I, for one, admire Winter Texans. They’ve got the right idea: Come to our piece of paradise, spend a few months, spend a few bucks, then repeat! Some come in RVs, others have a home/townhome/condo to which they retreat. The time is coming to welcome our Winter Texans back, and it’s the Winter Texan “way” that reminds me of one powerful investment tool – real estate of course! We are lucky enough to live in a place where many come to vacation. Whether you live here and want to capitalize on the growing rental market, or you’ve got relatives and friends to whom you’d love to persuade to do the same or invest in a vacation home…Get your own piece of Padre Island Pie!

But WHY is now a good time, and WHAT makes real estate this aforementioned “powerful investment tool”?


With the population of the Coastal Bend steadily increasing, more businesses coming to the area, and the increasing amount of national attention we’ve gained over the past few years, it’s no wonder investors and second home buyers have piqued interest.

Most would agree that the spring and summer are the good selling months. But I say, why discriminate?! Winter has its perks, too! The crowds looking to invest that haven’t already are coming at a good time…price reductions are common this time of year, and sellers aren’t competing with as many other homes for sale as, say, the spring time.

First thing is first, what are your goals? To be an investor, or to use the property for vacation and enjoyment? There is certainly NO wrong answer here!


But what are the elements of value to an investor? Well that depends on their commitment: Do they intend on having a long-term or short-term investment? Will they live there part-time themselves or will they use it as a rental? Property values and their projected appreciation may play a large role in a buyer’s intentions. So may tax depreciation, capital gains, and inflation hedge. As important as these matters are, they may be a little snooze-worthy. So let’s make it quick.

Let’s take a look at each of these potential advantages:

Projected Appreciation: This is a percentage that estimates what your property will be worth in the future. Of course nothing is promised, but the numbers could aid in the decision process.

Tax Depreciation: COULD help you maximize your tax savings. This is the depreciation that can be listed as an expense on a tax return, the gradual charging to expense of a fixed asset’s cost over its useful life.

Capital Gains: Another key tax advantages of owning investment property. Capital gains on investment real estate is the difference between the sales price and the cost of purchase and improvements. They’re taxed at either a short-term rate or a long-term or reduced rate.

Inflation Hedge: This has to do with the rent that’s charged to the tenant. Some leases have provisions for rent increases to be indexed to inflation. In other cases, rental rates are increased whenever a lease term expires and the tenant is renewed. Either way, real estate income tends to increase faster in inflationary environments, allowing an investor to maintain its real returns.

Selling: When rental properties are sold, the proceeds can be rolled into other rental property without paying capital gains taxes. This is called a 1031-Tax Exchange.

Now, what about those who’d like to get away from their primary residence and invest in a second home? Fortunately for many of us, you don’t have to be a part of the ultra rich to own a second home! This, too, could be wise, even if it will only be used for family and friends and not as a rental.

Here are some helpful tips that may guide you in the right direction:

  1. Have money. This may seem obvious but daunting, but let me explain that it doesn’t mean millions in the bank. Unless you’re paying cash, your lender’s underwriter needs to see that you have adequate reserves (as often your downpayment will be larger for a second property).
  2. Consider your debt-to-income ratio. If it’s too high, this may be an issue for your lender.
  3. Spend time in the area, first! Know that you love the region and foresee wanting to be there often before buying there. Do your due diligence on the right neighborhood, the costs of maintenance, HOA dues, taxes, insurance, etc.
  4. Double the fun, but potentially double the work! Assess the yard – will you need someone to mow it while you’re not there? Will the pool need weekly maintenance?
  5. Work with an agent that is very knowledgeable about the area. Here in our Coastal Bend, most agents are accustomed to working with investors/second home buyers.


If you meet the less-than-14-day-or-10% test, you can write off all the usual expenses associated with owning a rental property. Or, if you rent the house a quarter of the time, for instance, a quarter of your mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, insurance costs, and repair expenses are deductible against rental income.

The options and advantages seem to outweigh the fear of dabbling in real estate investing or owning a second home. Try it, you may become a mogul! So come and stay and play at your leisure, then make the money, honey!

Coastline Properties – The Face of Padre Island Real Estate

We are delighted to have been nominated “The Face of Island Real Estate” in this months Issue of The Bend Magazine.

