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.

Lifestyle and Recreation

Pool Homes Sell Faster in the Summer, Here in Southeast Texas

With record breaking heat the whole month of August, a lot of home owners have been wishing for a backyard swimming pool including me. It seems like a lot more home buyers ask to see homes with pools in the hot summer months than they do in the cold winter months.  So I decided to see if there is any truth to the statement that  more pool homes sell in the summer in Southeast Texas than they do at any other time of the year.

Take a look.

Pool home sales 

"There's not much truth to it!"

Pool homes don't really seem to sell better in the summer, but there are a few points worth thinking about:

  1. For the Southeast Texas real estate market as a whole, pool homes do sell faster in the summer.  117 days on the market compared to 163. 
  2. The number of sales during the four months from Jan. 1, 2011 to April 30, 2011 was 64.  The number of home sales during the four months from May 1, 2011- August 30, 2011 was 71. 
  3. Only about 10% more homes with pool sold in the summer months than they did in the first four months of the year.
  4. This ones not on the chart but the average price of all pool homes that sold so far this year $250,193.

Surprised?  I am.  I thought there would be a bigger difference than 10%.  So now you know that homes with pool may sell faster in the hot summer months, but not a whole lot more of them sell than they do in the winter.  At least not in 2011. 

If you want to know more about the housing market in Southeast Texas, you can contact me here on the blog.  Click the contact me icon and just ask me any question you have about the Southeast Texas real estate market.  Answers are free.

Southeast Texas Farm and Ranch Properties: What's New & What's Selling

If you don't know me, then I'll share something with you.  I live in outside the city of Beaumont, in the country.  My husband and I have seven horses, three dogs and about thirty acres of what we call our "own little piece of paradise".  Living in the country is a way of life for us.  We wouldn't know what to do if we could look out our window and look into our neighbors home.  

So I'm always watching the Southeast Texas farm and ranch properties that are for sale and the ones that have sold.  If you are curious, here's a sneak peak at what's going on right now.

Farm & ranch sales

Like the whole residential housing market, there has been a slow down in the number of farm and ranch properties that have sold in the past twelve months.  All total only eleven properties have changed owners.  That's about  one a month for the mathematically challenged readers.

Farm and Ranch Properties also average about double the length of time on the market (202) compared to approximately (110) for other residential sales.  Typically, they hold their value better than other residential sales and often appreciate faster when the market is going up. 


One answer is they are harder to finance.  Most lenders want a larger down payment when they are lending on a farm or ranch property.  The more money someone has tied up in a property the less likely they are to walk away in hard times. 

Another why?

When land costs go up, properties with land go up faster than homes in a traditional subdivision. 

What to buy a farm or ranch property?

Its getting harder and harder to find one close to Beaumont.  Most of the properties are in Tyler County but you can still find some treasurers in Fannett, Sour Lake, North Vidor, Mauriceville, Buna, Silsbee, and Winnie.  Occasionally, you can find a farm or ranch property for sale in Lumberton.  If you do be prepared to pay a premium. 

What's the cost of acreage in Southeast Texas?

That's a tricky question.  So much goes into the value of acreage.  Is it premium pasture?  That goes for one price.  Is it low and holds water?  Your price goes down.  Is it a great location surrounded by other upscale country properties?  Price goes up, way up!  A good rule of thumb would be expect to pay $6,000-$8,000/acre for good quality acreage. 

Want to buy a farm or ranch property in Southeast Texas? Contact me. 

Residential Pool Home Sales: Beaumont, Texas

With the temperature rising outside more of us are probably "dreaming of a pool" these days.  Just imagine cooling off in that refreshing blue water at the end of a hard day. 

Let's see how many Beaumont, Texas home buyers have been out there buying homes with pools so far this year. 

Then let's see if they will invite us over to swim!

Pool Sales

To date twenty-six homes with pools have sold in Beaumont this year.  Don't despair. If you haven't bought one yet there are fifty-seven on the market right now.  To clarify: these are homes in Beaumont with an in-ground swimming pool made of fiberglass or gunite.  We're talking the real deal swimming pools here.

The data is broken down into geographic sections of town and pulled from the Beaumont MLS.

