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Old 06-26-2015, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Smithville, TX
553 posts, read 867,788 times
Reputation: 502

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Interesting Corpus Christi real estate article by Dante Miller, Corpus Christi Real Estate Examiner:

Warning, two annoying clickbaits to wade through.

Top 10 dumb reasons homes in Corpus Christi don't sell. - Corpus Christi Real Estate | Examiner.com

And,

Nueces County TX Foreclosures

https://www.foreclosure.com/listings/nueces-county-tx/

Rust
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:54 AM
 
1,000 posts, read 1,534,554 times
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Ironically my past roommate has been looking to buy a house and looking at lots these past few weeks. She said every one of the homes had wallboard cracks. And she said that most of them had awful patch jobs that looked like they were done by a 3-year-old making mud pies. Interesting as I didn't know that there is excessive settling and cracks are that common in CC.

Although the newer houses are typically nice inside, most people in CC cannot afford them. The older homes are really small, a lot of bedrooms are only large enough for just a twin bed (no room for other furniture in the room), kitchens are miniscule by any standard, usually only one bathroom for 3 bedrooms, and I can easily lose a labrador in the overgrown back yards. Also, does anyone in CC own a lawn mower? Most of my friends who have bought homes complain about the lack of any insulation in the walls and single pane windows. Although there is a very short heating season in CC, losing your expensive AC cold air the rest of the year is equally as costly. Seriously, most entry level housing (usually an older home) is not much more than a beach shack, sometimes less.

I'm not even going to start about what personal decor and possessions my roommate has seen while looking at homes. Let's just say that you don't know what's going on in your neighbors' homes until you go into their homes. People should really get a storage unit before they start selling their home, pack up stuff early, and store it before potential buyers are allowed in your home. Get rid of the Dallas Cowboys blanket that you use for drapes, ditch the walls full of religious decor, put away the biker stuff, and lock up your guns somewhere out of the house. Then clean the house really, really good. Really, clean the house so you can eat off the floors. Scrub! Use some bleach to get the mold out of the bathrooms and kitchens. Months ahead get an exterminator to come in so that you don't have dead roaches and mouse poop all over the house when you are trying to sell it. And don't let your 3-year-old patch the cracks...get a professional. Then paint all the walls a with a nice clean neutral color. Then mow the lawn (and now that you can actually see things, throw away all the junk hiding under that jungle), hose off the outside of the house to get the dirt/bugs/spider webs off, and haul off all of the junk you are saving in the garage and front porch.

It's no wonder that most people who come to CC to live end up renting even if it's for 5-8 years. Entry level housing is awful.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 868,100 times
Reputation: 2302
Seriously... I confirm the generalizations from Rust's article and I confirm UTSCI's observations. Dirty, cluttered homes, homeowners at home (with pets) during showings... and everything else that the article has to say. It's everything that every real estate article, website, or HGTV show tells sellers to NOT do! On top of that, the "improvements" people have made to their homes are just plain creepy, often (no, putting a toilet in a dank closet in the garage does not constitute a "full 1/1 conversion" as your RE listing so cleverly claims. What the...?!). I definitely had real-estate culture-shock in the CC area, even in the new and shiny (albeit it sterile-feeling) N Padre area, unless looking at new construction. I looked at homes from $150k to $380k and found the same faux pas committed across the board. I pride myself on being able to look past pet odors, clutter, and dirt, to see the potential of places, but I'm still shaking my head. No, it's not like this everywhere. I've never searched a U.S. market like this and I never thought I'd find places that are stranger, more dilapidated, and more over-priced than the Virgin Islands (the land of weird hovels mixed with opulent villas), until now. The over-pricing game that seems to be part of the sales process in CC is ridiculous too. After months and months of watching the market, you see listings slowly start to bring their prices down to reality (or just continue to sit there on the mls). As an example, I've watched a home, over the last 180 days, drop from $320k to $250k, inch by inch. I'll bet it will finally sell for $220k (someday). On top of that, it easily needs $100k in repairs & improvements to bring it up to what I would consider normal, reasonable living standards. Do RE agents not advise pricing based on comps and conditions here or what? Don't people know that pricing your home correctly from the get-go is the BEST way to play this game? Thanks, Rust for this article. It made me laugh and I'm glad to know that my experience was not atypically wacky and frustrating!
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:47 PM
 
