Did You Hear the Real Estate Forecast?

Home values are expected to Rise Through 2018!

Yes, a majority of forecasters and predicting & expecting large-scale investors to sell off the bulk of homes in their portfolios in the next three to five years.  They are also expecting ‘nationwide’ that home value appreciation to be about 4.5% this year, with a steady slowdown in appreciation rates each year through 2018.

The forecasters are also thinking that based on current expectations for home value appreciation during the next five years, they are predicting that overall U.S. home values would exceed their April 2007 peak by the first quarter of 2018.  We’ll see.  We are trying to keep our fingers on the pulse of what we hope will be coming down the pipeline.  Watch for more information as we receive!

M&G Chemicals Plant Update: Corpus Christi Site

On Thursday, February 13th, at the Padre Island Business Association lunch, Jeff Shea, Site Manager for M&G Chemicals, spoke to update us on the M&G Chemicals PET/PTA Facility.

The privately owned company has locations all throughout the world, but this site here on Port Corpus Christi, Inner Harbor (across from Flint Hills Resources) will be the largest plant yet.

WHAT WILL THE PLANT PRODUCE?

The plant produces polyethylene terephthalate (PET for short), which is a safe and easily recyclable plastic polymer used mainly for containers of all sorts due to its superior water and moisture barrier quality. It will also produce the PET key raw material, purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Production is estimated at 1200 KMT/yr (kilometric tons per year) of PTA and 1000 KMT/yr of PET. This process is FDA approved, and a $1 billion investment.

CO-GENERATION PLANT

This means the plant intends to produce its own electricity. They will do this by using natural gas combustion for electricity, steam and heat. This is efficiency by using “waste.” Water usage is also at the forefront of the plant, as its projected to use approximately 6 million gallons per day. So M&G plans to generate their own water so Corpus Christi doesn’t suffer from drought due to the plant. They will bring in water from the Gulf, pull out the salt, and then put the brine back into the ocean. The technology used here is called “reverse osmosis membrane.”

WHY CORPUS CHRISTI?

According to Shea, “you guys got it all!” (which we already knew J). Corpus is located on the Gulf, it has easy access to three railroads, there are six refineries around, deep-water access, and there is Port access to the Bay and Viola Channel.

BENEFITS TO CORPUS CHRISTI?

This is thought to be an international investment to the area in that it holds the possibility of attracting upsteam and downstream industries as a result of the M&G investment, as this is a company with a proven track record of renewable resources. Not to mention, it will generate many jobs.

LET’S TALK JOBS AND TIMELINE

Jobs:

  • 250 direct full-time employees
  • 700 indirect employees
  • 3,000 construction workers at its peak (5 million man hours!)

Timeline:

  • Summer 2014 – Federal Air Permit received
  • 2nd Quarter of 2014 – Construction begins
  • 4th Quarter of 2015 – Construction completed
  • 1st Quarter of 2016 – Plant commissioned and operational

Color Pyschology: How they Effect Emotional States!

Have you ever come home to find that your house has been broken into, your husband has canceled your recordings of The Bachelor, and it appears as though your “big bad guard dog” has actually led the robber to the fine china? I truly have “seen red” before. And I bet you have, too.

So how do colors affect human emotion and reaction? Company owners, home decorators, web designers, have all recently been paying more attention to not only what colors to choose, but why to choose them. Color psychology is now known to play a larger role in marketing, design and branding. Perhaps as homeowners, we, too, should choose wisely. The colors you choose for your spaces can actually play a role in your mood and temperament.

Black begs power and authority. You wouldn’t bully the karateka sporting the black belt.

For the home: Choose an accent wall in your home office and paint it black! Own your work space, and make it be known that you’re the boss in there! It will demand dominance.

White symbolizes purity, innocence, and sterility. Wouldn’t it just seem odd to baptize a baby in a red gown? Or to paint the walls of an operating room a dirty tone of split pea soup?

