
95'
E
Channel 5 6.5 6,933 $3,450,000 $600,000 $2,850,000 411 498 yes  
66 Applehead Island
7
124'
W
Wide Open 5 5.5 4,893 $3,450,000 $950,000 $2,500,000 511 705    
113 Applehead Island
6
90'
S
Wide Open 4 4 3,400 $3,300,000 $1,000,000 $2,300,000 676 971 pool  
78 Applehead Island
0
65'
N
Cove 5 5 5,000 $3,200,000 $750,000 $2,450,000 490 640 no  
119 Harbor Light
27
200
E
Wide Open 3 4.5 5,336 $3,150,000 $750,000 $2,400,000 449 590 no  
111 Captains Row
6
110
SE
Open/Cove 4 5.,5 5,000 $3,000,000 $700,000 $2,300,000 460 600 yes  
12-A Applehead Island
13
61'
N
Cove 3 3.5 3,200 $2,998,000 $950,000 $2,430,000 640 937 no  
76 Applehead Island
6
131'
NE
Cove     5,790 $2,900,000 $600,000 $2,300,000 397 501 no Apr-06
519 Lighthouse Drive
5
75'
SE
Wide Open 4 4.5 4,575 $2,800,000 $700,000 $2,100,000 459 612 small pool  
406 Lighthouse Drive
0
100'
N
Wide Open 5 5.5 4,700 $2,600,000 $750,000 $1,850,000 394 553 no Jun-07
314 Matern Island
5
77
NW
Wide Open 3 4 4,300 $2,595,000 $850,000 $1,750,000 407 605 pool  
119 Harbor Light
23
205'
E
Wide Open 3 4.5 5,300 $2,300,000 $725,000 $1,575,000 297 434 no May-06
144-14 Applehead Island
2
124'
E
Open 5 6 6,600 $2,300,000 $800,000 $1,500,000 238 344 pool Oct-03
301 Lighthouse Drive
21
62'
SE
Wide Open 4 3 3,875 $2,225,250 $600,000 $1,625,250 419 $574 no  
308 Heron Cove
25-R
213'
NW
Channel-Cove 4 5 4,850 $2,200,000 $400,000 $1,800,000 371 454 pool Mar-07
317 Wennmohs
1
170'+
SE
Wide Open 5 6 6,170 $2,200,000 $700,000 $1,500,000 243 357 pool Nov-04
122 Applehead Island
4
107'
N
Wide Open 4 5.5 5,790 $2,150,000 $600,000 $1,550,000 268 371 no Apr-04
500 Lighthouse Drive
15-R
130'
N

Wide Open

4 4.5 3,816 $2,100,000 $650,000 $1,450,000 380 550 no Apr-06
154 Applehead Island
1
205'
N
Wide Open 4 6 6,522 $2,050,000 $600,000 $1,450,000 222 417 no Dec-02
5214 RR 2147
1
170'+
NW
Wide Open 5 5.5 5,700 $2,024,000 $800,000 $1,220,000 214 354 pool Dec-04
103 Matern Court
11-R
91'
E
Wide Open 4 4 3,300 $1,980,000 $750,000 $1,230,000 379 600 small pool Apr-06
120 Applehead Island
9
87'
N
Wide Open 3 4 5,208 $1,950,000 $800,000 $1,195,000 229 379 no Mar-06
34 Appleheasd Island
2
50'
SE
Lagoon 4 4.5 5,558 $1,905,000 $655,000 $1,300,000 234 343   Apr-07
101 Captain's Row
4
67'
SE
Open Cove 3 2.5 2,400 $1,900,000 $1,100,000 $800,000 333 792 yes May-07
1022 Red Sails
7
200'+
NE
Wide Open 2 3 3,582 $1,900,000 $750,000 $1,150,000 321 530 no Oct-06

Note that the average asking price per SF and average replacement cost per SF of the top seven offerings competing with 415 Matern Island are $934 and $696 respectively. These seven range in age fro six to 14 years, averaging 8.1. On the other hand, 415 Matern's asking price is 3% lower at $902 and its replacement cost of $638 is 9% lower, even though its quality is far higher, being about as good as it gets! Back to Top 


