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5 Steps to Qualify for a Home Loan [Infographic]

5 Steps to Qualify for a Home Loan [Infographic] | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

 By Jesse McCarl The number of factors that go into approval can be overwhelming when you are trying to qualify for a home loan. But for a look at the most important determinants towards your mortgage approval, here are the five most basic steps.


Via Joe Brant, John M. Holland
Michael Stuart's insight:

Follow the yellow brick road and have a hefty down payment in your basket.

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Husker Homes Realty Group's curator insight, April 23, 7:56 AM

Great visual of the loan approval process. Before you get serious about buying, follow these steps to # realestate success

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Top Seven Trends in Luxury Real Estate

Top Seven Trends in Luxury Real Estate | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

From hi-tech bathrooms to geothermal heat, here are the seven hottest trends in luxury real estate.

Michael Stuart's insight:

1. The Smarthome
Everyone is [digitally] connected in some way and that allows you to control your home.

2. A Separate House for Entertaining
3. Rethinking the Mudroom
4. A Cooler Kitchen
5. The Self- Sufficient Home
6. Custom Detailing, Down to the Doorknobs
7. Hi-Tech Bathroom Fixtures

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Tax Benefits encourage Vacation home Purchases

Tax Benefits encourage Vacation home Purchases | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The individual income tax code offers a multitude of benefits for home owners.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Because the mortgage-interest deduction can be applied to both a primary and secondary residence, it encourages the purchase of vacation homes.

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Bigger Homes for Wealthy with Mortgage Tax Break

Bigger Homes for Wealthy with Mortgage Tax Break | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The increase in home sizes, encouragement of second-home purchases, and preference for debt financing are all examples of how housing’s tax preferences distort consumer behavior.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Because the mortgage-interest deduction can be applied to both a primary and secondary residence, it encourages the purchase of vacation homes.

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Building a Net Zero Home with Faswall

Building a Net Zero Home with Faswall | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Faswall is one of the best materials for achieving net zero energy consumption because of its unrivaled thermal mass. Faswall is perfect for net zero homes.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Bill and Bonnie Stump had a dream of building net-zero energy home in Georgetown, Texas.

 

A net-zero home is one with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. This is achieved by using solar energy or other alternative sources of power.

 

The first step of building such a home is to reduce your energy needs as much as possible.

 

So what building material did the Stumps choose to achieve this goal? Faswall block,

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Winds of fortune sweep West Texas

Winds of fortune sweep West Texas | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Texas now generates about 10 gigawatts of wind energy, more than all but five countries in the world, said Peter Kelley, spokesman for the American Wind Energy Association.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Recent energy analyses have forecast that renewable fuels – including wind, solar and biofuels – will be the world’s fastest growing energy source in coming decades. BP’s own outlook predicts that the country’s renewable energy production will surge 252 percent over the next 20 years.


Wind will lead the pack, forecasts indicate. Wind farms have proliferated across the U.S. over the last decade. Now they generate about 3 percent of the nation’s electricity and about 7 percent of the state’s, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association.

 

In addition to the land resources, West Texas has become a favorite location for wind energy producers for the same reason it did for fossil fuels – an attractive regulatory environment and a plenty of fuel. Texas now generates about 10 gigawatts of wind energy, more than all but five countries in the world, said Peter Kelley, spokesman for the American Wind Energy Association.

 

It fundamentally comes down to where’s the energy, Texas has good wind. (and oil and gas and solar)

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Crazy or Brilliant: A Floating Vacation Home

Crazy or Brilliant: A Floating Vacation Home | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Is it a ship, or is it a house?
Michael Stuart's insight:

Industrial designer Michele Puzzolante has high hopes that his new idea will float. He plans to build an solar-powered, self-supporting water resort, including a floating hotel and separate on-water houses.

 

Set dreams of cruising on the high seas aside, the pod-like houses move slowly by a propulsion system, but are not designed to travel far distances.

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Ricardo Teixeira's curator insight, March 18, 5:30 AM

Set dreams of cruising on the high seas aside, the pod-like houses of the not too distant future could very well be a new way of calling it home sweet home!

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Trends: Cantilevered Buildings

Trends: Cantilevered Buildings | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

If you can’t build up, build out. That’s a new trend for residential apartments and condos.

