islandtownhomes448x298These dwellings are having their shining moment, thanks to an increased demand by both first-time buyers and Boomers alike! Both appear to be seeking the appeal for walkable communities in which the amenities are grand, you can get a great bang for your buck, and often less maintenance (big perk for both busy, young families and Boomers alike!).

Nationally, the number of townhouses built last year increased 18% percent over 2014. Here on the Island, the number is even more incredible!

70 townhomes were sold between September 15, 2015 – September 15, 2016

44 townhomes were sold between September 15, 2014 – September 15, 2015

That’s a whopping increase in townhome sales! The long-run prospects for townhouse construction are positive given the large numbers of homebuyers looking for high density “neighborhoods,” near the action (eh em, the new Marina District perhaps?) that offer proximity to the happenings along with community amenities.

Perk #1: Own That Land, You American Dreamer You!

What’s the main difference between a condo and a townhome you ask? It’s simple. As a condo owner, you own only your unit, nothing below or above you. As a townhome owner, you own the planet Earth beneath you, and the sky above you. And, as the Homeowners Association will nearly always maintain the complex grounds, you can be a lazy bum and still have a nice yard, albeit likely small.

Perk #2: That HOA Though…

So you own a nice patch of grass, or maybe a cute pom pom bush. Your HOA will take care of it! Many HOAs will even allow owners to plant that desired petunia border you’ve always dreamt of, just ask. So long as you pay your monthly dues, your grass will be mowed, your exterior painted, your roof re-shingled, your pool cleaned, your exterior insurance paid, and the list can go on. Now, each HOA will be different, and each will have a list of items they maintain and don’t maintain, so make sure you know what’s agreed upon and who does what in the yard. As many prefer to keep the fronts looking manicured and uniform, you may have to plant your Sneezewort Yarrow in the back.

Perk #3: Don’t Ever Leave!

When you buy a townhouse, it often comes with a community, and that community has amenities. Some developments have a pool, a laundry room, possibly boat slips (if on the canal) maybe a recreational room, etc. You may not have to leave but to go do your grocery shopping! This can be very appealing. And as an owner, you own a percentage of each of the common facilities.

Perk #4: Save Some $$

Although this isn’t a steadfast rule here on Padre, townhouses can be less expensive than single-family residences. Townhouses sometimes have the fancy upgrades built right in that you otherwise couldn’t afford in a house, like granite countertops, high-end appliances, or eco-friendly materials. And although they are often multilevel that share a side wall or two with another unit, they can have as many bedrooms and bathrooms as will fit in the floor plan, just like a single-family house. The point is, you can get a lot of the same stuff in a townhouse that you can find in a regular house, but you typically pay less for it.

Perk #5: Tight-Knit Community

Having Mrs. Kravitz nearby isn’t always a bad thing! With units that are close, and parking areas that may be shared, it’s possible that you and your neighbors see and know what’s going on with one another. As most townhomes on the Island do not allow short-term rentals, the neighborhood is often more stable in terms of less turnover and more face familiarity. This can be desirable for the young family who needs neighborly help watching kids, or the more “medically fragile” older couple who may find peace of mind knowing that their neighbors could check on them if they go sight unseen for a day or two. Travel a lot? Now Nosie Nelly doesn’t seem so bad, as she’ll be able to stink eye anyone who looks out of sorts lurking around your townhome.

With 84 townhomes currently for sale on the Island, maybe it’s time to pay them some attention!


22869326 - coming to an agreement through negotiation illustrated by three road or street signs with the words you want, i want, negotiate

The C word – it’s not well understood, so it’s not well liked. But, we should no longer feel the need to whisper it only in dark shadows after certain hours. Unless you’re a first-time home buyer or have been renting, there’s a chance you’ll need to sell your home before purchasing a new one. And the safest way for a buyer to do this is through a contingency. Let it be known, this is a beautiful risk and has pretty perks, so for those of you who see the glass half full, this one’s for you. For the rest, as they say, pour your liquid into a smaller cup and no longer fear this scenario.


What does it Mean?

By definition, it means a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty. In real estate, this clause defines a condition or action that must be met in order for a real estate contract to become binding (as aforementioned, with a home sale contingency in place, the transaction is dependent upon the sale of the buyer’s home). The contingency becomes part of a binding sales contract when both parties agree to the terms and sign the contract.

Why is it Risky?

To Sellers: the main risk is that there is no guarantee that the home will sell. Before agreeing to a contingency, a seller may want to do their due diligence, for instance: is the home already for sale, is the list price attractive, what’s the sales time for homes in the neighborhood.

To Buyers: Buyers must still spend the same amount of money on home inspections, repair negotiations, appraisal fee (to name a few) and the buyer does not get these monies back if the deal falls through due to their property not selling on time. Also, because sellers are taking a gamble of sorts of the buyers ability to sell their current property, buyers need to make their offer as attractive as possible so that the seller will consider this risk.
What are the Benefits?

