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Multimillion-dollar, 1,200-foot lazy river being installed in west Houston

Multimillion-dollar, 1,200-foot lazy river being installed in west Houston | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Houston's Westside Tennis and Fitness has long been known for its sports facilities, but it's gearing up to become a resort-style family destination by next summer.
Michael Stuart's insight:

The 600,000-gallon winding waterway will offer guests an eight-minute ride around the "island," an expanse that will include three slides. Among those will be the 166-foot "HighFly," as well as a steep 113-foot drop slide. Part of the lazy river will be the "Action River" which will be more pressurized to propel daring floaters through the channel more quickly. It will also have a swim-up bar and poolside lounge for adults.

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Top 11 Tourist Attractions in Corpus Christi - Travel Texas

Top 11 Tourist Attractions in Corpus Christi - Travel Texas: USS LEXINGTON, Padre Island National Seashore, Malaquite Beach, Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge
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The Future of Retirement Communities: Walkable and Urban

The Future of Retirement Communities: Walkable and Urban | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
In the age of the Fitbit and more active retirees, there is a growing demand for neighborhoods that don’t require a car and offer a mix of services.
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Eclectic seaside hostel is built out of recycled shipping containers

Eclectic seaside hostel is built out of recycled shipping containers | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Built with shipping containers and other recycled building materials, this hostel offers comfortable accommodations on a budget.
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Island Adventure Park Hiding in South Padre Island

Island Adventure Park Hiding in South Padre Island | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The new Adventure Park at the end of Park Road 100 has forty acres of land spans from the Gulf of Mexico to the Laguna Madre Bay and provides for Adventure on South Padre Island.


Horseback rides are along the beach and water’s edge, and we often see a variety of shoreline and marine life.

 

Riding horseback is the best way to see the Island’s unique sand-dune flora and fauna along with rare birds and animals that either live here year round or migrate through each Spring and Fall.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Ride in the remote portion of the Island that few people get to experience. 

 

Sunset Horse Rides, Private Sand Dune ATV Track, Horseback Riding, Beach Excursions, Zip Lines, Events and Parties, Petting Zoo, Wedding Location, Bonfires and Cook Outs.

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PNC Bank’s 'Tiny Branch' is Hurricane Resistant 

PNC Bank’s 'Tiny Branch' is Hurricane Resistant  | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
With no lines and financial consultants equipped with iPads, the new PNC location on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown isn’t the typical bank.  And that’s not even taking into account its size. The entire bank only has 110 sf of usable space, plus room for a smart ATM. The "Tiny Branch", a 8x20-foot steel container, was shipped on a flatbed truck and set up in just six hours from the time of its delivery. It was introduced this week.
Michael Stuart's insight:

Hurricane Resistant like the post offices they just moved off the Island when a storm approached

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Panel: Sea levels rising, land dropping

Panel: Sea levels rising, land dropping | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
 
 

Sea levels all over the world are climbing, and the warm waters in the Coastal Bend are swelling at a rate faster than most.

But that's not our only problem. Our land levels are dropping, too, says an environmental panel.

Scientists predict they will grow 1 1/3 feet to 2 feet by the end of the 21st century, said Philippe Tissot, associate director of the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

 

He described the change as a "manageable condition," but warned that ports and navigation districts around the Gulf of Mexico need to prepare for the higher levels.

 

 

One thing they are also learning, Tissot said, is that waterfront land levels are sinking. Plate tectonics — the shifting of land shelves — combined with added pressure from water results in compaction of land, Tissot said.

 

"Given all the high-tonnage ports we have in the Gulf ... infrastructure wise it's (compaction is) a big deal for us," said Tissot, who also is an associate research professor at the school.

 

The city has had to react to the changes in recent years.

For example, the marina no longer uses wooden docks. Inflatable docks allow for more flexibility, especially during storm surges and unusual high tides.

 

Other more visible and costly improvements have come to Corpus Christi's Seawall, a popular hangout for bay watchers. Constructed during the 1930s and completed in March 1941, it has undergone million of dollars in repairs and upgrades to withstand storms and flooding, but the city also has had to spend money on safety measures as the water level creeps up and over the bottom stairs.

 

"We've had to plan for the future," Davidson said.

The event was held at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Development.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Worldwide, ocean water levels rose by two-thirds  of a foot during the 20th century.