Michael Stuart's insight:

When space comes at a premium for renters, building upwards and outwards enables developers to get more potential out of smaller lots. This is made possible by smaller neighboring buildings selling their unused air space to developers, making outward extensions possible.


Instead of the more traditional rectangular or wedding-cake shaped structures, cantilevered buildings make use of suspended glass, reinforced concrete, and steel to extend the property’s width.


Technological advances have made it possible to de-emphasize load-bearing walls, but cantilevered structures are still complicated and expensive to build.


Developers have gotten creative with the extra air space, constructing flying buttress-like support columns all in the name of extra square footage, which translate to higher income.


The appeal of cantilever apartment buildings lie in great views, larger floor plans, and creative modern architecture.

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Luxury homes that come in little packages.

Luxury homes that come in little packages. | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Some high-end homeowners are shaving square footage off of their new homes. But nobody will accuse them of skimping on amenities.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Luxury in American homes has long been defined by size—a newly built home grew from an average of 1,660 square feet in 1973 to over 2,500 square feet today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


Now, top-end real-estate brokers say more clients want to shave off square footage and give priority to luxe finishes, green building and smart design.


Of course, some high-end homeowners define "scaling back" as going from 14,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. But others, like the Montgomerys, find that 2,000 square feet, well designed, can feel like an indulgence of space.


"I think smaller has many more advantages than larger," said Ms. Montgomery. "You want to have a place that is beautiful but not overbearing on your life, especially if you have multiple homes."

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paynocommission's curator insight, February 11, 3:24 AM

Pay No Commission is a property listing service where you can find thousands of homes,apartments & commercial buildings for rent or sale without no commission.
http://paynocommission.com/pnc/index.php

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Pocket listings benefit agents - sellers beware

Pocket listings benefit agents - sellers beware | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Limiting a listing's  exposure puts an agent’s personal financial gain at odds with a client’s financial return.


Michael Stuart's insight:

There is no place for “premarketing” or “coming soon” in an MLS-accessible market. If a home is being marketed in any way, it’s for sale.


Possibly more striking was the conversation with Neil Garfinkel, a partner with the law firm AGMB in New York. In his personal opinion, those who engage in pocket listings are opening themselves up to potential litigation.


A former client who felt they were led into a practice that didn’t maximize their financial return, and didn’t fulfill the agent’s standards of duty, will at some point be the bellwether for pocket listing litigation in the industry.


Real estate licensee duties can be fiduciary or statutory depending on the state, but almost always call for a high standard of care for a client’s well-being.



Limiting its exposure puts an agent’s personal financial gain at odds with a client’s financial return.

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paynocommission's curator insight, February 11, 3:27 AM

Pay No Commission is a property listing service where you can find thousands of homes,apartments & commercial buildings for rent or sale without no commission.
http://paynocommission.com/pnc/index.php

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Why 2014 should be a good year for housing | Inman News

Why 2014 should be a good year for housing | Inman News | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Once in office, Mel Watt is likely to open the door for the first time to principal reductions for Fannie-Freddie borrowers who have trouble affording their loans.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Get ready for some exceptionally bumpy mortgage market conditions in the first half of 2014 as lenders to figure out how to comply with the new qualified mortgage and other rules taking effect, beginning in January.


Look for longer processing times, more rejections on QM grounds, all complicated by likely increases in mortgage interest rates as the Federal Reserve’s “tapering” of its securities purchases begins to phase in. More contracts written on home purchases are likely to fall through, and applicants are certain to find early 2014 a more challenging marketplace than they would have encountered in 2013.

For the overall real estate market, 2014 is likely to be the first relatively “normal” year in terms of sales, inventory and price changes, since the bust in 2008.


Sellers have more confidence they’ll get fair pricing, plus millions of previously underwater owners have crossed over into positive equity status in recent quarters, giving them a shot at selling.

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Sea Level Rise and Coastal Regions

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Regions | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

A large percentage of the world's population lives along a coastline at or near sea level. This means that even small increases in sea level can have significant societal and economic impacts through increased coastal erosion, susceptibility to storm surges, saltwater intrusion into groundwater, loss of coastal wetlands, and stresses on ecosystems and community infrastructure.

