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ON THE COVER: This Tiki Island retreat is a relaxing family vacation compound. See page 42.

Guide to Texas’ hottest second home destinations


The Texas Hill Country beckons as a top destination for second homeowners. Photo by Jack/Flickr

HOME, SWEET HOME Texans stay true to their roots with second homes right here in the Lone Star State COMPILED BY BARBARA KUNTZ

W

ith the vast geographical regions the Lone Star State has to offer, from gently rolling hills to breezy, coastal escapes to the towering pine trees of the Big Thicket, it’s no wonder Houstonians and all Texans love to call Texas home – and their second home, too. In fact, a recent report released by realtors statewide reveals many owners of additional properties prefer their getaway experiences within just a few hours of big-city luxuries. Take the Hill Country, for example. “Houstonians flocking to the Hill Country to establish a second home do not have to give up the luxury they are accustomed to in their primary residence, nor the city amenities they crave,” says realtor Denise Graves of Phyllis Browning Co., an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. “They are almost always surprised how close to the amenities of a large city they can build or buy.” Many owners of second homes do not want to be any further than an hour from a large city with amenities, Chad Mahagan, a realtor with Moreland Properties in Austin, says. And a client, who now owns a home on Lake Travis, uses a nearby private landing strip for weekend jaunts to his homeaway-from-home. “You go from a concrete in flat Houston to the Hill Country in just 2.5 hours,” the client adds, even when he doesn’t fly.

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TEXAS HILL COUNTRY Reaching from San Antonio’s northernmost suburbs to southwest of downtown Austin, the Hill Country’s allure is famous Texaswide and nationwide. Twenty-five counties offer the laid-back, easy lifestyle centered around rich vegetation, spring-fed rivers and large lakes with plenty of shopping, dining and genuine Texas hospitality — and that all adds up to charming. BOERNE More than San Antonians are loving that once-little town of Boerne. Country club-like communities with that “lock-andleave” ease join country-style abodes for second homeowners from throughout the state. Everyone enjoys a stroll down the city’s historic district, Haupstrasse, “Main Street” in German, for antique shops, trendy boutiques and wine and coffee bars. Cibolo Creek flows through downtown to the Cibolo Nature Center for more adventures for hikers and nature lovers. FREDERICKSBURG With more than 45 wineries and vineyards, no wonder Wine Enthusiast Magazine named this German settlement and area one of its “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations” in 2014. With fine wines come high-end restaurants, eclectic


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Clockwise from top left: Texas Hill Country and LBJ Ranch Tour. Photo courtesy of Gray Line Tours. A winery on the Texas Wine Trail. Horeshoe Bay Resort on Lake LBJ near Marble Falls. Canyon Lake.

shopping, pampering spas and an active arts community. Take in all the sites, including historic tributes such as the Vereins Kirche Museum and the Admiral Nimitz Museum, as well as the famous statewide Wildseed Farm with gift shop and bundles (or packets) of seeds grown right on the property. And don’t forget to view nature’s own landscape of wildflowers each spring. So Willkommen, y’all! JOHNSON CITY A second home here means being next-door to one of the state’s prettiest parks, Perdernales Falls State Park, as well as near to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. Wildflowers in the area burst into bloom, and the grapes ripen, too (wine!).

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KERRVILLE Keep an extra pair of cowboy boots on hand if you’re thinking about a getaway residence in Kerrville. The Museum of Western Art holds works by the nation’s top artists of that genre, and the Hill Country Arts Foundation’s Point Theater stages indoor and outdoor productions. Oh, and add a pair of hiking shoes to the closet: Lost Maples State Park, the only maple forest in Texas, is just 1½ hours southwest of town. MARBLE FALLS “Lakeside charm” best describes this town, with Inks Lake, Lake Buchanan, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls and Lake Travis at hand – and area golf courses and wineries galore. No trip into town is complete without a stop at the Blue Bonnet Cafe for home-style cooking and the most delicious homemade pies.


