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Short sale tax break passes in House

Short sale tax break passes in House | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
According to a recent estimate from RealtyTrac, there have been more than 170,000 short sales representing a mortgage debt forgiveness of $8.1 billion total in the first three quarters of 2014 alone. All those borrowers will be facing massive tax bills if the bill doesn't pass in the Senate as well.
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NNow that the House passed an extension of Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, those homeowners may be getting a reprieve.

“I just think it’s unfair and I think most would concur that it’s unfair that individuals would have to pay taxes on income that they have never received,” said Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

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Bechtel moving forward with engineering, procurement for Train 3 at Cheniere Energy's (NYSE Amex: LNG) LNG export terminal in Corpus Christi

Bechtel moving forward with engineering, procurement for Train 3 at Cheniere Energy's (NYSE Amex: LNG) LNG export terminal in Corpus Christi | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Cheniere Energy Inc. has told the general contractor for its Corpus Christi LNG export terminal to move forward with a project to build a third liquefied natural gas processing unit on the site.

Houston-based Cheniere Energy (NYSE American: LNG) gave general contractor Bechtel Corp. a limited notice to proceed for engineering, procurement and construction on an LNG processing unit that will be known as Train 3, CEO Jack Fusco confirmed during a Feb. 21 call with investors.

"Train 3 engineering has progressed to 25 percent complete. Ground and foundation work have begun, and most importantly, the train construction cost, schedule and performance are fixed," Fusco said during the call.

Cheniere entered into deal on Dec. 12 with San Francisco-based Bechtel, setting a $2.36 billion budget for Train 3, a filling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows.
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Mr. Trump, NAFTA 2.0 Must Promote Natural Gas Trade With Canada

Mr. Trump, NAFTA 2.0 Must Promote Natural Gas Trade With Canada | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Most Americans probably don't realize that although U.S. natural gas production has surged almost 40% since our shale revolution took flight in 2008, we still import a lot of gas from Canada.

 

  • Canada is our largest energy partner, with energy constituting 20% of all trade that we get from Canada. We are a net energy importer from Canada. 
  • Canada has nearly unlimited oil and gas deposits, and importing nations around the world are seeking out the country to supply. 

 

 

Ultimately, the Canada-U.S. gas trade is a prime example of why we must continue to collaborate with our North American allies.

 

With Russia joining forces with China, and Iran joining forces with India, a cooperative North American energy sector is the ultimate ideal.  "Canada is North America's Great Oil Security Blanket."

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NC beach homes and coast are ‘doomed’ and residents need to get out, scientist says : collapse

NC beach homes and coast are ‘doomed’ and residents need to get out, scientist says : collapse | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Resource depletion and ecological breakdown leading to the end of civilization.

 

An award-winning Duke University professor emeritus of geology, who is also the founder and director emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, Pilkey doesn’t mince words when it comes to sea level rise.

 

These beaches are doomed,” Pilkey has said, multiple times — most recently in The Washington Post and in an interview with The News & Observer. “The buildings are doomed, too

 

So come to the Texas coast

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Should Texas fund SpaceX Another $5 Million for the new  Brownsville-South Padre Spaceport? 

Should Texas fund SpaceX Another $5 Million for the new  Brownsville-South Padre Spaceport?  | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Private space exploration company Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is building a spaceport in Brownsville Texas on the barrier Island across from  South Padre Island.

 

It’s just taking a little longer than expected. Initial projections by SpaceX founder Elon Musk had rockets lifting off from the beachfront site by 2016. That hasn’t happened, despite receiving over $15 million from the state of Texas.

 

SpaceX asked for another $5 million from the state earlier this year. Alexander Salter, assistant professor of economics at Texas Tech University, a fellow at the Texas Tech Free Market Institute and a member of TTU’s brand-new Space Studies Hub.

“The risk,” Salter says of Texas not extending more incentives, “is…losing SpaceX’s business and the employment opportunities that it brings. The cost overrun compared to projected benefits is not out of line for similar projects.”  He says that it’s common for projects of this magnitude to take longer and cost more than initially projected.

While the cause of delay is that clearing the land is taking longer than initially estimated, Prof Salter says that SpaceX has a track record of delivering on projects and commitments, just later than they initially say.  “I do think this is going to happen, just behind the initial schedule.” says Salter.

“I don’t see much of risk of SpaceX pulling [the spaceport],” Salter says, though it’s possible the company could go elsewhere.  And with the growth of the commercial space industry the time to get in is now, not ten years from now when the launch facility is built in another state.  

“The use of public funds to create private benefits lend themselves very easily to abuse,” Salter says. “We always have to make sure that taxpayer resources are being spent effectively.”

