Hi. I'm Diane McNelis, Award winning Texas Realtor(R) with Coldwell Banker Southern Homes. Selling and Buying homes in Southeast Texas can be complicated. I'm here to help. When we work together I become your advocate. My goal is to get you the best deal possible and to exceed your service expectations. On my blog, I share tips and strategies for selling and buying homes in Southeast Texas.

FBSO in Southeast Texas

The Southeast Texas Real Estate Market is hot.  It is a sellers market.  I'm sure you have heard it in the news.  So you might be thinking this is the time to try selling your Lumberton, Beaumont, Southeast Texas home by owner.  


When It Comes To Selling a House, Your Time Is Money [INFOGRAPHIC]

When It Comes To Selling a House, Your Time Is Money [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Selling a house is no small task. If you decide to try to do it on your own, keep in mind you’ll be responsible for all the expert-level work of a real estate professional.
  • The vital tasks an agent manages for you include listing and marketing your house, handling legal documentation, negotiating with all parties, and navigating local laws and regulations.
  • If you’re ready to sell while the market is in your favor, let’s connect to make sure you have the professional expertise you need every step of the way.

Final Thoughts

There are some signs that Southeast Texas home sales may be beginning to cool.  While many areas in Southeast Texas still have a very low inventory of homes for sale, the number of listings has been trending up in the past 30 days.  The trend in interest rates is also beginning to rise.  There is still a window of opportunity for home sellers to take advantage of the amazing Southeast Texas sellers market. If you are thinking about selling your home in Lumberton, Beaumont or any part of Southeast Texas let's connect.  




6535 Columbus Circle in Westwood Heights, Lumberton

Just listed!  

Stop searching. Two years young in Westwood Heights. Eric floor plan with a 4th bedroom/game room/media room upstairs. Relaxed and refined open concept design with split bedrooms. You'll find all the modern interior features and finishes. Soft color scheme will fit any décor. Don't miss the pantry. Mudroom nook with sitting bench. Oversized closet upstairs. Schedule your personal showing asap. This home is going to make a new owner incredibly happy.
Watch the 47 second slideshow to see for yourself.



Barrington Heights Home Sales 2021

Buyers Market or Sellers Market

Checking sales in a popular Beaumont West End neighborhood today and what the data shows might surprise you.  

Since January 1, there have been ten closings in Barrington Heights.  There are six homes currently for sale.  Does that make it a buyers market or a sellers market?  

What was your answer?

Not so fast! 

It was a tricky question.  Barrington Heights has a wide price range of homes with the most affordable homes in the high 200's and the most luxurious homes priced in the high 600's.  

Take a look. 


Barrington MA




It's not as simple as the number of homes for sale divided by the number sold in the past six months.  You have to look at the data closer.  

The highest sale since Jan. 1, 2021 was new construction that sold for $545,000.  The other nine sales were in the 300's  and 400's.  Right now three of the homes that are for sale are in the 600's.  

Knowing the Market

One more reason to work with a local, professional real estate agent is we know the market.  Running comparable sales for clients is one of the most important things I do.  Knowing what is a good offer and what is a good sales price are critical to helping you make the best home sale or purchase decisions.

If you are thinking about selling a home in Barrington Heights in the West End of Beaumont or if you are thinking about buying let's discuss your goals.  

I'm here to help you make the best real estate decisions.



Southeast Texas FSBO

It's a sellers market.  It's a sellers market.  You've probably been hearing that for the past few months in Southeast Texas and on the National news.  There is some truth to it.  We certainly have neighborhoods in Southeast Texas that are in sellers market territory - when the supply of homes is less than the demand for homes.  But not every neighborhood in Southeast Texas is in a sellers market.  You might think about putting a FSBO ad on FB to let you friends know you are selling your home and see what kind of response you get but is that really a wise decision.  

Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ Market

Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

In a sellers’ market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with a trusted real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market. This makes it even more tempting to FSBO. As a result, some sellers think selling their house will be a breeze and see today’s market as an opportunity to FSBO. Let’s unpack why that’s a big mistake and may actually cost you more in the long run.

According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 41% of homeowners who tried to sell their house as a FSBO did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. In reality, even in a sellers’ market, selling on your own likely means you’ll net a lower profit than when you sell with the help of an agent.

The NAR report explains:

FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $217,900 in 2020 (up from $200,000 in 2019), and still far lower than the median selling price of all homes at $242,300. Agent-assisted homes sold for a median of $295,000...Sellers who began as a FSBO, then ended up working with an agent, received 98 percent of the asking price, but had to reduce their price the most before arriving at a final listing price.”