Buying and Selling the Texas Hill Country since 1971 Specializing in confidential investment opportunities amongst the most spectacular live-water and recreational properties in Texas. MarkFoxRealEstate.com • info@MarkFoxRealEstate.com (830) 693-8884 Office • (830) 693-6619 Fax

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plus species of fish inhabit the waters off Port Aransas. Purchase your favorite right off the dock and take it to your second home for a seafood festival, or dine in at one of Port Aransas’ numerous restaurants.

It's another beautiful day in Port Aransas. Photo by Marcus Calderon/Flickr

THE COAST At 350-plus miles long, the Texas coastal region is also a natural draw for second homes, especially considering our long, hot summers, where temporary residents can cool off in the Gulf waters; enjoy fresh seafood, freshly caught or purchased straight off the docks; and relax while watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Many “Winter Texans” find it a respite, too, from the harsh winters in the north. Bonus: The Texas Coast stands as a major destination for bird-watching enthusiasts. Texas’ beaches make great getaways year-round. CORPUS CHRISTI Tucked into the bay and sheltered by Padre and Mustang islands, Corpus Christi is a family delight offering sights and sounds for all ages: The harbor-front Texas State Aquarium with an aquatic nursery; a WWII aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington, with naval aviation museum; and home to migratory birds and endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. And then there’s the beach! GALVESTON A survivor and a thriver, Galveston beckons with history with some 60-plus structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Newer attractions bring even more second homeowners to the island, including the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Schiltterbahn water park and Moody Gardens botanical park. Step into the celebration of it all during the annual Mardi Gras festival, Galveston Island Jazz & Blues Festival and Dickens on The Strand. Speaking of The Strand: Major shopping and dining opportunities await. PORT ARANSAS Take the ferry, operating service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from Aransas Pass to start your home-awayfrom-home adventure in this popular fishing town with beaches stretching for miles. According to one source, some 60040 house& home | February 2017 | www.houstonhouseandhome.net

PORT O’CONNOR Port O’Connor sums up its attraction with this description of the unincorporated community located between Galveston and Corpus Christi: “Visit to Fish. Return for Life.” Add hunting, birding, kayaking and a peaceful lifestyle, and you’re in Port O’Connor. MATAGORDA BAY Fish your heart away on one of the many charter services, take the family on a kayak excursion through the bay wetlands or just spend a day on the beach finding a variety of treasures, from sand dollars to old Spanish coins. The LCRA Matagorda Bay Nature Park, a 1,600-acre preserve at the mouth of the Colorado River on the Matagorda Peninsula, also has something for everyone. ROCKPORT Step out of your second home onto your boat and navigate the channels to the ocean for world-class fishing. Visit the Texas Maritime Museum, the Rockport Center for the Arts and Rockport Beach Park for swimming. In neighboring Fulton, the Fulton Mansion showcases Second Empire architecture and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

RESOURCES Phyllis Browning Co. 6101 Broadway St. San Antonio 210-824-7878 www.phyllisbrowning.com Mark Fox Real Estate 515 Highway 281 Marble Falls 830-693-8884 www.markfoxrealestate.com The House Company 713-857-2309 www.tomsgalvestonrealestate.com Key Allegro Real Estate 1798 Bay Shore Dr. Rockport 800.348.1627

Islands of Rockport 800-780-3750 islandsofRockport.com Moreland Properties 3825 Lake Austin Blvd. Austin 512-480-0848 www.moreland.com Sullivan Brothers 18 Mariner Pass Galveston 409-744-5555 Villas of Royal Oaks 1035 N. Fulton Beach Rd. Rockport 361-790-7100


T h e g e m o f t h e T e x a s C o a s t t a k e s R & R t o a co m p l e t e l y n e w l e v e l .

