Padre Island Housing Report – April 2017

THE HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES TO BE HEATING UP AS WE MOVE INTO SUMMER TIME OF 2017, THE HOTTEST TIME OF THE YEAR.  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.  LOOKING FORWARD TO AN EVEN MORE EXCITING SUMMER AHEAD, GIVE US A CALL AND DISCUSS THE MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO OWN A PIECE OF COASTAL TEXAS! (361) 949-0101

cchousinreportsept-2016

Barefoot Mardi Gras 2017

We are proud to be a significant sponsor of Barefoot Mardi Gras for the 5th Year in a row!!

Barefoot Mardi Gras
February 24 – 26, 2017
Padre Island, Texas

Add a little cayenne to your weekend & leave the shoes at home!

The Barefoot Mardi Gras returns on February 25, 2017 for a 8th year in a row on Padre Island raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and now the Island Foundation Schools.

A Family Parade takes place along the beach off Park Road 22 between Whitecap Blvd and Bob Hall Pier. Parade starts at 11am. The Parade Judges Float will open the parade followed a few minutes later by color guard and Mardi Gras themed floats in different divisions like Float, Jeep and Golf Cart. Many colorful characters enter the parade making it a unique activity for friends and family.

New this year is the Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival, a fun filled family event with Cajun music, food, drink, displays, exhibits, artists, children’s area, children’s stage and more! Admission is $5 with Kids 8 years old and younger FREE!

An adult-themed Party, The King & Queens Ball, will let the good times roll on the evening of the 25th from 7pm – 11pm at the Veranda Restaurant & Bar at Schlitterbahn. Miss Neesie and the Earfood Orchestra will perform and a special menu of Cajun style food will be served. Signature Barefoot Mardi Gras drinks will also be available. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes. Dancing and a live video stream from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will be part of the merriment. Attendees must be 21 years old and above. Tickets are $30 and available at various locations.

Events:

Barefoot Mardi Gras Parade

February 25, 2017
Begins at 11:00 am

Floats and fun for the whole family! The parade starts at Whitecap Beach and runs along Padre Island to the Briscoe King Pavilion near Bob Hall Pier.

2017 Barefoot Parade Registration & Rules

View the parade route map

Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival

February 25, 2017
11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cajun Music, food & fun for all ages! The festival is located at the Briscoe King Pavillion in Bali Park on Padre Island and features live music, artists, car displays, exhibitors, a children’s area, food, drink and more!
Admission is $5.00 paid at the door. Cash Only.

King & Queens Ball

February 25, 2017
7:00 pm – 12:00 am

Patrons must be 21 years of age or older to attend. The ball is located at the Veranda Restaurant & Bar inside the Schlitterbahn Waterpark on Padre Island. Includes a cajun style dinner and dancing to the live New Orleans style music from Miss Nessie & the Ear Food Orchestra. Costumes encouraged!
Tickets are $25 pre-sale and $35 at the door. Tickets are available at Padres Island Properties Owners Association and Schlitterbahn at the Veranda Restaurant.

Kick Off Party
February 7, 2017
Begins at 5:30 pm

The 2017 Barefoot Mardi Gras Kick Off Party will be at Doc’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant at 13309 S Padre Island Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
Includes food, music and a silent auction to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Island Foundation Schools. Admission: $8.

Fat Friday Party
February 17, 2017
Begins at 6:00 pm

The 2017 Fat Friday Party will be at the Boathouse Bar & Grill at 15241 Leeward Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
Includes food, band and a live auction to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Island Foundation Schools. Admission $5.00. Reserve a table in advance for up to (4) four people for $30.00.

Our Cause:

The event was founded as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters by Denise and Duane Ebert and has grown into a signature event for Padre Island. The Eberts asked the Padre Island Business Association to take on the management of the event and the two groups worked together in 2015.

Added into the mix by 2016 was an Island charity that will also serve as a beneficiary, The Island Foundation (Seashore Charter Schools).  EM Marketing Company located on Padre Island, along with the Barefoot Mardi Gras Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, numerous Committee Members and volunteers will all work together on producing the events.

Buy T-Shirts:

Exclusive 2017 Barefoot Mardi Gras T-shirts will be available starting on Tuesday, February 7 at the Kick Off Party at Doc’s. They will also be available on Friday, February 17 at the Fat Friday Party at the Boathouse. Available at participating Island businesses up to February 25 and then during the parade and festival.

