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 Callertimes.com 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

dineisland

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!

 

CONSUMER BEWARE: Rebuilding after a disaster

contractors2With the flooding and other tragedies that have occurred across the state, it is important that consumers be aware of Chapter 57 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code that was enacted by HB 1711 effective September 1, 2011. The bill applies to contractors who remove, clean, sanitize, demolish, reconstruct, or otherwise treat improvements to real property as a result of damage or destruction to that property caused by a natural disaster. Specifically, it requires that a “disaster remediation” contract must be in writing and prohibits a “disaster remediation contractor” from requiring payment prior to beginning work or charging a partial payment in any amount disproportionate to the work that has been performed. However, the statute exempts contractors that have held a business address for at least one year in the county or adjacent county where the work occurs.

Please see the text of HB 1711 for details. Contact your local Home Builders Association for a list of contractors.

Download this document for important phone numbers and information on rebuilding after a disaster. (CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR PDF)

North Padre Island Canal Construction Underway

KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

KIIITv has recently reported on all the dirt moving around on the east side of Park Road 22. If you live in the area you have no doubt noticed all the heavy equipment moving sand on the Gulf side of Park Road 22. It is all connected to the Riverwalk-style development that is soon to be going up there and the planned bridge over Park Road 22.  Lots of excitement Developing here on North Padre Island, as the “Upper Padre” Development project is well underway.

Colleen McIntyre will not seek reelection

District 4 City Councilwoman Colleen McIntyre said Monday she has decided this will be her last term as a Corpus Christi City Council member.

McIntyre has accepted a position as the director of Seashore Middle School and as the superintendent of Seashore Charter Schools on Padre Island.

McIntyre told KRIS 6 News her new position makes it difficult to put in the time and effort to serve on City Council.

She has served for two terms.

“Being with all of the different groups in the community. Being able to help with… whether it’s code enforcement, animal control, zoning cases, all the different things that I’ve dealt with in the areas of the district I’ll miss that a lot,” said McIntyre.

Her term will end in November. via Kristv.com

We want to personally thank Ms. Colleen McIntyre of her dedication to city council over the past 2 terms. We truly have enjoyed her keeping an eye on padre island interests and much of the work she has completed and set into motion during her term. You will be missed, and we are excited for your new position to lead Seashore Middle Academy forward into an even more successful future. Thank you again for your service in our city government, we feel blessed to know you! ~Coastline Properties

Tax Time 2016

Your home is likely your largest asset, and therefore, deserves special attention at tax time. Be sure you’re handling them correctly this year, using these tips!

Deduct from the correct year:

Here, we’re billed in arrears on our taxes, which can be confusing when taking the tax deduction. You’ll want to be sure to enter the amount you actually paid in that tax year, no matter what the date on your tax bill says. Because of this, it can be easy to confuse your payments and actually claim the incorrect amount.

Note: If taxes were paid from your escrow account, do not just deduct the amount escrowed. That’s because sometimes the amount you pay from this account can be a little bit higher or a little bit lower. Your lender will align the two to make sure they end up matching.

For example: Your property taxes were $6,000. Your lender collected $5,800. Or, maybe your lender collected $6,200. You’ll deduct $6,000, the actual taxes paid. This number will be the amount noted on your Form 1098.

Deduct your mortgage interest:

A home mortgage interest deduction allows you, the taxpayers who owns your home, to write off any interest you paid on a loan secured by your home (main home or a second home). The loan may be a mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan. This allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of interest paid on the loan.

Note: You must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), and prove your mortgage is a secured debt on a qualified home in which you own.

Exceptions: You cannot deduct mortgage interest on a mortgage that is over $1,000,000, or you have over $100,000 in home equity debt.

Refinanced?

If you’ve refinanced, you’ll be deducting points over the life of your new loan (as opposed to your regular mortgage, where you’ve been deducting points based on what you paid your lender to secure your mortgage over the course of your loan’s life – 15 years, 30 years…)

For example: Let’s say you paid $3,000 in points for a refinance of 30 years. You’ll divide 3,000 by 30 and pay $100 a year.