To Sellers: One major benefit is that the home can continue to be shown, and the seller can continue to receive offers. If the seller accepts a written offer, the seller is required to notify the buyer of such acceptance.  Per the contract, the buyer has a specified amount of time (say, 2-3 days) to either remove the contingency and put down additional earnest money, or the contract terminates automatically and the earnest money is refunded to the buyer. A home sale contingency might also be a good thing if the seller has had the property on the market for a while and is unable to find a buyer. A contract with a contingency is still a contract, and there is a chance that the property will sell.

To Buyers: A home sale contingency gives buyers the opportunity to not miss out on the home they want, while allowing them time to sell their property. This way, buyers can avoid owning two homes and holding two mortgages at one time while waiting for their own home to sell. A home sale contingency can allow the buyer to sell their property with peace of mind knowing their next purchase is already in motion.
Why is it Misunderstood?

Many may only see the risks and not truly understand the benefits. Home sale contingencies protect buyers who want to sell one home before purchasing another. Upon receiving or writing a contract involving a contingency, it is important to review and understand the terms of the sale. This is something your real estate agent should be able to explain in detail to you. Fear not the world of contingencies, as knowledge is power!


Water Culverts Lead to Padre Island Bridge Concept

Do you want to know how it all got started?  Here on North Padre Island there is a lot of dirt moving around and lots of new folks would like to know the story behind the story.  Well, what started out as a water quality upgrade for our canal systems has turned into the largest development project we have ever seen.  This is bigger that Schlitterbahn folks, take a look at the article below for a nice summary from the words of the developer.


When the Army Corps of Engineers deemed a new water exchange between Padre Island, Texas, and an old canal system was necessary, the city of Corpus Christi and private developers could have simply gone with culverts. That would have satisfied the need for a water exchange to improve water quality issues.

But as talks opened about the requirement for the water exchange, the potential and its impacts became increasingly obvious. Now, instead of a simple culvert, there will be an open canal, two bridges and a pedestrian walk, the impact of which should benefit the area in numerous ways.
“The developer suggested the bridge and relocating so it could be elevated and boat traffic could come through,” said Chip Urban, a principal with Urban Engineering, consultant to the city of Corpus Christi for the project. “The Coast Guard liked it because they would have faster response time to the back of the canal. It is going to be an economic driver that helps development. It will also help people come to the island and get out of their cars and stay out and spend time on the island. It will allow traffic on both sides. In the past, there was traffic on only one side. Elevating the bridge and allowing pedestrians underneath is just much more resort friendly.”  READ MORE

Paddle For Parkinson’s Sept. 3, 2016

We are thrilled to once again be a sponsor for the “Paddle for Parkinson’s – Catch the Cure” Races here on North Padre Island Saturday, September 3 2016.  This is our 3rd year sponsoring this event and it is sure to be a great day for all participants and attendees. Last year many of our realtors & family members placed either first or second in several events particularly in the “Kayak Competition”.  Come out for a great day and participate and give to such a great cause!

GO TO their website at

Save and Spend Smartly

piggy-bank-It’s hot here on Padre Island, and I’m not talking just the high temperatures. It is real estate’s steamy season, and properties are being listed and sold faster than season tickets at the ‘bahn. With the active market, it’s critical to take a look at your spending. How can you be assured you’re not wasting money? Here are some smart tips on how to save and spend during peak purchase season. Do not fall victim to these common money mistakes.



DO NOT overpay. Unless you find yourself in a bidding war for the home of your absolute dreams, there is not a single home like it, and you do not plan to leave, ever ever ever, do not pay over the appraised value. Note: Do not get this number from the tax office, get this from an actual appraiser who visits the home and runs their own detailed determination of real value.

DO get an inspection. It’s worth the couple hundred dollars. Do your due diligence and know what you’re buying. If there is a deficiency on a large ticket item, it’s best to find out ahead of time so you can budget for it in the future or you can ask the seller to help right the wrong. You do not want to find these deficiencies later, once the sale is over, and you haven’t budgeted for them.

DO NOT make a lowball offer. Negotiating is normal, and it’s okay to not offer full price. But if you’re interested enough to make an offer, make sure it’s worth your time and the seller’s time. Your agent will be able to give their best advice as to what a good offer price would be, based on comparables and their knowledge of the market and area.

DO lender shop. Different lenders can offer different rates. Shop around, see with whom you can save and where.

DO NOT make large purchases prior to closing. This is a huge expensive mistake, as it can alter your credit score and can actually take you from having loan approval to not. You can lose your property and in turn gain something of expense (whatever it was that you bought, albeit a car, boat, etc.).


