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Old 03-12-2015, 09:40 PM
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 840,405 times
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My husband and I will be relocating to the CC area this summer/fall and hopefully purchasing a home. He will be a doctoral student at UT in Port A. With his doctoral salary (he's pretty special to receive any salary at all!), and the ridiculous costs for both real estate and rentals in Port A (clearly this place is meant for short term rental investments only, these days), we've pretty much settled on living in CC or its neighboring areas while he commutes to Port A for school/work.

I've pretty well exhausted these threads (thanks very much to so many of you "usual characters" who offer consistent, helpful, and thorough info here! It's so appreciated!), real estate websites, Google Earth tours, and any website out there to try to wrap my head around what's-what as far as neighborhoods, pricing, etc. goes. I've got a good handle on most things that I can possibly accomplish from a distance and I know that we're simply nearing the point of making a visit (I've never even been to Texas outside of airports...) and communicating directly with a real estate agent, but I was hoping for a bit more specific, subjective info about the lay of the land from some of you here, so that I can be efficient with my time when we make one pre-move visit to secure a spot.

A bit about what we're shooting for (realistic or not, just a starting point):
- $110,000 for a single family home, or a home with income property up to $200,000
- 2-3bd
- Garage
- A shade tree or two (I hate those sterile looking yards in the new-build areas, and I'd love a little sun buffer.)
- Fence-able yard, doesn't need to be big at all, but hoping for a small space for a little garden, my urban chickens, and a bit of room to relax. I'm a Seattle girl who's also been marooned on a tiny Caribbean island for the last 4+ years, so most every yard in TX looks excessive (and like too much maintenance work!) to me.
- Safe. I want to know that if our two kitties go exploring, they're not going to bump immediately into a busy street or other harm's way, that we can feel safe walking a dog, enjoy having friends for dinner, and be comfortable bringing a baby home at some point in the next few years.
- Resell value. This is a five-year plan for us and I don't foresee us making CC our forever home. I want a home that is going to have a good ROI, either because it's located in an up and coming spot, brings in a good rental income, or because any tasteful improvements we make will add value and not price it out of its neighborhood (most neighborhoods I've looked at in this price range seem to have outdated homes across the board... not sure improvements would serve well in resell. Worst house in the best neighborhood would be okay with us!).
- I'm a city girl who loves the hustle bustle, the arts, food, culture, music... that comes with being a part of a vibrant downtown. I fully gather that CC is CC and I'm under no illusion of truly finding that here, but if anything even close to a city "neighborhood" (tranquil residential streets that are close to fun amenities) exists, I'd be interested. After four years in the Caribbean, even a Walmart sounds pretty amazing, so I'm not holding my breath any further than that. I know this isn't Seattle or Austin and I've read the other posts that seem to come up dry in this area.

I feel like I now understand the ferry situation pretty well and don't think that, or the drive-around commute, affects our location choice dramatically, other than it seems wise to not go as far west as Calallen. That just seems to be pushing it as far as commutes go... For anyone out there who is interested in understanding the ferry situation more thoroughly, you will face long waits during high tourism season, esp. evenings, weekends, and holidays, BUT parking near the ferry and taking a bicycle across to Port A and back will allow to cut in front of any car line-ups waiting for the ferry. Perfect workaround! (and I understand that Port A is reasonably small enough to navigate on a bike.) Also for those who want to know: the ferry is free, the ride only takes several minutes, and you apparently are often escorted by dolphins.

I'm not too crazy about Aransas Pass (correct me if I'm wrong: Deliverance?) and I think I'd prefer to not be as far out at Rockport (open to opinions). Portland seems a little sterile (bedroom community, no?), but the location seems fairly central, so I'd love some feedback to contradict me, if it's out there. Other than that, I'm open to all kinds of suggestions and would especially love to know some specifics about the Bay Area, the adjacent Del Mar, Southside, and Flour Bluff.