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Bigger Oil Pipelines between West Texas and Corpus Christi

Bigger Oil Pipelines between West Texas and Corpus Christi | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Epic Midstream Holdings LP is building its first oil pipeline in America’s most active oil field, west Texas It won’t be finished until next year, but already Epic Midstream is considering making it bigger.

The upstart company, backed by private equity is building a conduit capable of carrying 440,000 barrels a day from West Texas to Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast. Now, it’s considering enlarging it to 675,000 barrels a day, after interest picked up in recent months.

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Is it a Border Wall or a Fence or a Barrier?

Is it a Border Wall or a Fence or a Barrier? | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
In the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector, which includes El Paso County and all of New Mexico, apprehensions of undocumented immigrants declined by 79 percent between fiscal years 2006 and 2017, the third-largest drop among the nine Southwest border sectors. In the most recent fiscal year, the 2,182 El Paso sector agents averaged less than one apprehension of an undocumented immigrant per month.

Drug seizures by agents in the El Paso sector also are down dramatically. “Not only do many border communities like Santa Teresa, El Paso and others already have barriers, fencing and walls, but the El Paso region became one of the safest communities in the country long before the wall here was built,”

 

Escobar said. “The unfortunate byproduct of this kind of pandering is that it feeds misinformation, which then fuels costly and unnecessary expenditures—like troops and new walls at the border—funded, of course, by the American taxpayer (and not Mexico).”

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Climate change would swamp Trump’s border wall

Climate change would swamp Trump’s border wall | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The problem is that the vast majority of that border runs straight down the middle of 1,254 snaking miles of the Rio Grande River — and ever-worsening, climate change-fueled floods greatly complicate any plausible design.

And that’s on top of siting problems so significant Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke actually seemed to suggest the wall would be built on Mexico’s side of the river when he told ranchers last week, “We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico.”

Extreme weather and climate change make both the siting and design challenges unimaginably greater.

Consider the devastating Texas flooding in May 2015. More than 35 trillion gallons of water deluged the state. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth tweeted that was enough “to cover the entire state nearly 8 inches deep.”
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Where to Experience the New Corpus Christi

Where to Experience the New Corpus Christi | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Visit this coastal city, and you’ll find a transformation led by locals who are revitalizing old buildings with cool, modern concepts.
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Texas to pass Iraq and Iran as #3 oil powerhouse

Texas to pass Iraq and Iran as #3 oil powerhouse | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Texas. It's a global oil superpower.

 

The shale oil boom has brought a gold rush mentality to the Lone Star State, which is home to not one but two massive oilfields.Plunging drilling costs have sparked an explosion of production out of the Permian Basin of West Texas. In fact, Texas is pumping so much oil that it will surpass OPEC members Iran and Iraq next year, HSBC predicted in a recent report.

 

  • If it were a country, Texas would be the world's No. 3 oil producer, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia, the investment bank said.

    "It's remarkable. The Permian is nothing less than a blessing for the global economy," said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm.

     

  • The hyper growth out of Texas is needed because oil prices have risen sharply and major players like Saudi Arabia are quickly maxing out their production.
  •  

    Much of the excitement in Texas centers around the Permian Basin. Some oil execs believe the amount of oil in the Permian rivals Saudi Arabia's Ghawar Field, the world's largest conventional oilfield.

  • Rapid technological advances have dramatically brought down the cost of pumping oil everywhere, especially out of the Permian. Wells there can be profitable below $40 a barrel.
  • The rise of Texas, which is also home to the Eagle Ford oilfield in the state's south, shows how the shale oil revolution has reshaped the global energy landscape. The United States is pumping more oil than ever before, making it less reliant on the turbulent Middle East for imports.

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Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting | FEMA.gov

Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting | FEMA.gov | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting
As a homeowner, you need clear information about the options that are available to reduce flood damage to your home and straightforward guidance on selecting the option that is best for you. Quite often this is a difficult task. This publication is for readers who have little or no knowledge of flood protection methods or building construction techniques. You should take action to avoid repetitive flood damage to your house. First, you need to know what damage-reduction methods are available, the degree to which they work, how much they cost and whether they meet your needs. All of these questions are answered by the guide.

In addition, the guide explains how the degree of flood risk varies from one location to another. By knowing the basic questions to ask, you are guided toward the investment in retrofitting that is appropriate for you.
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In 20 years, half the population will live in 8 states -Texas - room to grow

In 20 years, half the population will live in 8 states -Texas - room to grow | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Thirty-four states will be home to 30 percent of the country. Only eight states will further the standard of living, choose Texas with room to grow, jobs, climate, coasts, cowboys, and choice.