Went green?

If you made any energy improvements, such as installing solar electric, solar water heater, geothermal, any energy-efficient systems…you may be able to take a 10% tax credit up to a certain dollar amount. However, these are one-time credits. If you claimed your new energy-efficient windows last year, you can’t do it again.

Note: See Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits

Don’t forget to:

  • Keep track of your home-related expenses.
  • Track your capital gains (If you sold your main home last year, you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on your profit from that sale). Keep your receipts as long as you own the property plus three years.
  • Deduct your home office (If you’re eligible, you can deduct $5 per sq. ft. up to 300 feet, or up to $1,500 a year).
  • Keep your mortgage payoff statements forever. You never know when you may need that proof.
  • Keep your appraisal or valuation used to calculate depreciation as long as you’re the owner plus three years.
  • Keep your property tax payment, year-end mortgage statement, PMI payment, and energy tax credit receipt for three years after the due date of the return showing the deduction.

CC voters face critical sales tax vote in November

KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi
CORPUS CHRISTI -

Plenty of issues will be in voters’ hands come November, including a pivotal decision on how to spend sales tax revenue.

Depending on the vote, a powerful city board that spends your money, may not exist next year.

An eighth of every cent you pay in sales tax funds the city’s Type A Board, which controls the Type A Fund.

We’re talking millions of dollars a year controlled by five people.

The board spends most of it on economic development. They also spend money on seawall repairs and the American Bank Center.

CLICK HERE: Projects funded by Type A Board

The board (fund) is up for renewal this year, and it’s up to the voters.

Jerry Sansing is president of the Corpus Christi Taxpayers Association. He plans on voting against it.

“I’ve seen too much money go down the drain. You know, we can’t fix streets. We can’t do this. We can’t do that, but we can certainly tax for everything under the sun,” he says.

Sansing would rather the city give that money back to the people, or spend it, in part, to cut down palm trees off Airline. The ones right by the Gulfway Shopping Center.

Sansing says they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because they take up too much room on the sidewalk, and make it almost impossible for people in wheelchairs to get by.

But Type A Board member Bart Braselton points out the board’s numerous accomplishments, like landing Schlitterbahn with a $5 million deal in incentives.

“It competes with other cities, and when you know, when you’re having somebody that’s bringing say, anywhere from 500 to 1,000 new jobs to your city, the return on investment is incredible,” Braselton says.

Sansing says projects like Schlitterbahn don’t need the money.

Braselton points out other things the Type A Board has helped fund, like the Engineering Department at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, or the truck driving program at Del Mar College.

If residents vote to get rid of the board, it’ll be disbanded after any remaining money is spent.

If that happens, it’ll likely be up to the city council to decide how to re-allocate that portion of sales tax revenue every year.  Via KrisTv.com

WHAT’S YOUR NORTH PADRE ISLAND STREET NAME MEAN?

A La Entrada – An expedition or journey into unexplored territory, or, in Spanish it means Entrance.

Almeria – A city of southeast Spain on the Gulf of Almería, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea.

Aloha – Hawaiian word used when greeting or parting from someone.

Aquarius – The Water Bearer, a zodiacal constellation – A good person who doesn’t judge.

Aruba – An island in the Netherlands Antilles, in the West Indies.

Atascadera – Atascadero in Spanish means stumbling-block.

Barataria – A bay in The Gulf of Mexico, off Louisiana (See Laffite).

Beaufort – An empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land.

Binnacle – A built-in housing for a ship’s compass.

Blackbeard – Nickname of Edward Thatch who was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies.

Bonasse – Easy-going and simple-minded.

Bounty – A British naval ship commanded by Captain William Bligh, which was on a scientific voyage in 1789 between Tahiti and the West Indies when her crew mutinied.

Bowsprit – A spar, extending forward from the stem of a ship, to which the stays of the foremast are fastened.

Brigantine – A two-masted sailing ship, square-rigged on the foremast and having a fore-and-aft mainsail, often with square main topsails.

