Almost everyone in Texas can tell you where they were and how they faired during the wrath of Hurricane Ike. With highest sustained winds 145 mph winds, Hurricane Ike was one of the costliest tropical cyclones on record that swept through portions of the Greater Antilles and North America, wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture, particularly in Cuba and Texas. Ike made final landfall on the northern end of Galveston Island, Texas on September 13, 2008.
Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths worldwide. In the United States, 113 people were reported killed, directly or indirectly, and 16 were still missing as of August 2011. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kenedy County Region near Corpus Christi, Texas. The search-and-rescue operation after Ike remains the largest search-and-rescue operation in Texas history.1
In the wake of the storm, a classic example of 60’s era architecture sits vacant and boarded up for yet another year since Hurricane Ike stole what life it had left. Windstorm insurance, which seemed too costly before the storm, was not there to help. With each day of decay, the future of the forlorn property with a colorful past became less and less certain. Owners, ready to lick their wounds, were done with it. Potential buyers knew it would cost far more to fix than the property was worth – yet the math worked. A little expertly guided help would put it over the top.
After community outrage over escalating crime and visual blight, the tiny municipality of hard-working families, was pressured to condemn the eyesore, scrape it, and turn it into a memorial park. But, as the City Manager candidly pointed out, not only was there no money available for such a project, parks don’t pay taxes. So long as the property remained privately owned, even without a building on the lot, each taxing authority would still be entitled to much-needed revenue. The people can certainly control its fate, but in the end, the community needs positive revenue more than it needs another park.
Think Outside the Box Because There Is No Box
What do you think the City Manager said when we told him we could turn the property back into nice housing for respectable families, but would need a ten-year graduated tax abatement to do it? In Texas, all taxing authorities, except school districts, have the right to not collect, or abate, property taxes for up to ten years. But, even the school districts have options.
Nothing was exchanged except goodwill, mutual respect, and an old-fashioned Texas handshake in a cluttered conference room in a quaint little city hall. With the City thankful, the investors excited, the owner relieved, contractors chomping at the bit, and the broker already counting her commission, this is what we call a win-win in Texas.
We bring NEW ideas to the table. We meld these ideas together to serve all for a better world. Taking into account industry and governmental regulations, markets, buyer concerns, seller dreams, financing obstacles and entrance and exit strategies, there are endless combinations to build and expand a multifamily real estate portfolio while maximizing returns.
At Better World Properties, Better World Holdings and Better World Consulting, we think outside the box. At the Better World Family of Companies, there is no box. We stay plugged in to the market, continuously dream up creative new ideas, and execute end-to-end solutions, all under one roof – it’s how we do business in Texas.
Is it time to add Texas apartment properties to your investment portfolio? Whether you’re looking for multiple properties to charge ahead like a Brahma bull or graduate to your first major project at a soon-to-be-discovered gem, we have the eye, experience, connections and knowledge to make it happen.
Do you own existing Texas apartment properties? When was the last time you reviewed your management processes with an eye toward improvement? What is your strategy? Would you like to position your properties for sale, optimize your ROI, extract equity, or review your existing strategy? You don’t have to be as brave as the first man who ever ate an armadillo egg to think outside the box. One call is all it takes to get the ball rolling in a whole new direction.
Give us a call. Better yet, come visit. We love to talk apartments. We’ll get all gussied up if you like, but we’re just as happy in boots and jeans. Your call.