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Modern homes use simple lines of the forties fifties and sixties

Modern homes use simple lines of the forties fifties and sixties | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The rise of modern art and modern house. Real estate Websites further the model modern when they use contemporary to describe home styles 

Michael Stuart's insight:

Vice chairman of the American Institute of architects says that modern homes and seek for the simple lines and stripped down aesthetic of the eighteen forties fifties and sixties modernist.

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Janet Howcroft's curator insight, November 21, 2016 7:30 AM

The rise of modern art and modern house. Real estate Websites further the model modern when they use contemporary to describe home styles 

 - November 9
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8 Tips For Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental

8 Tips For Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
1. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

Do you plan on lounging around or being out and about? Are there children in your group? How important is that ocean view, really? Knowing your preferences will help you find the right rental without overspending. Make sure to coordinate with your group beforehand so you’re getting the best deal for everyone.

2. GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT

The general rule with vacation rentals is to book early. Indeed, unlike hotels and airfare, there’s no virtue in waiting to reserve that in-demand Italian villa or that Carolina beach house. Plan a year in advance, if you can. The exception is if you’re headed to a popular destination like Florida or Arizona, where supply can outstrip demand for rentals. In that case, you can often wait until the last minute and see significant price reductions.

3. BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR DATES

If you’re planning to visit Europe in the summertime, get ready for sky-high prices and fierce competition on rental properties. Move that vacation up to springtime or back to the fall—which many experienced travelers argue are the best seasons to visit anyway—and you’ll find better prices and availability. Booking sites often feature fare charts that allow you to track rates over time. Reserve in the last week of off-peak season and you might save hundreds.

4. KNOW YOUR TERMINOLOGY

Especially if you’re booking through a rental association or co-op, know the distinctions between terms like “Beachfront” and “Oceanfront” (only the former guarantees you’re on the water). “Direct Ski Access” usually means you’re a shuttle ride away from the slopes, while “Ski In/Ski Out” means you can ski directly up to the property. And “Garden View” can mean just about anything. Always ask for pictures of the rental property if none are provided online.

5. SEARCH MORE THAN ONE SITE

There’s a good chance you have one go-to site for rental searches. But getting the best selection means examining listings from multiple sources. Especially if you know the neighborhood where you want to stay, you should cast a wide net. Websites that aggregate listings are a good start, but don’t forget about location-specific sites, which can have high-quality listings that fly under the radar.

 

Tripping.com can do this for you!

6. AVOID TOURISTY AREAS

Staying right off Barcelona’s La Rambla or Seattle’s Pike Place Market might seem nice—but you’re going to pay for it. Markups in tourist hotspots can be ridiculous, with subpar rentals often going for top dollar. You’re better off looking for places that are near public transit, or that are a short car ride away from popular destinations.

7. SAVE MONEY, BUT DON’T BE TOO CHEAP

You don’t want to overspend on space and amenities you won’t use or appreciate. But you also don’t want to spend a week in a glorified broom closet just to save a few dollars. Consider what you’ll need—and also what you’ll enjoy. No, that garden terrace isn’t a necessity. And sure, you don’t need that 42-inch television. But guess what? You’re on vacation.

8. STAY SAFE AND SECURE

The overwhelming majority of online rental listings are legit. Yet the risk of fraud is still very real, with numerous would-be renters getting ripped off in recent years. The number one security guideline, according to experts, is to contact the property manager beforehand. Ask questions, gather info, and walk away if anything seems fishy. Many sites provide built-in security measures, and reviews can oftentimes identify any red flags. Also, make sure to use a credit card for any purchases, since they usually have built-in fraud protections.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Make sure to coordinate with your group beforehand so you’re getting the best deal for everyone.

 

Check out http://tripping.com - it checks all the vacation rental sites for you, cool.

 

On the Texas coast see http://cinnamonshore.com  - the region's first all-inclusive luxury resort, when you want to "make the most of your time" with your family and friends.

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5 Things You’ll Need on Your Photo Vacation

5 Things You’ll Need on Your Photo Vacation | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Surely you’ve been there—vacation time, and you’re the only photographer around. Everyone’s slowed down by your hobby, but on the other hand, when the time comes for a pretty picture, they’re glad to have you along.
Michael Stuart's insight:
Add water and sandproof case.
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The Data-Driven Case for Vacation

Take a Vacation to Boost Your Productivity

 

Studies show that Americans are taking less vacation than they ever have before. In fact, more than half of Americans (55%) let their vacation days go to waste, which equates to 658 million unused vacation days. Remember, this is paid time off — by not taking your allotted days, you’re essentially volunteering for your company. Forgoing your vacation might be worth it if doing so made you more successful, but studies show that people who take more vacation days are actually more likely to receive a raise or a bonus.