When the seller knew the buyer, that amount was even lower, coming in at $176,700 (See graph below):Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ Market | MyKCMThat’s a lot of money to risk losing when you FSBO – far more than what you’d save on commission or other fees. Despite the advantages sellers have in today’s market, it’s still crucial to have the support of an expert to guide you through the process. Real estate professionals are trained negotiators with a ton of housing market insights that average homeowners may never have. An agent’s expertise can alleviate much of the stress of selling your house and help you close the best possible deal when you do.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to sell your house this year and you’re considering doing so on your own, be sure to think through that decision carefully. Odds are, you stand to gain the most by working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent. Let’s connect to discuss how a trusted advisor can help you, especially in today’s market.

I've been a top local Southeast Texas realtor for the past twelve years.  There is no commission fee paid until your home sells at an acceptable price and it closes.  Up to that point I work as your consultant and advisor for free.  When I successfully sell your home then I earn a commission.  There are so many steps during the process from marketing a home for sale, to negotiating offers, writing contracts, getting through contingencies, and to the closing table.  It really isn't something you should try to do on your own with one of your biggest financial assets.  I'm here to help. 



Southeast Texas Home Sales: Sellers Market?

One Golden Rule

in real estate markets is that a balanced market has a six month supply of homes for sale for the buyers that are looking.  Less than a six month supply is a sellers market.  More than a six month supply is a buyers market. 

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | MyKCMWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.

In the next few posts local neighborhoods in Beaumont, like Westchase, Fairfield, Barrington will be featured then Lumberton's Boykin, Copper Point and Westchase Village will be analyzed to see which neighborhoods in Southeast Texas are truly sellers markets where demand for homes is outpacing the supply. 

If you can't wait till the post is published reach out to me.  I can get you the home sales information for any neighborhood in Southeast Texas.



Buying a Home in Beaumont, Lumberton or Orange

If you are planning to buy a home in Southeast Texas this year here's an article that shows why it might be better to buy sooner rather than wait till later.  

How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget

How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget | MyKCM

Mortgage rates are on the rise this year, but they’re still incredibly low compared to the historic average. However, anytime there’s a change in the mortgage rate, it affects what you can afford to borrow when you’re buying a home. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macshares:

Since January, mortgage rates have increased half a percentage point from historic lows and home prices have risen, leaving potential homebuyers with less purchasing power.” (See graph below):

How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget | MyKCMWhen buying a home, it’s important to determine a monthly budget so you can plan for and understand what you can afford. However, when you need to stick to your budget, even a small increase in the mortgage rate can make a big difference.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today, the median existing-home price is $313,000. Using $300,000 as a simple number close to the median price, here’s an example of how a change in mortgage rate impacts your monthly principal and interest payments on a home.How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget | MyKCMIf, for example, you’re getting ready to buy a home and know your budget allows for a monthly payment of $1200-1250 (marked in gray on the table above), every time the mortgage rate increases, the loan amount has to decrease to keep your monthly cost in range. This means you may have to look for lower-priced homes as mortgage rates go up if you want to be able to maintain your budget.

In essence, it’s ideal to close on a home loan when mortgage rates are low, so you can afford to borrow more money. This gives you more purchasing power when you buy a home. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americanexplains:

“Monthly payments have remained manageable despite soaring home prices because of low mortgage rates. In fact, monthly payments remain below the $1,250 to $1,260 range that we saw in both fall 2018 and spring 2019, but they are on track to hit that level this spring.

Although they remain low, mortgage rates have begun to increase and are expected to rise further later in the year, thus affordability will test buyer demand in the months ahead and likely help slow the pace of price growth.”

Today’s mortgage rates are still very low, but experts project they’ll continue to rise modestly this year. As a result, every moment counts for homebuyers who want to secure the lowest mortgage rate they can in order to be able to afford the home of their dreams.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to low mortgage rates, the spring housing market's in bloom for buyers – but these favorable conditions may not last for long. Let’s connect today to start the homebuying process while your purchasing power is still holding strong.  The Southeast Texas residential real estate market is challenging right now.  We have neighborhoods with no homes for sale, some neighborhoods with very little for sale and other areas there is plenty for sale. 

For a buyer to know if you will be competing against other buyers or if you will have ability to negotiate with the seller you need an experienced, local professional Southeast Texas Realtor.  I've been helping buyers and sellers for more than a decade in Southeast Texas.  If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Beaumont, Lumberton or Orange this year, let's discuss your goals. 



Best Time to Sell a Home in Beaumont or Lumberton

Thinking of selling your home in Southeast Texas in 2021?  You might find this article interesting.   

