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.

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November 2020

7050 Limerick Video Tour

When I list a property for sale, one of the marketing techniques I use is video.  Not just one video but one quick tour video and one full feature video to show off the property.  The quick video is used to market a property on social media.  The long tour can be used in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  It can also be emailed or text to any interested buyers. 

Here's an example of a quick tour of this new listing in Dowlen West. 

Let me know what you think.  If you are thinking about selling a home in Dowlen West, let's connect.  I'd love to share the other unique marketing strategies I use to help reach the most buyers and bring in the best offers.



Diane McNelis, Coldwell Banker Southern Homes

Westchase Village Home Sales Report

If you live in Southeast Texas, especially Beaumont, then you have probably heard of Westchase Village.  It is a neighborhood in the West end of Beaumont off Major Drive.  These custom homes generally start in the high 200's and go up to the $600's.  It is a very popular neighborhood for people relocating into Beaumont with the Oil and Gas Industry.  

As a local Realtor who specializes in Corporate Relocation, Westchase Village is a neighborhood I keep a close eye on.  This is a monthly market update postcard that I send to homeowners in Westchase each month.  

Westchase Report_ Monthly Postcard_ November



A few of the keys housing statistics to pay attention to are the number of days homes are on the market and the average list price to sales price ratio.  These two key numbers give you a lot of information about the strength of homes sale in a neighborhood.  

If you are thinking about selling or buying a home in Beaumont, Westchase or any neighborhood in Southeast Texas, let's chat.  Working with a top local professional Realtor can help make sure you make the smartest real estate decisions.  I'm here to help.



Diane McNelis, Coldwell Banker Southern Homes 

Southeast Texas Home Price Appreciation

How is the Real Estate Market in Beaumont

I'm asked this question a lot.  My answer changes based on the market but right now home prices are appreciating in Beaumont and Lumberton in all price ranges except the luxury market.  There is an inventory shortage of homes under $300,000.  

Low Inventory Equals Price Appreciation

This video shows some economic projections on how much the housing market will appreciate into 2021. 

If you have any questions about the Southeast Texas real estate market, let's chat.  I'm happy to share my knowledge and opinions about which neighborhoods in Beaumont and Lumberton all likely to see the biggest increases in home value.



Home Appreciation in Beaumont and Lumberton

Homes are going up in value in Southeast Texas.  This Infographic from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M shows the yearly appreciation in Beaumont.  Link Here

A&M price appreciation graph


Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth | MyKCM

For years, real estate has been considered the best investment you can make. A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner:

“…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.”

How do homeowners gain wealth?

Most large purchases, like cars and appliances, depreciate in value as they age, so it’s understandable to question how owning a home can increase wealth over time. In a simple equation, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains how the combination of paying your mortgage and home price appreciation grow overall wealth:

Principal Payments + Price Appreciation Gains = Housing Wealth Gain

As home values increase and you make payments toward your home loan, you’ll gain wealth through equity. The same article from NAR also addresses how wealth gains tend to play out over time:

“Housing wealth accumulation takes time and is built up by paying off the mortgage debt and by price appreciation. And while home prices can fall, home prices tend to recover and go up over the longer term. As of September 2020, the median sales price of existing home sales was $311,800, a 35% gain since July 2006 when prices peaked at $230,000.”

Taking a look at how equity has grown for the typical homeowner, it’s clear to see how real estate is a sound long-term investment. NAR notes:

“Nationally, a person who purchased a typical home 30 years ago would have typically gained about $283,000 as of the second quarter of 2020.” (See graph below):

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth | MyKCM

Final Take Away

Not all homes will go up in value at the same yearly pace.  Some neighborhoods appreciate much faster than others.  That's where a local, experienced Realtor can help you make the best purchase decision based on your needs.

Southeast Texas is forecast to have continued home appreciation for the next twelve months.  Interest rates are historically low.  If you have been thinking about buying a home in Beaumont or Lumberton, let's discuss the neighborhoods you are interested in.  I'll give you my professional opinion on how much I think those Southeast Texas neighborhoods will appreciate next year.



Diane McNelis, Coldwell Banker Southern Homes


Selling Homes Safely in Southeast Texas

Have you been thinking about selling a home in Beaumont, Lumberton or Orange but have concerns about Covid and letting buyers come into your home?  

As a professional, local Southeast Texas Realtor my job of safely selling homes has taken on a whole new dimension in 2020.  There are many new safety measures we have put in place to protect both home buyers and home sellers from Covid.  You still may be asking is this a good time to sell. 

Is it Safe to Sell My House Right Now?

Is it Safe to Sell My House Right Now? | MyKCM

In today’s real estate market, the buzz is all about how it’s a great time to sell your house. Buyer demand is high, and there simply aren’t enough homes available to buy to meet that growing need. This means now is the time to make a move so you can close the deal on your ideal terms.

