KIIITv has recently reported on all the dirt moving around on the east side of Park Road 22. If you live in the area you have no doubt noticed all the heavy equipment moving sand on the Gulf side of Park Road 22. It is all connected to the Riverwalk-style development that is soon to be going up there and the planned bridge over Park Road 22. Lots of excitement Developing here on North Padre Island, as the “Upper Padre” Development project is well underway.
KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi
CORPUS CHRISTI -
Plenty of issues will be in voters’ hands come November, including a pivotal decision on how to spend sales tax revenue.
Depending on the vote, a powerful city board that spends your money, may not exist next year.
An eighth of every cent you pay in sales tax funds the city’s Type A Board, which controls the Type A Fund.
We’re talking millions of dollars a year controlled by five people.
The board spends most of it on economic development. They also spend money on seawall repairs and the American Bank Center.
The board (fund) is up for renewal this year, and it’s up to the voters.
Jerry Sansing is president of the Corpus Christi Taxpayers Association. He plans on voting against it.
“I’ve seen too much money go down the drain. You know, we can’t fix streets. We can’t do this. We can’t do that, but we can certainly tax for everything under the sun,” he says.
Sansing would rather the city give that money back to the people, or spend it, in part, to cut down palm trees off Airline. The ones right by the Gulfway Shopping Center.
Sansing says they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because they take up too much room on the sidewalk, and make it almost impossible for people in wheelchairs to get by.
But Type A Board member Bart Braselton points out the board’s numerous accomplishments, like landing Schlitterbahn with a $5 million deal in incentives.
“It competes with other cities, and when you know, when you’re having somebody that’s bringing say, anywhere from 500 to 1,000 new jobs to your city, the return on investment is incredible,” Braselton says.
Sansing says projects like Schlitterbahn don’t need the money.
Braselton points out other things the Type A Board has helped fund, like the Engineering Department at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, or the truck driving program at Del Mar College.
If residents vote to get rid of the board, it’ll be disbanded after any remaining money is spent.
If that happens, it’ll likely be up to the city council to decide how to re-allocate that portion of sales tax revenue every year. Via KrisTv.com
Officials for the Corpus Christi and Hispanic chambers of commerce say their historic merger should wrap up in the next few weeks, and that they are just days from unveiling the new organization’s name.
A transition team consisting of members from each chamber’s board took less than a month to unify the groups and agree on a name for the new chamber.
The team is expected to notify the two boards of its recommendation in coming days. The name will be made public after they’ve voted on it, perhaps as early as the beginning of February, Alan Wilson, chairman of the Corpus Christi chamber, told the Caller-Times on Thursday.
Other details, including memberships and drafting bylaws, are being worked out but appear to be on pace for completion by the end of March, Wilson said.
“Everyone has been on board with making sure this (merger) is something positive for the entire region, for the entire community,” said Rosie Gonzalez Collin, chair of the Hispanic chamber.
Members of the chambers voted overwhelmingly Dec. 29 to unite their organizations. Supporters have said the move was necessary to eliminate overlap in membership and to keep Corpus Christi’s business landscape in line with the region’s energy and job growth.
The two chambers haven’t wasted time preparing for the unification since.
Executive board members of each group have met with Annette Medlin, who recently was named president and CEO of the Corpus Christi chamber. The Hispanic chamber is planning an official welcome ceremony for Medlin during its Feb. 25 “Mi Casa es Su Casa” women’s mixer.
Medlin fills a vacancy left by Foster Edwards, who retired.
Earlier this month, the Hispanic chamber announced Gilda Ramirez would remain its interim president, while taking on a full-time role as its vice president of small business, international outreach and education affairs. Ramirez is expected to work on staff of the new chamber once the transition is finished.
Twitter: @Caller_ChrisRam via Caller Times
COLLEGE STATION – Recent home price indices (HPI) all indicate another increase in Texas home prices, a trend that will likely continue for a while, says an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
CoreLogic’s HPI, one of several key indicators that center researchers track, showed an 8.5 percent year-over-year increase in Texas home prices in February. Prices in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown and Dallas-Plano-Irving increased 10.4 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.
“As long as inventory stays tight, and as long as demand stays high relative to supply, we’re going to keep seeing these kinds of priceincreases,” said Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. Center data show statewide housing inventory in February was at 3.1 months. Houston’s inventory was at 2.7 months in February, while Dallas was at 1.8 months. An inventory of 6.5 months is generally considered a balanced market.
While the shortage of pre-owned single-family homes on the market is contributing to the market’s tightness, Gaines said there’s also a lack of new product.