DO NOT remodel what won’t pay off. If you’re going to do some upgrading prior to listing your property, spend money in the kitchen. This is a room that’s important. Otherwise, less expensive updates you can do include painting, new hardware, fixtures and carpet. Gutting bathrooms and shellacking your garage floor is likely not worth the pay off.

DO price properly. Your listing agent will be able to guide you to a proper sales price, so use their knowledge! You’re paying them, after all. If your property is priced too high, it’s likely to not sell as quickly, wasting your money on months of bills, taxes, mortgage payments, etc.

DO NOT reject reasonable offers. Letting your emotions get in the way of your sale can be tough, but you do not want to push qualified buyers away because you’re not remembering that this is in fact business. At the very least, provide a counter offer.

DO disclose. If there are issues that you do know about, it’s the law to disclose known deficiencies. If you do not, this could turn in to a lawsuit. Talk about expensive!

Try to keep these Dos and Don’ts in mind this summer and in to the fall, and you will be free from the most expensive mistakes that buyers and sellers tend to make. You work hard for your money, so keep your dollars where they will work for YOU!

Padre Island Housing Report June 2016

The Housing Market is Hot,Hot, Hot right now.  Take a look at the statistics on what’s happening here on Padre Island in Corpus Christi, TX.  Click on the Picture below and get a full PDF to print out to keep track of this data.  The summer is going by fast, give us a call and discuss the many opportunities to own a piece of coastal Texas! (361) 949-0101


CCPD launches Summer Crime Initiative | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Unfortunately, as The temperature goes up, so does crime. That’s why The Corpus Christi Police Department unveiled their plans to fight crime.

The difference between The Summer Initiative, compared to others is, what parts of town officers will be focusing in on. With each initiative, CCPD crime analysts determine where The “hot spots” are at different times of The year. During The Spring Break initiative, beach goers will notice more law enforcement on North Padre Island, so they’ll drive along The beaches and visit bars, focusing on underage drinking.

During The Holiday initiative, implemented at The end-of-The-year, Police presence is focused in The parking lots of major department stores but The Summer Initiative, which lasts longer than other initiatives, will bring more officers to The Downtown and Uptown area.

The biggest problem in The Downtown and Uptown area? Synthetic marijuana.

Assistant Chief Mark Gutierrez said, “Not only are we targeting The users, but we’re also targeting their dealers and that’s part of what our Narcotics Unit will be doing. They’ll be working to take The dealers off The streets.”

Synthetic marijuana isn’t The only thing they’ll be looking for. Police will also keep an eye out for minors breaking curfews or underage drinking and distracted drivers.

Commander David Blackmon said, “We’ll be out there in unmarked units actively enforcing and frankly, making examples of these people that are just blatantly putting other people in danger.”

This is The 5th year for The Summer Crime Initiative. The first day of Summer (June 20th) kicks off The first day of CCPD’s Summer Crime Initiative and ends after Labor Day weekend.

Ridley Turtle nest numbers up this season

It takes a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle about 45 minutes to nest.

“They are quick,” said Donna Shaver, chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at the Padre Island National Seashore.

That’s how long it takes from the moment they crawl out of the water, scuttle up the beach, dig a hole with their rear flippers, lay eggs in the hole, cover the nest with sand and head back into the water.

And this year, about 175 of those nests were found so far on the Texas coast.

“This season is looking pretty good,” Shaver said. “We have more nests so far than we did in 2015, 2014 and 2013. However it’s still lower than 2012, when we had 209 nests on Texas coasts.”

There’s one month left in the nesting season and Shaver said she hopes to get closer to the 2012 record with the help of staff and volunteers.

She said 84 of the nests were found at Padre Island National Seashore, and nine on North Padre Island north of the National Seashore.

Padre Island National Seashore will host about 20 public releases of Kemp’s ridley hatchlings this year, including one Friday and others through mid-August.

Release dates depend upon when the eggs hatch and the hatchlings become ready for release, officials said.

Jan Sawyer, 80, has been a turtle patrol volunteer since 2002.

She did not spot a mother turtle crawl out from the water until about two years after she started volunteering. Since then, she spots one to two turtles nesting every season, she said.

“To see the mother turtles is as exciting now as it was the first time,” Sawyer said. “To see them nest and then to be able to help out during the public releases is a wonderful thing.”

The fourth public release of the season will be at 6:45 a.m. Friday at the Padre Island National Seashore.

There will be no fee to enter the national seashore to watch the release in front of the Malaquite Beach Visitor Center, which is about 2 miles from the entrance.

Officials advise calling the Hatchling Hotline at 361-949-7163 to make sure the release has not been canceled. The cancellation notice will be posted on the Padre Island National Seashore Division of Sea Turtle Science & Recovery Facebook page by 2 a.m.