Broomsedge – Broom sedge: any of several grasses of the genus Andropogon.

Bullion – Gold or silver considered in mass rather than in value.

Cabana – A cabin, hut, or shelter, especially one at a beach or swimming pool.

Cabo Blanco – It’s a fishing village in northwestern Peru, or in Spanish, “White Terminal.”

Camino De Oro – In Spanish, meaning “Path to Gold.”

Camino De Plata – In Spanish, meaning “Path to Silver.”

Canadian Mist – A brand of Blended Canadian whisky produced by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Capstan – A revolving cylinder with a vertical axis used for winding a rope or cable, powered by a motor or pushed around by levers.

Captain Kidd – 1645(ish)–1701, he was a Scottish navigator and privateer who was hanged for piracy.

Caravel – A small, fast Spanish or Portuguese sailing ship of the 15th–17th centuries.

Carlos Fifth – Carlos THE Fifth is the name of a creepy looking candy bar from Mexico, what you call someone that does something in a stupid manner.

Cartagena – A seaport in SE Spain.

Catamaran – A yacht or other boat with twin hulls in parallel.

Cayo Cantiles – Cayo, in Taíno meaning “small island,” Cantiles in Spanish meaning “cliff.”

Cayo Gorda Ct – Cayo, in Taíno meaning “small island,” Gorda in Spanish meaning “fat.”

Cobo De Bara – Cobo, meaning “sea snail” and Bara in Hebrew means “heaven and earth.”

Commodores – A naval officer of high rank, in particular an officer in the US Navy or Coast Guard ranking above captain and below rear admiral.

Coquina Bay – A soft limestone of broken shells, used in road-making in the Caribbean and Florida.

Cozumel – In Mexico, the name was given to it by the Spaniards; however its origin is derived from the words Cuzam (meaning Swallow) and Lumil (meaning land of).

Crossjack – The lowermost square sail set on the mizzenmast of a ship or of a bark with four or more masts.

Cruiser – A relatively fast warship larger than a destroyer and less heavily armed than a battleship.

Cumana – A city in NE Venezuela founded in 1523 that is the oldest European settlement in South America.

Cutlass – A short sword with a slightly curved blade, formerly used by sailors.

Cuttysark – It is a British clipper ship built on the River Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line and was one of the last tea clippers to be built.

Dasmarinas – It is the largest city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. In the 19th century during the Spanish Colonial Period, Dasmariñas was originally called Tampus meaning “end of the forest.”

Dorsal – Relating to the upper side or back of an animal, plant, or organ. Fin – an unpaired fin on the back of a fish or whale.

Doubloon – A Spanish gold coin.

Dragonet – A marine fish that often lies partly buried in the seabed; the male is brightly colored.

Ducat – A gold coin formerly current in most European countries.

Dyna – Simply defined as “power.”

Eaglesnest – The nest of a bird built high up on a cliff or on the top of a mountain OR a room or building built high up so that people inside can see things happening below them.

El Soccorro – It’s a Portuguese-Spanish noun meaning “help” or “relief.”

Emerald – A bright green precious stone consisting of a chromium-rich variety of beryl.

Encantada – In Spanish, means “delighted” as in “pleased to meet you.”

Escapade – An act or incident involving excitement, daring, or adventure.

Finistere – Element which has reached the limits of its expansion.

Flintlock – An old-fashioned type of gun fired by a spark from a flint.

Forestay – A stay leading forward and down to support a ship’s foremast.

Fortuna Bay – Fortuna was the goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion and was represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness.

Grenadine – A thin fabric of leno weave in silk, nylon, rayon, or wool. Presently, a syrup made from pomegranate juice.

Gun Cay – Where the Lighthouse is located less than 10 miles south of Bimini.

Gunwale – The upper edge of the side of a boat or ship.

Gypsy – A nomadic or free-spirited person.

Halyard – A rope used for raising and lowering a sail, spar, flag, or yard on a sailing ship.

Hawksnest – The nest of a bird of prey OR a house located high on a hill or mountain.

