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Rising Sea Levels a Growing Risk to Coastal Property

Rising Sea Levels a Growing Risk to Coastal Property | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.


If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.


Sea level rise has already cost governments and private landowners billions of dollars as they have pumped sand on eroding beaches and repaired the damage from storm surges.


Texas has taken protective action with seawalls in Galveston and Corpus Christi.

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Americans More Confident in Housing Recovery

Americans More Confident in Housing Recovery | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Potential homebuyers and sellers are growing more confident that the U.S. real estate market will begin to recover as soon as next year.


Sixty percent of people surveyed last month had positive views about the housing market and 70 percent expected property values to improve over the next two years, according to the survey released today.


About 63 percent of respondents said they considered real estate a good investment, up from 52 percent last year.


There is still a desire for homeownership, and as we see continued improvement in the job market, there is going to be an unleashing of pent-up demand.

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Port Aransas was called Turtle Cove

Port Aransas was called Turtle Cove | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The map of South Texas would look a lot different if some earlier names had stuck.


Port Aransas was called Turtle Cove, Star, Ropesville, Tarpon, then Port Aransas.


Rockport was Rocky Point before it was Rockport. It changed its name to Aransas Pass, then back to Rockport.


Aransas Harbor changed its name to Aransas Pass after Rockport gave up the name.


Corpus Christi for its first two years was called Kinney's Rancho, but by 1841 Kinney was calling it Corpus Christi after the bay.


Corpus Christi once called itself the Naples on the Gulf, then Bluff City, followed by Texas Riviera, and finally Sparkling City by the Sea.

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Gasoline costs less on the Texas Coast

Gasoline costs less on the Texas Coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Although global energy markets establish the national trend for oil and gasoline prices, many factors are much more local — including the proximity of refineries to crude oil sources.


Refinery port cities like Corpus Christi and Galveston on the Texas coast, are amoung the lowest price per gallon in the country.


In the short term, if prices spike further in a geopolitical crisis, the government could release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a series of storage sites on the gulf in Louisiana and Texas established in the wake of the 1973 oil shock.


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Eagle Ford Shale: Amid the oil boom, roads go bust

Eagle Ford Shale: Amid the oil boom, roads go bust | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

If the Eagle Ford boom is a shot in the arm to South Texas, then crumbling roads and highways are its nagging side effect.Oil field trucks laden with water, chemicals and equipment inflict far more damage on South Texas roads than anyone expected, prompting the formation of a state-level task force faced with staggering repairs and few immediate solutions. 


The Texas Department of Transportation said the department has not calculated the potential long-term road maintenance costs associated with the shale drilling, but early accounts suggest it will be immense.


In the department's Corpus Christi district alone, where three of the 10 counties lie atop the Eagle Ford Shale formation, projected maintenance needs during the next five years reach $500 million, District Engineer John Casey said. That's triple the amount projected before the drilling boom, and it doesn't include millions more that counties will have to find to repair roads off the state highway system.

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Revisiting Modern Prefab Modular Building

Revisiting Modern Prefab Modular Building | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Modern prefabricated housing could still change residential architecture for home buyers hungry for affordable modern design.


The thought of great-looking modern homes for everyone and the homeowner can customize, like a car.


Modern prefab often works best as a tool for delivering architecture with its value in bundling good design into preconceived elements.


There are huge savings, because you’re getting high-end design.

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Is U.S. Energy Independence Finally Within Reach?

The U.S. has been dependent on foreign oil for its energy needs for decades. Some analysts now say the country could become energy independent over the next decade.


"Energy self-sufficiency is now in sight," says energy economist Phil Verleger. He believes that within a decade, the U.S. will no longer need to import crude oil and will be a natural gas exporter.


It's not the result of government policy or drilling by big oil. Small energy companies using such controversial techniques as hydraulic fracturing, along with horizontal drilling, are unlocking vast oil and natural gas deposits trapped in shale in places like Texas.

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Plummeted Prices have Buyers seeking second homes

Plummeted Prices have Buyers seeking second homes | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Buyers are looking a second house for a vacation home, a future retirement home or for rental income property on the Texas coast.


According to a 2011 survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 19 percent of recent homebuyers own more than one home, up 5 percent from the previous year. And vacation properties made up 27 percent of all home sales last year.


They're rushing in now because the prices have dropped 40 to 50 percent off peak, there is owner financing options and new homes are being built for less than $150/sqft.


It's a hot oppportunity in Texas, as the available inventory selling at a discount is increasing as sellers realalize it's a new market now and banks are finally putting foreclosures on the market.


If you have to sell, you have to take less than you thought it was worth in 2006. If you can afford to buy, it's never been a better time to find a bargain.

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Housing Lays Foundation for Recovery

Housing Lays Foundation for Recovery | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

After several false starts, housing is flashing the strongest signals yet of a sustainable rebound.


While foreclosures continue to depress prices, buyers are wading back into the market, lured by rising employment and record-low mortgage rates.


Six years into the biggest real estate collapse since the Great Depression, housing may become a net contributor to the U.S. economy for the first time since 2005.