For the home: If you have a case of kitchen OCD, a white kitchen is a necessity. White will make the kitchen appear larger (and it IS the heart of the house, so the bigger, the better!), but the more sterile this room feels, the better. Perhaps your guests don’t want to question whether their food was prepared in a germ breeding ground, as white countertops and cabinets are no hiding place for grease splatters or red wine rings.

Red brings about feelings of passion and rage. Studies also show that it increases circulation, action, and exudes an empowering masculine energy.

For the home: Assuming most households do have at least one man in them, perhaps use red as an accent color: Red pillows, a red door, red vases. Does your house have a man cave? Red that room!

Orange has the tendency to elicit increase in energy and optimism. Think of the fruit – it’s bright, sweet, makes you want to do an Irish jig.

For the home: If you have a home gym, this is the PERFECT place for this color. It will likely give you that needed boost an extra shot of espresso may provide…without the calories!

Yellow sometimes enhances concentration, but can lead to irritability and anxiety. Just because it’s gender neutral doesn’t mean you should paint your nursery this color. Studies have shown that the same baby will cry more in a yellow room than in a blue room.

For the home: As with red, use this color as an accent. If you just love the color, a downstairs powder room would be a nice place to put yellow on the walls. It will add a kiss of zest to the first floor. Consider the sun…it’s always nice when it’s out, but you never want to stare at it!

Green…ahhhh green. It’s natural…relaxing…can’t you smell the fresh cut grass? Not only does green bring you down to earth, but it can symbolize greed and envy. So, use green wisely.

For the home: Incorporate green by using indoor plants! Plants will bring the outdoors in, and studies have shown plants and flowers will reduce stress and improve general well-being. You wouldn’t bring your sick friend a gerbil, right? You’d bring them a fresh bouquet! If you’d rather bring green in another way, go with a nice pale green for the living room.

Blue has a similar effect as green. You feel calm around blue. It symbolizes loyalty and peace. Straight from Wikipedia, “In 2000, Glasgow installed blue street lighting in certain neighborhoods and subsequently reported the anecdotal finding of reduced crime in these areas.”

For the home: I’d choose a navy blue as an accent wall in the dining room, or a light blue for a bedroom. If you’re like most, your bedroom is the one place you can really go to unwind. Blue will allow you to feel soothed and restful. Light up a beach wood candle, and you’re in heaven! Just don’t go painting clouds on the ceiling. Then you’ve taken it too far.

Purple is the color of royalty, wealth, and sometimes romance. In ancient healing therapies, the color psychology behind purple was believed to treat skin problems, and purple crystals were used for both emotional and physical healing.

For the home: If it is believed to aid in skin therapy, what better place for a purple paint job than the master bathroom? Maybe the good purple vibes will work their magic and make you forever beauteous. If that’s not what you’re about, picture a relaxing lavender scented bath. Purple is also said to spark the imagination. I know many people do their best thinking in the bathroom!

Pink makes people think of love and romance. But it also brings about a sense of nurturing and immaturity – the silly, playful kind.

For the home: A little girl’s bedroom is the obvious choice here. But I think another less obvious space would be lighter maroon color in a playroom. This may help mold creative thoughts and visionary children.

Now go grab some color swatches, and create your own desired household aura!

MAYOR NELDA MARTINEZ: STATE OF THE CITY

“Bold and Balanced Growth” is how Mayor Martinez described our Emerald City by the Bay, Corpus Christi – and she isn’t kidding. On the afternoon of February 6, 2014, at the American Bank Center, she touched on two major statistics that will hopefully make a big impact in the Real Estate realm this coming year.

Corpus Christi is one of the fastest growing metro economies in the United States coming in at No. 10 with a 3.8% increase in 2013 and a projected 3.1% increase for 2014. This is also due to a 4.3% rise in jobs. More people coming to Corpus = more buyers in the real estate market! Finally, the scale is tipping.

Mayor Martinez also pointed out that since 2010, there has been a housing rise of 19%. There has been a sizeable increase in new construction in Corpus, creating roughly 3,800 new jobs in 2013. Why would there be this kind of boom in new construction you ask? Because we want to be prepared for the economic growth that is expected. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 32% increase in new residential permits alone.