Two- and Three-bedroom Villas FOR SALE, Starting at $389,900 Royal Oaks is an emerging bay-front community with Mediterranean-influenced residences that offer spectacular views. Minutes away from natural diversions, charming shops and intimate restaurants, Royal Oaks is reinventing coastal living. Set amongst windswept oak trees, this gated park-like community affords you a private pier, putting green, and a tranquil pond. Royal Oaks is a location unlike anything else in Rockport/Fulton.

1035 North Fulton Beach Road l Rockport, Texas 78382 l 361-790-7100 l 1-361-438-7425 l www.villasatroyaloaks.com


Side-by-side Galveston Bay cottages on the tip of Tiki Island bring family members together.

TIKI ONE & TIKI TWO Galveston-area Island Compound Delights Three Generations  BY MARSHA CANRIGHT • PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIM SCHROEDER

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ugging the tip of Tiki Island with a panoramic view of Galveston Bay, two white-and-cream beach cottages sit side by side, joined at the breezeway by wide plank porches and a 50-foot fishing pier below the living quarters. Together the houses — one new and one a redo — create an airy island retreat large enough for Houstonians Ed Bajorek and Mary Ann McCulley to comfortably accommodate Bajorek’s four children and seven grandchildren on holidays, summer birthdays and fishing vacations. It seems sedate, almost sleepy, but when all 14 family members convene, it’s anything but that, says Jennifer Bajorek, a daughter who worked on the cabinet designs for both houses. “It’s a special place that we all love and appreciate,” she says. Her father and stepmother bought the original house, called Tiki One, in 2000, and family has been coming ever since. As a teenager, Jennifer’s first fishing expedition at Tiki One 42 house& home | February 2017 | www.houstonhouseandhome.net

snagged two handsome trout. Afterwards, she was hooked on fishing, an activity that brings their extended family together. In those days, the house was a simple structure with less than 1,000 square feet. An expansion plan was in the works when Hurricane Ike struck the Gulf Coast in 2008. Although the original house faces the open bay, it survived the storm without significant damage. Only the stairs and boathouse were damaged, and interior carpets had to be replaced. But the neighbors were not so lucky. Their house sustained major damage and when they decided not to rebuild, Ed purchased the lot. Tiki One was remodeled in 2009, and the brand-new Tiki Two, the large main house, was completed last year. Both houses are lined with deep windows to showcase the sweeping bay views. The rooms are white and cream with accent shades of blue and green to reflect the coastal waters and sky. Designer Peggy Stirman worked with McCulley and Jennifer to create a family compound to delight the three generations.


A Waterfront Community Like No Other

FISHING AND BOATING AT YOUR BACK DOOR l CLUBHOUSE l SWIMMING POOL l MARINA WITH PRIVATE DOCK FITNESS CENTER Join your Houston friends at The Islands of Rockport (a majority of our residents are from Greater Houston area.) Lot prices start at $275,000 and homes start at $600,000. All homesites are waterfront with easy canal access to the Intracoastal Waterway. Islands of Rockport is more than 80% sold, so don’t delay. Go under contract by February 28 and your HOA dues will be paid for one full year.

800.780.3750 • www.IslandsofRockport.com

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The original stone fireplace in Tiki One adds warmth and character.

Opening space in kitchen-dining-living area gives Tiki One fresh appeal.

An updated bathroom in the original cottage. 44 house& home | February 2017 | www.houstonhouseandhome.net

Tiki One’s deep-blue cabinets reflect the seaside theme.