Highland Mist – A Blended Scotch Whisky.

Isabella – A wine made from the fox grape. Also, Queen Isabella  of Castile whose marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469 marked the beginning of the modern state of Spain.

Isla Colon – Isla meaning Island in Spanish, Colon is a city of northern Panama at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal.

Isla Pinta – Isla menaing Island in Spanish, Pinta was the fastest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first transatlantic voyage in 1492.

Jackfish – A pike or sauger, especially the northern pike.

Jacktar – It was a common English term used to refer to seamen of the Merchant or Royal Navy. By World War I the term was used as a nickname for those in the U.S. Navy.

Jibstay – In schooners, the stay to which jibs are hanked.

Jolly Roger – A pirate’s flag with a white skull and crossbones on a black background.

Keel  – The longitudinal structure along the centerline at the bottom of a vessel’s hull, on which the rest of the hull is built, in some vessels extended downward as a blade or ridge to increase stability.

Key Largo – The largest island of the Florida Keys.

King Phillip – [War] (1675–77) the first large-scale military action in the American colonies, pitting various Indian tribes against New England colonists and their Indian allies.

La Blanquilla – (N) A very small coin, A Californian fish, A white grape.

Laffite – Pirate Jean Lafitte: he and his brothers smuggled goods to local merchants through the La Barataria (See Barataria) berth on the Louisiana coast in the early 1800s, after the Embargo Act of 1807 barred such trades. Barataria was far from the U.S. naval base, and ships could easily smuggle in goods without being noticed by customs officials. Later, legend has it, he came to our own Packery Channel, as, when pursued, Lafitte’s shallow draft boats could escape into the knee-deep Laguna Madre where larger boats could not follow. Folklore says that he buried treasure here, right near the Port A jetties, and marked it with a golden dagger. 

Lafitte – See Laffite. Pirate Jean Lafitte and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used “Lafitte.”

Lanyard – A rope threaded through a pair of deadeyes, used to adjust the tension in the rigging of a sailing vessel.

Leeward – On or toward the side sheltered from the wind or toward which the wind is blowing; downwind (see opposite, Windward).

Longboat – A large boat that may be launched from a sailing ship.

Main Royal – [mast] Part of the mainmast situated immediately above, and generally formed as a single spar with, the main topgallantmast.

Man O War – An armed sailing ship.

Mingo Cay – An island of the United States Virgin Islands.

Mizzen – The mast aft of a ship’s mainmast.

Mutiny – An open rebellion against the proper authorities, especially by soldiers or sailors against their officers.

Nemo – In Oromo it means “The Man,” but in Latin, the same word means “Nobody.”

Palmira – A city of western Colombia southwest of Bogotá where coffee and tobacco are grown.

Palo Seco – In Spanish means “without anything else.”

Peseta – The basic monetary unit of Spain (until replaced by the euro).

Pionciana – A tropical tree with showy red or red and yellow flowers.

Playa Del Rey – Spanish for “Beach of the King.”

Port Royal – It is a city located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica founded in 1518.

Portillo – It literally means “small port” from Latin portus.

Ports O Call – An intermediate port where ships customarily stop for supplies, repairs, or transshipment of cargo.

Primavera – The hard, light-colored timber of a Central American tree.

Punta Bonaire – In Spanish, Punta: point, Bonaire: an island in the E Netherlands Antilles.

Punta Espada – In Spanish, Punta: point, Espada: sword.

Quarterdeck – The part of a ship’s upper deck near the stern, traditionally reserved for officers.

Queen Johanna – She was Queen of Naples and Countess of Provence and Forcalquier from 1343 until her death. She also reigned as Princess of Achaea and claimed the crowns of Jerusalem and Sicily.

Reales – A unit of currency in Spain for several centuries after the mid-14th century.

Royal Fifth – An old royal tax that reserves to the monarch 20% of all precious metals and other commodities acquired by his subjects as war loot, found as treasure or extracted by mining.

Sabre – A heavy cavalry sword with a curved blade and a single cutting edge.

Salt Cay – The second largest of the Turks Islands.

