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Living on Texas coast? Any advice
Old 11-06-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
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Living on Texas coast? Any advice

DW and I live in central Texas and have always enjoyed the coastal vacations. Even though Gulf waters aren't the clear blue kind, the beaches are fine and living appears to be casual and comfortable..

Any thoughts as to areas to consider a move to?

Corpus vs. Galveston
Smaller cities such as Port Aransas or Freeport?
Crystal Beach/Bolivar?

Looking for affordable homes with access to health care and shopping, etc.. (which might rule out Crystal Beach)

thanks in advance
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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I would rule out Galveston too. The last hurricane did a lot of damage and insurance companies are difficult to work with there. Plus, according to the news, the population is seeing decreases and taxes will be sure to go up.

If I were to look into that move to the shore, I would look towards Corpus and towns down that way. But even those get punished by the tropical storms.

Crystal Beach is building back up since Hurricane Ike as just about all the homes there ended up in Trinity bay (they stll have not found a few folks who hung on through the storm). That should be scratched off your list too.

You may want to consider staying in Central Texas as it's quite nice and vacationing at the beaches here. Some folks I know are selling their beach/Galveston homes and moving to The Hill Country to retire.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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Hubby and I had a second home in Rockport for a few years that was theoretically going to be our retirement home. We lived and worked in San Antonio and drove there almost every weekend. About a year before he actually retired we realized that we didn't want to live there full time. It is a pretty community but just not enough going. We refocused, sold that home and bought a house in Austin and hubby DID retire there. It has worked out great and I love this area although it isn't the least expensive place to live. A plus for me is that I wanted to continue to work and I have many options here in my field and very few in coast area. Others might find Austin too busy and would prefer the slower coastal pace so aim for suits your temperament and interests.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:12 AM   #4
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Personally, I'd stay in central Texas, but I HAD to live on the TX coast for years for work.

I think there are a lot of reasonably nice smaller towns, but the access to amenities is the problem. For example, we kept a sailboat at Palacios. Nice very small town, but you'd be driving for everything.

Port A gets you close to Corpus and not too far from SA.

Bolivar? Boy unless it's changed since I left Houston 8 years ago, I'd say no way. Too much driving to get to anything.

Galveston will be back, but I'd worry about the very limited 'escape' possibilities pre-Hurricane. Ferry or San Luis Pass or Interstate right into the 4th largest city in the country. No really good options. This was a plus when we lived in Matagorda county. Lots of options, plus we were maybe 35 feet above sea level.

Brazoria County (Freeport/Clute/Lk Jackson) gets you within an hour of Houston for shopping/medical. Plus they have great building codes for wind.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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Be sure you'll willing to pay the crazy home insurance costs, and very high deductible for wind damage before you make the move. My 1500 sq ft house has $3.5k / year for insurance with a 6k deductible for wind damage ($1500 deductible for everything else).
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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Be sure you'll willing to pay the crazy home insurance costs, and very high deductible for wind damage before you make the move. My 1500 sq ft house has $3.5k / year for insurance with a 6k deductible for wind damage ($1500 deductible for everything else).
Changes in the flood insurance premiums are going to create an ongoing problem for coastal communities. The effective government subsidy is going away but I think it is phased in over several years. You could be seeing even greater hits in the coming years.

Texas had a state home insurance plan that effectively overcharged people not living on the coast to subsidize the insurance of the coastal residents. The "windstorm" policies are the beginning of their phase out. I don't think this has all been completed yet. Insurance will continue to go up; and if another Ike hits, the insurance could go out of sight.

I've fished the Texas coast for years but can't see a reason to actually live there. Corpus is the only city of any size on the "cleaner" water. If you like the muddy water, Tiki has some possibilities. I much prefer renting a place for a little while and not having to worry about the next hurricane in the Gulf.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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I'm the OP and I have to say that after this weekend and looking at the damage and tragedy in the Philippines, we might just pass on the coastal life plan. Mountains anyone?
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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FIL/MIL had a neat place on Marathon Key. After Andrew went through Homestead they figured it was time to leave.

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Old 11-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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As long as you don't mind extreme humidity with your TX heat (you can almost watch metal rust at the beach), you should be fine. We've lived in Dallas and San Antonio, both were hot but relatively dry (esp Dallas) and comfortable (to us) compared to Houston or Corpus.