The two-story main house sits 16 feet above ground with a light-filled family room and kitchen combination that opens onto Jones Bay, a subset of Galveston Bay. From the deck, there is an unobstructed view of the wide, blue stretch of water, and in the distance, you can see the outline of South Deer Island, a nature preserve. Beneath the houses is a service area for bikes, jet skis and vacation gear. A mechanized boat ramp makes launching the fishing boat a breeze. A large outdoor shower is a convenient place for clean up. There’s also an outdoor grill for cooking the catch of the day. A favorite gathering spot is the main house kitchen, which is white with deep blue accents and gray-washed wood floors. The Brookhaven cabinetry by Wood-Mode has a lace finish with a charcoal glaze meant to complement the white Okite quartz countertops. The kitchen island is painted a vivid ocean blue and echoes the colors of the kitchen cabinets in the sister cottage. The Miele refrigerator is hidden behind a matching door. Well-equipped for family gatherings, the kitchen features a floating glass breakfast bar and a Miele built-in coffee system to provide the morning brew. A deep-green Bertazonni gas range and a Miele convection steam oven are stylish tools for a family that enjoys cooking together. To keep ingredients at an easy reach, the couple installed Sub-Zero freezer drawers under the counters and a tall pantry with pullout drawers.


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A favorite gathering spot is the main kitchen in Tiki Two with its sweeping bay views. State-of-the-art appliances make cooking a cinch for the large family.

The floating glass breakfast bar opens onto a large, functional family room.

Tiki Two’s master bath is a nod to spa-like luxury.

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Perched on the second floor, three bedrooms with ensuite baths offer wide views of the bay. The master bath is a nod to spa-like luxury. It has Brookhaven frameless cabinets with louvered doors, painted in a white finish. The vanity holds dual sinks and has a separate sit down make-up area. The counters are silestone quartz with Toto plumbing fixtures and sinks. A large, walk-in shower has multiple functions including an overhead rain showerhead, a standard shower and a handheld fixture. The bath floor has ceramic tiles in earth tones. In keeping with the coastal theme, the artwork portrays seabirds, seashells, sailboats and other beachy scenes. Most are the works of local Galveston and Houston artists, but some were collected on family trips. Tiki One, the original quarters, now serves as a guesthouse to accommodate the family overflow. The cottage redo began by opening the space between the kitchen and living room to create a more modern, open concept, and the kitchen was completely renovated. The bathrooms were updated, windows replaced and new furnishings brought new life to this sturdy survivor. Kitchen cabinets are painted the same deep blue as the main house, and the floors are ash-gray wood. The old cedar wall siding in the living room is now painted a warm gray. One element remains the same: The original cottage corner stone fireplace, which adds warmth, character and brings back memories. “It’s like an old friend,” Jennifer says.


RESOURCES APPLIANCES Asko dishwasher Bertazzoni 36-inch gas range Bosch single oven GE microwave Jenn-Air electric smooth glass cook top Miele 30-inch refrigerator, coffee system and steam convection oven Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer and undercounter freezer drawers Zephyr range hood ARTWORK & DECOR Nautical Antiques & Tropical Decor 2202 Ship Mechanic Row Galveston 409-539-5469 www.piecesofship.com Numerous artists, including: John Cowan Ray Heard Syd Moen Hal McCaskill Whitney Pintello Calvin Wehrle Post Office Street galleries www.galveston.com/postofficestreettour/ CABINETS, KITCHEN/BATH DESIGN, SPACE PLANNING (Brookhaven by Wood-Mode) K&N Sales 1401 Shepherd Drive 713-868-3611 www.knsales.com

DESIGN COORDINATION Le Bouquet Interiors 710 Sugar Creek Blvd. Sugar Land 281-242-3638 FLOORING Armstrong Multiple locations www.armstrong.com FURNITURE The Admiralty 2221 Strand St. Galveston 409-766-1776 www.theadmiralty.net Antique Warehouse (custom) 423 25th St., Galveston 409-762-8620 Coastal Creations 3802 Cove View Blvd. Galveston 409-744-1819 www.coastalcreationsgalveston.com Old Strand Emporium 2425 Strand St. Galveston 409-515-0715 LANDSCAPING Dennis Wright & Associates 1029 W. 21st St. 713-526-5400 PLUMBING FIXTURES Blanco Hansgrohe Toto

COUNTERTOPS Okite quartz Silestone quartz

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