Further Information:

Barefoot Mardi Gras Information:
barefootmardigras@yahoo.com

Padre Island Business Association:
info@padrebusiness.org

Exerpted from BarefootMardiGras.com

 

New Corpus Christi water director: Eager to raise the standards!

water-blue-cleanCorpus Christi’s newly appointed water director knows a few things about fixing water system woes.

Clarence Wittwer’s career in utilities began more than 25 years ago in Seabrook, Texas, where his first professional memory was climbing into a hole in the street to fix a leaking pipe.

Now he’s been tasked by City Manager Margie Rose to repair a water department that’s become a punchline for Corpus Christi residents and visitors after multiple water quality scares in recent years.

Just don’t tell that to Wittwer. He applied for the job days after the city’s chemical contamination scare in December and considers the city to be home to “some of the best water in the state.”

The city’s recent streak of water quality issues “didn’t deter me too much,” Wittwer said. “Corpus Christi is not alone in that, because it’s an older city with older infrastructure.” Rose announced Wittwer’s appointment Monday, which was also his first day on the job.

While there are infrastructure needs with decades-old pipes in some parts of the city, Wittwer said the city’s system is better off than most.  He pointed to the O.N. Stevens Water Treatment Plant as one of the finest of its kind in Texas and planned improvements like the four elevated storage tanks — two of which are under construction now — as beacons of promise moving forward.

He said a public information campaign is one of his top priorities as the new director to educate residents and visitors on what issues the city is facing and how he plans to address them.

“A boil water notice doesn’t mean there’s a problem. It means there’s a potential issue, but you’re being proactive in protecting the public,” Wittwer said.  That campaign will likely include public meetings, social media outreach and talking directly to the public and in some cases using Facebook Live.  “We’ve got to rebuild the public trust,” he said.

He praised city staff and the City Council for recent efforts to update the city’s backflow prevention rules, and said capital improvement budgets have reflected a coordinated effort to improve the system.

One of his longer-term priorities will be developing an internship program with local high schools, Del Mar College and Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. The program’s goal would be to train qualified workers to replace a rapidly aging group of workers licensed to work in certain water department roles.

But for now, his focus is fully on the public’s perception of his department.  “My biggest goal is to get this back to not being a joke (to the public),” Wittwer said. “Because I do believe Corpus has some of the best water in the state, and I want the public to see that.”

Matt Woolbright (@reportermatt) 

6 New Years Resolutions For Buyers/Sellers

new-years-day-smallHere is our top 6 tips for the New Year

  1. Eliminate & Simplify Your Home – Buyers out there are saving for their spring purchase,  but why not start your efforts in January? This is an especially great time after the heaps of gifts that they have received. Plus, if they plan to sell your home, it will make selling the house and moving that much easier. It’s simple just start small and go room by room, designating areas for donations, things to be fixed and things to sell. The sooner you start, the better you’ll feel!
  2. Make Your Home Safter – Do you have kids (even if they don’t!), then making your home safer all around is a great resolution to make. Commit to a regular safety maintenance schedule by checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly, ensuring you have fire extinguishers and preparing the family for emergencies such as weather disasters and fire. Always replenish emergency kits, bottled water and non-perishable food items throughout the year, too.
  3. Make Your Home Smarter – Yep, that’s right!  You may have just missed the boat on making your home safe when they bought your home, but it’s never too late. Some ways to make homes “smarter”? Smart home hubs like Amazon Echo, security video monitors like Ring and smart thermostats like Nest, and even smart plugs and bulbs to bring your home into the 21st century.
  4. Consider Refinancing – Maybe its time to decrease your payments or lock in a low fixed mortgage rate through refinancing. Shopping around for the best rates is a great way to find one the lowest one that works for you and will make your wallet feel a lot better come 2018.
  5. Get a Green Thumb – No, not go out and garden although an argument could be made for that as well. Change your light bulbs to energy-efficient LED ones. This will also help you save money. Another way to be greener is to clean the house with reusable cloths or old, clean rags versus wasteful paper towels (however, use good judgement for especially dirty messes).
  6. Do Something to Help Someone – Yes, it is 2017… the election is over and we are still all just human beings.  We must let go of the past no matter what side of the fence we sit and come together as a nation more than ever now.  If all else fails and you can’t find anything you could do to help your fellow man, than for goodness sakes just smile a ton.  Your mind will come around sooner or later!

Share these five tips with your friends and family and help them be better homeowners and prepared sellers when the time comes!

Happy New Year from your Coastline Properties Family!

