An inside look at the residential real estate market in Southeast Texas including: the hottest neighborhoods, proven home selling strategies, home buying and negotiating tactics, median prices by neighborhood, average days homes are on the market, and professional advice on how to get the best deal when buying or selling a home.

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November 2008
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December 2008

TEA Ratings Name The Super Schools in Southeast Texas.

Child reading  The Texas Education Agency has released its office of assessment, accountability and data quality final 2008 AYP results.   For the complete report for Region 5, click here.  

If you just want to know which schools in Southeast Texas earned the highest rating "exemplary", here's the list.

Beaumont ISD

Bridge City ISD

  • Hatton Elementary
  • Sims Elementary

  • Bridge City Intermediate School.

Hamshire-Fannett ISD

  • Hamshire-Fannett Elementary

Lumberton ISD

  • Lumberton Primary
  • Lulmberton Childhood School

Nederland ISD

  • Highland Park Elementary
  • Hillcrest Elementary

Port Neches-Groves ISD

  • Port Neches Elementary
  • Ridgewood Elementary
  • Taft Elementary
  • Van Buren Elementary
  • Woodcrest Elementary

Vidor ISD

  • Oak Forest Elementary 

Its a good sign to see so many super schools in Southeast Texas.  If you want your children to attend a super school then look for homes in the attendance zones of the schools called out on the list above.  Need help find a home in a super school zone?  Call me.

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A Look at Calder Place Reveals Its A Popular Place.

Calder Place Map 

A popular neighborhood located in Beaumont's west-end is Calder Place.  Its not a large neighborhood.  Just a few streets that are tucked between Phelan on the South and Gladys on the North make up the whole neighborhood.  Its easy to know when you are in Calder Place because most of the streets are numbered.  They start with 19th street on the west and go up to 23rd before East and Central. 

There are some historical homes and some stately custom homes mixed in with other single family homes of all shapes and architectural styles. 

Here's seven interesting tidbits about the homes that are active or pending and those that have sold since September. *Data from Beaumont MLS.

  1. Five homes are currently under contract with an average list price of $178,140.
  2. Two homes have sold.  525 19th Street sold for $177,000.  1105 Central sold for $175,000.
  3. Seventeen homes are currently for sale.
  4. The average list price is $227,894.
  5. The most expensive home is located on 20th street.  Its over 4500 square feet with four bedrooms and four and a half baths.  The asking price is $550,000.
  6. The most affordable is located 25th street.  Its a three bedroom two bath for $119,900.
  7. The average number of days these homes have been on the market is 107 which is a little lower than the Southeast Texas market average.

With two sales and six homes under contract in three months you can see that Calder Place is a popular place with Beaumont home buyers.  If you want to know more about this neighborhood or any other Southeast Texas community all you have to do is ask.

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Three Year Comparison of Beaumont Home Sales Reveals Surprising Trend.

Its no secret that the economy as a whole isn't as strong as it was in the fall of 2006.  You can't help but hear news of the recession and the national housing market problems.  So it started me thinking, "What's the Beaumont housing market done over the past three years?"  The fall of 2006 is often referred to as the time when the national housing bubble burst. 

 Let's see how Southeast Texas home sales have held up.

Beaumont sales 3yr comparison 

Here's what the numbers tell us.  2006 was the strongest year for the number of sales.  2008 is off the record pace of 2006.  Hurricane Ike left his impact in September.  For almost two weeks no closings could occur with active hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.  If not for the anomaly of September's numbers our sales numbers would be off less than 10% from the best year ever recorded. 

While it may come as no surprise sales numbers are off the 2006 record, take a look at the next chart.

3yr sale price comparison 

Our average sales price is up.  That's no sign of any bubble bursting here in Beaumont.  In fact its just the opposite.  Since 2006 the average sales price is up approximately $28,000.  It represents an increase of about 10% per year.  Now that's a good return for any investment. 

Analyzing the numbers a little deeper you will find a few things worth noting.

  • New construction in the area contributes to the increase in the overall average sales price for Southeast Texas since new construction tends to sell at a higher price than resale homes.  
  • Not every home or every neighborhood has experienced the 10% per year increases. 
  • The condition of the home is going to affect its sale price regardless of the trends in the market. 
  • Mortgages are harder to come by now than they were in 2006. 
  • Sellers are having to wait longer for their homes to sell in this year than they did in 2006. 
  • The average days on the market for November was 129.  The number of days on the market has slowly increased much of 2008.
  • The supply of homes on the market over the past three years has remained fairly constant.  In November of 2006 there was a 7.4 months supply.  In November of 2007 there was a 6.0 months supply.  In November of 2008 there was a 7.7 months supply.

The best news for Southeast Texas home sellers is that your home is worth more than it was two years ago.  The sales pace may be a little slower but if your home is in move-in condition you should be happy with the price you will be able to sell your home for these days.  So when you hear the national news about the trouble with the housing market, just remember you live in Southeast Texas and a lot of things are different here.  Three years worth of housing statistics don't lie.  They can even be surprising.  Now share that news with someone you know. 

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Port Arthur, Mid-County Home Sales Falter Post Hurricane Ike.

It is no secret that Hurricane Ike caused an awful lot of trouble for residents of Southeast Texas. One lesser know fact is how the Hurricane has impacted residential home sales in the area. 