“Home builders have not been building houses as fast as they have in the past,” he said. “They’re doing the best they can, but that growth is not adding to the total inventory.”
Gaines said the demand for new homes is still there, thanks to economic growth, job growth and people moving to Texas. The biggest problem is the lack of lot inventory and land development.
“Historically, Texas housing markets have maintained a good balance of supply and demand because our building industry could build houses fairly easily, fairly quickly and fairly cheaply compared with other states,” he said. “Land costs and labor costs were lower. The Texas land development model simply worked. But financing for land development and lot development dried up between 2009 and 2013, so all of a sudden there’s this shortage, and it’s going to take several years for that to get unraveled.”
Another problem is the effect local regulatory controls and impact fees are having on builders.
“The demand for goods and services provided by local governments has increased along with the population,” Gaines said. “The cost of those goods and services has also increased, and governments are faced with the problem of how to pay for them.
So they’re passing some of those costs on to developers in the form of regulatory costs, permitting fees, platting fees, direct impact fees for roads and utilities and that sort of thing. So all of our costs are going up.”
VIA – For more from Gaines on the Texas housing market, listen to the April 8 episode of the Real Estate Red Zone podcast (“All Housing, All the Time”). It’s online at http://www.recenter.tamu.edu/podcast/
In today’s competitive real estate market in Corpus Christi, some agents are offering to cut their commissions in an attempt to attract more business. The truth is that they want to be listing agents. Here are some questions to ask before listing your home with an agent who’s willing to take a “pay cut” to work with you:
WHAT IS THE REAL ESTATE AGENT‘S PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR CUTTING THEIR COMMISSION? In all likelihood, it’s because they are in a position where they simply need the business that badly. Do you really want to trust the sale of your property to someone who is desperate for your business? There is a difference between WANTING your business and NEEDING your business.
IF YOUR PROPERTY DOESN’T SELL, WHAT HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED? There is a difference between listing a property and selling a property. What the agent didn’t tell you is that they will make less money selling your property than if they sell another property on the market. You want an agent who’s going to be excited about bringing you an offer.
WHICH SERVICES ARE THEY GOING TO CUT? If you cut your commission, then you have to cut service. Many factors come into play in finding the right buyer who’s willing to pay your price. To get top price for a property, you need as many services for you as you can possibly get.
WOULD YOU REALLY BE EXCITED ABOUT A 15% PAY CUT? A 1% reduction in commission equals more than 15% of the total commission or 60% of the selling agents commission. How can the agent really be excited about working for you? Is the agent being honest with you when he or she tells you that they’re excited about getting the property sold?
ARE THEY GOING TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER BROKERS? What are they going to pay the other brokers? Why are those brokers going to be excited about taking a 15% pay cut? To get top price for your property, you need to have all brokers in the marketplace excited about selling it.
IS THE REAL ESTATE AGENT A SKILLED NEGOTIATOR? If the other broker is willing to let you negotiate them out of 15% or more of their income from the sale of your property, will they also let the buyer negotiate 15% or more from the purchase price of your property? What is that other broker’s sale price to list price ratio? You might be costing yourself tens of thousands of dollars by trying to save a couple thousand dollars in commissions.
What’s the most important thing to you in the sale of your home? Is it paying a lower commission, or is it getting “top dollar for your home?” We are in the business of “protecting” the financial interest of our sellers, and want you to receive top dollar for your property, at Coastline Properties it is our mission to insure that you receive the absolute best buyer for your home!
Happy New Year Padre Islanders!! We are excited about 2015 at Coastline Properties and what’s in store for our little piece of paradise. We read an article you will see printed “below” from Kris TV yesterday and felt it necessary to get you up to speed on what has been happening with the Schlitterbahn project. What I can and will tell you is that the headline is incredibly misleading and we do find it troubling that this is the 2nd media outlet in the past 60 days that has tried to negatively spin this project, and the funny thing is they are making themselves look like ridiculous in the process. Yes it is true things have not gone smoothly on this project but if you know anything about land development and real estate with 100 million dollar+ projects with multiple partners involved, there are always going to be bumps in the road. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” This project is not a race, its more like a marathon. When Schlitterbahn fully opens there doors people will have long forgotten about this lull in time. I find it often troubling how media outlets intentionally create headlines to prey on the human emotion of fear, just to generate an audience so they can continue to sell their advertisers on inflated viewership data by creating fear based content to draw in unsuspecting people.
