Schlitterbahn will look to get their extension for the tax incentive package by Tuesday 2/3 evening, but things look very good for an Opening in May just as summer starts to roll in. We are still so excited to see it in full operation!
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.
WHY USE A LOCAL REALTOR?
This question probably prods every seller at one point or another…it’s your property, aren’t you the best suited to sell it? Perhaps. Then again, let me explain why maybe not. As a buyer, it’s just as critical to use a local Realtor. It comes down to the three Ts: Tools, Training, Transaction-Related Matters.
Real estate agents have tools, and they don’t come in a box or on a belt. One of these tools is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a system paid for by agents to showcase listings to all other agents. It also allows us to see and search every other property for sale, along with what’s closed, what’s under contract, etc…always in real time. Because the MLS dates back decades, it is trend and individual property history at our fingertips. It gives agents the unique ability to create a comparative market analysis on your property with the knowledge we have from recent closures. As a tight-knit community, we have a network of other agents and a network of title company experts who keep us up-to-date on changes to contracts and changes to the law. We are vested in the community where we live and work, and where you want to live or sell. We are familiar with the local market, building guidelines, and numerous specifications that our seaside area requires.
OK, it sounds like we’re running a marathon, but seriously, sometimes a real estate transaction feels like one! Real Estate Agents went to a school focused specifically on real estate and can help you navigate the (sometimes rough) terrain. Both a national and a state required exam must be passed to become licensed. Pricing, contract paperwork, real estate finance and law, these are all areas we’re proficient in and experts at. Likewise, we’re required to continue our education with a certain number of hours each year to ensure we stay informed and updated on the ever-changing regulations occurring in this industry. Also, not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the National Association of Realtors are properly called REALTORS and can proudly display that trademark on marketing and sales literature.
This comes down to the meat and potatoes of it all, concerning the contract itself, to the negotiations, to possible repair work, to closing details, and every possible scenario in between. It also heavily involves our Code of Ethics – for over 100 years, this code ensures agents treat their clients professionally and ethically. These ethics are strictly enforced, and you know you will be working with a true professional who focuses on your needs and wants. Your agent is accountable for fulfilling their full “fiduciary responsibilities” to you (has your best interest in mind from finances to full disclosure to confidentiality). Realtors are committed to treat all parties in a transaction honestly. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor again.
The best agent I know once told me, “You’ve done your job if you’ve made it look easy.” So I invite you to relax…have a lemonade…allow us to make the process appear as seamless as possible.
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
Foreclosures: There’s something about them that makes ears perk up. A “good deal” is hard to ignore…but what are the foreclosure auctions all about? Here are some tips and tricks if you ever find yourself with a paddle in your hand, bidding on your very own foreclosure.
1. Bring the funds with you. This must be in the form of cash or a cashier’s check
No personal checks, pre-approval letter, or your mom’s famous coffee cake. These simply won’t cut it.
Because you pay directly on the spot upon winning, you don’t want to overpay as it will take approximately 30 days to get that refund. Instead, if you’re coming with a cashier’s check, come with multiple denominations so that you can add them together to create the appropriate amount. Also, have them made out to you so you can deposit the left over checks back into your bank account. If you win, you simply sign them over.
If, however, you are in an auction online, you have a bit longer to come up with the funds.
*Some companies charge a percentage of the final sales price as a buyer’s fee. Be sure to ask about this, or read the fine print.
2. Do your research: Foreclosures are sold “AS IS, WHERE IS, NO PROMISE OF ANYTHING.”
There is no guarantee of a clear title, functioning plumbing, electrical, structural issues, etc. You must do your due diligence to make sure you know what you may be purchasing. Liens on properties are public record and can be found online or at the local courthouse.
3. Opening bid does not necessarily mean you can get the property at that price.
This number is normally set by the foreclosing lender, and is usually the estimated loan amount owed to the lender. Sometimes, the opening bid is simply an estimated minimum by law that includes only taxes delinquent on the date of judgment, or a number that the creditor believes will spark interest. This minimum bid can be just a tool to get the bidding ball rolling – but if the bids do not reach the creditors bottom line, then the property will not sell and will go back to the creditor to do with it what they choose.
4. Purchasing an occupied foreclosure.
If the homeowner does not vacate the property after the foreclosure sale, you as the new owner, must give them a formal notice to move out. If they do not, you have the right to bring on an eviction lawsuit. If the person occupying the property is a tenant of the former owner, a different form of action must be taken. There are certain laws that actually protect these types of tenants. It all comes back to doing your research before you purchase so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
5. If you’re the one bidding, you’re the one buying.
There is an exception: By signing a Power of Attorney, you may appoint a representative to bid for you. Sometimes, auction companies may offer live remote bidding by telephone through an auction representative or has live Internet bidding capabilities. There are options if you are unable to attend an auction.
6. If the auction begins at 10, be there before 10., the first Tuesday of every month, at the county courthouse.
Auctions in Texas are the first Tuesday of every month, on the south side of the County Courthouse. The auction may only last 10 minutes total, so be timely, or you may miss the whole thing!
With that said, Texas law requires a three hour window from the time given on the auction notice and when the auction actually happens.
