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Old 08-03-2009, 07:49 PM
82 posts, read 200,538 times
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My husband and I will be moving to the Corpus area next spring due to a job relocation. We will be there about five years. We have no children at home and don't have to worry about school systems or finding jobs. I am a professional artist and we think maybe communities north of Corpus would be a good place to relocate because of the art community in the Rockport Area. Plus, I like the idea of a little milder climate closer to the gulf. However, as someone who went through Katrina, I'm not thrilled at all about living along the gulf coast and dread evacuations and the stress of the unknown. Unfortunately, there is no way to dodge that bullet working in Corpus.

We are thinking of renting for the first year and purchasing a home after getting to know the area. We would like a nice place for under $1500 rent, but I need space for an art studio so we may have to go with a house rather than an apartment. We'd like to purchase a home under $300,000. It would be lovely to have beach access or live near the water, but we also like an urban feel. We lived in Chicago and New Orleans and loved being a part of pedestrian cities with ecclectic varieties in restaurants. I believe the Corpus area probably doesn't have a whole lot of that, but we currently live in a small East Texas town and I know it has to have more variety than where we are at!

I have a few questions... Is there much of an artist community in Corpus or would it be best for me to investigate Rockport for this? Does the Rockport/Corpus area evacuate for tropical storms and Cat 1 or 2 hurricanes? Is the coastal area prone to flooding for major storms? (Having a large inventory of paintings, I'd rather not lose a body of work) How well does the barrier island protect the mainland? (You can tell I'm still a bit spooked) Can I garden easily or does the climate lend itself only to tropicals? How long of a drive is it from Aransas Pass to the Alameda/Staples/Louisiana Ave area of north Corpus? Is there an urban/city area of downtown Corpus that would be nice to live in or are all the nicer areas suburban? (I'm tired of cookie-cutter subdivisions). If we live as far south as Flour Bluff, A&M area, or Kings Crossing, how long of a drive is it from there to Alameda/Staples area (where my husband will be working)? Is there any type of gallery district in Corpus?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:30 AM
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You can easily rent a nice place for $1,500 and buy a home for under $300,000. Be sure and factor in taxes and insurance when you're looking to buy, though. They're both very high here.

I don't know much about the art community here in CC, but there are a couple of galleries in the downtown area. One is called K-Space and there's another next to Aloe Tile Works but I can't remember the name. Actually, if you call ATW and talk to the people there, you can probably get lots of info on the local art scene. Also, the people at the Art Museum of South Texas and the South Texas Institute for the Arts (which are affiliated in some way) can give you lots of information.

Not sure about the evacuation protocols for Rockport. If you were to live close to downtown CC, evacuation is mandatory only for a Cat. 4 or 5. The further south you go, the more likely it is to flood, so you have to evacuate for smaller storms. The city just revised these criteria.

You can garden year round. Right now it's daunting because we're in the middle of an historic drought, but notwithstanding that, you can have vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, etc. growing all the time.

From AP to the Alameda/Staples/Louisiana area is about a 30-min. drive. But, you could easily buy a house in that area, have access to the bayfront and be in the Cat. 4-5 evacuation area. Also, it's the closest thing we have to an urban, walkable neighborhood. It's not exactly urban or walkable, but the 6-points area is small but kind of fun.

From FB or King's Crossing it would be a 15-20 minute drive to where your husband will be working. From the A&M area it would be more like 10-15. There are some nice neigborhoods tucked in between Ocean Dr. and Alameda at the University end. Really, anywhere in that corridor from Ayers to the University would be a good place to live.

For rentals til you buy, I suggest you look at the Bay Vista apartments or any of the new lofts going in downtown. I think one of them is called Nueces Lofts, or something close to that. You could probably also find a house to rent close to the area your husband will be working.

If you see something online and you want more information on it, DM me and I'll be happy to tell you what I know.

Good luck to you!
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:45 AM
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What is considered the "6-points" area? I will certainly look in the Ayers/University cooridor this weekend and am interested in the lofts downtown. Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:33 PM
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6-points is the intersection of Staples, Alameda and Ayers. There are a couple of restaurants, a big gift shop emporium, a CVS and some other things.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:43 PM
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There are a couple of really nice townhome areas around Corpus. Santa Fe townhomes, Carriage Park and condos along Shoreline drive ... these often have rentals available.