XVI.  HSB's INVENTORY OF AVAILABLE FULL-SIZE LAKEFRONT LOTS IS LIMITED.  Although real estate price bubbles exist on both of America's coasts, where prices have doubled in certain areas over the past two to three years, the chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M says "There's no price bubble in Texas."  In a front-page article appearing in the June 5, 2005 edition of Austin's "American-Statesman," he goes on to report that prices in Dallas, Houston, Austin and across central Texas have in general been virtually flat for the past three years. 

In fact, the Austin-Central Texas area remains today as one of lowest-cost areas in the country.  During 2005's first quarter, home-price growth in the Austin-Central Texas area was among the nation's slowest, ranking only 262 out of 265 areas.  The area's median home prices were comparable to the national median as late as April 2002.  But as the tech crash of early 2000 took hold, by April of 2005 the national median had run up to an all-time high, leaving the Austin-Central Texas area 29% behind. 

Regarding annual growth for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2005, the National Association of Realtors found in a survey of 299 areas of the US, representing 80% of the country, that Ocala, Florida was the fastest growing area - up at an annual rate of 44.8%.  Austin and central Texas grew only 5.4% during the period, remaining one of the slowest areas.  Naples, Florida was the country's most overvalued area during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2005.  Since October 1, 2005, the Austin and central Texas area has heated up substantially.

With approximately 99% of HSB Proper and HSB West's 749 full-size lakefront lots now either developed or committed for development, the supply of such lots have never been so limited.  Historically, 21 full-size lakefront lots have been developed and thereby absorbed annually, dating back to HSB's opening some 35 years ago.  In line with the aforementioned downturn reported in the June 5, 2005 issue of the American-Statesman, the local Multi-Listing Service ("MLS") reported only 33 sales of undeveloped HSB waterfront lots during the 37-month period between November 1, 2000 and December 1, 2003, an average of only 11 per year, barely more than half the historical average.  The absorption rate for such lots increased to 24 during 2004, being above the historical average for the first time since 2000, but the market was so weak that average prices showed no real change. 

During 2005, 34 standard, full-sized undeveloped lakefront lots were sold in HSB Proper and HSB West, being an average of 2.83 lots per month - 70% above the historical average.  As of December 15, 2006, only 12 such lots were available for sale by parties other than LBJ Lakefront Inc - six located in HSB Proper and six located in HSB West.  They were priced between $595,000 and $3,200,000, with an average asking price of $1,302,000.  Importantly, as of this date, 31 others had either sold or been placed under contract in 2006, averaging 2.77 lot sales per month.  LBJ Lakefront Inc has an additional 33 of these full-sized, undeveloped lakefront lots, but we plan to develop them ourselves (for more details on this inventory, click on the "About Us" button).  

NOTE:
THE ABOVE  TOTALS DO NOT INCLUDE LAKEFRONT SALES AT THE OTHER THREE HSB SUBDIVISIONS:  THE TRAILS, ESCONDIDO, AND LAGO ESCONDIDO.  IF ADDED TO THE HSB PROPER AND HSB WEST TOTALS, WHICH THEY PROBABLY SHOULD BE SINCE THESE AREAS ARE NOW IN HSB, ANNUAL LAKEFRONT LOT SALES FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS WOULD BE ABOUT 50% HIGHER (see below).  

The average annual sales price for undeveloped HSB waterfront lots in recent years, as reported by the MLS, is as follows:  2001 = $222,200; 2002 = $292,400; 2003 = $266,300; 2004 = $283,100; and 2005 = $428,000. The 31 sales/contracts that have occurred through December 6th have averaged $691,000, up 143% from 2004's price and up 61% from 2005's average sale price.