If Corpus Christi foreclosures are something that interest you, final words of advice would be: Save your money, do your research, and don’t be late! Happy bidding!
Appraisals are a key component to every real estate transaction, with the exception of an all-cash transaction. Whether it’s a property using a mortgage, refinancing an existing mortgage, or selling property, the appraisal matters. But how does the appraisal work and how is it determined? Whether you’re a buyer, owner or seller, the following are important points to understand.
The act of judging the value of something by an unbiased professional.
Most often, an appraisal is ordered for use in a sales transaction. The appraised value is used to determine whether the property’s contract price is appropriate given its condition, size, location and special features. In a refinance situation, the appraisal serves as a guarantee to the lender that they won’t be loaning more than the property is worth.
Why Do Lenders Care?
For mortgage companies, the property serves as collateral if the borrower defaults on their loan. That is why it is important for lenders to ensure that homeowners are not over-borrowing for a property: If foreclosure occurs, the lender can likely recoup the money it lent by selling the home.
How Appraisal Values Are Determined
Because the appraisal primarily protects the lender, they are normally the ones to order the appraisal. It’s important to note that an appraisal must be made by a qualified and licensed appraiser; someone who has no direct or indirect interest in the transaction and who is familiar with the area.
Once the lender has ordered the appraisal with a recognized appraiser, they will not only visit the property and conduct a thorough visual inspection, but they’ll also compare recent sales of similar properties. Factors that may influence the value will be some of the home’s amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floor plan functionality and square footage. The appraiser may also note any conditions that adversely affect the property’s value and, if necessary, may request repairs to fulfill the loan.
The appraiser then provides a report with the appraisal value, which includes an analysis and conclusions about the property’s value based on his or her observations. The appraiser’s detailed report costs several hundred dollars, and typically, the buyer/borrower is responsible for paying this fee.
Knowledge For Buyers
If the appraisal comes in at or above the sales price on your contract, the transaction proceeds as planned. However, if the appraisal comes in low, it can derail the transaction. If the seller is willing to come down in price to the appraised value, you’re back on track. After all, you both have the same goal: Get the property to close! But if the seller will not come down, you may consider negotiating to meet somewhere in the middle, or even terminating the contract altogether. Because the lender will not loan over the appraised value, it keeps buyers from overpaying.
Knowledge For Sellers
If the appraisal comes in low, but is accurate, you will likely have to lower your property’s sale price to allow the transaction to move forward toward closing. As we already know, lenders won’t approve loans for more than a home is worth, and holding out for an all-cash buyer is a risky move and possibly improbable.
If you think that your property’s appraisal has been incorrectly valued or it has been dragged down by the sales prices of nearby foreclosures and short sales, you have options. Depending on the type of loan, you may be given the opportunity to convince the appraiser that your home is worth more. If a low appraisal is standing in your way, consider getting a second opinion. Appraisers are only humans after all, and can and do sometimes make mistakes and/or have faulty or incomplete information.
Knowledge For Refinancing Homeowners
Your property needs to appraise at or above the amount you want to refinance for your loan to be approved if you have a conventional mortgage. On the contrary, if you have an FHA mortgage, you can refinance through the FHA Streamline program without an appraisal.
Even though the appraisal is just one of the dozens of moving parts that must get ticked off on the loan-closing checklist, it is a critical player. Know what it means for you in the role you play in the transaction. Don’t be afraid of the dreaded appraisal…Knowledge is power!
Who loves sushi? Have you tried the new sushi restaurant on the Island yet? If not, get over there!
Island Time Sushi has a great atmosphere, friendly staff and amazing food! The sushi is fresh and FUN…plus they offer many cooked options as well! Try the Chargrilled Steak or Grilled Salmon then add a side of Jalapeno Bacon Mac&Cheese.
My favorite rolls were the Shaggy Dog and the Rattlesnake Roll shown in the photo. The Spicy Poke and Creamy Seaweed Salad were the perfect starters!
Support our Island! Eat Local!
You can find their info here: http://www.facebook.com/IslandTimeSushi
CORPUS CHRISTI – It’s only partially opened, but Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi was a popular spot on Labor Day.
The Island resort is considered about one-third complete with construction ongoing daily. The park was open Monday with a newly operational Momentum River, but it didn’t see the crowd the owner had hoped for in its first Labor Day holiday.
“Attendance has been slow, although good,” said Schlitterbahn CEO Jeff Henry. “Because the park isn’t finished and because it doesn’t look finished and there aren’t as many attractions open as we’d like to have open, we’re pleased with the attendance that we’ve had.”
Henry said the Veranda restaurant is doing well and visitors are enjoying the parts of the park that are available.
“We’ve got about a little over a third of the park, about 3,500 person capacity, open and operating today. Got a river system open and operating, a hot tub open and operating, two childrens pools open and operating, a river ride open an operating,” said Henry.
The park was initially touted to open by summer 2014. While it did open, it wasn’t to the extent that people were expecting.
The question now is, when will Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi be completely ready?
“We will open March 1, 2015, with the park completely finished,” said Henry, “All 90 hotel rooms, all three restaurants, all the concessions, and all of the rides, and we’ll be ready to go next year at Spring Break.”
Click here for Schlitterbahn ticket information.