Meagan Furey – voted Citizen of the Year

We are thrilled to announce our very own Meagan Furey has been voted “Citizen of the Year” by the Padre Island Business Association. This is a very prestigious award and we feel it could not have gone to a more genuine, hard working community focused individual.  Congratulations Meagan …We are so proud of you for 2016 PIBA Citizen of the Year Award.  You inspire us all, thank you for all your dedication for making our little slice of paradise an amazing place to work and play! ~ Coastline Properties Team

meagan-furey

Regional Home Sales Report

As Realtors we are always asked about the market, and each market has different conditions that weigh in on whether its a buyers or a sellers market. We believe the article below handily brings some interesting statistics to the table, at the same time we believe each area of the city needs to be examined to determine the market conditions.  Also, keep in mind the time of year..it’s very typical for a slowing down to happen toward the end of the year as families settle in for the Holidays and typically don’t make decision’s about moving unless forced to by job’s or other circumstances.  Currently there are some great buys out here on Padre Island, and we welcome your questions about our local market to determine if it is good time for what your particular goals might be.  ~Coastline Properties Team

Via CALLERTIMES – Home sales in the Corpus Christi area were sluggish in October, falling to nearly their lowest level this year.

A total of 392 homes were sold in the Corpus Christi Metropolitan Statistical Area in October, according to the latest Economic Trends report by the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp. The report, released Monday, cited data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. That’s the lowest volume of home sales this year since January, when 322 houses changed hands.

Sales in October 2015 and October 2014 were 461 and 441, respectively.

According to the report, 954 residential permits have been issued by the city of Corpus Christi through the first 10 months of this year, compared 934 during the same time frame a year ago and 1,088 for all of 2014. The number of commercial permits issued from January to October also dropped slightly from the same time in 2015, to 269 from 272.

Other highlights:

  • Regional unemployment dropped below 6 percent for the first time in four months. The jobless rate in October was 5.6 percent, a drop from 6.2 percent in July, August and September. Unemployment was 6 percent in June. Before this summer, the last time unemployment was this high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was May 2009, when the jobless rate hit 6.8 percent.
  • The number of year-to-date airline enplanements, or passenger boardings, at Corpus Christi International Airport was 282,581 from January to October. That represents a 3.3 percent decrease from 292,331 during the same period a year ago.
  • Year-to-date sales tax collection in Alice, Beeville, Corpus Christi and Robstown were well below their pace of a year earlier. Corpus Christi collected $60.4 million in such collections from January to October, compared with $65.5 million during the same period in 2015. Alice saw a 42.4 percent drop in revenues when comparing the same 10-month period. Its year-to-date sales tax collections were $4.35 million in October and $7.55 million in October 2015.   via Chris Ram

CONSEQUENTIALLY CONTINGENT

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.

Exerpt:

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 www.CatchtheCure.org
 

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.

 

BUYERS:

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.).

SELLERS:

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!

CCPD launches Summer Crime Initiative

KRISTV.com | 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.

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)

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

Corpus Christi Chambers to Unite

hand-shake

Officials for the Corpus Christi and Hispanic chambers of commerce say their historic merger should wrap up in the next few weeks, and that they are just days from unveiling the new organization’s name.

A transition team consisting of members from each chamber’s board took less than a month to unify the groups and agree on a name for the new chamber.

The team is expected to notify the two boards of its recommendation in coming days. The name will be made public after they’ve voted on it, perhaps as early as the beginning of February, Alan Wilson, chairman of the Corpus Christi chamber, told the Caller-Times on Thursday.

Other details, including memberships and drafting bylaws, are being worked out but appear to be on pace for completion by the end of March, Wilson said.

“Everyone has been on board with making sure this (merger) is something positive for the entire region, for the entire community,” said Rosie Gonzalez Collin, chair of the Hispanic chamber.

Members of the chambers voted overwhelmingly Dec. 29 to unite their organizations. Supporters have said the move was necessary to eliminate overlap in membership and to keep Corpus Christi’s business landscape in line with the region’s energy and job growth.

The two chambers haven’t wasted time preparing for the unification since.

Executive board members of each group have met with Annette Medlin, who recently was named president and CEO of the Corpus Christi chamber. The Hispanic chamber is planning an official welcome ceremony for Medlin during its Feb. 25 “Mi Casa es Su Casa” women’s mixer.

Medlin fills a vacancy left by Foster Edwards, who retired.

Earlier this month, the Hispanic chamber announced Gilda Ramirez would remain its interim president, while taking on a full-time role as its vice president of small business, international outreach and education affairs. Ramirez is expected to work on staff of the new chamber once the transition is finished.

Twitter: @Caller_ChrisRam via Caller Times