Some specific questions:

1. My understanding is that the area inside the streets Ocean Dr, Doddridge, Alameda, and Airline is the "Bay Area." Do I have this right? How far outside of these borders in any direction do neighborhoods start to get sketchy? Any wiggle room south of Alameda as we approach Staples? Further east toward TAM seem alright too, yes? I'm finding homes that look okay and are more realistically in my price range, south of Alameda but north of Staples. Is this an okay area too? What if I go south of Staples but north of SPID?

2. What's the word on the Del Mar area (I'm looking in the area bordered by Santa Fe, Ayers, Alameda, and a few blocks SE of Louisiana)? I LOVE the look of these 1920's homes and established yards with big trees, but is this edging too close to downtown to be safe or feel like a tranquil neighborhood?

3. What is "south side?" Is this a specific area that is south of SPID? Most of the CC area seems to be south of the SPID, so I'm confused here. Are there any specific south side areas that would fit our criteria (at least in part?)?

4. What's the deal with Flour Bluff? My understanding is to stick to the south side of SPID, away from the air station, when looking for a home there. What is life on Flour Bluff like? Is it a suburban, bedroom neighborhood? What's the feel? Any weather differences? More flood-prone? I've read perhaps windier (yikes? or good?) and a touch cooler? Any specific areas/neighborhoods that are more worth looking into than others on Flour Bluff?

5. Are there any areas more than others that would be smarter for owning an income property? Where will I most likely find good renters?

6. Any areas that are more/less prone to pollution from refineries?

7. Any areas that will face steeper/lesser costs according to windstorm and flood insurance? Are property taxes especially higher or lower in any locations?

8. Should I avoid Central City area (inside 37, SPID, and 286, right?) all together when looking at properties. The prices are crazy low, but I'm guessing there's a good reason for that?

That ought to be more than enough for a start! Sorry for the barrage of questions and long-winded thoughts. Hopefully it all paints a specific picture that both enables some responses and allows others to wrap their brain around the layout of CC. Thanks so much in advance for any insights and wisdom that anyone might have for me!
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:52 AM
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Welcome to CC!!! I interviewed at UT and TAMUCC, moved to TAMUCC as grad student 2 years ago. Indeed, special to get funding at UT. That's why most of us end up at TAMUCC over the last few years. Although I would have preferred the beautiful Port A as a place to live and work, commuting by bike on Port A. But I understand if you have been living away from civilization, as we know it!, that you are anxious for the amenities. Granted, Port A does not have a Walmart, mall, or affordable homes. But I am only renting. So, although I do not see the night life aspect in CC, or any real city life...I will answer your questions as best I can after 2 years in CC. There are some great museums, the aquarium, restaurants, the beaches, festivals, art walks, farmers markets. I live in what is referred to the South Side, near TAMUCC.

I really don't think you are going to find a home in your price range unless you are into fixer uppers. But maybe in a few days I'll take a look at Zillow and such. I would also get in touch with a realtor right away as they will be able to give you more info about homes. You may be able to get a condo in your range. But that would not include a yard. Trees are pretty limited to palms here, not much shade. Yards are pretty low maintenance unless you get into the more expensive areas where they tend to have lawn services for yard work. I would really choose to live on Mustang/Padre Island for the commute reason. Even if you want to go to CC for shopping, dinner, groceries...the commute from Mustang far outweighs the daily commute to UT from CC.