PA Homes Sale A&M

Mid-County just reported the November sales figures for homes listed in the Mid-County MLS.  This data is sent to the The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, the creators of the graph above. The prodominant towns covered by the Mid-County MLS are: Port Arthur, Port Neches, Nederland, and Groves.   

September home sales in 2008 numbered a mere 25.  This is to be expected with two mandatory evacuations and several days without businesses able to write title insurance, fund loans, or issue home owners policies.  October rebounded fairly well.  There were 85 home closings in October of 2008 compared to 96 in October of 2007 and 91 in October of 2006.  

November's home sales for 2008 are official.  There were 66 closings recorded in the mid-county MLS this year. That compares to 76 closings reported in 2007 and 63 closings reported in 2006.  One might say that Hurricane Ike slowed sales the past three months.  One might also say its the economy.  But for those of you who think its the economy, what do you think happened to the median sales price?

If you had to guess what happened to the median price since 2006 what would you guess?  Here's a strong reason to buy a home in Southeast Texas.  During the past three years the median home price is up about 30%. The median price of mid-county homes sales in October 2006 was $96,400.  In October 2007 it was $127,500.  In October 2008 it was $131,400.  That's an increase of about $35,000.  Take that Hurricane Ike.

What sales will December bring?  Stay tuned. Time will tell if home sellers have a Happy HolidayOne thing you can count on is you'll find out more about Southeast Texas home sales here than you will any place else. 


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What's Happening In Walden Meadows?

Walden Meadows 

Here's the top five things you should know about home sales in Walden Meadows:

  1. Nine homes have sold this year with a median price of $301,000.
  2. Homes spent 108 days on the market on average prior to sale.
  3. All sales have been over $100 per square foot except for two.
  4. The most expensive sales price was $375,000.  $117.48 per square foot.
  5. The least expensive sales price was $259,000.  $113.90 per square foot.

For those of you who don't know the area, Walden Meadows is located off Major across from Brentwood Country Club.  It is a small community with less than 75 homes.  These custom built beauties average over 2500 square feet in size.  Sellers haven't had to negotiate much this year.  The average sales price was 95% of the list price. 

Schools are a priority for a lot of buyers.  Dishman Elementary, Vincent Middle, and West Brook High are the schools in the neighborhood's current attendance zones.  One nice thing about the Elementary school is that it is in walking distance from the neighborhood.  You can see it on the Virtual Earth image above. 

Interested in learning more about home sales in Walden Meadows or any other Southeast Texas neighborhood?  Call me.  Let's talk about what's happening in Southeast Texas real estate.

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It Snowed in Southeast Texas.

Here's something you won't see everyday.  Snow covering roofs and lawns in Beaumont and all across Southeast Texas.  Its been a wild weather week for those of us living in the Golden Triangle.  After strong storms and pounding rain on Tuesday, followed by an powerful cold front on Wednesday, last night we were treated to a rarity in these parts-


Take a look at some of the homes that caught my attention on the way into the office this morning.  Its a short video, less than 80 seconds.  Enjoy.  You might not see snow on the roofs and lawns in Beaumont or the Golden Triangle again for a long time.

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Is It A Good Time To Buy A Home In Texas? President Bush Thinks So.

President Bush House

Chalk one up for the Texas housing market.  President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush have apparently bought a home in a prominent Dallas neighborhood. The Associated Press broke the story this week. With the White House soon to be occupied by a new resident, the time was right for the Bush's to find a new pad.  

While the official announcement has not yet been made, a Bush family friend recently bought an 8,500 square foot house with a market value of 2.1 million.  The neighborhood is called Preston Hollow.  

A few of the other notable residents of the community are Tom Hicks owner of the Texas Rangers and T. Boone Pickens, Billionaire business man.  Neighbors say they were first clued in to the happenings when black SUV's began rolling through the neighborhood several weeks ago. 

Haven't seen any black SUV's driving around Beaumont lately?  That doesn't mean it's not a good time to buy a home in Texas.  Just ask President Bush.

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Southeast Texas November Homes Sales Top 20 Million in Dollar Volume.

One hundred and twenty five single family homes changed owners in November.  The average asking price was $171,572 for all of Southeast Texas as a whole.  The average sold price was $166,013. 

Here's a cool, new graph that breaks down the data. 

Shown is the market area by city, town or community. The number of sales by area for November and the median sales price by area. *Data is complied from the Beaumont MLS.


Top ten "market statistics" for November 2008 home sales in Southeast Texas:

  1. Average days on the market was 127.
  2. Three homes sold for over $700,000. 
  3. The most expensive sale was a 7200+ square foot home on Thomas Road.  It sold for $1,850,000. 
  4. The least expensive sale was a 1272 square foot home on Threadneedle.  It sold for $5,000.
  5. The area of Southeast Texas with the most home sales was West, Beaumont.
  6. Vidor came in second with 15 sales.
  7. Lumberton came in third with 14 sales.
  8. FHA loans outnumbered all other types of financing.  There were 50 FHA loans. 
  9. There were 44 conventional loans and 25 people paid cash.  Two were owner financed and 4 were VA loans.
  10. Southeast Texas homes that sold had a median sold price of $135,200. 

Looking for more information about the Southeast Texas real estate market?  Call me. 

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