It’s incredible to discover so many other community leaders that are making waves in the Coastal Bend by being dedicated to their profession.  We salute all those businesses out there that truly understand the nature of customer service and work so tirelessly to care for and understand their clients needs.  Thank You Corpus Christi!!

coastlinebend1  coastlinebend2


The Bend Magazine – November 2015

Great Tips for Holiday House Hunting


This time of year typically marks the unofficial time people begin thinking about the holidays. After Halloween, time seems to speed up and before we know it the holiday parties, charity functions and the like set in for familes. Real estate activity during the holiday season is typically discouraged because of the challenges posed on both sides of a transaction.

For sellers, there is the inconvenience of having to keep the home clean; leaving on a moment’s notice for showings; and limiting holiday entertaining. For buyers, there may be limited access to houses if sellers place showing restrictions due to personal schedules and commitments.

However there are some advantages and  other considerations that both sides should keep in mind.

Buyers will find fewer homes on the market, but the homes that are available have highly motivated sellers. This may provide a better negotiating climate, and there is less likely to be the type of competition for homes you see during high season. In turn, sellers will find equally motivated buyers, and may find that offers and closings move more quickly.  What this means is, bargains and negotiations are plentiful this time of year if you are working with a savvy real estate agent in corpus christi.

Holiday sellers should curb large plans to entertain, have family & friends stay over, or do excessive decorating. Focus on showing off the features of your home that will appeal to a buyer – not your family decorations and holiday traditions.  It sounds like a less attractive holiday, but the dividends will more than pay for themselves.  Remember to always keep a mindset of a buyer in mind.  Have a Happy and healthy holiday season!



Come to eat. Come to see and be seen. Combine the two and you’ll be seen stuffing your face. But it’s completely acceptable when you’re not alone! Over 1000 attendees are expected to be doing the same thing at the 28th annual Taste of the Island, where some of our best restaurant’s fare is being featured at the event on October 12st, beginning at 6 pm, at the most beautiful Port Royal on Mustang Island.

Don’t get out much? Now is your excuse to take a tasty tour of many of the restaurants perhaps you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the chance to! Aside from roughly 25 restaurants, there will also be 3 bars (bring your cash!) and live musical entertainment. If you think any of your senses will not be stimulated enough, bring your suit and take a dip in the famously large pool or hot tub (OK, maybe check with staff before hitting the water!).

The party lasts long into the night, as you’ll run into your friends, co-workers, friends of friends, and all the new friends you’ll make! And, if you stick around until the end, there are goodies to win! A silent auction throughout the evening will have roughly 70 items to bid on, then the live and Chinese auctions will proceed. So don’t forget to put your business card into the drawing. Win wine, gift certificates, island trinkets, and lots of other prizes that local businesses have been generous enough to donate will be given out to the lucky winners!

Meagan Furey, Chair for the PIBA Ambassadors, who has been selected to spearhead the volunteer committee, explains that “We expect more people than ever before to come, which means we need more volunteers than ever to help out! It’s going to be an incredible event that just gets bigger and more popular each year.”

As an attendee of the event last year, Tara Gallaspy, Coastline Properties Real Estate Agent, says “It was one of my favorite events of the year. The music was upbeat and fun, there was plenty of seating, and I ran into lots of friends. It’s the perfect venue and a great evening on the beach. Overall, a night to remember!”

Get your tickets a head of time! They are $50.00 a piece, and then it’s up to you to eat your money’s worth! Leaving hungry would simply be disgraceful.

Get Tickets Here >>


LED_traffic_lightSTOP! Or, you soon will be! On August 18th, a traffic light at the intersection of Aquarius and SPID was approved by the City Council.

After years of monitoring the intersection, results showed a daily average of over 33,000 vehicles during the summer months of 2012, and that number has continued to increase over the years. And on other parts of our barrier island, such as Galveston and South Padre Island, the speed limit is much slower going through their business districts.

Drivers coming over the JFK Causeway toward the island will be given a warning to the upcoming light when the traffic is backing up to the high peak of the bridge. This is meant to decrease the likelihood of collisions with the cars that are stopped at the light. There have been numerous attempts over the years to place this light, but the short distance between the intersection and the top of the JFK has been a reason for several failures to get the appropriate approval. But, city traffic engineers have done their due diligence and have given it the thumbs up.