If you live in CC I would never let my cats roam. There are so many feral animals, both dogs and cats, in CC that it is really not safe. Most of the feral animals are not neutered or vaccinated. People just dump them on the street when they move. I can't tell you how many I have seen dumped in every apartment complex I've lived in due to the transient nature of people here. On the other hand, dumpster diving is awesome here. I have gotten brand new Pottery Barn furniture, really cool dishes/pots/pans, even clothing that didn't fit me but was designer stuff so got $$$ at the resale shop in town. Be sure that your animals are up to date with vaccinations at all times. I use Windsor Park Animal Hospital and like them very much. I used to work at a vet during undergrad and currently work in animal stranding and rehab, so I've met quite a few vets here. I have a small dog and when living at Alameda & Airline I had to walk outside my apartment complex to walk my dog. There are literally bunches of dogs that roam most areas unless they are gated communities. I have often had to pick up my 15 pound dog and cross the street to avoid groups of feral dogs in various neighborhoods. And don't even think about calling animal control or a shelter to pick up feral animals or drop off a stray to them. They have no space available. So there are just animals roaming everywhere I have been. You will find the population in CC to be more transient than most other places. Between the multiple military bases, colleges, and oil field workers it leaves very few citizens who are truly interested in the long term outlook for the city. I personally feel there is a pretty high crime rate in CC compared to other cities I've lived of similar size. I gave up riding my bike to commute in CC due to the high number of DWI drivers. I suggest that you bookmark a couple of the tv news stations and check in frequently to see what is going on in town. You will be able to see the crime reports with addresses, current events you might like, etc.

I have met several colleagues that also live in Portland, especially the staff at UT. A good resource is Jamey in admin at UT. She is the grad student coordinator. Also other people in our spouse's department will be able to steer you guys in affordable directions for housing. UT also has a great grad student association that has a great handbook for almost everything you need to know about life at UTMSI.

1. I like the Bay area that is between Alameda, Ocean, and about north to Cape Cod. There can be a few clinkers right next to a nice property, but there are even a few professors who have homes in there and quite a few grad students. North of that area is a bit sketchy towards Airline. My first apartment was at Airline and Alameda. I liked the amenities (nearby grocery...get used to only HEB or Walmart for groceries, CVS, good auto repair at the Exxon...still go there for oil changes, Sprouts/Joanns/ Wells Fargo on Airline) but the area immediately around that intersection is a bit run down with lots of vacant storefronts now. There's also a good computer repair place there called AE Tech.

2. Not fond of the Del Mar area but there may be some diamonds in the rough there. It is a quaint old neighborhood but I didn't feel safe walking my dog there when I went out exploring. There are some really nice things but there are some really not nice things.

3. South side would be southwest of Alameda, South of Airline, north of Ennis Joslin. It's the area I live in and there are some nice homes where I go for long walks with my dog off McArdle between Airline and Ennis Joslin. There are plenty of amenities in this area, a bit newer/nicer, and easy access to SPID for a quick commute. Most of the shopping is along SPID as well.

4. Flour Bluff has not been a place I've explored. It's closer to the navy base so maybe more military. I'm told housing is very mixed with lots of rentals. On the other hand I hear that there's a great school district there so there must be families living there as well. It would be an easy commute over the bridge to Port A but not so much and easy commute to get to the ferry.

5. Good renters should be easy to find since there are a lot of college kids that seem to have plenty fo parental unit bucks on hand. The navy aviator students are a great bunch (have lots of them as neighbors) as they are military (you can go to their command if anything is amiss), have good incomes (better than a grad student by probably double!), and although they party with the best of them they are also a pretty studious bunch since they have a pretty tough road ahead of them from the technical and academic aspect. But most of them live on Padre end of the Island or in apartments on the South Side because they want to be close to the base.

6. Just stay away from the north end. And I don't swim in Corpus Christi Bay. The outer beaches on Port A (away from the shipping channel) and along Mustang seem to be cleaner.

7. Hopefully there will be some of the local homeowners who post on this forum that can answer this for you.

8. Yes, they are cheap for a reason. After you read/watch the news for a while you will see a pattern with that neighborhood.

Welcome to CC!! The ferry is a good way to commute. Even thought the ferry ride is only 10 minutes, waiting for the ferry during peak hours, Spring Break (which lasts for about 4-6 weeks while visitors are here), and during the vacation season can be a bit of a wait. They don't run all of the ferry boats all of the time. So it depends on shipping channel traffic of other ships in the area, how many ferry boats are running, and the amount of traffic for how long you would have to wait. Also not sure how much parking is available. But lots of people use the ferry. Also, don't forget that we do have a rainy and cold season so commuting by bike during the rainy and cold seasons may not be much fun.