With that though, there has been a shortage of affordable housing. The city is attempting to change this by building some low-income housing, such as The Palms at Leopard, to accommodate 120 apartments, which broke ground Nov. 14, 2013, on Leopard Street. The goal is to offer a healthy mix of housing options throughout Corpus Christi, and to continue with neighborhood cleanups.

As for the Island, Schlitterbahn is projected to bring mass amounts of people to the park, increasing the growth and relevance of the island. Property values are expected to increase due to this exposure, and there will certainly be many more people looking to buy and rent around the island.

Onward and upward, Corpus Christi!

Drones: The Next Big Thing in Real Estate Photography?

Move over Google Earth. The Drone may soon be invading the aerial photography kingdom. These drones don’t listen to private conversations, nor are they combative, but they can be a highly useful tool for Real Estate Agents!

Traditionally, aerial photos for Real Estate were taken by photographers in privately hired helicopters, and even more recently, Google Earth.

But a new twist may be coming onto the scene – remote operated Drones equipped with cameras. The operator is able to direct the drone around and above any piece of desired real estate.

If you haven’t already droned me out (pun intended), consider how an aerial view can be a worthy exposure. As a seller, you are able to showcase the property in its entirety, along with its surrounding areas. Favorable differences from your standard point-and-shoot camera might more effectively show yard size vs. house size, the leveling of the land, angles, quality of roofing, etc – These features may be hard to visualize unless seen from a bird’s eye view.

A house on the water is said to be valued around 3 times that of an inland home. The use of a drone that would show proximity to water, would be valuable.

But don’t go placing your orders just yet. In an effort to protect the surveillance of private properties, Texas law passed Sept. 1 states that using drones for real estate photography is illegal and punishable by a fine. It might be three years before the savvy camera-carrying unmanned aircraft can capture your property of choice.

Loophole? House Bill 912 Senate Version (1E) states that “Code include a person who: (8) with the consent of the individual captured in the image and the individual who owns or lawfully occupies the real estate property captured in the image.”

Here’s to hoping we’re at least many decades away from robots selling the properties, too!

 

Cheniere Energy, Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project Update!

Chenier Energy coming to Corpus Christi

This past Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Padre Island Business Association lunch, we had the pleasure of listening to guest speaker Jason French update us on the latest Cheniere liquefaction plant. To be located just northeast of Corpus Christi on La Quinta Channel of Corpus Christi Bay.  French, Director of Government and Public Affairs for Cheniere Energy, described this as a time of “energy revolution” due to the “rise in manufacturing because of mass supply of oil and gas in Texas.” The plant, which should take roughly 5 years to complete, will start construction this time next year for an estimated completion year of 2018.

In a nutshell, liquefaction is the process of super cooling liquid natural gas to make it safer for long distance transportation.

Click here to read all about the liquefaction process and what this plant will do:
http://www.cheniere.com/corpus_christi/corpus_project.shtml

Benefits to the public?

This $10.5 billion dollar project will bring in jobs for approximately 300-400 people per day
during construction as well as permanent employees once completed. French also estimated
about 50,000 permanent indirect exploration and production jobs, a $5.2 billion dollar secondary
economic impact to the greater Corpus Christi region, and a $7 billion dollar reduction in trade
deficit.

It’s a new year, but what’s in? New vs. Existing Homes

North Padre Island (Upper Padre Island)

….started developing in the 70’s, and with Schlitterbahn on the horizon, the island is becoming more and more desirable to purchase. It seems like building your dream home has been on the upward trend. But what are the advantages of an existing home? A buyer has one of two options: Embrace the new or embrace the existing. Here are some variables that outline the pros of each!

Character and Uniqueness

New: Build the character that you want! Do you like the bay windows of a Victorian, the half-timbering of a Tudor, and a central chimney of a Colonial home? You have the liberty to mix and match!