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/ph...p#photo-938824
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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I'm the OP and I have to say that after this weekend and looking at the damage and tragedy in the Philippines, we might just pass on the coastal life plan. Mountains anyone?
DW and I have a hurricane plan. It's called Missouri.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Research the Biggert-Waters Act before buying any home near a flood or hurricane zone. Some annual flood insurance costs will rise to $25,000 a year.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
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Don't do it. Hurricanes, storm insurance, and climate change (sea level rise) will wipe out your investment. Anywhere you live on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Keys to South Padre is basically a roll of the dice and living on borrowed time.

If you MUST live near water find a location with more vertical geography such as the Pacific Northwest or look to freshwater shorelines. Although here in Texas they are experiencing the opposite problem due to drought...falling water levels. Granbury up near Fort Worth is the classic example. Beautiful lakefront town is drying up.

Personally if I wanted to live and retire on the water long term I'd look to the Great Lakes region. Some place like Traverse City MI. But then you have the winters to deal with.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
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We live 80 miles inland from South Padre Island which is the prettiest beachfront in TX, IMO. The area is also famous for its fishing and its birding.

We go visit when it's not crowded with people. There are hotels and tons of condos available to rent. I wouldn't buy property there due to weather hazards not to mention the Spring Break month of madness in March.

IMO the other Texas beaches are just not that nice, although I do enjoy the Texas coast in general.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:27 PM   #14
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Just don't plan on buying a Tesla car in Texas. Or even test driving one. The state of Texas seems to not like capitalism.

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Old 12-10-2013, 06:23 AM   #15
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Just don't plan on buying a Tesla car in Texas. Or even test driving one. The state of Texas seems to not like capitalism.

How Dealerships Forced Tesla Motors' Business Model Out Of Texas | Popular Science
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One more reason not to move here...
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:11 AM   #16
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DW and I live in central Texas and have always enjoyed the coastal vacations. Even though Gulf waters aren't the clear blue kind, the beaches are fine and living appears to be casual and comfortable..

Any thoughts as to areas to consider a move to?

Corpus vs. Galveston
Smaller cities such as Port Aransas or Freeport?
Crystal Beach/Bolivar?

Looking for affordable homes with access to health care and shopping, etc.. (which might rule out Crystal Beach)

thanks in advance
Does it have to be Texas? If not, consider also the Gulf Coast from Bay St. Louis, MS to Orange Beach/Foley, AL & Pensacola, FL all the way down to Apalachiacola. (no State income tax in FL, cheap property taxes in AL)

Live on high ground 20 miles inland & you avoid most of the insurance & other hassles of living too close to the water.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:15 AM   #17
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...

Personally if I wanted to live and retire on the water long term I'd look to the Great Lakes region. Some place like Traverse City MI. But then you have the winters to deal with.
We've actually toyed with the idea of getting a small summer place up thataway to dodge some of the heat/humidity down here.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:51 AM   #18
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DW and I have decided to jump in the car and drive the coast for fun and education. I think renting for a month or two might be best bet vs transplanting. Looks like the cost for anything nice is out of reach.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:06 AM   #19
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Live on high ground 20 miles inland & you avoid most of the insurance & other hassles of living too close to the water.
Good advice. If you buy a place on the beach it (or pieces of it) will likely end up 20 miles inland when the next big gulf hurricane blows through...
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:26 AM   #20
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Good advice. If you buy a place on the beach it (or pieces of it) will likely end up 20 miles inland when the next big gulf hurricane blows through...
I know a number of folk who live on Navarre Beach, FL (lived there myself for a year) and their homes haven't blown away - even during Ivan which NB took a direct hit. A lot of it is dependent upon how new & hurricane resistant the construction is. Older places did not have the mandatory hurricane construction standards they do today. I've heard of lots more people inland who suffered major damage due to flooding in their homes. Houses on the beach are up on piers 10' and plus.

The car & house insurance is high; traffic can be bad depending on where you are; you have to leave during major storms and it may be awhile before you can go back; the salt air that close to the gulf eats your bicycles, bbq grills, pretty much anything metal up; and the wind/sand can blow for days on end sometimes in the winter. In spite of all that, I absolutely loved living at Navarre Beach. It's non-commercial & a heavily military community (Hurlburt Field & Eglin AFB nearby) so a lot of good people. If we do move back though I will buy a lot on the mainland right over the bridge and I'll build an elevated strong small place to the new wind resistant construction standards rather than buying/building on the beach itself.

But each to his own ... there can be issues with living in the mountains, the desert, cold places, etc as well.
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