A decline in prices from discounted foreclosure sales along with 30-year mortgage rates of less than 4 percent boosted U.S. housing affordability to record levels.

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Five ways new homes are changing with the economy

Five  ways new homes are changing with the economy | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Newly built houses are energy-efficient and stripped of extras but still have plenty of multifunctional living and storage space.


New homes, reshaped by today's economy, are:

1. Energy efficient

2. Greener

3. Affordable

4. Smaller

5. Stripped down


On the Texas coast, new homes sell easiest when the community is nearly finished [or in standalone phases that are nearly completed] and the price is under $200k at $150sqft.

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TransCanada to build Oklahoma to Gulf Coast pipeline

TransCanada to build Oklahoma to Gulf Coast pipeline | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

TransCanada Corporation informed the state department that what had been the Cushing to U.S. Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL Project - has its own independent value to the marketplace and will be constructed as a stand-alone Gulf Coast Project, not part of the Presidential Permit process.


The approximate cost is US$2.3 billion and subject to regulatory approvals, we anticipate the Gulf Coast Project to be in service in mid to late 2013.


The Gulf Coast Project will transport growing supplies of U.S. crude oil to meet refinery demand in Texas.


With respect to moving forward on an initiative like the Gulf Coast Project, President Obama stated: "In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security - including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico."


Keystone XL remains in the national interest of the United States achieving energy security and would create thousands of jobs, with more Canadian and U.S. oil and less need of oil from unstable places such as the Middle East and Venezuela.

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Why Texas Cities are Booming

Why Texas Cities are Booming | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

In the current uneasy economic climate many businesses and families have relocated to greener pastures in Texas.


For the past few years Texas has become an epicenter of migration for Americans of all economic classes. The hotly debated east versus west rivalry of New York and California has been split by a huge influx in relocation to the Lone Star state.


This influx has lead to a swell in economic and social prosperity that makes Texas an ideal destination for Americans looking to pack up and seek a new frontier.


Texas is booming. There is no better way to describe it. In Forbes’ 2009 list of best cities for relocation, no less than 8 out of the 25 top cities were Texan cities, all ranking higher than average for the rest of the country in regards to amount of population with degrees, income, and home value.


Texas is growing while much of the country remains stagnant. Unemployment is far below the nation’s struggling 9% unemployment rate and No state income tax.

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Texas Ahead: Insight into Housing

Texas Ahead: Insight into Housing | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Texas is known as a great place to live and work, with a business-friendly attitude and a cost of living among the nation’s lowest. And a big component of our low cost of living is a healthy and affordable housing market.


Home ownership is less burdensome in Texas. According to the Census Bureau, in 2006 just a third (33.3 percent) of Texas homeowners with mortgages had to spend 30 percent or more of their monthly household incomes on mortgage payments and associated costs. The U.S. average was 36.9 percent of homeowners; the equivalent shares in California, Florida and New York were 51.8 percent, 44.9 percent and 40.9 percent, respectively.'


Renters get a better deal in Texas too. In the 2006 American Community Survey, Texas’ median monthly housing cost for renter-occupied housing was well below the US. average, at $711 versus $763. By contrast, California’s median cost was $1,029; New York’s was $875; and Florida’s was $872.


Lower housing costs translate to a lower cost of living for you and your family.

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Port of Corpus Christi wind turbines helping to power local grid

Port of Corpus Christi wind turbines helping to power local grid | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Investors, local, state and federal representatives gathered at the Port of Corpus Christi to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Harbor Wind Energy Farm on port property along Nueces Bay.


The project had been in the works since 2006, when Hegedus approached the port and the late Al Speight, former industrial development manager.


The six turbines — spinning since late February — will turn at 19 revolutions per minute at full power and transmit 30 million kilowatt-hours per year into the local grid.

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Another South Texas lawmaker goes from Democrat to Republican

Another South Texas lawmaker goes from Democrat to Republican | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

nother state representative from South Texas is making the switch from Democrat to Republican.


District 43 Rep. J.M. Lozano made the announcement earlier this week.


The decision came shortly after redistricting where Lozano lost his territory in Kenedy, Willacy and Cameron Counties.


Lozano beat South Padre Island-based State Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra back in the 2010 Democratic Party primary.


Lozano is the second South Texas lawmaker to switch from Democrat to Republican.

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Gulf of Mexico back to its robust oil production

Gulf of Mexico back to its robust oil production | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

A one-year progress report on the Obama administration's Blueprint for a Secure Energy Policy touts increased domestic energy production and reduced reliance on foreign oil.


The report asserted that the administration had brought "the sweet spot of America, and that's the Gulf of Mexico," safely back to "robust" production.


Since we put in place new safety standards in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, we have approved more than 400 drilling permits. In fact, we are now permitting at levels seen before the spill, all while meeting these important new standards.


Currently, the United States has a record number of oil and gas rigs operating -- more than the rest of the world combined."

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Rent or buy Your Vacation home

Rent or buy Your Vacation home | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

According to a 2012 survey of more than 2,000 vacation rental owners conducted by a large  Texas-based vacation rental company  55 percent originally bought their properties for personal use or as an investment. Only 11 percent purchased with the intention of renting to visitors.