Existing: You get true history, vintage hardware, and maybe a hidden crawl space! Personality shines through, as this house is less likely to look like your neighbors.

Bang for your buck

New: If you’re building, you can choose which materials to splurge on, and where to cut costs. Go for brick on the exterior, but laminate floors on the interior. If a huge crystal chandelier in your entry reigns supreme, consider offsetting your must-haves with less expensive detailing in other areas.

Existing: You can often get a larger, older home for less per square foot than you might pay in a new home. Looking to gain a little profit? Flip it!

Quality Craftsmanship

New: Builders have fine-tuned their skills and in a timely manner! The average 3-bedroom house can go up in about 3 months. Here, you can get efficiency, and have it done quickly.

Existing: In years past, craftsmanship was an art and materials are more likely to be the real deal: Brick, hardwood floors, custom molding.

Desirable Location

New: You have options! There are lots to buy, or houses to renovate or demolish. With the right vision and plan, you can have the location of your dreams.

Existing: More times than not, the fabulous locations were snatched up a long time ago. Location, location, location. You’ve heard it a thousand times. But that’s because it’s important! Here on Padre, the first homes built probably have the best views and biggest lots.

Test of Time

New: You don’t have to wonder how previous owners treated the property. If you maintain your home and property, it is probably going to last you a very long time. The ball is in your courtyard!

Existing: If the home is still standing, something was done right! This goes hand in hand with the craftsmanship. If properly built, that house will last to see many generations play capture the flag and to host decades of turkey dinners.

Landscaping

New: You have a blank canvas! Plant the trees, bushes, and flowers that you want to see grow over the years. Prefer the maintenance free kind of yard? Rock out with a rock garden.

Existing: Mature landscaping can be a huge advantage to buyers and sellers. It takes many years for trees to grow big! The older the home, the bigger the trees.They provide privacy, shade, curb appeal, and heck, they can even increase the value of the home!

Grandfather Clauses

New: Your home will be up-to-date with all the most recent requirements.

Existing: When a new zoning ordinance or code comes into effect, these older homes will likely be granted a grandfather clause, meaning they are not in violation of the law. For instance, you may be given a grandfathered rate of flood insurance in a place where the risk of flood has since increased. Always ask about grandfather clauses on an older property – you may be pleasantly surprised by what advantages you have over your neighbors!

There is so much to consider, and lots of options awaiting you on Padre Island. Best of luck in your adventures!

2013 was Good……2014 should be even Better!

Austin Business Journal:  Corpus Christi blows Austin away in construction job growth!

Best Performing Cities Index by the Milken Institute:

Corpus Christi ranks 17th best performing Large City in America.

Corpus Christi is the 5th fastest metro employment growth in the Nation.

Global Insight for the US Metro Economies report: Based upon Gross Metropolitan Product, Corpus Christi ranks 10th!

Projects breaking ground this year:

Cheniere Energy – $12B LNG plant

Voestalpine – $700 million processing plan (largest Austrian project in the US)

M&G Resins – $900 million PTA/PET plant(the largest such facility in the world)

Occidental Petroleum announced a joint venture with Mexichem to build a $1.5B project in Ingleside.

Corpus is becoming a ‘global’ community.  TPCO (Chinese), Voestalpine (Austrian), M&G Resins (Italian), Trafigura (Swiss), Mexichem (Mexican) are sending people to Corpus regularly to do business ‘right here!’

Tourism:  Spring/Summer Schlitterbahn Country Beach Water Resort opening  their park/resort on North Padre Island’s – first phase.

New Home Starts:  Up 60% over the last two years.  Homes sales are up, prices are up and major construction are up!

So, come on 2014…….we’re ready for you!!!

Come Coast Awhile………with us!

Truth about the Option Period in a Real Estate Contract!

Did you know?

Did you know the standard contract for buying a home in Texas contains a clause for an Option Period?