There is enough to see and do that you should be busy and find things to do for quite a while once you arrive. It's not big city living (Seattle) but there is more than one Walmart, a Sams Club (rumor that Costco might build a store), good restaurants, even Starbucks (but you have to look hard for them!) Whataburger is the main fast food here, seems they have a lock on the market as I hear their headquarters used to be in CC. HEB and Walmart are pretty much the only grocery stores (no Whole Foods but Sprouts on Airline is a good alternative and a bit cheaper than Whole Foods too!). You will pick up a bit of Spanish if you have not already in the Carribean. There are some places where it is difficult to find someone who speaks English so it's a good idea to know a bit of Spanish here. Hmmmm...any questions you might have, just post here. I try to check in every few days and there are a few others who have lived in CC for a long time that post regularly.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:37 AM
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
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Thanks so much for the detailed response and warm welcome, UTSCI! After poring over these threads and seeing some of your posts, I was hoping you'd chime in and knew that we had at least a few things in common. This is all very helpful info, for a start. Thank you!

Yes, if we had a larger budget, we'd be totally happy to live in Port A. I'd love it if my guy could be that close to work (my work is travel + home office at this point, so it doesn't much matter for me) and that area definitely receives higher marks than the rest of CC, all around. It certainly has more to offer than what we're used to already. It's disappointing that the current market there squashes any buying - or even renting! - for full-time residents. In looking for apartments and other rental options, most of them, aside from being outrageously priced even in winter, only rent "long term" from Oct-May, if at all (not many). Crazy. The best deal I found was a shady-looking, small RV that only rented mo-to-mo and didn't allow pets: $800. Everything else is over $1000 for a 1 bd. Buying an efficiency condo (like 400 sqft) there is $130,000-$200,000 and then you have HOA dues of $300-$500/mo, usually the $500. Any actual "house" that is less than $200,000 is a mobile home that basically says in the description that it needs to be torn down, so you're paying for the property and the fact that the spot is wired/plumbed. That's it. Even though Port A seems to be expanding, it feels like a bubble waiting to burst... Prices are not much better as you head down Mustang Island toward S Padre, unfortunately. I was hopeful that finding something closer to S Padre would be a way to at least shorten the commute as well. We could probably buy one of a myriad of lots in between Port A and S Padre and put an RV on it! Not what I was hoping our next "home" would be though... Even if we could scrounge to throw our $ away on a tiny apartment somewhere on the island (or convince student housing at UT, which is a little scruffy according to my husband, to take pets), we've been living in little ramshackle apartments in St Croix and St Thomas for the last 4.5 years (think the "garage apt" you looked at, times 10. No joke.) and I'm just done sitting on other people's furniture and existing in a space that doesn't feel like our home and that I have no real say in or control over. I'm not totally jazzed about the move to CC, aside from the awesome opportunity for my husband, but the determination to have a place that is "ours" again is the silver-lining for me. Getting old, I guess... LOL!

My hope was that having "our" place could do double-duty as a smart investment, but between property taxes, high insurance costs, and the general condition of the market here, I'm starting to doubt. I had my heart set on a little, semi-fixer-upper (or major fixer-upper for the right price!) in a good spot that would see some return on our improvements made over the next few years. We'll see how that goes. I'll appreciate any other wisdom that's out there and I will definitely be following your advice to contact a realtor asap now that we've "officially" accepted the doctoral invitation.