Food is prohibited. To not disorient the turtles, viewers should not wear white clothing or white shoes or take photos using a flash.  via Twitter: @CallerNatalia

Hydrostatic Testing

plumbing-840835_640You got your home under contract! You’re so excited, a buyer loves your home as much as you do! Then, inspections are set up. The three inspections typically performed on a home here are the general inspection, the pest inspection, and the plumbing inspection.

It’s this last one that seems to be an inspection that, as of late, has been causing some unease among sellers.

Fear not, sellers! The truth is, this is not at all a scary or intrusive test. But it is an important one. The only way to calm a fear or unease is to be well informed. Here I’ll break it down so that when the time comes, as either a buyer or a seller, this test is nothing to think twice about.

Definition: A hydrostatic test is a way in which pressure vessels can be tested for strength and leaks.

Don’t let the word pressure fool you. There is a common misconception that pressure is put on your system during this test. That is far from the truth. What the plumber does is quite simple. They will find your sewer cleanout/sanitary drain pipe and insert a testball/balloon into the piping and inflate it near the perimeter of the foundation. Next, they’ll simply fill the system up with water. They will then find a commode and/or shower on the lowest level and monitor the water levels. If the water maintains its level (they’ll typically watch for roughly 15 minutes) then there are no leaks! IF the water happens to fall, there is indication of a leak somewhere in the system.

Leaks often occur when foundations have shifted. Because we are built on sand here on the Island, it’s relatively rare to have a failed hydrostatic test as foundations move less on sand. In the case of a failed test, the next step is to find where the leak actually is. That test is slightly more involved, but still not dangerous to the system. An Isolation Test is what should be scheduled next, and this test finds the actual source of the leak. It’s smart to have a different plumber perform this test to eliminate the possible suspicion of an intentional failed test to get more business (as the isolation test is far more expensive).

The entire inspection/hydrostatic test takes roughly 20 minutes. Like a ninja in the night, you may not even know they were there! Our local plumbers are knowledgeable, true professionals who are happy to answer your questions or concerns.

Note: This test typically costs around $85, and only a licensed plumber is to perform this inspection.

Did you know? A hydrostatic test is DIFFERENT than a static test. They are sometimes accidentally interchangeably used in casual conversation regarding the plumbing inspection, and there’s where some confusion can occur in terms of whether pressure is put on your system during a hydrostatic test. A STATIC test is what indicates pressure, and you can do it yourself – it’s a gauge that you can purchase at any hardware store that you screw on to your hose bib. Then, turn the water on and the gage will tell you how much pressure it is outputting. Don’t let a static test be confused with a hydrostatic test.

Dine Island


Here on the Island, we all speak one common language, and that is FOOD! It’s something that since the beginning of time has brought people together – we have holidays for food, special rooms in our home for making food and eating food, and food is a very universal topic of conversation.

For those of you who are familiar (or, rather, unfamiliar) with Dine Downtown, this event, hosted by Marina Arts, went on from January 18th-31st. It featured some of Corpus Christi’s best restaurants who were able to offer a three course value-priced menu. Residents bought tickets, dined, had a wonderful time, and were able to check out local eateries they may not have been to prior.

It was such a huge success, that Island resident, Debbie Noble, is bringing this concept right to our front doors! But her model is slightly different.

Sponsored by the Padre Island Business Association and the Padre Island Moon, Noble is bringing us together to break bread. This is the first restaurant-type event the Island has ever seen. Restaurants all over the Island have signed up to offer unique three-course dining experience at value price. This does not include beverages, tips and taxes.

The idea is to get both Island residents to try the local fare they haven’t yet made it out to, and to also encourage non islanders from all over the Coastal Bend to come see how special our restaurants are!

“We are so excited to show off our great Island restaurants to the rest of the city and give people a reason to come OTB,” Noble exclaims!

Currently, participating restaurants include: Veranda, Costa Sur, Boathouse, Angry Marlin, Padre Pizzeria, Island Time Sushi, JB’s German Bakery, A La Mode Gelateria, Mikel Mays, Scuttlebutts, Surfside Sandwich, Texas Mesquite BBQ, Black Sheep Bistro, Dragonfly, and Docs. Many will likely offer drink specials or signature drinks for the meal.

What’s best? Every meal that is sold, the participating restaurant gives $1 that goes toward the Corpus Christi Food Bank. Padre Pizzeria is so excited that they are donating $2 for every meal! According to the Food Bank, every dollar allows them to provide 7 meals. Talk about a delicious event for a worthy cause.

Coastline Properties has also graciously offered to match the money from the restaurant that does the most dine island meals. “Cheri Sperling is an instrumental member of the community and wanted to get involved as well,” Noble says.

Mark your calendars, and get ready for two weeks of marathon meals! The hope is to make this an annual event, so mangia!


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