1,000 posts, read 1,534,554 times
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Oh Island Girl...I was you 2 years ago. I thought I would buy a small house here and maybe stick around for a while after finishing my degree then use it for a rental. But in addition to the weird housing situation, finding out that insurance would exceed my mortgage payment, and the relatively high cost of homes in CC...I decided to rent for my duration.

Even all but the newest (and most expensive) apartments are weirdly...weird. Most places I have been will have durable finishes (tile bathrooms, tile floors in kitchens, maybe even hardwood in living areas) but I did not find that in CC. The apartments I have lived in (remember starving student budget, averaged $1000 for a 2 bedroom/ 2 bath) had vinyl tile in bathrooms and kitchens that looked like it was installed by a blind person (huge gaps as well as overlaps), paint that washed off when I cleaned with just a damp rag and no cleaners, ceiling fans that fell apart needing just screws replaced, multiple appliances non-fuctioning, frequent water outages (not just hot water, but NO water)...and this was all common in the 3 complexes that I lived in over 2 years. I can't figure out why the issues were not addressed before the units were leased. And of course, they never show you the actual unit you are getting (always claimed they were not available for touring when signing the lease) so when move-in day arrives, and your move-out has to happen from the previous apartment, you have no choice but to take what you get...and they know it. Can't wait to see how the refund of the deposit goes.

I don't know what to say about purchasing a home as I chose not to. But for renters, budget as much as you can for rent. Rents in the newer complexes are high (compared to many other cities I've lived...for what you get), but you will save some on utility bills with newer insulation and windows not to mention the inconvenience of repair calls and just old stuff. I can't imagine paying $1500/ month for a 2 br/2 bath as you could easily pay that or less in a mortgage...but then the housing is so mixed and most needing major repairs. Oy! Just glad I'm out of the market for housing in CC.

I also think that my decision not to purchase a house had a lot to do with what I looked at with REs. If you are going to show your home then I would have thought that the listing RE would make some suggestions about creating a neutral ambience...get rid of the clutter, tidy up, be sure the pit bull is crated or not on premises during showings, owners should also leave the home during showings, remove all the weird blankets used as drapes, excessive religious wall art, paint the walls back to neutral colors (gotta love some of the fuzzy wallpaper circa 1950s), etc. Lots of potential out there but no one seems to want to live up to the price they are asking.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Smithville, TX
553 posts, read 867,788 times
Reputation: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandCityGirl View Post
Seriously... I confirm the generalizations from Rust's article and I confirm UTSCI's observations. Dirty, cluttered homes, homeowners at home (with pets) during showings... and everything else that the article has to say. It's everything that every real estate article, website, or HGTV show tells sellers to NOT do! On top of that, the "improvements" people have made to their homes are just plain creepy, often (no, putting a toilet in a dank closet in the garage does not constitute a "full 1/1 conversion" as your RE listing so cleverly claims. What the...?!). I definitely had real-estate culture-shock in the CC area, even in the new and shiny (albeit it sterile-feeling) N Padre area, unless looking at new construction. I looked at homes from $150k to $380k and found the same faux pas committed across the board. I pride myself on being able to look past pet odors, clutter, and dirt, to see the potential of places, but I'm still shaking my head. No, it's not like this everywhere. I've never searched a U.S. market like this and I never thought I'd find places that are stranger, more dilapidated, and more over-priced than the Virgin Islands (the land of weird hovels mixed with opulent villas), until now. The over-pricing game that seems to be part of the sales process in CC is ridiculous too. After months and months of watching the market, you see listings slowly start to bring their prices down to reality (or just continue to sit there on the mls). As an example, I've watched a home, over the last 180 days, drop from $320k to $250k, inch by inch. I'll bet it will finally sell for $220k (someday). On top of that, it easily needs $100k in repairs & improvements to bring it up to what I would consider normal, reasonable living standards. Do RE agents not advise pricing based on comps and conditions here or what? Don't people know that pricing your home correctly from the get-go is the BEST way to play this game? Thanks, Rust for this article. It made me laugh and I'm glad to know that my experience was not atypically wacky and frustrating!
Thanks IslandCityGirl, I've recently been accused of ONLY making negative post, disturbed, I slept with my teddy bear last night. Teddy Bear said "Rust, you must lie! Make up sunshine, daisies and lollipop post for the Land of Rainbows, Fireflies and Unicorns."