In Contrast I have also taken the liberty to post a second article from of our Most Informed Padre Island Journalist “Dale Rankin, Owner of the Island Moon” This article was printed just a few weeks ago that has a much more detailed and accurate depiction of the speed bumps in schlitterville project. The first thing you will notice is a headline that is neutral, and his article clearly spells out many details to help people understand what’s happening. The reason that Dale Rankin is so well liked on our Island is because he always does his best to keep us all informed with a non biased point of view, and if he does insert his personal point of view he does let us know the difference between it and the actual facts of the content. Thanks Dale for your tireless work in bringing us the Island News every week! ~Coastline Properties
Before You Read the Articles Below WATCH THIS VIDEO to see the Progress so far!
KRIS TV ARTICLE – Jan 6, 2015
“Schlitterbahn in Financial Trouble”
CORPUS CHRISTI – KRIS 6 News has learned that Schlitterbahn is in financial trouble.
The official opening of the park on Padre Island has already been delayed, and now, the company owes over half a million dollars to multiple vendors who’ve worked on the upcoming water park.
At least six different vendors have filed liens against the company for more than $137,000, and one contractor, Texas Descon, has filed a lawsuit against the company and its owners, saying that it’s owed nearly $700,000.
We spoke to partial owner Jeff Henry on the phone today. He told us this problem started when the scope of the project doubled in size.
When that happened, the money ran out, and when the money ran out, he and the other owners debated for months over how to proceed with additional funding.
The delay led to vendors not getting paid, but now, Henry says they’ve solved the funding issue, and says all of the vendors should get paid within ten days.
“We’re trying very hard to get a positive spin back on this project, to get it moving and get it finished, so we can open it and kids can start having fun, and the older kids can start having jobs. We’re just sorry that we had these problems and we’ll try not to ever have them again,” Henry says.
Henry says the increase in project size does mean there’ll be two to three times more jobs available once construction is complete.
The company plans to officially open the park this summer
Island Moon Article – Dale Rankin
What’s Going on at Schlitterbahn – Dec. 24th, 2014
As I have made the rounds of Island holiday parties this Christmas season the most common question I have heard is what you see printed above:
“What’s going on at Schlitterbahn? I have refrained from writing about it because I have been awaiting the resolution of events going on behind the scenes that I know will sooner or later gel straightened out and my intent was to wait until that happens to say anything. But as time has gone by the stories have gotten wilder and wilder. “I hear they have gone broke and are going to declare bankruptcy.” Or, “I hear the ﬁnancing fell through.” Or the best one “I heard the city has condemned the building and it is going to have to be tom down.” It was that last one that made me decide that waiting any longer was not a good idea. So let me begin by addressing those three questions/assertions; No, No, and No.
Here ’s what’s happening
Here is what I have learned by talking to the people involved in the deal. I will leave them nameless here because they have not consented to be quoted. but the information is ﬁrst hand. Here’s what I know. The project has not gone broke and ﬁnancing did not “fall through.” What has happened is that the project has grown by almost twice since construction began and that requires more money. How to handle that has caused stress among the partners and they are in the process of reorganizing themselves. Some of the partners may opt to be bought out by other partners, or they may not. It is unknown at this point which partners will stay in and which may opt out.
But what is known is that the partners, if they so choose, can write a check to ﬁnish the project. lt’s pretty hard to “go bankrupt” under those conditions. It will get worked out in due course. So far about $49 million has been spent on the project and from what I’m told it is believed it will cost around $69 million to ﬁnish. The language in the tax incentives from the city – primarily Sales Tax and Hotel Occupancy Tax which are in the neighborhood of $122 million and which are a crucial part of the park’s business model – requires that the exterior of the building and the park be “done” by next March. In that vein you may have noticed work has resumed on the rides at the south end of the park and also on the exterior of the building. More workers have been added of late and more, l’m told, will be added after the ﬁrst of the year. So far the City of Corpus Christi has declined to release about $3 million money from the Type A Board requiring that the building’s exterior be ﬁnished ﬁrst even though that was originally part of Phase ll of the project, to avoid a political backlash for releasing public money for a project with an unﬁnished building. It’s a glitch not a deal killer and it too will be resolved in due course.
I am in communication with the people involved in the project and they assure me they will inform me when the current questions are resolved. I would point out that this is a privately- funded project – with no public money in it yet – and the developers are not required to release anything to the public even when it is. That has been part of my reluctance to write about the mid-course adjustments going on now. But as we all know the Coconut Telegraph on The Island is quick to report and is almost always wrong. So in the absence of good information bad information has ﬁlled the vacuum. Rest assured that if the project ever looks like it is in trouble I will be the ﬁrst to say so; it is not. I know that the folks who read the legal ﬁlings have found a lawsuit from a contractor who claims he is owed about $660,000. There is a dispute there but it has nothing to do with the park’s developers not being able to pay. It too will be resolved in course. Which leads to the ﬁnal rumor making the rounds — that the building has been condemned and must be tom down. I have to admit that one is pretty creative. Stupid yes. but creative. I have been inside the building many times and can tell you that when people see it they will be impressed. It is ﬁnished throughout with wood taken from the trees that burned in the ﬁre in Bastrop a few years ago and it is a beautiful building. If they start tearing it down l‘ll let you know.