The more I learn about CC, the more I think I'm not rejoining civilization with this move, after all. Virgin Islands life: dumpster diving for furniture (I'm pretty proud of some of the pieces we've collected too!), feral dogs and cats (and chickens) everywhere, ramshackle apartments that could collapse at any moment and are certainly not up to any possible code (not that we really even know what that is in the islands), hot, humid, buggy, transient population, snowbirds, generally way behind the times... Everyone on these threads notes the crime in CC, but St Thomas has the highest murder rate per capita of anywhere in the states and U.S. territories. I still feel safe here though. In the VI, it's never really a concern unless you're dealing drugs, in a gang, sleeping with a drug dealer's girlfriend, or the like, but we definitely have some "common sense" rules for avoiding smaller issues: Don't leave valuables in the car (in fact, leave the glove box open so that people can see there's nothing in there), be mindful of certain areas, lock things up, etc. Even still, there are thefts and the like from time to time. I never feel unsafe here as long as I'm smart about where I go, though. At any rate, it sounds like I'm losing my beautiful mountain vistas, beaches, and swimmable bath-water/amazing snorkeling & diving ocean while gaining some shopping amenities. We are starving for good Mexican food here, so there's a plus. The rest sounds pretty similar. Ah well, maybe it's best to take only baby steps back into society anyway to avoid shock to our systems. I'm excited to get potable water from the tap, to buy produce that's not moldy and wilted, and to have a dishwasher, above all else. It's the little things.

The warning about the cats roaming free is incredibly helpful! That's a huge deal and I'll definitely be taking that into high consideration as we shop around for the right spot. That might place us in the Portland area, after all. Does anyone out there have any specific feedback about neighborhoods/suburbs that would be safe for indoor/outdoor kitties? Portland, Ingleside, any where in Flour Bluff or CC at all? Would this be an issue if by some miracle we found a spot in Port A? The cats don't ever go too far, but will not be happy if they are confined to the house (nor will I - at least one of them will make my life miserable if he's stuck inside!), and I definitely don't want them getting caught up in brawls. Even though we have tons of strays in the VI (so sad), it still feels safe to have kitties explore their own yard (yes - being up on vaccinations & preventive meds is a must!). In St Thomas, the community has really rallied around a catch-neuter-release program for cats (many of the big resorts now have "cat condos" to provide room and board for them once their fixed) and there is an active fostering program for puppies and dogs from our waaaay-overloaded Humane Society. It still barely makes a dent though; pet owners continue to abandon their animals and not neuter/spay, and the numbers needing attention keep growing. I relate to the situation in CC, for sure.

Thanks so much for filling in some details about the neighborhoods and for sorting out where "south side" is for me. I'm realizing that as I look at a map on Google, that I'm seeing N-S and E-W as slightly different than the way most people are describing the streets on here. Sorry if that made things confusing when I described a few areas. Your orientations with street names have set me straight and it makes perfect sense now. I totally appreciate the feedback on the other neighborhoods and general lay of the land too!

We really didn't receive much info from UT directly, oddly (we were kind of laughing at how detailed the Austin info that they threw into the packet was, vs the meager Port A info). We've gleaned a little info from my husband's research advisor, but I will make sure that we connect with Jamey in admin. That is so helpful!

Again, THANK YOU, UTSCI, for taking the time to fill me in on whatever you could! This is a bigger, more "established" move for us than our usual gypsy-wandering, so the insights are incredibly helpful as we make these big decisions!

One more question for anyone: are there any CC area Facebook pages or the like that help people to know what's happening in community? In St Thomas we have pages for bargains/sales/trades (apartments, cars, pots & pans, yoga...), community goings-on, and one to just laugh at crazy stuff that only happens in the wacky Virgin Islands. It's a great way to stay connected and be on top of what's available and happening.

Thanks, again!
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:19 PM
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The student housing would absolutely not take pets when I asked 3 years ago. However, if you found a small rental on the island (and the current grad student association used to keep a list of student friendly rentals, you know, some are moving in and others are moving out) I would feel totally comfortable letting my cats outside.

Check out this link to the UTMSI grad student association guide...