In semi-happy Corpus, the better homes and gardens will have plastic furniture covers, lampshades with fringe (dust catchers), plastic plants and flowers mixed with real plants, but nicknacks like Hummel figurines lend cheer to bleak charmless rooms. Small kitchens with appliances for cuisine from the 1980s, with more cord than appliance. Did I forget the Wal-Mart painting that match the couch, pokey bedrooms and a bathroom that smells of mildew. Lastly, the backyards are little Gardens of Weed'in.

Teddy said try this: 360° Aerial Panorama, 3D Virtual Tours Around the World, Photos of the Most Interesting Places on the Earth

Hope I'm doing better.

Rust
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:40 PM
 
563 posts, read 372,482 times
Reputation: 1154
Since Texas is a non disclosure state accurate comps are hard to come by. As a result there is more looseness in what "market price" is compared to places where you can look up exactly what the current owners paid and what the house down the street just sold for. Also makes it easier to trick a sucker. The house next door to mine was listed a year after I bought mine. It's 65% of mine's size and didn't have modern windows(mine did). They had staged it and done some work inside. The list price was about $200 a foot(I paid $85 and did $10 a sq. ft. of work) and I hear they paid about $150 a foot. In other words they got a horrible deal.

Most people just look for what their mortgage approval says they can afford. Also there is huge competition amongst listing agents to get listings which leads to inflated opening asking prices.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:21 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 868,100 times
Reputation: 2302
UTSCI - Yes! I was going to readdress the property taxes (higher than at least several other no-income-tax states that I know of, fyi - people keep trying to defend the area's property taxes in this regard. Nope, sorry. WA is a no-income-tax state and my property taxes are lower in Seattle on a house worth twice as much.) and insurance costs in my last post, but thought I'd done enough ranting already. Houses in the greater CC area all need three separate insurance coverages: standard homeowner's, windstorm, and flood (even if you don't require flood, I'd say you're crazy to not have it in that place). The $$$ add up incredibly fast. As I've mentioned in other posts, this is undoubtedly a huge factor as to why rental costs are so high, as well.

Real estate investing has been a successful endeavor for me that I'm comfortable/confident in and have enjoyed through the years. Adding a home to our portfolio in a place we'll be calling home-base for the next 4-5 years seemed like a no-brainer. Our searching is still reasonably preliminary, and my tune could change over this next year, but now I think we would have no brains to buy a place in the area. That down payment money could be put to better use elsewhere, considering the monthly throwaways and what our money buys in the areas we've decided we're willing to plant ourselves. Prospects for investments in CC proper are neutral at best in the foreseeable future. Port A and the island obviously have a lot of growth potential but new construction is the star of the market in those areas, as shiny-and-new is so widely available and continuing to pop up (resell prospects or incentive to purchase "fixer uppers" is not fabulous there right now; New is a better, more attractive deal and probably will be for some time to come.). We may look into building in Port A over this next year and join the masses in taking advantage of the short term rental market in the future, but I honestly think those dollars would be better invested in many other ways and/or other locations. Profit margins are just drastically cut by the expenses that come with being a homeowner here. For now, we will happily rent in Port A (better deal than we could ever get for a comparable mortgage, thank goodness) and see how things go. I always preach buy-don't-rent, but I'm being put in my place as I see the other side of the argument in a place like this.