Michael Stuart's insight:

There are two main causes of rising sea level: thermal expansion of warming ocean water and the melting of land-based ice (from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and mountain glaciers). Sea level rise is often measured on a global scale, but there are significant regional differences.


For example, current rates of sea level rise for the mid-Atlantic region from New York to North Carolina are considerably higher than the global average.


Although some projections suggest that global sea level could rise between 7 and 23 inches by the end of the twenty-first century, there are large uncertainties associated with the dynamics of ice sheet melting that could result in these estimates being revised substantially.


Geologic evidence associated with the Earth's glacial and interglacial history helps to frame our understanding of what is possible in the future based upon the extent to which sea level has risen in the past.


Examination of records from previous interglacial periods shows that sea level has certainly been 20 feet higher than present sea level.


These past high sea stands provide an opportunity to understand how rapidly sea level can rise in response to a range of climate events and improve our ability to forecast future raes and patterns of sea-level rise.

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Real estate: Look for value in in 2014

Real estate: Look for value in in 2014 | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Price gains are expected to slow and inventory will grow next year. 2014 will still be a seller's market but you
Michael Stuart's insight:

The good news for housing is that price gains next year are expected to be only about half as strong as in 2013, when sellers stayed on the sidelines.


That's good news. "For a sustainable recovery you want to see more balance between buyers and sellers," says David Stiff, chief economist at CoreLogic Case-Shiller, which is forecasting a 6.8% rise in the median home value for 2014.


Inventory is already improving. Nationwide, the number of homes for sale in September rose 1.8% vs. a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.


"It will still be a sellers' market in 2014, given how far we have before inventory is back to normal," says Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, noting the supply of homes in September was still about 15% below historical norms.


Buyers will also enjoy an advantage next year as real estate investors are expected to be less of a factor. Why? In an improving market, there are fewer distressed homes, which they covet.

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Vacation home buying: All you need is love and the right lifestyle area

Vacation home buying: All you need is love and the right lifestyle area | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Advice about purchasing a second home — like the Vacation Home Tip Sheet below – kind of reminds me of a horoscope; it includes common sense rules that could apply to any buyer and any home. My list of important criteria for buying the perfect Texas beach home is a little different, and it goes like this:

1. Love something about the area where you are considering buying a second home. To buy, use and maintain a vacation home, there has to be a compelling reason and an emotional attachment that keeps you coming back year after year. Otherwise, it’s not worth the hassle even if you can rent it to cover the mortgage.

2. Buy in an area close to your primary residence or family. The bulk of second homes are within two hours of buyers’ primary residences.

3. Know your second hometown well enough to pick out what we at Texas Beach Homes call “the lifestyle area” that best suits your needs. Take the time to dig into each neighborhood before you plunk down your money. Sometimes homes in your preferred area aren’t frequently available so you’ll have to be patient and work with a local realtor to spot listings when they come up.

4. Stay in the area with your family and see what it’s like to live there during the season when you plan to visit. Are the people friendly? Is the ambience conducive to relaxing or adventuring or whatever is your purpose for getting away from your primary home?

And, of course, follow the tips in the Vacation Home Tip Sheet. But first, make sure you have love, proximity and the right lifestyle area for your new beach home.

Read more Vacation Home Tip Sheet

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The Most Fabulous Houses Of 2014

The Most Fabulous Houses Of 2014 | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Today, the American Institute of Architects released its list of best residential design. Check out the winners here.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Every year, the American Institute of Architects honors the best residential design in the U.S., recognizing, as the organization puts it, “good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource.”

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When newish is old news: the rise of the renovation redo

When newish is old news: the rise of the renovation redo | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

To compete against a flood of high-end new developments, sellers are remodeling spaces that were done just a few years earlier.

Michael Stuart's insight:

With the real-estate market in many U.S. cities on a hot streak, some sellers are trying to compete by renovating places that were in great shape to begin with. Owners are ripping out kitchens and bathrooms remodeled a couple of years ago, and re-configuring layouts in new homes and condos.

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Flood insurance legislation for second homes

Flood insurance legislation for second homes | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Newly elected U.S. Rep. David Jolly said on Wednescday that he plans to introduce legislation to reduce skyrocketing flood insurance rates for commercial properties and second homes.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Last week President Obama signed a law passed by Congress which undid the changes it passed in 2012. 

