The Mansion Time Forgot

While traveling to South Padre via the backroads, I took the family on a tour of Bayview, Texas; a sleepy community of waterfront homes along the resacas of Cameron County. I’d been through this area many times during my life, but had only taken a few county roads through the resacas. On this particular trip, we meandered through the area and happened upon a piece of intriguing real estate. With family in tow, we grabbed our iPhones and furiously began investigating the property listed for sale on N. Valencia Road. What a historic surprise to behold! The photos in the advertisement were magnificent. Post cocktails and after great discussion at Wanna Wanna, we opted to call one of my favorite realtors in McAllen for further investigation of the property. Within hours we had confirmation of a tour and viewing.

By all accounts, the home and property were phenomenal. It was not until the on-site tour that the reality of years of neglect set in. The house we had ogled over online was in a desperate state of disrepair. Prior to the tour, we envisioned the grandeur of the home and all the opportunities the property had to offer (bed and breakfast, event center, artist retreat, etc…). Well, Bayview wasn’t having any of that; no commercial use whatsoever! What a shame. With champagne wishes and caviar dreams in mind, we politely thanked our guide, hopped in the car and drove off. If we had a million dollars laying around for a renovation budget…. eh, maybe, but there’d be no way to recover the investment without commercial operations. It was an absolutely grand Spanish mansion but also such a disappointment.

Here’s to “Casa Rosita.”


img_9052 img_9062-2 img_9065 img_9069


Scott Ballew, a former Austin resident who now lives in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. Scott works in publishing and his personal life is focused on supporting arts and charitable fundraising.