Word on “the street” is that Turner-Busby Development, based in San Antonio, is looking to use the site on the east side of SPID near the intersection of SPID and Aquarius Street for a development called Packery Pointe Subdivision. This traffic light is simply part of their plan, and is set to be coordinated with the other lights along SPID. The light may cost up to $600,000, and will provide a convenient physical stop for vehicles to turn into this new development.

Turner Busby Development has apparently been working on the plans for the $30 million development for a few years. It will likely include a hotel, retail sites, Starbucks, small bar/restaurant, and even possibly some single family homes.  Now that Schlitterbahn is in full swing, it sounds as though the developer is more confident in beginning the project.

But, change is often met with opposition, as many residents are weary to the whole thing. The main concern seems to be that the signal could cause large traffic backups, and the new development with its possible chain restaurant(s) and commonality feel will ruin the quaint, quiet, and familiar island feeling.

Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!


twiaIt’s no secret that it costs a lot to live on the coast, especially once you add up your taxes, homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and windstorm insurance. And in 2012, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) proceeded forward with several proposals to fund the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), the provider of last resort for windstorm insurance on our coast. It was then that TWIA adopted a 5% increase on all residential and commercial windstorm insurance policies to policyholders in the 14 counties (Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, and Willacy) comprising the Texas Coast. This was the third rate increase since 2009. But the long fight is finally over.

Back in May, State Rep. Hunter announced that Senate Bill 900 has passed the Texas House of Representatives, a major victory.

And now after years of the unknown, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just signed into law the Windstorm Insurance Reform Bill. The bill will spread the cost of storm-related increases to the rest of Texas instead of having the lion’s share being paid by the 14 coastal counties.

Last year, on March 5, over 400 residents came to a public hearing the city held at Texas A&M for our residents to voice their opposition to the proposed “tax,” as State Representative Todd Hunter referred to it. He pointed out that the TWIA website specifically states that they do not discriminate against geographical locations, which is exactly what this surcharge would have done. Rep. Hunter suggested doing an economic analysis on the minority groups affected. Perhaps his suggestion was heard.

Hunter believes the measure will benefit property owners along the Texas coast should a hurricane strike. For instance, when hail or tornadoes pummel other parts of Texas, funding from our coastal counties goes toward aid. But what if our coast gets hit with a hurricane? It has been on us and us alone to pay for the damages. This has made many of our residents scratch their heads. But this bill creates a new funding structure to provide fair and better insurance rates throughout the 14 coastal counties in Texas. It also changes the makeup of the Texas Insurance Board.

Over the years, there has been a lot of support from our local power forces. Mayor Nelda Martinez explained this surcharge would have a burdensome affect on the momentum of our community, and that an increase in insurance over the past 14 years will economically sink these 14 counties. She wrapped it up by saying “Mother nature doesn’t discriminate…”

JJ Johnson with TPCO American noted that with all the new big plants coming to Corpus (TPCO, Cheniere Energy, M&G Chemicals, Schlitterbahn…) there will be thousands of workers, too. We need to ensure that our new laborers on blue-collar salaries can afford to live here.

State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa commented on the misconception that all coastal residents are rich. In reality, we’re just like the rest of working America, where many of us can’t afford to pay much more.

At the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors luncheon at the Corpus Christi Town Club on March 13 2014, Representative Hunter explained that they will probably pass the rule, but they may be hesitant to enforce it. He promises to “fight them forever.”

Here’s to hoping he doesn’t have to!

Major Changes Coming to Mortgage Disclosures


“Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing”

it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”

― Fulton J. Sheen


Come October 1, there are major changes coming to mortgage disclosures that I would like to share with you. Buyers, sellers, loan officers, title companies and real estate agents will all be affected.

No longer will there be a HUD-1 Settlement Statement or a Good Faith Estimate from a buyer’s lender. Both forms are going “bye-bye,” as is the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure form. Replacing them are two new forms: the Closing Disclosure and the Loan Estimate.

Why does this affect anyone aside from those on the real estate, lender, title side? Because there are also new rules for the closing procedure, where the buyers and sellers tolerance come into play, as closing delays are almost unavoidable for the first few months.

One rule requires all forms to be ready three (business) days prior to closing. The National Association of Realtors recommends all closing documents are actually ready an entire week prior to closing, or “consummation” as is the new verbiage (yes, chuckling is OK).  So if everything is ready seven days prior to consummation, when you go into the three-day period, there are likely no changes to make. Because making changes as the countdown ensues comes with a cumbersome set of hurdles.