 

The new law: reverses a provision that said government-subsidized rates would disappear when a person sells a primary home; provides a refund for those who already got hit under that provision; and maintains protections that were scheduled to sunset for "grandfathered" properties built to code after a community adopted its first Flood Insurance Rate Map.

 

Changes in federal flood insurance rates, which threatened to double or quadruple some individual homeowners' premiums.

 

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Energy-Efficient Homes Made of Plastic for the Texas coast?

Energy-Efficient Homes Made of Plastic for the Texas coast? | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

This 5,300 square-foot family home was built in the 19th century, yet with the exception of a few old beams, it's now made of plastic. Plastic would also be a great exterior finish material for the Texas coast?

Michael Stuart's insight:

Why plastic?

 

The bills are lower and the environment is happier.

 

The translucent panels that coat the exterior actually make the house extremely energy efficient. They're filled with insulation that locks in warm air in the winter and allows cool air to circulate in the summer. The roof is also colored light grey, so sunlight reflects off of it.

 

Is Plastic a great exterior finish material for the Texas coast's salt water air and sun?

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Texas Is Becoming More Walkable

Texas Is Becoming More Walkable | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Can Texas become a walkable place with its vast distances and open expanses of land?

Several Texas Metros cities have been taking big steps toward making their neighborhoods more walkable and age-friendly, and much of the Texas coast has always been walkable.

Michael Stuart's insight:

The downtown (or fishing village) areas of the Texas coast are by default walkable with their small-mixed use charm built over the past 50 years. Places like Port Bolivar, Port Aransas, South Padre Island and Port Isabel.

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Texas company plans $468 million pipeline to ship Utica shale ...

Texas company plans $468 million pipeline to ship Utica shale ... | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
A Texas company wants to build a 76-mile pipeline extension to help move natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales to the Gulf Coast.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Texas Energy Booming!

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Texas Economic Development Policies

Economic development incentives benefiting individual businesses are used more than ever before in Texas.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Negotiations between local governments and businesses are completely exempt from open meetings and open records requests. Modern economic development policy traces its roots in Texas to 1979, when the Legislature passed the Development Corporation
Act of 1979.


Texas’ local governments have a variety of economic development policies at their disposal. Economic development officials often refer to these policies as tools within an economic development toolkit.


Read more at: http://www.texaspolicy.com/sites/default/files/documents/2014-01-PP06-OverviewLocalEconomicDevelopmentPoliciesinTexas-CLG-JessFields.pdf

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An insider's take on the future of drones in real estate | Inman News

An insider's take on the future of drones in real estate | Inman News | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

 Drones and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have the potential to have a significant impact not only on real estate but many other verticals as well.


However, drones are a polarizing topic, and there is a tremendous amount of inaccurate information and confusion regarding their usage.

Drones and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have the potential to have a significant impact not only on real estate but many other verticals as well.

However, drones are a polarizing topic, and there is a tremendous amount of inaccurate information and confusion regarding their usage.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2014/01/07/an-insiders-view-of-the-future-of-drones-in-real-estate/#sthash.0SnzSqel.dpuf

Drones and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have the potential to have a significant impact not only on real estate but many other verticals as well.

However, drones are a polarizing topic, and there is a tremendous amount of inaccurate information and confusion regarding their usage.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2014/01/07/an-insiders-view-of-the-future-of-drones-in-real-estate/#sthash.0SnzSqel.dpuf
Michael Stuart's insight:

he public perception of drones has been influenced by media reports about this technology being used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The term “drone” tends to conjure up thoughts of these machines being used for military purposes.


Communities of hobbyists with good intentions have used model aircraft and remote-controlled aircraft for decades in this country.

IThe UAV hobbyist tends to be a curious learner who is willing to share their knowledge with others. I see UAVs as a great way to get young people involved and interested in aeronautics, electronics, telecommunications, software, math and science.

he public perception of drones has been influenced by media reports about this technology being used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The term “drone” tends to conjure up thoughts of these machines being used for military purposes. The truth is that communities of hobbyists with good intentions have used model aircraft and remote-controlled aircraft for decades in this country.

I’ve been impressed by the communities that have formed to support the education and use of these remote-controlled aircraft over several decades. The UAV hobbyist tends to be a curious learner who is willing to share their knowledge with others. I see UAVs as a great way to get young people involved and interested in aeronautics, electronics, telecommunications, software, math and science.