Even in today’s strong sellers’ market, there are homeowners who are choosing not to sell due to ongoing concerns around the health crisis, financial uncertainty, and life in general. According to Zillow, here are the top three reasons homeowners who are thinking of selling sometime in the next three years are not putting their houses on the market right now:

  • 34% - Life is too uncertain right now
  • 31% - Financial uncertainty
  • 25% - COVID-19 health concerns

If you identify with any of these, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the future of your employment situation or simply being uncomfortable having guests in your home for showings, life feels a lot different than it did at this time last year. The good news is, real estate professionals have spent the majority of 2020 figuring out how to sell homes safely, and it’s paying off for those who are choosing to move this year.

Real estate agents are doing two things very well to make selling your house possible:

1. Agents Are Implementing Technology in the Process

While abiding by state and local regulations as a top priority, real estate agents are making sales happen safely and effectively by leveraging key pieces of technology. Agents know exactly what today’s buyers and sellers need and how to put the necessary digital steps in place. For example, agents have capitalized on the technology buyers find most helpful when deciding on a new home:

  • Virtual tours
  • Accurate and detailed listing information
  • Detailed neighborhood information
  • High-quality listing photos
  • Agent-led video chats

They’re listening to their audience and leveraging the tools that help buyers get an initial look at a home without having to step inside. This helps reduce the number of people entering your home, so only those who are very seriously interested need to take the next step: in-person showings.

2. Agents Are Facilitating Safe and Effective In-Person Showings

After leveraging technology, if you have serious buyers who still want to see your house in person, agents are following the guidelines set by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and utilizing safe ways to proceed. Here are a few of them, understanding again that the agent’s top priority is always to follow­ state and local restrictions first:

  • Limiting in-person activity
  • R­­­equiring guests to wash their hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Removing shoes or covering them with booties
  • Following CDC guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings

Getting comfortable with your agent – a true trusted advisor – taking these steps under the modern-era safety standards might be your best plan. This is especially important if you’re in a position where you need to sell your house sooner rather than later.

As Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist for Zillow notes:

“Homeowners who feel life is uncertain right now may think they can still get a strong price if they delay selling until they have more clarity. The catch is that waiting to sell may raise the cost of a trade-up. This fall's record low mortgage rates, which make a trade-up more affordable on a monthly basis, are not guaranteed to last.”

Bottom Line

In this new era in our lives, things are shifting quickly, and virtual strategies for sellers may be your ideal option. Opening your doors up to new approaches could be game-changing when it comes to selling your house while the market is leaning in your favor. 

If you have any questions about these new safety procedures that allow you to safely sell your Southeast Texas home I'm always here to answer any real estate questions.  Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional to help you safely and effectively navigate all that’s new when it comes to making your next move.



Diane McNelis, Coldwell Banker Southern Homes

How the Election will Impact the Southeast Texas Residential Real Estate Market

Did you stay up watching the election coverage last night?  Need some good news this morning?

4 Reasons Why the Election Won’t Dampen the Housing Market

4 Reasons Why the Election Won’t Dampen the Housing Market | MyKCM

Yesterday Americans cast their vote to decide our President for the next four years. That decision will have a major impact on many aspects of life in this country, but the residential real estate market will not be one of them.

Analysts will try to measure the impact feasible changes in regulations might have on housing, the effect of a possible first-time buyer program, and any number of other situations based on who wins. The housing market, however, will remain strong for four reasons:

1. Demand Is Strong among Millennials

The nation's largest generation began entering the housing market last year as they reached the age to marry and have children - two key drivers of homeownership. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported:

“Millennials, long viewed as perennial home renters who were reluctant or unable to buy, are now emerging as a driving force in the U.S. housing market’s recent recovery.”

2. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low

All-time low interest rates are also driving demand across all generations. Strong demand created by this rate drop has countered other economic disruptions (e.g., pandemic, recession, record unemployment).

In addition, Freddie Mac just forecasted mortgage rates to remain low through next year:

“One of the main drivers of the strong housing recovery is historically low mortgage interest rates…Given weakness in the broader economy, the Federal Reserve’s signal that its policy rate will remain low until inflation picks up, and no signs of inflation, we forecast mortgage rates to remain flat over the next year. From the third quarter of 2020 through the end of 2021, we forecast mortgage rates to remain unchanged at 3%.”

3. Prices Continue to Appreciate

The continued lack of supply of existing homes for sale coupled with the surge in buyer demand has experts forecasting strong price appreciation over the next twelve months.

4. History Says So

Though it’s true that the market slows slightly in November when it’s a Presidential election year, the pace returns quickly. Here’s an explanation as to why from the Homebuilding Industry Report by BTIG:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty. This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Meyers Research, also notes:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year as long as the economy stays on track.”

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt this is one of the most contentious presidential elections in our nation’s history. The outcome will have a major impact on many sectors of the economy.  As long as the number of homes for sale in Southeast Texas remains at the current low levels the real estate market will remain strong.  

Keep an eye on the months supply of inventory in Beaumont, Lumberton, Orange and Bridge City.  If the inventory supply starts to increase then that signals a change.  

If you have any questions about the housing market in Southeast Texas or you want to know the value of your home, let's discuss it.  I'm here to help.



Diane McNelis, Coldwell Banker Southern Homes