Everyone involved in the transaction is under pressure to get everything squared away earlier than in the past. Currently, the settlement statement can be completed and approved just hours before closing. Gone are those days. And as aforementioned, the buyers and sellers have to be cooperative, because if last-minute changes are made, a new three-day waiting period kicks in. Are there exceptions you ask? Yes! Bona fide financial emergencies such as the imminent sale of the consumer’s home at foreclosure. Any financial emergency must be accompanied by a written statement and will be very fact intensive.

The good news is, this doesn’t affect cash buyers, and many Realtors, Lenders, and Title Companies are taking the time and courses to get familiar with this new system and forms so we are ready! Communication will be KEY. But patience, grasshopper, good things come to those who wait.

How to Rid Those Summertime Pests

Pest-NoBugsSignThey fly, crawl, bite, invade and annoy! And the word is that this summer, they’re coming in larger numbers due to the increased rain we’ve received this spring.

The cockroaches are sneakier, the fire ants are terrorizing from their sandy mounds, the ticks hide in unmentionable places, and the mosquitoes are the size of small hummingbirds. Then of course, with lots of rain, comes lots of pretty flowers with lots of buzzing bees!

Here are some tips to still enjoy the summertime, spend time outside, and not end up itching, burning, screaming, and picking.

  1. First and most effective is to have your local pest control company come and spray your yard and home. Then when your landscapers come, ask them to blow the dead ones away.
  2. On that note, be sure to keep your yard maintained and cut regularly, as insects will lay eggs in your lawn.
  3. Clean your house and reduce any clutter. This gives them places to hide. Cockroaches in particular will be drawn to food in your pantry or pet food. Keep those items tightly sealed.
  4. Check your screens. Even the smallest of holes is equivalent to a fancy written invitation to a pest to enter.
  5. Get rid of outdoor lights. If you do need them, use yellow lights. The bugs are less attracted to those.
  6. Check your yard for standing water, which is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, among other insects. Eliminate any standing water you do find.
  7. Plant onions in your garden. They HATE onions!
  8. Keep your trash covered or taken our regularly. Need I explain more?
  9. Use a Eucalyptus-based repellent or just plain old Eucalyptus essential oil (Walmart sells this) and rub it on your exposed skin. The bugs will stay far away from you.
  10. Don’t forget about your pets! Treat them and give them their monthly doses of flea and tick meds. Not only do we want them to be protected, but they provide a first-class ticket for these insects into your home.

Enjoy this amazing time of year, and don’t be bugged by the bugs!



This one form, filled out by the seller of a property, is more important than you may have realized. I compare it to a hard hat at a construction site. Seems overly precautious until a large piece of material falls from above and suddenly you’re awfully glad you had that protection!

In 1993, this form became mandatory, exclaiming that “Texans would be bound to truth in selling their homes…is designed to protect Realtors from the burgeoning number of ‘failure to disclosure’ lawsuits…the bill would require sellers to complete a disclosure form detailing the condition of the house, property and certain equipment within the house.”

What is it?

This statement is a disclosure of the condition of the property in compliance with the seller Disclosure Act. This statement is a disclosure of the condition and information concerning the property, known by the seller. Unless otherwise advised, the seller does not possess any expertise in construction, architecture, engineering, foundation, roof, or any other specific area related to the construction or condition of the improvements on the property or the land. This statement is not a warranty of any kind by the seller and is not a substitute for any inspections or warranties the buyer may wish to obtain. NOTE: For sale my owners are also legally required to provide this form.

Can your agent help you fill it out?

No. As Realtors, this would infringe on our duties to abide by the National Association of Realtors “Code of Ethics and standards of practice.” We are not lawyers and cannot give any advice or interpret any law regarding what the form says or means. If there are any questions, sellers need to consult an attorney.

Both TAR and TREC have a seller’s disclosure notice. Which to use?

Both forms are in compliance with the law. With that said, the TAR form is far preferred. It asks more questions, is far more thorough, is easier to fill out, spells out specific safety hazards the TREC form does not, is more useful for buyers and is designed to serve as a better risk-reduction tool for sellers. It is in your best interest as the seller to ask your agent to provide you with the TAR form.

Who is exempt from filling this form out?