- See more at: http://www.inman.com/2014/01/07/an-insiders-view-of-the-future-of-drones-in-real-estate/#sthash.0SnzSqel.dpuf
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David Diaz's curator insight, February 2, 9:29 AM

Is this the future of real estate photography?

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What Priceline Would Benefit from Acquiring HomeAway

What Priceline Would Benefit from Acquiring HomeAway | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

2014 will be the year of constant talk of HomeAway and acquisitions.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Vacation rentals are privately owned residential properties that property owners and managers rent to travelers on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis.


According to a study by PhoCusWright, the market for vacation rentals in the U.S. stood at $23 billion in 2012, lower than its levels prior to the recession. http://phocuswright.com/ 


However, the share of online sales in vacation rentals doubled from 12% in 2007 to 24% in 2012, and this is expected to increase to 30% by 2014.


The growing market for online vacation renting has fueled the rise of many start-ups.


One such company, HomeAway, was founded in 2004. It brings together travelers and vacation property owners on a single platform via its website.

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Housing Outlook 2014: 10 Predictions From The Experts

Housing Outlook 2014: 10 Predictions From The Experts | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The 2013 housing market was all about recovery. Here's what the experts expect in 2014.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Here are ten things housing experts expect to see in 2014:


1. More homes will be available
2. Mortgage rates will rise
3. Mortgages will be easier to get
4. Home prices will rise 3%
5. Fewer homeowners will be underwater
6. Affordability will decline
7. Ownership will decline
8. Americans will move
9. Foreclosures will fade
10. Home buying process less crazed


During the bust, investors bought as many as one out of every five homes in America, according to Redfin. The perfect storm of increased inventory, higher prices, and fewer foreclosures means that investors are stepping out of the buying market, giving way for regular folks.


Add to that the loosening credit rules, and the housing buy market begins to look more normal. “All in all, more inventory, less competition from investors, and more mortgage credit should all make the buying process less frenzied than in 2013,” says Kolko of Trulia

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Sandy Blanton's curator insight, December 29, 2013 7:16 AM

Interesting. 

Mike Jurecka's curator insight, January 11, 6:12 AM

Great article. Check it out....

Gary Glenn, CDPE's curator insight, January 12, 3:13 PM

2014 will be challenging - reminds me of the old game show - will the REAL BUYERS and SELLERS please stand up. Rates are still good but we are seeing prices creep up do more to reduced selection of REO properties and most of the better values aka low hanging fruit being scopped up in 2013. Ther are still a lot of upside down sellers that need to make a decision and too many buyers hoping to see another flood of foreclosures.

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Groundwater Pumping Takes an Unexpected Toll on the Texas Gulf Coast

Groundwater Pumping Takes an Unexpected Toll on the Texas Gulf Coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Unlike the rest of the state, the Texas Gulf Coast has been working for decades to reduce dependency on groundwater because pumping has caused the land to sink.
Michael Stuart's insight:

With an exploding population and a dwindling surface water supply that is increasingly out of reach, Texans are counting on water below the ground to fuel the state's economic growth.


But they face significant challenges, examined in this series on the state's thirst for underground water. Amid a persistent drought, a growing population and a dwindling supply of surface water, much of Texas is searching for underground water resources.


But a large swath of Texas — home to close to one-quarter of its population — is looking for water supplies anywhere but beneath its surface.


A century of intense groundwater pumping in the fast-growing Houston metropolitan area has collapsed the layers of the Gulf Coast Aquifer, causing the land above to sink.


The only solution is to stop pumping, a strategy that some areas are resisting. The geological phenomenon, unique to this part of Texas because of the makeup of the aquifer’s clay layers, is known as subsidence.


Areas in and around Houston have sunk as much as 10 feet in the past 100 years, causing floods, cracking pavement and even moving geologic faults that could lead to infrastructure damage.


Subsidence has long been a concern in Harris and Galveston counties, which are nearer to the Gulf and more prone to flooding.


Spurred by state lawmakers in the 1970s, the counties have worked to reduce their groundwater dependency to 25 percent from more than 50 percent.


That number will continue to fall as they increase their reliance on rivers like the Trinity and San Jacinto, as well as planned reservoirs.


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