 

So, go away! Plan ahead, too: Your vacation will only improve your energy and outlook upon returning to work if you plan it at least a month in advance and get far away from work (that’s physical and emotional distance). And be sure to relax. A stressful vacation eliminates any of the positive benefits of taking time off.

Michael Stuart's insight:

People who take 11 or more vacation days are 30% more likely to receive a raise.

 

The beach is only a few hours away from Austin and San Antonio, and it's the nearly stay-free season in South Padre and Port Aransas.

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Hurricanes are way out of proportion to their actual occurrence

Hurricanes are way out of proportion to their actual occurrence | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it


Hurricanes? What hurricanes?

Comparing this map with others, it’s clear that our national fascination with hurricanes—and even the names we decide to give each one—are way out of proportion to their actual occurrence.

 

Since 1900, hurricanes formed in the Atlantic basin have struck the U.S. mainland just less than twice a year, on average.

 

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that Florida, Texas, and Louisiana usually bear the brunt of hurricanes’ aftermath.

Michael Stuart's insight:

Hurricanes are way out of proportion to their actual occurrence.

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Gulf of Mexico has greater-than-believed ability to self-cleanse oil spills

Gulf of Mexico has greater-than-believed ability to self-cleanse oil spills | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The Gulf of Mexico may have a much greater natural ability to self-clean oil spills than previously believed, an expert in bioremediation has said.
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60 Percent of Guests Would Pay More for a Vacation Rental With a Smart Home Feature, August Home Study Reveals | Business Wire

60 Percent of Guests Would Pay More for a Vacation Rental With a Smart Home Feature, August Home Study Reveals | Business Wire | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Guests state that vacation homes provide a superior rental experience to hotels (78%) making short-term rentals a more compelling alternative.

 

And smart tech is making it even better, both vacation guests (80%) and business travelers (92%) report they are more likely to complete their rental reservation if the property has smart home technology.

 

60% of Guests indicate they would pay more for a vacation rental with a smart home feature.

 

 

Michael Stuart's insight:

Hosts and Guests believe smart home technology, such as smart locks and doorbell cameras will be a part of all rentals in the future.

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How to Use Google Maps to Plan an Awesome Vacation

How to Use Google Maps to Plan an Awesome Vacation | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
With a custom Google Map, you can compile tips and recommendations from friends into a handy guide that will make you feel like a local.
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These 13 Home Energy Tax Credits Expire in 2016

These 13 Home Energy Tax Credits Expire in 2016 | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

At the end of 2016, the clock runs out on several federal tax credits for homeowners who made energy upgrades during the year. 

BUILDING ENVELOPE IMPROVEMENTS
HEATING, COOLING AND WATER-HEATING EQUIPMENT

HOME RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS

Thanks to the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, you can get a tax credit of 30% for the cost of adding these renewable energy technologies to your house: 

Michael Stuart's insight:

Remember that to claim the credit, all products must have been placed in service by December 31, 2016.

 

Energy Saver has a number of resources to get you started in your planning for renewable energy:

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Affluent Family Travelers Spend 10 times Average

Affluent Family Travelers Spend 10 times Average | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Affluent parents are increasingly bringing their children with them as they travel first class and stay at luxury properties, creating a growing need for kid-friendly amenities.

 

In a survey of individuals with incomes of at least $100,000 conducted by Top Flight Family, 43 percent of respondents had stayed with their children at a five-star hotel or resort.

 

  • Whether looking to foster togetherness or looking to give children an educational experience, parents see travel as a valuable opportunity for their children.
  • Nearly all [87 percent] affluent parents they go 'frequently' or 'occasionally' with their children and spend $23,000 per year on family travel, ten times what the average American family spends.

 

Affluent parents look for conveniences when traveling with children

 

  • When traveling with kids, most parents opt for a hotel. Sixty percent said this was their preferred accommodation, compared to just 17 percent who opted for a vacation rental.
  • Lower on the list, 13.5 percent stated that they would stay with friends and family, while a mere 4.4 percent would book a timeshare and 3.5 percent would choose Airbnb as their preference.