As far as crime in CC it seems to revolve around house and vehicle break ins, as well as a lot of drugs and drinking problems...DWI, domestic abuse, fatal rollovers on high speed roads. We had about 20 cars in our apt parking lot broken into not too long ago. They took silly stuff if the vehicle didn't have the good stuff. My roommate lost her jumper cables and flares. Really? Also you will learn to plan lots of "at home time" around the months of Spring Break, not just Spring Break locally but realize kids from all over come to Padre Island for college Spring Break. So ususally we tend to stay in (avoid restaurants, bars, beaches) during March and April.

You may not want to drink the tap water, depending on where you live. My first apartment was awful. And some people in the marine departments here don't drink the water no matter what. I suspect their work revolves around water quality! Another thing to know about renting here is that the utilities are not included. Your cable/internet is determined by the location and what company wired the building. Electric is deregulated and there are over 250 electric providers. I think water bills are pretty steep here compared to what my parents pay in a major city in the desert, but you hav no choice. Most apartments pro-rate your water based on the total building's use. Personally, I would not live here without AC and you do need heat in the winter. So your electric is going to be the biggest of your utilities unless you have to have the biggest cable package ;-)

Craigslist seems to be the place for buyig things. I pretty much came down to TX with just clothes and a few small household supplies. I furnished the entire apartment from Craigslist, and cheap too. Just use the usual precautions of meeting in public places or taking someone along with you. If you are going to end up renting an apartment in CC (most are pet friendly but they do have forbidden breed lists) I would try to stay on the bay side of SPID, in the south side area, and choose one of the larger, newer complexes. Your pocketbook will thank you on the utility bills. And easy access to SPID will make for a faster commute to Port A. Ocean and Alameda have lots of stoplight intersections.

I have PM'd you some additional information.
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:27 AM
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I am hoping for more information on the DEL MAR area. I drove it several times and liked the larger yards and the old houses. It seems gentrified/getting gentrified. I am talking Ayers/Louisiana Blvd, and south of Alameda. utsc, can you elaborate on not feeling safe. I drove and poked around only in the day, not at night. Does it change at night? Does anyone have any more info on this area, bc there are some adorable homes. Thank you.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:28 AM
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I walk my dog alot and there were some areas, mostly just certain streets where I did not feel safe. You will find more than the usual stray dogs here and they tend to congregate, I'm guessing where people are feeding them or the have access to garbage or other sources of food. Some streets are fine and others felt a bit sketchy. Also check out the sex offender list for the areas and streets you are looking at.

As you have mentioned it is an area that is being gentrified. Some of the properties are more successful that others. But if you are looking for a long term living situation then think twice about it. If the appearances of a property near you seems to be up and coming that's great. But it might also be vacant in 6 months and stay that way for the next ??? years. Just choose wisely for the long term.

For a while I lived near Alameda and Airline. The streets on the bay side of Alameda were especially sketchy, lots of stray and mean dogs any time of day, houses becoming rundown and others being rehabbed all at the same time. The strip mall across from my apartment continued to lose tenants until the only thing left after 4 months was a bar. There is however a great Exxon station where I still take my car for oil changes at the intersection of Alameda and Airline. And there's an HEB nearby on Alameda.

If you are renting, remember that old buildings are old buildings. They may or may not have reliable AC and heat, the one I lived in had really bad mold and bug problems, and they are difficult to maintain. If you are buying, you may have a lot of rehab work to do for all the same reasons. Also, my utility bills were almost double in the older building for only half the square footage. The windows were leaky and I could hear people conversing outside, not to mention the bugs and dirt that came inside. I'm also guessing that there was no insulation in the walls.

The actual location is very convenient. Just know what you are buying and what it is going to cost you vs something with a bit newer construction.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:47 AM
Location: Smithville, TX
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A concern with older homes in CC is lead-based paint. If a house has lead- based paint it would be a deal breaker for me. It's prohibitively expensive to abate.