As far as hurricanes go ... the most important thing for you to remember is that this is Texas - NOT Louisiana. We don't have the same surge problems in Corpus and the evacuation procedures are much better.

I've been through 3 serious hurricanes while living in Corpus - the last one was Celia in 1970. Nobody even thought about evacuation during those times except for the beach areas. Keep in mind that in the 1960-70's there were very few beach homes in the area. Corpus is built above sea level, not below sea level the way New Orleans is. The Texas state government and the cities are always on top of these things .... you won't have the same concerns in Texas that Louisiana had. IF I still lived there - I would not even think of leaving unless I was in a low area that was known to have a water problem ... that's me, a native. Imports don't feel the same way.

Rockport/Fulton/Aransas Pass/Ingelside ... are all about 30-40 miles from where your husband will be working. Not a bad drive but certainly something to consider. Portland (lots of nice areas) is a quick drive - maybe 15 minutes. The area around Louisiana between Santa Fe and Ocean Dr or toward Alameda is a nice area ... not "cookie cutter" at all. These are older homes and nice neighborhoods. I think they are the best neighborhoods in Corpus - you could find a real gem in these areas. I tend to like homes with some character.

Advice here is to come down - check out the areas on your own with a good map and find a good Realtor to show you around. Find someone who understands what you are really looking for. A place for now and a place for a permanent home. Corpus does not have that "urban" quality you spoke about in your first post yet ... maybe someday if they are able to do a good revitalization of downtown. Progress is being made but these things take time - I don't think they are there yet. Keep in mind that there are no gardens in downtown CC.

Don't worry about the storms ... Corpus is due one but if it should happen then your residence will probably be just fine. The advantage of staying during a storm is that you are there to take care of any damage (broken windows, etc) that occur and can protect your property. That's why our family always stays instead of evacuates.

Dad was in Corpus during the 1919 storm ... family has a lot of history of sitting out a hurricane.

Welcome to CC

You will find the people friendly and the town welcoming. It' not New Orleans but it doesn't want to be like New Orleans.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:14 AM
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If you don't already have a real estate agent and are looking for one, DM me. I have worked with a woman I really like a couple of times. She's experienced and professional.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:32 PM
82 posts, read 200,538 times
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Thanks for all the info. You all are very gracious! I am curious... what do people think about both Del Mar Community College and TAMCC? How are their administrators and how well do they work for the students?

We will be in town this Sunday and will drive around several neighborhoods... particularly the area around Louisiana. I'm all for researching and purchasing rather than living in a rental for a year and moving a second time. We vascillate between the two. I want to find an area that will have a very good resale value in case our stint there is only 3-5 years. Whatever real estate agent I find, we will use to resell the home as well, providing they do a good job for us. I'm looking forward to exploring the area. We know one couple there and they will show us around this week. We'll also pick their brain and I'll keep reading this forum for great info. We've moved out of state twice and these forums were worth their weight in gold.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:47 AM
205 posts, read 549,037 times
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Produrre...you're going to have a great time visiting CC and Rockport. We were in the area last weekend (live in the Austin area). I was really impressed with Rockport, quite a few local artists have their work in art galleries or available to purchase in local stores. It has a great feel for a small town. At least take the time to include it on your trip. There was one place which had spaces for the artist/vendor to display their own wares/goods for sale. Perhaps you could live a little inland but have a space to sell your work?
Anyway good luck.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:52 PM
82 posts, read 200,538 times
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I'm now thinking Rockport will be too far away to actually live there. We are leaning toward Corpus proper, but investigating the art scene in Rockport will be on my list. I also am looking forward to exploring the Art Center of Corpus Christi.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:33 PM
Location: Portland, TX. (next to Corpus Christi)
1,678 posts, read 3,663,587 times
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Produrre, I would advise you to also strongly consider Portland. The main reason being, with the Ingleside Naval Station closing, there are ALOT of homes for sale here, and it truly is becoming a Buyers Market here. If I had a bit more money for a down payment, I would be buying here as well.

Just my .02.

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