A Texas ranch was included in Curbed.com’s roundup of the most expensive homes for sale in the U.S. earlier this week. Perhaps the Hill Country town of Lampasas should rebrand itself Lampa$a$, given the $81 million price tag on the Hill Country property, which ranks among the 25 most expensive homes currently listed for sale in the nation. It ranks 21st in the lineup that ranges from $250 million to $78 million , with most in what seems to be a sweet spot for top-tier housing prices — the low to mid-80s.
As you might expect, California (especially LA) dominated the list, with 11 of the top 25, including the top two: a $250 million Bel Air spec house, and a $200 million French chateau-style mansion, Aaron Spelling’s former home. Next represented was New York with seven of the 25 residences, ranging from waterfront estates in The Hamptons to a Park Avenue penthouse.
The others? Florida, Boston, and Connecticut properties, and the lone inland jewels, Bob’s Koch’s Aspen compound and the subject Texas ranch (which, at more than 19,000 acres boasts the largest land area of the group by far. Ha, so there!)
It’s a trip to read over the amenities and inducements that come with some of these domains. Not just your average tennis court, equestrian facility, private dock, and bowling alley, but fur vaults, avocado orchards, an underground shooting range, a yacht, a pair of Rolls Royce Phantoms, etc., etc., etc.
Some properties carry the cache of famous owners: entertainers, socialites, business titans, tech gods. But our heart’s in the Hill Country, so we’re bringing a look at the Lampasas property, one of the top 25 most expensive listings in the country and as pretty as any from our point of view. Representing Texas is the 19,505-acre Legacy Springs Ranch, headquartered at 1907 CR 107 N, Lampasas, 45 minutes north of Austin, virtually the geographic center of the state.
The Legacy Springs ranch is 70 miles northwest of Austin in an area known as Highland Lakes. Listing agent Rick Kuper of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty gave me some background on the property. Per Kuper, it was formerly the Goodrich Family ranch, assembled by Robert Goodrich decades ago, originally more than 20,000 acres. In 2006, heirs to the property (who still live in the area) sold off most of it to East Coast investors who saw the ranch’s potential to be subdivided. Even then, Austin’s growth was clearly trending to the north, and the site, only 70 miles from the state capital and bordering six miles of the Colorado river just north of Lake Buchanan, was ripe for development into ranchette weekend vacation homes for Austin residents. The economic recession stalled development in subsequent years. Recently, health issues of one of the current owners led them to decide to sell rather than develop the land themselves.
There is a house, yes, (a main home, 6,000 square feet, plus two guest houses and working facilities) but it’s not pictured in the ranch’s marketing materials except briefly in a video. The man-made structures are incidental in comparison to Legacy Springs Ranch’s natural beauty. The rolling terrain with elevations ranging from 1,020 to 1,600 feet above sea level affords views of mesquite and live oaks, river bottoms, pasture lands, 15 miles of spring-fed streams, and 90 acres of inland lakes.
Hunters will find deer, exotics, turkeys, hogs, dove, quail, and duck; fisherman, largemouth bass, perch, and catfish on the ranch, plus striped bass fishing in Lake Buchanan (along with boating and kayaking).
Wildlife in the area includes 130 species of birds, including American bald eagle, 15 species of mammals, and 15 species of reptiles and amphibians.
Here’s the video that views like a National Geographic film:
I’ll leave you with a last look at this gorgeous place, listed by Rick Kuper of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty at $81M. I would argue it’s priceless.