Jackalope - The fact that TX is a nondisclosure state definitely points to some of these pricing issues. I hadn't realized that; Thanks for the info! As far as the competition in the real estate industry goes, I have to respectfully disagree, or at least express my total confusion at the idea of it, as a cause for poor pricing policies. To rise to the top in the RE industry, an agent should sell houses (a lot of them and fast). In order to do that, they should be priced properly from the get-go, marketed well (ugh - the descriptions and photos of listings throughout the area are awful), clean, and well-staged (following the advice that UTSCI mentioned). If life as a listing agent is so competitive in CC, then we should see more agents on top of their game. They are definitely, DEFINITELY not. It really is very strange.

Rust - Ha! Well, every place has its own culture and style. I've seen a good chunk of this crazy world, enough to know that to be true. Perhaps this plays into the unexpected "features" of home listings as well. If 80's-retro-Walmart decor with a few extra crosses and crazy paint colors on the walls for good measure, and eau de mildew (the Caribbean shares that last feature as well...) is part of the "CC style", well, I've never been much for fitting in anyway.

Last edited by IslandCityGirl; 07-01-2015 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:33 PM
 
563 posts, read 372,482 times
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Sellers want the most money for their houses and not necessarily to sell it fast. As a result the listing agents will promise they can get high prices in order to get the listing and then whittle it down. Buyer's side agents do best by getting deals done fast. For a listing agent virtually all of their cost is fixed(sign, creating the flyer, putting the listing in the MLS) so a cheap price just reduces their income.

I understand other places are different. I have family who live where houses get listed shown and sold over a one week period and buyers essentially all bid at once and pay more than list typically. That just isn't the culture here. If a house here sold in a week the owner would think they priced it too low.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:32 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 868,100 times
Reputation: 2302
Rust - Yum... and Ivar's is just the teeny tip of the iceberg when it comes to great food in Seattle. It's a fabulous, beautiful place all around; Deserves every bit of notoriety it's receiving these days. I'm looking forward to reading the Chief Seattle speech link.

Jackalope - I gotcha. The thing is, this defies the way real estate works and is supposed to work according to every bit of educational literature out there, and in actual practice in other locations that I'm aware of. In fact, real estate professionals in the CC area would disagree with you (at least the handful that I communicated with in-depth). Selling agents do not want houses sitting on the market for long periods. It doesn't look good for their track records. It doesn't put money in their pockets and move them along to the next listings. The CC agents I spoke with and worked with said time and time again, "When houses are priced correctly here they are flying off the market, especially in the summer months." Most homeowners do not want their houses on the market for long periods, either. CC is uniquely strange this way if what you say is true. It's a hassle to be ready to show at any time (though the funny article that is the subject of this thread points to some hilarities surrounding that as well!) and it's rare that a seller doesn't have some sense of urgency to get the sale accomplished. It's also strange that other measures to maximize profits are completely overlooked by sellers (the aforementioned lack of staging, odd decor choices, unkept yards/lack of curb appeal, and awful photos online). I definitely don't disagree that this is how things seem to be done in CC, but it is oddly unconventional, and it does defy logic as well as many standards in the general real estate industry anywhere else, making the whole process appear to be approached with a lack of professionalism and logic. Highly competitive markets operate very differently from this, normally, both in the way the agents operate and the way the homeowners operate.

Like I said in an earlier post, every place has its own culture and style. Sometimes that culture embodies a "logic need not apply" philosophy. (I live in another place like that now!) I've yet to have any real opportunity to get to know what CC is like, but my first impression definitely agrees with you that the area, in general, operates with a more lackadaisical attitude than many other places in the U.S. This can be good and bad. Certainly this permeates the real estate industry as well.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:04 PM
 
1,000 posts, read 1,534,554 times
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Welcome to "island time", especially in the summer! But you are already familiar with that from your previous location.
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