San Felipe – A city in NE Venezuela, on the Orinoco River.

Skysail – A triangular sail set on a stay between the fore and main trucks of a racing schooner.

Tajamar – Spanish for the cutwater.

Tesoro – Spanish for the word treasure.

Three Fathoms Bank – Fathom: a unit of length in the old imperial and the U.S. customary systems, used especially for measuring the depth of water.

Topgallant – The section of a square-rigged sailing ship’s mast immediately above the topmast.

Topsail – A sail, or either of a pair of sails, set immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast.

Tortuga – Spanish for the animal Turtle.

Verdemar – Spanish for the color sea-green.

Vincent – From a Latin word meaning “conquering.”

Whitecap – A small wave with a foamy crest.

Windjammer – A merchant sailing ship.

Windward – The side or direction from which the wind is blowing.

Yardarm – The outer extremity of a ship’s yard.

Know Before You Owe

knowbeforeyouowe

The holidays are over, the sun is finally peaking out, and the buyers are making their grand debut from dormancy.

But as a buyer, knowledge is power. And The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau knows that. They have worked diligently to make the loan process more transparent. The new forms discussed below (the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure) were introduced to present less confusing information as to ensure consumers understand the terms of their loan and the fees they’re paying. Know before you owe!

To walk the walk, you have to talk the talk. Here is the new lingo and the new forms.

Let’s talk Terminology:

A lender is now a “Creditor”

The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is now the “Loan Estimate” or LE for short.

HUD or Settlement Statement is now your “Closing Disclosure” or CD for short.

The GFE was meant to provide the buyer with a really good idea of what they’d be bringing to closing and the terms of their loan. But the rules behind its successor, the LE, are stricter, and provide a higher financial accuracy to the buyer. It includes interest rate, fees for both creditor and third-party services (ie: appraisals, title insurance, closing costs, etc.)

Before you do anything, shop around for a lender and get prequalified for a loan. There’s little advantage to visiting with a Real Estate Agent until you know what you can afford.

First you get prequalified, then you work with a Realtor who finds you the perfect home, and then comes your Loan Estimate.

SIX ELEMENTS TO GET THE LOAN ESTIMATE

  1. The consumer’s name
  2. The consumer’s income
  3. The consumer’s SSN to obtain a credit report (creditor shopping will NOT affect credit rating)
  4. Property address
  5. An estimate of the value of the property
  6. The mortgage loan amount sought

CLARIFY!

The prequal is NOT a Loan Estimate. If the consumer/buyer requests a preapproval or prequalification, and provides 5 of these 6 elements in their application, the creditor will provide the prequalification, but is not yet obligated to provide the LE.

Only when the consumer provides all six elements of the application, the creditor must get the LE to the consumer within 3 Federal Business days (if the creditor is open on Saturday, then Saturday counts). Once provided, the LE holds true for 10 days once a property has been determined.

The home does not actually have to be under contract at this point, but it greatly benefits the buyer if it is. Without knowing which title company the contract will be at, your creditor can’t know the exact fees. With the new LE, the liability and financial accuracy weighs much heavier on the creditor than it did in the past. So what if there are differences presented on your final CD than those on your LE?  There are zero tolerance fees, and fees that fall between a 10% tolerance. So if there is a difference between your CD and your LE, depending on which category the miscalculation falls under, the creditor may have to pay.

Moral is, sellers want strong buyers. Preapproval from a creditor shows just that, which is why it’s critical to get that first. Present that to your Realtor, house hunt, get under contract, and request the LE. Leave the rest to your happy and knowledgeable Realtor.

We’ll leave the changes to the consummation (the new term for closing) for a later discussion…

QUICK FACTS FROM 2015 COMPARED TO 2014

Demand was healthy in 2015, and the supply was enough to give the buyers options.

  • 1% increase in new listings since 2014
  • 7% increase in median sales price in 78418
  • -4.2% decrease in days on market
  • 15% new construction market share in 78418
  • 8% list to sale price ratio in 78418
0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 0 Flares ×