Lead-Based Paint in Homes
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by seasick View Post
I am hoping for more information on the DEL MAR area. I drove it several times and liked the larger yards and the old houses. It seems gentrified/getting gentrified. I am talking Ayers/Louisiana Blvd, and south of Alameda. utsc, can you elaborate on not feeling safe. I drove and poked around only in the day, not at night. Does it change at night? Does anyone have any more info on this area, bc there are some adorable homes. Thank you.
Del Mar is a beautiful area and lots of people choose to live there. It's generally pretty safe, but the closer you get to Staples and Ayers, the sketchier it gets. But I've known lots of people who have lived in that neighborhood for years with no problem and some of them are just a block off of Ayers. I lived fairly close to that area for 10 years and walked our dog around there all the time without any problem. Property crime would be a bigger issue than personal safety.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're close to Ayers you'll hear ambulances night and day going to Spohn Shoreline. If that kind of noise is a problem, stay at least a few blocks away.

Also, you'll pay more per SF there than you will in other neighborhoods because it's desirable for the location and charm.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:38 PM
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Del Mar, Pope Place, Lindale, and the neighborhood around Incarnate Word Academy are probably your best bets. They have been appreciating and improving in quality. Biggest problem may be finding a house in your price range but if you do and make improvements that are smart you should get your money out. I live in Del Mar and it's a very nice neighborhood. The mayor lives in Del Mar so police presence is assured. I'd avoid living across Staples until you get Southward to the neighborhoods off Weber. In those neighborhoods there are some nice houses in the 90k range but don't expect them to appreciate in value.

Flour Bluff can be hit or miss but I'd confirm staying south of the highway. It tends to be either really expensive or really bad.

I'd avoid the Island, it appears to be at the height of the Schlitterbahn bubble. Those lots listed at 40k were getting auctioned for 10k to sole bidders 7 years ago. The 1500 square foot houses not on canals that are priced at $200,000 were built and sold as $130,000 houses. Other than location they are no different then equivalent houses on the Southside.

Southside can be ok but it can be hard to resell. A friend who is a residential broker once pointed out to me that a 10 year old house is the hardest to sell because it is in the same place as a new house but everything is already a bit out of style. As a result if your plan is to resell in a few years it doesn't seem like a good bet.

If you want something cheap and yours the condos along Ocean and Downtown are also an option. A large number of the units are rentals by individual owners and unlike apartments they value a long term quiet tenant. In terms of buying in your price range you are probably looking at a one bedroom in the cliff house, Riviera, or 4600 building. Some of them have a rental pool if you move and haven't sold it yet. Smaller than a house but will have a water view.

Windstorm and taxes are high everywhere. If the property tax rate is lower in a school district the houses are more expensive. On windstorm pay close attention to how much contents insurance you are getting since that can heavily affect how much you pay.

On outdoor cats in any of the small towns or outlying neighborhoods there is a very high chance they will get eaten by a coyote. If you don't notice any healthy outdoor cats driving the neighborhood that's because they are not the top of the food chain in that neighborhood.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:27 PM
Location: Smithville, TX
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Originally Posted by jackalope48 View Post
Those lots listed at 40k were getting auctioned for 10k to sole bidders 7 years ago. The 1500 square foot houses not on canals that are priced at $200,000 were built and sold as $130,000 houses. .
-Snipped for ease of reading.

Seven years ago real estate was significantly impacted by the sub-prime mortgage crisis. In June of 2014
West Texas Crude (WTC) was $107.00 a barrel. Today WTC closed at $56.38: Oil Prices & Energy News: Crude Oil Price Charts, Investment Advice People have been buying at the top of the market due to the boom of the Eagle Ford Play. The concern now depends on the WTC. There is a tipping point, once reached, like the crash in 1986, that inflated local market will bottom out, imo. In that case CC will be significantly over-built. I would rent until the WTC settles out, it's a real crap-shoot at present.

Look just below the surface at how many lawsuits have been filed for lack of payment by some of the new industrial facilities under construction in the area.

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