 

On the Texas Coast, we see the affluent family trend with the surging popularity of the Cinnamon Shore resort in Port Aransas 

Michael Stuart's insight:

Luxury family travelers - Nearly all [87 percent] affluent parents they travel 'frequently' or 'occasionally' with their children and spend $23,000 per year on family travel.

 

That's ten times what the average American family spends.

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Climate Adaptation

Climate Adaptation | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The report can be a helpful resource for communities working to establish sound protections against the impacts of a changing climate.
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Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate

Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Homeowners are slowly growing wary of buying property in the areas most at risk, setting up a potential economic time bomb in an industry that is struggling to adapt.
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Port Isabel makes top beautiful towns in Texas

Port Isabel makes top beautiful towns in Texas | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Oft forgotten with South Padre Island next-door, Port Isabel is listed as a beautiful Texas town. 

Former Port Isabel police chief and lifetime resident Wally Gonzalez says it’s a fishing community and most everybody knows each other and is friendly with each other."

 

He said it’s a beautiful area and you can walk anywhere you want and people are friendly. 

Michael Stuart's insight:

The article boasts about the town’s Texas International Fishing Tournament and the  popular attraction of the Port Isabel Lighthouse built in 1852.

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Seaside chic rules at Texas Nature Conservancy Gala as hundreds toast the Gulf Coast

Seaside chic rules at Texas Nature Conservancy Gala as hundreds toast the Gulf Coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
“The Gulf of Mexico is an important body of water economically and ecologically,” Huffman said. “The gold is making its way back.” The Gulf Coast region is home to one-quarter of Texas’ 25 million people and sustains a $20 billion in recreation and tourism industry, as well as supporting 90 percent of the nation’s offshore oil and gas production.
Michael Stuart's insight:

400 guests raised a glass to the Nature Conservancy Texas at the Toast the Coast gala, raising more than $430,000 for various Texas Gulf Coast projects.

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Galveston prepares for massive Lone Star Rally

Galveston prepares for massive Lone Star Rally | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

For the 15th consecutive year, the largest motorcycle rally in North America will return to Galveston Island, Galveston officials created a Share the Road PSA with the Texas Department of Public Safety to encourage safety for all drivers and riders.  Admission to the event is free.

 

Event-goers are not able to camp at any public beaches, except the Galveston Island State Park. Parking also is prohibited from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day.

Michael Stuart's insight:

For the 15th consecutive year, The Lone Star Rally runs Nov. 3 through Nov. 6. Officials expect the event to draw 250,000 motorcycles and more than 500,000 people to the island.

 

The four-day rally brings concerts, attractions, exhibits and vendors to the historic downtown area and Seawall Boulevard.

Downtown street closures will begin Nov. 2. Roads are expected to remain shut down through Nov. 6.  Galveston officials warned drivers to expect significant traffic congestion in the area.

 

 

 

 

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Texas luxury home sales strong  

Texas luxury home sales strong   | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Luxury home sales in Texas were high in the first eight months of 2016, according to the latest Texas Luxury Home Sales Report released yesterday by the Texas Association of Realtors.

The report examines housing market trends and statistics for homes priced $1 million or higher in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Midland MSAs.

From January to August 2016, luxury home sales volume increased in all four major metro areas except Houston, which had a 7.9 percent year-over-year decline. The highest annual gains were in Corpus Christi and Midland, where sales jumped 60 % and 166.7 %, respectively.

Luxury home prices remained flat or declined across the state. The lone exception was Midland, where the median price increased 13.8 percent. Prices were highest in DFW, with a median price of $1.4 million. Austin-Round Rock MSA had the highest price per sf ($345) among major metros.

Several factors are driving Texas' luxury home sales growth in 2016," said Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. "Consistent with the downturn of the oil and gas sector, homeowners are putting more expensive homes on the market. Other luxury home sales are from new home construction contracted two years ago, when the energy sector was healthier."

Michael Stuart's insight:

Port Aransas on the Texas coast has strong sales comparable to Austin.

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New Park Completed on South Padre Island

New Park Completed on South Padre Island | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Phase one of the new John Tompkins Park is now complete and open to the public, just the beginning of more playgrounds and other exercise and health initiatives.
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A small Texas town beats San Francisco on this key metric for startups

A small Texas town beats San Francisco on this key metric for startups | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Texas bests San Francisco in top 10 list of U.S. cities with the most jobs from startups as a percentage of total jobs.

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