Branigans playing key role in Liberty Hill’s growth
By Christine Bolaños
Jon and Rose Branigan grew up in Liberty Hill and are now raising their four children here. They love the small, hometown charm of their city but embrace the growth that continues to change its landscape.
That is why they have found a way to combine the best of both worlds by combining the old with the new via Rosemont, their new single-family housing development, which is expected to begin construction in 2016.
Rose met Jon when she began working for him. Today, The Jon Branigan Team, builds and sells homes in Liberty Hill, and raises Cierra, 18; Drake, 15; Charli, 5; and Dax, 1-and-a-half years old.
Jon studied architectural drafting and design in college and paid his way through school by working for a tile installation company. He started his own flooring company, Precision Floor, in 1996 and sold it in 1999.
“The stuff I learned in college, the tile company combined with the flooring company is what made me realize I wanted to build houses,” he said.
The year he sold his company is the same year he decided to build a house. It quickly sold as part of the Sundance Ranch development that was new at the time. He discovered he had a knack for developing subdivisions and building homes and pursued that as a career.
“With the success of selling the houses we decided we were going to sell the flooring company and focus on selling houses,” he explained.
He began developing land in 2001 in the Liberty Hill area. His work includes Drakes Crossing, Boulderwood, Cierra Springs, Cierra Vista, Rio Ancho and Iron Oak.
“I got my real estate license in 2001 and used it for personal use,” Jon Branigan recalled. “Then in 2010 we were going to start actively engaging in helping sell our own product and helping buyers and sellers find and sell existing homes. It’s a natural fit for what we do.”
Branigan was already buying and developing land, building and selling and homes, so it made sense to take the next step and earn a real estate license.
He said the Jon Branigan team is part of Straight Realty, a locally-owned real estate firm in Liberty Hill.
For her part, Rose Branigan was first exposed to the industry by working for her father in construction. After she and Jon began dating, she spent eight years working at Independence Title in Liberty Hill.
She then stepped down from her job to stay at home with their daughter.
“Once I started staying at home, Jon had a lot of things on a day to day basis that he needed help with,” Rose Branigan shared. “These were the type of things you can’t just hire anyone to do. We have a really good working relationship where we can be honest with each other and work together to get stuff done.”
As the Branigans’ business grew so did Rose’s involvement. For the last two or three years, she has held down the fort from the office management side. She said she is also pursuing her real estate license.
Because of all the developments he has created or has a connection to, Jon Branigan is a well-known local figure with a key role in Liberty Hill’s growth.
“I’ve always felt a connection to Liberty Hill,” he explained. “Since I grew up here every property I ever purchased or sold I wanted to make improvements to the property, which would improve the town itself. Liberty Hill is a great community, that’s why we’re raising our family here.
“It takes strong leadership from not only our elected representatives in city council, but also citizens that can step up and help the city grow in a path that we’d like to see it grow,” he said.
The Branigans believe if a developer does not have a stake in the community, the work will simply be different.
“A lot of areas have developers that will come in and buy a piece of land and don’t have emotional ties. They just get in, get out and be done with it,” Rose Branigan shared. “The great thing with Jon is since we are here raising kids and we grew up here — and there is a huge change in how we see (Liberty Hill) now — we aren’t resisting the growth because it’s going to happen regardless. But we want to be a positive impact in trying to keep that small town feel and we put that care into our projects, unlike large developers that are coming in.”
Jon Branigan said because of the couple’s history in Liberty Hill they know most of the town’s residents, many of the school employees and are friends with the homeowners.
The family is actively involved with church networks, including Fellowship Church, the Ministerial Alliance and Jon Branigan is a past president of the Christian Business Leaders Association. They are members of the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business, help out the local Angel Tree program and donate and are sponsors of Operation Liberty Hill.
Because of their common passion for community development, family and their hometown, it was natural that the Branigans become a husband-wife work team.
“It just worked out that way,” Jon Branigan said. “When I’d go home and talk to Rose about what was going on, on a daily basis … being a small business owner, naturally your spouse becomes involved. The more your business grows the more your communication involvement with your spouse becomes important. And at some point, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with becomes a very important member of your team and that’s how we became a husband-wife partnership.”
Rose Branigan recalls the many times her husband would come home from work telling her about the items he needed done.
“I’d go, ‘I can do that. Why didn’t you call me,’” she remembered.
The Branigans’ latest project is Rosemont, a 50-lot single residential subdivision that offers homes stylized with exterior 1940s and 1950s looks and modernized inside with some features from those eras.
“We purchased part of the land that will become the development in 2006 and I originally purchased with the thought of doing something with it in the future,” Jon Branigan said. He just wasn’t quite sure what exactly that future held.
“In 2014 we purchased some land next door and decided that with the new city council and the new path that Liberty Hill was taking, it would be a fantastic piece of property for homes that have a historic downtown look and feel and character,” he added. “The homes that are going to be built in Rosemont are craftsman style homes modeled after homes in the 1940s and 1950s and I think that’s a fantastic home segment for a small town.”
The architectural details of this home will fit with any historical homes available in larger communities, they said. Whereas many homes nowadays are built in cookie-cutter fashion with little to no individuality, these homes will stand out to match the character of Liberty Hill.
Homes will be made out of either stone, brick and wood siding on the exterior and each house will be painted differently to give each home an individual look.
“We also wanted an affordable home as well as value investment of a quality house,” Rose Branigan said.
Every home will include a front porch and a back porch as well as real wooden cabinets or designer interior features.
“Rosemont will have a community park that will be unique for its community members,” Jon Branigan mentioned. “It will have a playscape, swing set and picnic area.
“I think it’ll be a great segway to when people pull off the highway when they’re going into town and they see houses that have an old feel to match what the city is trying to do with downtown with their revitalization,” he said. “And with their grants for new facades which solidify Liberty Hill as a place people want to come do business and live.”
For more information, visit www.thejonbraniganteam.com or stop by 2001 Loop 332.