Everybody take a deep breath
So just let me say this. Everybody just take a deep breath. Don’t believe any crazy rumors. I can’t tell you exactly when the last bit of work will be ﬁnished there; projects this big take a while to get completely done and are complex by nature, some bumps in the road are to be expected. ‘There is still a lot of concrete to he poured but there is time and money to do it and it will get done. Expect the park to be open by Spring Break 2015 and for some work to continue on through the summer season while the park is open. The people behind this project know what they are doing and it will get done.
One ugly fence
Now, as for that fence along the Aquarius Extension: I have to agree with you that is one ugly fence. But I would just point out that the same people who are calling to complain about the ugly fence are the same ones who called to complain about the “junkyard” they saw before the fence went up. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. This too will be ﬁxed in due course. If having to look at an ugly fence is the worst thing that happens to you today you should thank your lucky stars. Once the park opens all of this will he forgotten.
Summer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.
Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.
The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:
1. Tax savings
If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.
2. Motivated sellers
Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.
3. Builder incentives
If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.
4. Available movers
Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.
5. Paying toward something you own
If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.
6. Consistent payments
Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.
7. Freedom to renovate
Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures orreplace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”
8. Gaining equity
In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.
The number of foreclosed home sales has been rapidly falling and could essentially vanish by next year. Those who specialize in foreclosure sales should therefore look towards other line of business.
- In August, foreclosed sales comprised only 6 percent of all home sales transactions, down from double-digit figures last year and from near 30 percent few years further back.
In addition to fewer distressed properties on the market currently, there is very little in the pipeline. The number of foreclosure starts is essentially back-to-normal with only 0.4 percent of mortgages undergoing that process. Moreover, mortgages originated in the past four years are one of the best performing with very little defaults.
- We should nonetheless be mindful that the overall count of seriously delinquent mortgages and those homes in some stage of foreclosure process are still above historical normal because some states have been very slow to process the required paper work. For example, some homeowners who have not been paying mortgages for 2 or 3 years are still living in the home in Florida and New Jersey. But the broad figure on seriously delinquent borrowers has been sliced in half over the past three years.
The bottom line there is that foreclosed sales could be in the 1 to 3 percent next year – essentially back the normal market conditions. Fewer distressed properties will also help with the overall appraisal process of not using bad comparable.
- REALTOR business tip. From time-to-time there will be a homebuyer who takes a very long time to decide. After viewing 30 homes, they will ask for few more, and on and on. One way to help on the decision, according to psychology studies on human behavior, is to provide extreme alternatives that the consumer will certainly not buy. For example, showing a home that is outside of the buyer’s price criteria or a foreclosed home can help speed the decision. Since foreclosed homes are on the decline, one has to use other alternative extreme comparisons.
- A similar decision process applies in politics. Research shows undecided voters wanting to gravitate towards the middle for no other reason than not wanting to be extreme. Therefore a portrayal of political opponent as an extremist will help get votes for your candidate. That is why negative political advertisements, though nasty and unpleasant to view, is said to work in helping undecided voters make up their mind.
Source: National Association of Realtors
CORPUS CHRISTI – The cost of an average home in Corpus Christi will exceed $200,000 before the end of the year, economic and housing industry experts say.
The average single-family home in the city fetched $199,300 in July, according to the most updated figures provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Jim Lee doesn’t expect the price tag to stay there.
In fact, it’ll likely inch further up before Christmas, he said.
“We’ve been seeing appreciation for months, but ($200,000) is a benchmark we’re going to hit soon,” said Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “This is a head up for next year’s tax bill. It’s going to go up.”
He credited the upswing to a fierce surge in demand for homes, which he attributed to growth from the Eagle Ford Shale energy play.
The average price for a home in Corpus Christi spiked to a record $202,700 in May, but dropped to $197,000 the next month, according to the most updated figures provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. It was at $199,300 in July. Lee said prices could climb as much as 10 percent by the end of the year. And that likely will mean property taxes also will increase.
“As (home) prices go up, so too do the taxes,” Lee said. “Another 10 percent … will be a burden on homeowners. They need to be ready for it.”
