Big Bend Conservancy
"I'm still having houses appraised for $40,000 selling for $300,000," Presidio County chief appraiser Irma Salgado said of the Marfa real estate market. "I got another house valued at $27,000 that sold for $230,000. It's a two-bedroom, one-bath, 600-square-feet home. So nothing has changed. The prices are still going up like crazy."
WEST TEXAS/DAVIS MOUNTAINSMesas, blue in the distance against a big, even bluer sky meet the spare desert in Big Bend country, where open space from horizon to horizon lifts the weight from your shoulders and lets you breathe. Texans who want mountains in their home state head for the Davis Mountains.The buzz: This area hard by the Mexican border is still enjoying a mini-boom driven by the national art community's discovery of Marfa. But the days of picking up an old adobe at bargain prices are over, says Tammy King of Texas Mountain Realty. "They're holding their ground around the $200,000 mark," she says. Buyers are starting to look in nearby Fort Davis, she says.Who it's for: Lovers of the desert and of the quiet, small-town life with the added kick of a sophisticated art scene in Marfa. Buyers who don't mind traveling eight hours by car or four by air and car (flights to Midland take about an hour and start at about $120; Marfa is another three hours drive away). Outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park's miles of hiking and biking, plus kayaking and canoeing on the Rio Grande. People who eventually will want access to advanced healthcare should think twice: El Paso and Midland, both hours away, are the closest large cities.What you can get: In general, Marfa properties that need renovation run $100,000-$200,000; homes ready for move-in can start around $185,000 for a ranch-style brick home built in 1960 to 1980, says Bob Wright of Marfa Realty. But Valda Livingston of Livingston Realty says prices aren't consistent: "There's no real rhyme or reason to what people want to ask."In Fort Davis, King says, she's selling fixer-uppers for $150,000-$215,000. "But anything that's nice, newer, with more character is going to be in the $300,000 and $400,000 price range, and we are getting those buyers. I just had a photographer who sold his place in Santa Fe and bought a ranch-style house in a subdivision that had a gravel road, and he paid $400,000."House-hunting tips: Think twice about fixing up the quaint, old adobe, even if you don't mind paying $200,000 for something that's unlivable. Adobe construction can be complicated to renovate. Electrical wiring, for example, can't be dropped down a solid adobe wall. Marfa is small enough to visit and scout out by driving around on a preliminary trip, but if you're in a hurry, look online before you go.
Quote from: "Roger, Roger" "I'm still having houses appraised for $40,000 selling for $300,000," Presidio County chief appraiser Irma Salgado said of the Marfa real estate market. "I got another house valued at $27,000 that sold for $230,000. It's a two-bedroom, one-bath, 600-square-feet home. So nothing has changed. The prices are still going up like crazy."Hi Roger Roger!WOW! Thanks for posting. Sounds like California real estate pricing.BBH
As a Real Estate Appraiser you havent seen anything, sister-in-law moved from CA to TX, west of SA, bought a $1,750,000 in SA after selling a 2,100 sqft home in CA.
Time to move to Sanderson...
County explores fire optionsSANDERSON – Terrell County might try to hire someone like Raymond McDonald, brother of Sheriff Clint McDonald, as an emergency management chief.The name came up during a budget workshop Monday.The Terrell County Volunteer Fire Department had requested more than $300,000 for 2007-08 to finance a new fire- house, fire truck, training and equipment.County Commissioners agreed to “pencil in” $100,000, partly because the $250,000 estimate for the fire station should be a county building and could be financed through a county program.“I want to help the fire department all I can but we need to be in compliance,” County Judge Leo Smith said.Sheriff McDonald suggested someone be found who could do an evaluation of the fire department and make recommendations.He said his brother Raymond is fire chief at Junction and works in police and emergency medical areas as well as computer servicing.Clint McDonald said his brother “offered to provide training and they turned him down.”Smith suggested changing the name of the firedepartment from Sanderson Volunteer Fire Department to Terrell County VFD.Some firemen have refused to go on calls outside of Sanderson, he said.Fire Chief Raymond Phelps plans to leave Sanderson this summer, moving his family to the Denver area.