Is It a Good Time to Sell My House?

Is It a Good Time to Sell My House? | MyKCM

Last year, many homeowners thought twice about selling their houses due to the onset of the health crisis. This year, however, homeowners are beginning to regain their confidence when it comes to selling safely. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae shows that 57% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell.

Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, explains:

“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgage rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale.”

Normally, spring is the busiest season in the housing market – the time when many homeowners decide to list their houses. While this is obviously not a normal year since the pandemic is still very much upon us, experts are optimistic that consumer positivity around selling will lead to more homeowners making moves this year. Duncan continues to say:

“We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend.”

What does this mean if you’re thinking of selling your house?

The fact that there are so few houses available for sale today is one driver that’s encouraging consumers to think more positively about selling. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states:

"Total housing inventory at the end of January amounted to 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from one year ago (1.40 million).”

With so few homes available to buy, your house will be more likely to rise to the top of an eager purchaser’s wish list in this competitive market. Today’s high buyer activity is creating upward pressure on home prices and more multiple-offer scenarios. According to the Realtors Confidence Index Survey from NAR, the average home for sale is receiving 3.7 offers today, up from 2.3 offers just one year ago. This makes selling even more enticing.

In this kind of sellers’ market, you have a huge advantage in the process. And here’s another win – you can also use your equity toward a down payment on a new home when you move.

Wondering where you’ll go if you try to move while it’s so challenging to find a home to buy? Well, in many areas, there are more homes available at the higher end of the market, so finding a move-up home may be less of an issue if you’re ready to search for your dream home this spring.

Bottom Line

If you pressed pause on selling your house last year, now may be the best time to put your plans back into motion while inventory is so low. Let’s connect today to get the process started.

Southeast Texas has a shortage of homes for sale.  Lumberton is especially low on the number of homes for sale.  The price range below $250,ooo is definitely short of inventory.  If you have thought about selling and wonder what your home might be worth, let's chat.  



How Much is Common for a Down Payment in Southeast Texas

Hi Again.  I'm back.  That icy storm week was really something wasn't it?!  Today I'm sharing an article that explains down payment amounts.  

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment? | MyKCM

If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you may be wondering how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people may think it’s 20% of the loan to secure a mortgage. While there are plenty of lower down payment options available for qualified buyers who don’t want to put 20% down, it’s important to understand how a larger down payment can have great benefits too.

The truth is, there are many programs available that allow you to put down as little as 3.5%, which can be a huge benefit to those who want to purchase a home sooner rather than later. Those who have served our country may also qualify for a Veterans Affairs Home Loan (VA) and may not need a down payment. These programs have really cut down the savings time for many potential buyers, enabling them to start building family wealth sooner.

Here are four reasons why putting 20% down is a good plan if you can afford it.

1. Your interest rate may be lower.

A 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender you’re more financially stable and not a large credit risk. The more confident your lender is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the mortgage interest rate they’ll likely be willing to give you.

2. You’ll end up paying less for your home.

The larger your down payment, the smaller your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you’re able to pay 20% of the cost of your new home at the start of the transaction, you’ll only pay interest on the remaining 80%. If you put down 5%, the additional 15% will be added to your loan and will accrue interest over time. This will end up costing you more over the lifetime of your home loan.

3. Your offer will stand out in a competitive market.

In a market where many buyers are competing for the same home, sellers like to see offers come in with 20% or larger down payments. The seller gains the same confidence as the lender in this scenario. You are seen as a stronger buyer with financing that’s more likely to be approved. Therefore, the deal will be more likely to go through.

4. You won’t have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

What is PMI? According to Freddie Mac:

PMI is an insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It's a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%. Once you've built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.

As mentioned earlier, when you put down less than 20% when buying a home, your lender will see your loan as having more risk. PMI helps them recover their investment in you if you’re unable to pay your loan. This insurance isn’t required if you’re able to put down 20% or more.

Many times, home sellers looking to move up to a larger or more expensive home are able to take the equity they earn from the sale of their house to put down 20% on their next home. With the equity homeowners have today, it creates a great opportunity to put those savings toward a 20% or greater down payment on a new home.

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’ll want to consider the benefits of 20% down versus a smaller down payment option.

My Final Tips

If you’re thinking of buying a home and are already saving for your down payment, let’s connect to discuss what fits best with your long-term plans.  There are a lot of choices available from a low down payment of 3.5% to the 20 % down payment discussed above.  There are even ways to help cover some of a buyer's closing costs.  We can structure an offer to purchase a home so that it works for you.  I'm here to help answer any questions you have about buying or selling a home in Southeast Texas.