Yet more than half of those surveyed said they now rent the property to cover some or all of their vacation-home expenses. Another 25 percent said they do so with the goal of generating a profit.


The good news is demand for vacation rentals is high, in locations like the Texas coast.

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AeroMexico adds more flights from South Padre to Monterrey

AeroMexico adds more flights from South Padre to Monterrey | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

AeroMexico adds more flights from the Brownsville-South Padre Island Airport to-from Monterrey Mexico.


Larry Brown, director of aviation for the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, which landed AeroMexico nonstop service to Monterrey last July, said the airline hasn’t yet indicated which days of the week the extra flights will take place. Brownsville’s current three flights a week to Monterrey operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


“We have been more than delighted with the response to our nonstop flights from Brownsville to Monterrey,” said Abel Silva, AeroMexico’s network planning manager.

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TABC Developing Apps to Curb Underage Drinking

TABC Developing Apps to Curb Underage Drinking | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

As college students from across the nation head to Texas beaches for spring break, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is already making plans to have new tools at its disposal for next year's partiers — mobile phone apps that it hopes will curb excessive and underage drinking.


One app will allow users to gauge their motor skills through a series of increasingly difficult tests, and the other would let anyone file a complaint against an establishment if it is suspected of serving alcohol to a minor or of breaking rules against serving too much alcohol to customers.


Although both apps are still in development, the former is designed to make people more aware of how much alcohol can affect them. Even basic tasks become difficult to perform as a person’s blood alcohol content rises.

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Tiny Space of the Day The 160-Square-Foot Apartment

Tiny Space of the Day The 160-Square-Foot Apartment | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Is a 160-Square-Foot Apartment Smartspace 2.0?


How much space does a single person really need? That's a question housing developer Patrick Kennedy is trying to answer, as Apartment Therapy reports. Kennedy, who once lived in a 78-square-foot Airstream, designed a pre-fab studio that maximizes space in a big way.


Could these work on the Texas coast?


See the 160-square-foot affordable, tiny prefab homes idea:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwz0xewTS0I


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Chinese Roll 1.7Billion on the Texas Coast

Chinese Roll 1.7Billion on the Texas Coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

A $1.7-billion expansion of Formosa Plastics’ Point Comfort, Texas, site could create an estimated 1,800 construction jobs, according to the company.


The Chinese petrochemical company announced the project this week, noting that the expansion would enable it to “take advantage of the increasingly reliable and low-cost domestic natural gas.”


“We anticipate construction completion and start-up in 2016,” said Randy Smith, site vice president/general manager. “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in the U.S. economy, the State of Texas and the Gulf Coast region’s workforce.”

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A new recession seems inevitable

A new recession seems inevitable | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan - despite improvement in jobs and stocks, there is no way for U.S. economy to avoid a new recession.


More than 50 years of economic data followed by his firm has shown him that when underlying growth slows to this degree, a recession always follows.


ECRI is one of the more widely respected firms on economic recessions, as it has never been wrong when forecasting that a recession would start, or failed to predict a recession well before it was widely accepted.


See http://www.businesscycle.com/

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Has the Housing Market Finally Bottomed?

Has the Housing Market Finally Bottomed? | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

It was the most atrocious bubble in U.S. history pushing tens of millions of Americans into financial misery.


But five years later it's finally coming back. The housing market has bottomed and there's money to be made on its return.


If the area where you live is in decent economic shape, you should consider taking advantage of current low prices and good mortgage availability to purchase either rental homes or ideally a small apartment block.

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Canada to Gulf Coast Pipeline pushing forward through Texas

Canada to Gulf Coast Pipeline pushing forward through Texas | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

A judge in Paris Texas ruled that work on the Keystone XL Pipeline could proceed through the northernmost of 18 Texas counties on its route to the Gulf Coast.


Lamar County Court at Law Judge Bill Harris granted pipeline company TransCanada’s motion to dissolve a temporary restraining order that had stopped construction.


Keystone last month announced plans to continue the Texas leg of the project, along with new route that bypasses North Dakota where protests have arisen, despite President Barack Obama’s denial of its permit.


That permit was necessary because the pipeline crosses an international boundary, but Prescott said in an earlier interview it only affected a 30-mile stretch crossing the U.S. Canadian border.


The pipeline has drawn more opposition than most because, instead of simple crude oil, it will transport oil sands from fields in Alberta, Canada.


The line now reaches to Cushing, Okla., with the remaining 435-mile stretch from that mid-state town, across the Red River and through 18 Texas counties, due for completion in 2013.

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Million-dollar foreclosures rise as rich walk away

Million-dollar foreclosures rise as rich walk away | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Five years after the housing bubble burst, America's wealthiest families are now losing their homes to foreclosure at a much faster rate than the rest of the country and many of them are doing so voluntarily.


With a recovery in the housing market still years away, foreclosure has turned out to be a worthwhile option after all. Saddled with bloated mortgages after a long run up in property values, many high-end homeowners have chosen to pursue a "strategic default."


Even though they can afford the monthly mortgage payments, they still decide to walk away from their home because they owe more on the property than it is worth.

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