Two roads abandonedSANDERSON – Terrell County has voted to “abandon” two roads, including Independence Creek Road in far eastern Terrell County where the road crosses the creek.County Judge Leo Smith said the county spends some $5,000 to repair the road every time the creek floods and there is no permanent cure readily available.He said state House Bill 1117 requires updated maps of county roads.Also abandoned was Five Mile Hill Road beyond a gate at the Katherine Morgan property.Road and Bridge Superintendent Mike Sanchez said the county has not maintained that portion of the road since he started in his job in 1986.The Independence Creek Road was more concern to Commissioners Court because the county has tried to maintain it in recent years.Smith said the creek has been known to move as much as 150 yards in heavy rains and even a concrete bridge would wash out in a flood.“It doesn’t make much difference what you put in, it’s going to wash out,” Commissioner Charles Stegall said.“I support the county trying to do something but only two families are affected and they are absentee owners,” Commissioner Kenn Norris said. “My thought coming in was that I was going to vote against [abandoning the road] but I’m not going to.”County Attorney Marsha Monroe said the new statute gives the county “a chance to clearly delineate county roads.”She said if roads to her property or other ranches washed out, it would be up to the ranchers to make repairs.The county will continue to maintain the road to the north bank of the creek.In other action, the court agreed to explore providing streetlights near the Budget Inn Motel and near Oak and Ave. B.Commissioners informally agreed it would be worthwhile and to survey other areas of town that might also need streetlights.And the court agreed to move Hunter Smith from a part-time Road and Bridge employee to full time and to hire Roger “Dale” Stratton to the part time position to replace Smith.Smith is the grandson of Deputy District/County Clerk Donna Smith.
Time to move to Sanderson...
Convention Center plans take shapeSeptember 28, 2007SANDERSON – Banquet seating for up to 500 guests, a smaller meeting room, a separate senior citizen center, visitor center and full-meal kitchen were among the features identified as desirable in a new Terrell County Convention Center.County Commissioners conducted a “workshop” on plans for the facility Monday.The large banquet room would be divisible into smaller rooms by partitions and the facility would have a southwest theme.Architect Monty Hunter of Hunter Corral Associates of Odessa said he could take those criteria and begin to develop plans for a convention/visitor center on a lot at Oak and Second, which the county has acquired for that purpose. Plans for a convention center grew out of an opinion by Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott in February, 2004.Terrell County voters in 2000 approved a “venue tax” as part of the state sales tax to finance economic development and questions arose about what the money could be used for.Abbott said the county should use the money for items included in the election but could do so “only” in connection with a “convention center.”The county has asked for another AG opinion as to whether the county can borrow money against future venue tax receipts or whether it can only use what is in the bank.County Judge Leo Smith said the county should plan for all of its convention center needs now. If it needs to scale back, it can do so later.“This is going to be the biggest thing Terrell County has ever done,” he said earlier this month.He said Monday the center could do for Sanderson “what the Gage Hotel did for Marathon. Shops will spring up around it like they have in Marathon. “We are not going to start small and add to it,” Smith said. “This is a one-shot deal. We don’t want to overkill it but seating should be for at least 400 to 500 people.”He said he wants to “get the ball rolling” and, if the county cannot borrow against future tax receipts, there may be grants or other financing available.Smith said the Terrell County Hunter’s Feast with more than 300 diners is the biggest event now in the county but having adequate seating could attract other events.He said officials at the Big Bend Open Road Race, held each April, have already told him they could have the annual awards banquet in Sanderson every other year if it had the facilities.The Permian Basin Planning Commission and other regional agencies could meet periodically in Sanderson if it could accommodate them.Commissioners generally agreed not to include a “youth center” in the plans, mostly because there was a doubt it would get used.County Treasurer Lynda Helmers suggested instead that the big room in the center be used for movies maybe once a month or so.An office for the Terrell County Recreation Department should be included, commissioners agreed.Smith said he would like to use the present“ChemWaste” building, more commonly known as the “Little Green House” on the property in the plans.If the building cannot be salvaged, he said, perhaps at least the slab could be used.The kitchen should be accessible both to a senior citizen center in the ChemWaste building and to the main meeting room.The senior citizen lunch currently provided by Pecos County Community Action Agency could be taken over and operated every day by the county if the proper facilities existed. Smith said he envisions “shadow boxes” throughout the facility with displays of the culture and history of the region.AdventGX President Jose Quintana said the center, if done right, could attract “traveling exhibits” from museums throughout the region.The entry could be through a garden of native plants and Smith would like to see a rock garden or other display.Parking was an issue but Hunter said having a lot of cars parked on the main street of town could be a draw in itself.“A vibrant, busy street can be an advantage,” he said. “Having to walk past stores on Main Street to get to your facility could be a big help.”Some parking could be accommodated in the space now occupied by a small home at Second and Downie.Commissioners agreed to call for bids for someone to remove the house and that land could be used for off-street parking.
MARFA - Welcome to the new art center of the world, said Liz Rogers, as she cruised along the streets of Marfa, Texas, in a red convertible.
Avram Dumitrescu is an artist who was raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and is currently living on a cat farm in Marfa, Texas with his wife Megan, a zaftig cat named Critter, a kitten named Frisky Sweets, and many, many wild cats. You can see his artwork at www.onlineavram.com
The City of Marfa endured an influx of Texas hipsters last weekend. Why would people drive eight hours to a former POW camp in West Texas?
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