The Option Period is the time during which the buyer can cancel the contract for any reason, without penalties. A buyer pays for the option period, usually a small amount of $100 and for a standard of 10 days. During this 10 days, the buyer can run inspections and negotiate any repairs with the seller. If an agreement cannot be made, the buyer can back out of the contract with only losing the $100. If the buyer does purchase the property, the $100 is credited to them at closing.

One thing that many realtors, buyers and sellers often question is when the option period starts. A contract is executed and binding when both parties agree and have both signed the contract. This is considered the executed date which is written into the contract above the sellers and buyers signatures. The option period starts the next day.

Example: If a buyer and seller agree and sign on November 20, 2013, the option period would start on November 21, 2013 and end at midnight on November 30, 2013.

An option period is the best money a buyer can spend when purchasing a home!

Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi – 7 months from Opening!

KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Seven months. If all goes as planned, that’s how long it will be until the new Schlitterbahn Beach County Water Park and Resort on Padre Island is up and running.

If you have been watching the construction process, you know that things are now at the point of dramatic change.

“We’re really seeing some big changes now,” said Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn. “Really seeing this start coming out of the ground.”

From the beginning, there were plenty of people who were convinced the project was never going to happen; but now, 65 acres of what used to be the Padre Isles Country Club have been transformed.

“We’re running four-inch fire protection to the buildings that are going to be sprinkled, and we’re running two-inch fill lines that we’ll use to fill the rivers and fill the rides,” Henry said.

Jeff Henry is the creative genius behind all Schlitterbahn parks, and to say that he’s a free spirit doesn’t fully describe his reputation for thinking outside the box. He actually owns more than 60 patents for thrill rides that he has built all around the world.

“He’s always creating. He’s got a vision, and he tries to make the architects understand what his vision is,” said Sonia Gill, Henry’s assistant.

“This is fun. This is like artwork. It’s enjoyable,” Henry said. “I do get tired of corporate — that would be my brother and my sister, and all the people in New Braunfels who are trying to get me to comply with the rules and regulations of society, which I prefer not to.”

“He’s a wild and crazy guy, but he gets the job done,” Schlitterbahn Senior Designer John Schooley said. “He’s creative, and he really makes things happen.”

“These are treehouses that we’ve added,” Henry said. “Here, we’re doing something very unique.”

Henry was talking about the company’s unique upscale lodging for guests who want to extend their stay. The treehouses, as they’re called, are being constructed using wood left behind from the devastating fire in Bastrop, Texas, back in 2011. Ultimately, there will be a couple of hundred tree houses on the site.

Like the Schlitterbahn parks on South Padre Island and Galveston, the one in North Padre Island can stay open year round, but “this one is going to blow those other two away,” Henry said.

As of right now, construction workers — about 150 of them on any given day — are finishing up the in-ground infrastructure, working on foundations for the various slides and rivers, and adding a second floor to what will be a completely refurbished clubhouse.

As for the actual water slides and attractions, many are being built right now in the company’s fabrication plant in New Braunfels. Colorful butterflies and mushrooms, an elaborate locomotive, and a cool pirate ship — the C.C. Christi — all of it will be headed to Padre Island soon.

Also on the way are devices called Archimedes Screws. They work on a 2000-year old principle named after the Greek inventor who first used them. They will help propel the massive amount of water in the park’s moving rivers.

In New Braunfels, experts from around the country are collaborating online. They can actually stay in constant communication with project managers on the ground in Corpus Christi.

John Schooley, the company’s senior designer, is particularly proud of the park’s signature attraction. They call it “Shoot the Chute,” a unique adaptation of a classic waterpark ride that takes riders up a steep incline and then drops them into a large pool.

Local businessman Stan Hulse is the park’s general manager. He said he can’t wait until people can start splashing around in it. That’s still set to happen in June of next year.

Eventually, as 3News has reported, the $41 million water park will be the central component of a $550 million resort community on the Island. It will have more restaurants, shops and hotels. Plans also call for a riverwalk and new residential areas.

According to our sources, a major announcement about that is coming soon, and 3News promises to keep you posted. via KIITV.com