In an interview Wednesday with the Caller-Times, Lee described today’s housing landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the 2004-05 home-buying market, which ended in a downturn. The difference then was the Corpus Christi housing market more closely followed the national housing trend, and was not being guided by a fertile-and-booming oil market.
Scores more residents have descended on Corpus Christi in the past two years, lured by the prospect of energy-related jobs and a cost-of-living cheaper than anything in the metropolitan areas. Economists believe as many as 10,000 jobs will spring from it during the next five to seven years.
Statewide, 81,000 single-family homes were sold in Texas in the second quarter of 2014, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, issued by the Texas Association of Realtors. That represents a 1.1 percent increase from the same quarter of 2013.
A total of 2,728 homes in Corpus Christi were sold between January and July, according to the Real Estate Center, which estimated average home prices would hit $194,100 this year.
Homes also are staying on the market half the time they did three years ago. Corpus Christi’s home inventory in July was such that a home will remain on the market for 4.8 months, compared with 10 months in July 2011.
Warren Andrich, president/CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, expected more people to take advantage of first-time homebuyers assistance programs in the coming year, even for homes below $200,000. Andrich said the market may be advantageous to homeowners looking to upgrade, but may also present greater challenges for lower- and middle-income homebuyers, who are finding it increasingly hard to purchase.
There are 1,800 to 1,900 houses available in the city, compared with 7,300 homes on the market three years ago. Homes that are considered affordable — because they are listed for a selling price between $125,000 and $160,000 — are scarce in Corpus Christi; there are roughly 200 of them available.
Lee said homeowners had to do a lot of soul searching during the 2004-05 housing downturn. At issue was whether to dump their homes ahead of what would become a major national housing crisis and a global economic recession.
His advice for those tempted to sell while the price tag climbs?
“It’s definitely a seller’s market. Definitely,” Lee said. “But if you sell, where are you going to go? No one knows how long the oil boom will last.”
via Caller Times
Look at the data in Real Time per second, of how we are consuming products…It’s Astounding!
Club members Get a Preview Of Schlitterbahn Park
CORPUS CHRISTI – The soft opening of Schlitterbahn Upper Padre officially took place on Saturday at 10am. The park is not open to the public just yet, but it was a great time for the families that enjoyed the fun.
This opening was a private affair, mainly for members of the nearby Padre Isles Country Club and their families, as well as local distributors and suppliers.
Everyone was given a guided tour around the Schlitterbaun Beach Country Resort, to see for themselves the attractions that are complete, as well as some that are still in the works.
Stay Tuned as the Grand Opening to the Public will be announced Soon!
CHECK OUT ALL THE FUN
Eagle Ford Job Seekers Face Challenges Living in the Oil Patch
The Eagle Ford Shale boom is attracting workers in South Texas, and with the price of oil currently hovering around $100 per barrel, growth is expected to continue into the immediate future. In March of 2014, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) said 3,200 oil and gas related jobs were added in January, for a total of 15,800 jobs over the year and an annual growth rate of 5.6%.
With statistics like those, many folks are seeking Eagle Ford jobs to fulfill their dream of a better life, support a family, or simply make a career change, but working in the South Texas oil patch can be challenging. Since the boom began, the landscape of South Texas has changed – housing shortages, overcrowded schools, and increased traffic have become the new reality for many parts of South Texas.
South Texas Housing Options
This isn’t the first oil boom the U.S. has ever experienced. As a child, I recall my grandmother telling stories about living in tent cities, as her father worked the rigs across the country during the 1930s. Today, in South Texas, there are a number of lodging options, but where oilfield workers ultimately find a place mostly depends on availability and budget.
As a result of traditional housing shortages, many south Texas oilfield workers have chosen RVs as a temporary form of housing in a slew of South Texas RV parks that have sprung up all across the region in response to the boom. Prices for slips and accommodations can vary from park to park, and generally, prices have either go up or down depending on a park’s proximity to a hot area of development in the Eagle Ford. Most oilfield workers see their RVs as a place to get cleaned up, eat, sleep and then get back to work. Since 2009, hundreds of parks all across South Texas have targeted oilfield workers as their primary customer-base.
Concerns for Oilfield Workers
Aside from housing shortages, when school starts again in September, oil patch families can expect overcrowding and possible understaffing in South Texas schools. While some oilfield workers moving to Texas have opted to bring their families with them, others have decided to leave their families at home.
Another concern for workers seeking opportunities in the Eagle Ford Shale are traffic accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 3,430 fatal and serious injury crashes and 236 traffic fatalities were recorded in the Eagle Ford in 2013. The count represents a 7% increase in fatal and serious injury crashes over the previous year for the region.
Author : Kirk Eggleston EagleFordShale.com