 

Come to Texas, Where America is still strong! 

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SpaceX has plans for Texas – but border wall could be barrier to progress | US news | The Guardian

SpaceX has plans for Texas – but border wall could be barrier to progress | US news | The Guardian | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Boca Chica Beach across the harbor channel from South Padre Island is where Elon Musk might one day launch rockets on missions to colonize Mars.

 

Two construction sites with a pair of antennae, a few rows of solar panels and a fenced-off hillock. No astronauts, just a handful of workmen, a couple of RVs parked at the beach and birds scavenging through washed-up litter.

 

Boca Chica was not pulsing with activity and adventure. It was, however, freighted with irony as, 1,800 miles to the north-east, politicians dueled over funding for border security – specifically Donald Trump’s cherished wall, some of the first segments of which are likely to rise here in the Rio Grande Valley.

 

If Musk’s SpaceX realizes its ambitions, the region will one day be a globally famous symbol of soaring human potential and the genius of American private enterprise.

 

  • Today it is best known as the spot where a government is spending billions of dollars to restrict the movement of people.
  • A location where barriers are installed, not shattered. Musk is building a spaceport at the border between Mexico and the US in south Texas, where the dividing line between the countries is defined by the sinuous Rio Grande.

 

Texas introduced legislation to allow for the closure of the beach during launches and offered millions of dollars in incentives to woo SpaceX, which took a small step towards Mars when it test-fired its behemoth Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time this month at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

 

 

After some delays, preliminary operations reportedly could start late this year or in early 2019 and ultimately lead to as many as 12 launches annually, likely of satellites at first.

 

The company did not respond to questions about the site. ‘It’s more a mental barrier’ The spaceport is expected to provide economic, educational and tourism opportunities for Brownsville and other districts in this broad region of 1.4 million people just across the river from the Mexican cities of Reynosa and Matamoros.

 

Brownsville and its neighbors are regularly cited as among the most economically deprived cities in the US; a third of the 185,000 city residents live in poverty and 37% are without health insurance.

 

Civic leaders hope the interest in SpaceX will give them the chance to tell positive stories about south Texas: its warm people, hot climate and vital wildlife habitats, a bilingual workforce, low crime rate and room to grow.

 

“There’s obvious excitement,” said Ramiro Gonzalez, a Brownsville city planner and liaison officer who wonders what the transformation could look like 20 years from now if the most ambitious hopes come to fruition. “Does anybody remember Houston before Nasa?”

 

But it is not easy to pitch glowing narratives to outsiders when the country is constantly hearing from the president, much of the ruling party and senior Republicans in Texas that the borderlands are an open gateway for Mexican rapists, drug cartel smugglers, would-be benefit scroungers from Honduras and, who knows, folks, maybe Isis terrorists.

 

The rhetoric hurts. So does the practical reality that existing fencing, let alone the proposed wall, cuts off large parcels of land north of the border and renders them undesirable, while tighter constraints on the movement of people and goods through legal ports risks severing family ties and hampering economic progress. “There’s all this land that is on the other side of the wall that is still in the United States of America,” Gonzalez said. “That presents a challenge.

 

Because there are thousands upon thousands of acres that have been cut off. Who wants to buy land on the other side of the wall? “There’s a lot of development potential that could occur that isn’t necessarily going to occur anymore because of that. It’s obviously a physical barrier but I think it’s more a mental barrier.” Maria Cordero is an organizer with the American Civil Liberties Union in Brownsville, where palm trees perk up a downtown dominated by a university, colorful and shabby shops, busy river crossings and imposing border fences.

 

“We are not the images that the rest of the country has of the border,” she said. “We have dreams and ambitions and hopes for our community that are different from the narratives being painted from other regions.”

 

  • “The general atmosphere just kind of makes people paranoid, the idea that there is so much militarisation,” she said. “I don’t think a lot of people would like it if they were surrounded by a fence. People think about the border as ‘Oh, it’s our border.’ But they don’t live here. And their children don’t have to live with looking at a border fence and the implications of what that means.
  • It’s an ugly thing, Even with the true economic benefits as yet uncertain and noting concerns about the possible impact on the environment and the safety risks of launching rockets, especially if the LNG facilities are built nearby, it seems clear SpaceX could be a significant boost.
  • For now, though, the main focus is on improving life on this part of the planet.

 

Never mind traveling millions of miles to Mars – interior border patrol checkpoints mean that the Valley’s many undocumented residents are in effect unable to leave the southern tip of Texas.