There are 11 exceptions, but the most common are:

  • A builder of a new home
  • A trustee or executor of an estate
  • The lender after foreclosing on a property
  • Duplex owners

Even though these types of sellers (and a few others) are not required to provide a disclosure notice, they still must disclose any known material defects. Requirements of Section 5.008, all sellers have an obligation to disclose known defects about the property. Failure to do so exposes them to liability under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act or other civil laws.

What about previous death in the property?

The statute does not require disclosure of deaths by natural causes, suicide, or accidents unrelated to the condition of the property.

Previous Inspection Reports

If a seller bought the home within the past 4 years OR if a seller receives a copy of an inspection report from a buyer but the contract with that buyer falls through, the seller and brokers should consider sharing the report and they have a duty to disclose any known material defects. Possession of a prior inspection report may be evidence of the seller’s or broker’s knowledge of a known defect, although no law requires that the report must be provided.

Consequences When Sellers Don’t Disclose

A seller who doesn’t disclose known defects can be sued by the buyer after the defect is discovered. As a seller, you don’t want to look back after closing!

If a court finds the seller responsible, they may be required to:

  • Repairs and other damages resulting from the undisclosed defect
  • Pay the buyer’s attorney’s fees and costs of the lawsuit
  • Take back the house if the court invalidates or rescinds the sale
  • Punishment for punitive damages of failure to disclose defects


A surprise birthday party is fun…a surprise moldy house is not! Use of this form may result in fewer surprises to the buyer after closing and less liability for the agents and the seller(s). Don’t make your home sale any more challenging than need be. A seller’s accurate and honest disclosure is worth it.



Spring cleaning isn’t the only thing many people do in April here in South Texas – it’s also the beginning of the popular time of year to sell property! If you’re considering listing your home this Spring, my guess is that you want to sell quickly and get top dollar. Right? Well now that the sun is shining and the checkbooks are coming out of hibernation, consider these steps!

  1. Shop around. For an agent that is! A size 9 shoe will fit no matter which store it’s from, but not every agent will be the right fit for you. There are many options…many GOOD options. Ask questions that are important to you (do they host open houses, do they market their listings, do they provide feedback and advice). Find the agent whose vision matches yours.
  2. Price it right. This sounds like an obvious suggestion, but an overpriced home may not sell as quickly as one that is priced right. Sometimes the longer a home sits, the more buyers may wonder “what’s wrong with it?” A well-priced home is more likely to move, get multiple offers, get the sales price both seller and buyer desire.
  3. De-Personalize. When a buyer steps into your home, you want them to envision their own life there. As beautiful as your family portraits are, it may make it harder for a buyer to visualize – this goes hand in hand with STAGING. If a room is designed as an office but you use it as your exercise room, do your best to turn it back into an office.
  4. The heart of the home – it’s most likely the most important room for the majority of buyers. Anything you can do to upgrade or stage your kitchen will be beneficial.
  5. Mow! Or…rake your rock garden, or do whatever maintaining needs to be done to grab positive attention at the curb. Curb appeal is like the book cover – you don’t want buyers to not even open the door because the exterior is unappealing.
  6. Make your house shine, sparkle, smell of roses (or sugar cookies or bahama breeze or whatever lights your wick). There’s no bigger turnoff than a home that hasn’t been sustained. This is especially important if you have pets. Love the fur babies, but don’t want to smell them!
  7. All clutter and valuables. Any extra “stuff” lying around is distracting, and valuables are even more so! Clean out your closets, jewelry boxes, china cabinets, knick knacks, collectibles, etc. and stick it in a storage unit. It’ll make moving easier when that time comes, anyway!
  8. Lighten up! Your home is bigger, happier and brighter when blinds are open and all bulbs are working. Quickly changing out your burnt bulbs is probably the fastest task with the largest reward. Unlike your dancing partner at the nightclub, a home is prettier in the light!
  9. They will be opened. Not because buyers are snoopers, but because buyers like to see storage spaces. Best to tidy up those drawers, organize your pots and pans, alphabetize your spices. Ok, you don’t have to go THAT far, but you get the idea.
  10. Selling your home/memory keeper/safe haven, can be an emotional challenge. Start the detachment early! Think happy thoughts of your next journey, your next sanctuary. So when that offer does come in, you’re ready and it’s more about business than attachments.



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