The highest price paid historically for a HSB Proper or HSB West lakefront lot is $1,700,000, followed by $1,350,000.  Both transactions occurred during the spring of 2006 and both involved lots located on The Peninsula in HSB Proper.  However, as strong as this may seem, the average selling price for Lago Escondido's lakefront lots exceeds HSB Proper's and HSB West's maximum $1,700,000 sales price (see below).

Let's now compare full-size waterfront lots in HSB Proper and HSB West, which typically range from 75 to 90' in width, with Applehead Island's and Wennmohs Place's 40+/-' wide Garden Home lots (also known as "T" lots).  These are located on the south side of the Applehead Island lagoon and along the north side of Wennmohs Place in the Annlies Landing area a between Applehead Island and Matern Island.  There have been no lakefront Garden Home lots on the market since the the second quarter of 2006.  HSB Proper has no lakefront Garden Home lots.

Whereas HSB West's most expensive lakefront Garden Home lot now sells for $449,000, HSB's least expensive standard, full-size waterfront lot now sells for $580,000.  To continue the analysis further, HSB's least expensive lakefront Garden Home-sized lot typically sells for 1/3rd or so more than HSB's most expensive off-water lot.

Examining waterfront sales from another angle, sales totaled $2,396,600 during 2003, $6,795,000 during 2004 and $15,405,650 during 2005.  Year 2005 sales were 6.43 times greater than 2003 sales.

During that same period, golf course lot sales actually decreased, going from $1,292,650 in 2003, $804,000 in 2004 and $1,249,250 in 2005.  As we've been saying, our one-of-a-kind, constant-level waterfront, on America's lake of choice, is where the action has been.

However, in spite of the foregoing, we nevertheless believe HSB's lakefront real estate remains undervalued relative to comparable situations in currently better known resorts due to inadequate exposure.  The Resort realized how it was being hurt by the lack of exposure and brought in the Marriott in October 2004, which helped precipitate a huge turn around.  The existence of a disparity in values was further proven by Escondido's astonishing success (see Escondido under Section IX, above).  This disparity will likely be rectified over the next few years through unprecedented national exposure accruing to HSB from the combined marketing efforts of Escondido, which began June 2004; Marriott, which began October 2004; Centex Destination, which began June 2005; and National Recreational Properties, which began April 2006.  In the interim, while the disparity gets closed, look for continued strong increases in HSB's real estate values.

Although Escondido began marketing its golf course lots in June 2004, it held off offering its waterfront lots until this Spring, 2005.  Escondido's 25 waterfront lots average 4/10th an acre in size, being slightly larger than HSB's.  As of November 16th, Escondido had sold 19 of these for an average price of approximately $725,000.  Its remaining six sell for an average of $790,000, with its most expensive priced at $1,200,000.   

Lago Escondido, an offshoot of Escondido, placed its lots on the market for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend, 2006.  Lago Escondido is located on what is known locally as "The Rock," a huge granite outcrop located in HSB's northwest corner, immediately upstream from Applehead Island.  It has 36 lots, 23 of which are located on Lake LBJ.  The lakefront lots average 4/10th of an acre and 12 had been sold/contracted for through November 6th for an average price of $1,660,000, with the highest price being $2,200,000.  Lago Escondido's remaining 11 lakefront lots are priced from $400,000 to $1,750,000, averaging $1,220,000.  There is a big deal working at Lago that could take out a majority of the remaining lakefront lots.

And finally, the Trails of Lake LBJ, which opened for business in 2002, announced its 20 waterfront lots, all of which are located high on a bluff located on the Sandy Creek arm of Lake LBJ, had been sold by the fall of 2005 for an average selling price of $235,000.   Resales made during the summer of 2006 sold in the $330,000 range.  Back to Top 

Though we strive for accuracy in our reporting, we do not guarantee it. In particular, data can get out of date, so check things out before acting.

  For further information, call 512/755-6226 or email us at kmartin@moment.net.

 
Number of Visitors

CURRENT LISTINGS AND PAST SALES/CONTRACTS ON HSB LAKEFRONT HOMES IN THE $1.9+ MILLION RANGE, DATING BACK TO 1971.