 

Even traveling from the SpaceX sites back to Brownsville, all traffic must pass through one such checkpoint. “That easy back and forth that once existed doesn’t anymore, so you’re trapped,” said Michael Seifert, a local activist.

 

“What they’ve done with taking [immigration] and making it red meat for the politicians is made that steep hill we have to climb that much worse.”

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Sinking Land and Climate Change Are Worsening Tidal Floods on the Texas Coast

Sinking Land and Climate Change Are Worsening Tidal Floods on the Texas Coast | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
More than 10,000 homes along the Texas coast will flood at least 26 times a year by 2045, researchers say.
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission releases new timelines for reviewing LNG export projects (Slideshow)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission releases new timelines for reviewing LNG export projects (Slideshow) | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Decisions by federal regulators on six liquefied natural gas export terminals planned in Texas will have to wait until next year, according to new timelines released by the agency reviewing 12 pending permit applications.

Officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, informed the 12 companies about the new timelines in letters issued Aug. 31. Combined, the projects represent the production and export of more than 133.4 million metric tons of LNG per year.

Applications for at least four of the proposed LNG export terminals are more than two years old.

“Our responsibility over LNG applications is to assess the environmental effects, safety and engineering of LNG facilities in a timely manner in accordance with our statutory obligations," FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre said. "Our recent streamlining efforts will provide all LNG stakeholders additional regulatory certainty and help minimize undue administrative burdens.”

Six of the applications are for projects planned in Texas, where record production in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and the Permian Basin of West Texas has created a surplus of natural gas. Most of the planned exports will go to Asia and Europe.
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Labor Day Ad about the Texas beach

Labor Day Ad about the Texas beach | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Leave everyday stress at home and escape to Mustang Island for a Labor Day getaway. No matter the age or interests of beach travelers, Cinnamon Shore offers something for everyone, whether it’s enjoying s’mores on the lawn after the shrimp boil at C Bar and Café or karoaking poolside after a day full of sandcastle lessons.
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REALTORS® Score Big Win on Business Income Deduction

REALTORS® Score Big Win on Business Income Deduction | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

The National Association of REALTORS® made a forceful case—that limitations on service businesses were not intended by Congress to apply to real estate professionals.

 

  • And that’s the interpretation the IRS has ended up taking. NAR “met with [the Office of Management and Budget] and Treasury Department officials to discuss proposed rules outlining computation of the new write-off for pass-throughs,” Bloomberg News reported.

  • The new deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. You’ll be able to claim it for the first time on the 2018 federal income tax return you file next year.

 

Yes, but what does NAR have to say about ZIllow's recent moves that puts them in direct competition with agents?

 

There’s a general sense that the internet should do more than entertain window shoppers and generate leads for agents. It should actually make it easier and cheaper to sell a house. There’s just one issue: No one has figured out how to bypass the local real estate agent yet.

 

“The old idea that real estate is never going to change, that we’re going to pay 6 percent, is completely untrue,” argues Glenn Kelman, the CEO of Seattle-based Redfin, a publicly traded brokerage whose calling card is lower commissions.

 

Redfin’s low-fee model relies on an army of in-house agents who trade typical commissions for the volume that’s possible with internet-generated leads. A Redfin world isn’t a world without real estate agents, but it is one where fewer agents do more. The nation’s 1.4 million working real estate agents do not particularly like Redfin.

 

Zillow aims to finish the year with 300 to 1,000 houses in its inventory. In the long term, the company imagines using its extensive reach to make it possible for families to easily coordinate sales and purchases, even across cities, eliminating the uncertainty that accompanies a move.

 

  • There’s another trend that explains Zillow’s logic—and that of a handful of other startups willing to engage (and able to secure funding) in the capital-intensive business of buying houses.Before Zillow announced its big push into flipping this spring, it ran a trial program called “instant offers” in Las Vegas and Orlando, working exclusively to sell houses to investor-buyers like Invitation Homes, one of the country’s largest single-family landlords.
  • Zillow also isn’t the first company to try acting as a middleman. San Francisco–based Opendoor has made tens of thousands of offers on homes, mostly in Sun Belt cities like Phoenix and Dallas.
  • The company’s rapid appraisals make it possible for sellers to skip agents on the first transaction, and after doing some small renovations (paint, HVAC, basic repairs),

 

Opendoor’s “All Day Open House” allows buyers to find and unlock the house themselves with a smartphone. Easy, right? And yet most of them come with an agent, and the company says it’s one of the biggest payers of commissioners in its markets today.

