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Fri Oct 19, 2007

Strive for comfort in Island décor

There seem to be a variety of themes available to anyone planning for coastal décor: some trite, some tried and true and all in various hues of blue.

For anyone of us owning and decorating South Padre Island property, we eventually begin to decorate like an islander. This might be the effects of dragging home beach finds or just the availability of tropical furnishings. Whether it’s the chicken or the egg, our lifestyle affects our home style or our home reflects our lifestyle. It all amounts to a coastal style unique to beach communities.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 19, 07 | 2:55 pm | Profile

Fri Oct 12, 2007

A formulaic calculation of island time

Island time \is•land time\ - noun, adjective: To be latent, slow or delayed due to extreme relaxation inspired by salt air.

Used in a sentence: Dude, I’m on island time.

Anyone spending their days anywhere near South Padre will eventually come in contact with the phrase, island time - occasionally referred to as mañana land. In itself, it is a lovely sentiment. Roughly translated it means that time has less relevance to an islander, that tardiness is excusable. Indeed, it even states by implication that there is no need to make up elaborate excuses for lateness as the sheer pleasure of our environment is enough to make one senselessly delayed. Priceless.

That is, of course, all well and good for those who find themselves apart from the burden of generating a livelihood, running a business or catching a flight.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 12, 07 | 3:09 pm | Profile

Fri Oct 05, 2007

What drives you crazy?

I sat in rush hour. I sat in rush hour day after day. I veered and wove. I swore and cursed. I was one of the masses sitting on a highway muttering under my breath at other motorists who occupied a more desirable lane.

For years, I joyfully exited my stressful corporate job only to find myself locked on the highway with other stressed-out urbanites.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 05, 07 | 1:19 pm | Profile

Fri Sep 28, 2007

Dogs love the beach, but keep these pet owner tips in mind

You might be surprised to hear that most beaches in Florida do not allow dogs on their beach. That’s right, all that lovely sand and surf and no delighted doggies may frolic there. It’s sad, but sometimes I see their point.

My yellow Labs and I walk the beach frequently, almost daily. Every time we get to the beach access, they express huge canine joy at the sight of the shore. Amid the tail wagging, Labrador smiling and prancing, I usually have a moment to feel the shine of their delight. It’s a reminder of why I live here, and their beach-borne delight is quite contagious.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 28, 07 | 3:00 pm | Profile

Fri Sep 21, 2007

Island Style: It’s wash and wear

I have been considering my wardrobe lately. When fall approaches, women often are overtaken by an urge to shop, and I thought I might escape this expensive desire when I found myself on South Padre Island, a place with limited seasons. But, alas, no.

So I stood before my closet and contemplated what could be eliminated, hoping to squeeze in a few new pieces without requiring new storage and thus raising the attention of my shopping-impaired husband. (He seriously believes that all things except shoes can be purchased without trying them on.)

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 21, 07 | 3:34 pm | Profile

Thu Sep 06, 2007

Rent it yourself

There are currently 213 listings for South Padre Island on the self-managed Vacation Rental By Owner website, There are more on, www.CyberRentals and a few other sites.

Some of these may be posted by rental companies, but on the whole these listings are self-managing landlords reaching out to the short-term consumer market. is a neat setup. For a couple hundred dollars a year (more if you want to be first of 213), any property owner can attract the attention of thousands of potential tenants.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 06, 07 | 2:42 pm | Profile

Thu Aug 30, 2007

Where did the money go?

Ever bring a pie to Thanksgiving dinner? It looks like enough for everyone. But then the slicing begins and there is only enough for eight or six if the dessert server is generous. Then the can of whipped cream runs out, and the party is over.

Real estate commissions are the same thing.

When the initial number is calculated, it looks like a great amount. Even knowing that it gets divided, there still seems like plenty to go around. Most people don’t really see how many divisions take place and how many forks are in that pie.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Aug 30, 07 | 3:21 pm | Profile

Fri Aug 24, 2007

Certain clauses bring peace of mind

We have all had a good scare. Every time a hurricane lingers too long near our coast, I start pulling relevant documents and reviewing them. Suddenly, the most relevant document is my homeowner’s insurance.

No one likes paying their insurance premiums. It always is a big check to write when I have never had to make a claim. But peace of mind is a value. It’s a value that I hold very dearly, especially if I dare to turn on the weather channel in August.

Just before hurricane season started this year, I got a second opinion on my insurance. The folks at Bob Sales Insurance, who now have an office on South Padre Island, were good enough to advise me on some new ways to insure my home that I hadn’t considered. While no amount would compensate for the loss of my beloved beach house, it is nice to know that I would not end up homeless and unemployed should the big one be in our future.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Aug 24, 07 | 4:28 pm | Profile

Thu Aug 16, 2007

North island on auction block

On July 24, 730 acres of South Padre Island went up for auction in Corpus Christi. The property was owned by Zol Development Group of Florida. They had plans for a master planned community on South Padre Island, but after financial difficulties in Florida and other parts of the country, this land and other holdings were made available for bid in bankruptcy court.

The property lies between the SPI Convention Center and County Beach Access 6, and it is within Cameron County’s jurisdiction. The land enjoys more than 7,785 feet of beach and bay frontage and spans the entire width of the Island. It is on the road and is relatively close to utilities. County zoning of this area has few restrictions, and the owners will be able to choose whether they wish to be a part of South Padre Island’s township or establish their own municipality.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Aug 16, 07 | 4:50 pm | Profile

Thu Aug 02, 2007

Messy mortgages can affect homebuyers

Sub prime is new to most people’s vocabulary for most people. It has been introduced to the American consciousness by repeated use in business news. For those who have not had the benefit of background information, sub prime refers to lesser quality mortgage loans.

These mortgages were freely given during our housing boom that started around 2001. Since then, 25 percent or more of all loans in America fell into this less than desirable category. Sub prime loans were generally written for borrowers who didn’t fit the appropriate income-to-payment ratio, had low credit scores, no down payment or were buying a property for more than its accepted value.

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Posted by: Ryan Henry on Aug 02, 07 | 3:48 pm | Profile

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