Texas A&M boss Sharp seeks an Austin swap for his Telluride home


Highlights

Chancellor of Texas A&M University System would trade for an Austin home in a 1031 exchange

Sharp’s 5,449-square foot mountain retreat is listed for $3.495 million.

Ski-area property has views of the San Juan Mountains and is surrounded by open space where elk roam.

Austin-area homeowners: Want to swap your house for a mountain retreat in the scenic Colorado town of Telluride?

John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, says he is looking for someone who owns a home in the Austin area — preferably on Lake Austin or Lake LBJ — to trade him their house for his four-bedroom getaway in the world-class ski resort of Telluride.

The home, which is on the market for $3.495 million, sits on seven acres with views of Mt. Wilson, Sunshine Peak, Palmyra Peak and the Telluride Ski Area. Telluride is in Southwest Colorado, about 350 miles from Denver.

“The view of the San Juan Mountains from there is spectacular,” Sharp said.

He told the American Statesman the list price is slightly more than what he paid for it in 2011, and the property includes three lots.

Sharp said his 5,449-square foot-residence at 101 Josefa Lane in Telluride is a timber-frame home built with fitted wooden dowels, not nails. It has a large master suite on the main level, two guest bedrooms on second level and a spacious bunk room/game room above the garage. The outdoor living space flows onto a terraced landscape surrounded by more than 20 acres of open space where elk roam.

Sharp said he doesn’t have time to go to his Telluride home — he said he hasn’t been there in two years — and spends much of his time in Austin, where his two grown children live and where he expects to welcome a new granddaughter this month.

The trade would be done through a 1031 exchange, said Scott Bennett, a broker associate with Telluride Real Estate Brokers Inc. who has the listing. A 1031 exchange allows an owner to sell a property and reinvest the proceeds in another like-kind property and defer capital gain taxes.

Such tax-deferred exchanges are not uncommon, Bennett said.

“Depending on how the accountants or attorneys want it written up, it can save a lot of time and brain damage,” Bennett said.

Cord Shiflet, a real estate with Moreland Properties in Austin, said he receives a handful of calls each year from people looking for house swaps.

“They’re hard to make work and tricky to match up,” said Shiflet, who specializes in sales of luxury homes. “I think Mr. Sharp actually has a shot at this since he has a property in Telluride. Telluride is a big second home market for Austinites. Over the dozens of calls I’ve had to do a swap, none have worked. This may be the first one I’ve seen that I’d give a chance.”

The Telluride home would come with potential star-gazing opportunities. Sharp said his neighbor down the road is actor Tom Cruise. Other celebrity Telluride homeowners include media mogul Oprah Winfrey and actor/comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

“It’s full of interesting people,” Sharp said.

In 2014, Cruise put his 298-acre gated estate, featuring a 10,000-square-foot native stone and cedar home and a 1,600-square-foot guesthouse, on the market for $59 million. Bennett said Cruise’s property has been off the market for about two years.

This story has been updated to include comments from Cord Shiflet, a real estate agent with Moreland Properties.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

$60 million renovation project underway at Horseshoe Bay Resort
$60 million renovation project underway at Horseshoe Bay Resort

At the Horseshoe Bay Resort, everything old is new again these days. The sprawling 7,000-acre Hill Country resort on the shores of Lake LBJ – a longtime favorite with business and casual travelers alike – is in the middle of a multi-year $60 million renovation and expansion project that will leave almost no part of the property untouched...
Obamacare enrollment brisk but deadline nears in shorter signup period
Obamacare enrollment brisk but deadline nears in shorter signup period

Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been brisk as the deadline to sign up looms Friday, but final numbers are likely to fall short of last year regardless because the enrollment period is half as long. In Texas, enrollment on the federal health care exchange is up nearly 30 percent, to 579,688 people, compared to the same...
Kendra Scott’s 2018 plans: More staff, more office space
Kendra Scott’s 2018 plans: More staff, more office space

Kendra Scott has big plans for 2018. The Austin-based designer whose jewelry has been worn by a number of A-list celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift told the American-Statesman she plans to nearly double the size of the staff working at her Central Austin headquarters in the coming year. To accommodate all those new hires, Kendra Scott LLC...
5 fast facts that will help make filling out FAFSA a breeze
5 fast facts that will help make filling out FAFSA a breeze

It's that time of year again when parents and college or college-bound students fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The idea of wading through a form – especially one that requires financial information – is definitely not an appealing idea, but the FAFSA could be a tremendous help in getting your student...
Companies drop liquor at holiday parties amid sexual harassment saga, study says
Companies drop liquor at holiday parties amid sexual harassment saga, study says

As sexual harassment scandals remain at the forefront of the nation's collective conscious, many companies across the United States aim to cut down on any possibility of such occurrences at holiday parties by removing alcohol from the festivities. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based consulting firm, conducts an annual survey of American companies...
More Stories