 

Why hasn’t the internet cut out the agent, even as houses sell to internet companies with the click of a button? In part because consumers aren’t really trying to inject any startup pizzazz into the largest (and most complex) transaction of their lives.

 

Local knowledge remains invaluable.

 

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Climate change: Our plans are in pieces as killer heat shreds records

Climate change: Our plans are in pieces as killer heat shreds records | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Despite a deadly summer and science linking extreme weather events to global warming, the politics around climate change are in disarray and the planet is in worse shape than ever.
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Port Aransas Residents Fear Environmental Impact Of Proposed Oil Export Terminal

Port Aransas Residents Fear Environmental Impact Of Proposed Oil Export Terminal | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
The terminal proposed by the Port of Corpus Christi, would be able to host the largest oil tankers.

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Savor the Last of Summer with These 4 Family-Friendly Adventures on South Padre Island - Texas Highways

Savor the Last of Summer with These 4 Family-Friendly Adventures on South Padre Island - Texas Highways | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Much as you’d like to summon the proverbial “lazy days” the season suggests, it’s often a stressful—and expensive—juggle of child care, camps, an
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Trump’s border wall could force a beloved Texas state park to close 

Trump’s border wall could force a beloved Texas state park to close  | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
Environmentalists and scientists have repeatedly warned the wall will harm biodiversity.
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For One Weekend, Galveston Had Blue Water. Everyone Freaked Out. 

For One Weekend, Galveston Had Blue Water. Everyone Freaked Out.  | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
We all know the Gulf of Mexico is brown. Until it isn’t. 

The typically muddy-looking surf in Galveston has been replaced for the second time this summer with clear blue waters. Cerulean water, associated more with the Caribbean than the Gulf of Mexico, made its way to Galveston over Memorial Day weekend, freaking out visitors in the best way. Now the water is back, according to social media posts from delighted visitors. And, just like last time, Houston TV stations used helicopters to capture the phenomena, which scientists explain is the result of shifting water currents.

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How to Get Better Vacation Photos, No Selfie Stick Required

How to Get Better Vacation Photos, No Selfie Stick Required | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

Hiring a professional photographer to take photos of you on vacation will add another cost to your travel budget, but it could be worth it for better pictures. Here's how to find a photographer through online booking services.

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Climate Change Is Here, And It's Already Impacting Property Values: Study

Climate Change Is Here, And It's Already Impacting Property Values: Study | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it

A Harvard study that quantified the impact of climate change on property values and gentrification made a splash when it was released last spring, and this week’s heat wave has touched a fresh spark of interest in the findings.

The study, “Climate gentrification: from theory to empiricism in Miami-Dade County, Florida,” was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters under the authorship of Harvard professors Jesse Keenan, Thomas Hill and Anurag Gumber. It analyzed 800,000 properties.

From there, the researchers zeroed-in on 107,984 properties and found their estimate values going back to 1971. The study also cross-referenced the property values with the respective property elevation levels, finding that since the year 2000, properties located in areas that were 0-1 meters above sea level experienced slower and less appreciation than those located at higher elevations.

“This is the first peer-reviewed, published evidence of the existence of a climate change signal in real estate, and this is the first published evidence that the business of climate change has already impacted the value of people’s homes,” he said.


Other studies have recently shown seaside communities around the world, including Miami and other coastal metropolises New York and Shanghai, are at risk of rising seas due to ice-melt from a warming Earth and that real estate values and entire economic regions are likely to take big value hits.

In a nutshell, the new Harvard study provides a fact-based grounding for the concept of “climate gentrification,” a phenomenon that seems to make common sense.

In a region experiencing climate impacts like sea-level rise, people will pay more to live to areas of higher elevation. The corollary of the so-named “Elevation Hypothesis” is not necessarily that lower-elevation homes will lose value. In an area where overall property values are rising, it may simply mean that lower-elevation properties do not rise in value as quickly.

“The findings … suggest the potential existence of consumer preferences that are based, in part, on perceptions of flood risk and/or observations of flooding,” the professors write. “These preferences and perceptions are anticipated to be amplified by climate change in a manner that reinforces the proposition that climate change impacts will affect the marketability and valuation of property with varying degrees of environmental exposure and resilience functionality.”

The new study underscored the consensus on climate change: it’s here, it’s happening, and it’s already having an impact on property values.

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Bargain beach houses: The nation’s most affordable seaside towns

Bargain beach houses: The nation’s most affordable seaside towns | Texas Coast Real Estate | Scoop.it
It turns out beach houses don’t have to break the bank. According to a new list, 10 American beach towns offer the best of both worlds — affordable housing and seaside views.
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