Five other little pool home statistics that you might want to wade your toes in:

  1. $336,564 = The average sold price of a home with pool in Beaumont, Texas
  2. $459,304 = The average list price of a home with pool in Beaumont, Texas
  3. $750,000 = The highest sold price of a home with pool in Beaumont, Texas
  4. $119,000 = The lowest sold price of a home with pool in Beaumont, Texas
  5. Willow Creek Country Club is the neighborhood where the most homes with pools have sold in '10.

Ready to go out and see some of the fabulous pool homes that are for sale in Beaumont, Texas?  Call me before it gets any hotter outside!

Shangri La Honored As Top Green Projects

Shangri laShangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Orange, Texas  was recently named one of the top ten green projects in the world.  

Read the Full Story that was published in the San Antonio Express-News.  Shangri La was the first project in Texas to achieve this award.  

For those of you not from Southeast Texas, Shangri La was hit with the destructive force of Hurricane Ike last fall and had to close for repairs.  It recently reopened for visitors.  If you haven't made it out to see the beauty of Shangri La, it is something you should do next time you are in Southeast Texas.

Exciting Days Ahead: Plans for Beaumont Lake Park and Events Center Moving Ahead.


Have you heard about the new development plans for downtown Beaumont?

"Exciting" may be the best word to describe them.

The first phase is already in the budget and may be entering the construction phase within the next twelve months, according to Chris Boone with the City Development Office. 

Speaking at the quarterly REALTOR luncheon yesterday, Mr. Boone explained the multiple ways the city of Beaumont is preparing to take advantage of the ten to twenty billion dollars of investment that are coming to the Southeast Texas area. 

Revitalizing downtown is a top priority. 

The first phase of the plan is the creation of the new MLK Park  (On the map it is the area shaded in red and labeled with the letter N).  The new park will have a lake and new events center.  The events center will replace the old Harvest Club.  The city acquired about thirty parcels of property to create the new lake park. 

The City of Beaumont has several other projects in various stages of design and planning.  Rumors of a Dog Park are true.  It should be opening this fall.  More details to follow. 

Its an exciting time in Beaumont.  The lake park and events center are moving ahead.

Edible house in Beaumont

Dscf00181  There is an edible house in Beaumont but this is one house you can't buy.  The Elegante Hotel is the owner of one impressive gingerbread house.

The chefs at the Elegante created the culinary work of art.  It took 172 cook-hours to complete.

The list of ingredients:

  1. 953 pieces of gingerbread
  2. 100 lbs of powdered sugar
  3. 20 lbs egg whites
  4. 40 lbs of chocolate
  5. 8 sq. ft. of gelatin sheets
  6. 20 lbs of peanut brittle
  7. 40 lollipops
  8. 1632 oatmeal cookies
  9. 5 lbs of Jolly Ranchers
  10. 1008 Jelly Fruit Candies

The gingerbread house is on display in the lobby during this holiday season.  Free taste tests are available.  Want to make your own gingerbread house for the holiday but not one quite so large.  Texas Cooking.com has a more manageable size recipe.  Gingerbread houses have long been a holiday treat.  History traces the first gingerbread treats back to the medieval crusaders who brought home the ingredients from the middle east.   

To find the Elegante click the google map location.  The address is 2355 I-10 S.  Stop by and check out one really yummy house that can't be bought but can be eaten.

Young Beaumonters

Ford_park_fast_pitch Ever heard the saying "an active child is a healthy child"?  If that is true Beaumont should be home to a lot of healthy children.  Our Parks and Recreation Department has more than 30 parks and outdoor recreation facilities with sports programs for young Beaumonters.

Our warm weather keeps activities going year round.  Our local YMCA offers a wide range of activities.  Youth sports include swimming lessons, baseball, soccer, T-ball, Flag Football. 

Soccer is BIG in Beaumont.  The Beaumont Youth Soccer Club is already taking spring 2008 registrations.  Located off Major Drive and Dishman Road you will find a great soccer facility where the Beaumont Youth Soccer Club plays.  The club promotes good sportsmanship, good physical health, and teaches the fundamentals.

Over at Ford Park you will find the Texas American Fast-pitch Association Nationals.  Tournaments are held at the Ford Park Athletic Fields. 

For families with children the choices are endless.  Almost everywhere you look you'll find young Beaumonters enjoying the great outdoors.

Want to go to the Park?

Beaumont_botanical_gardens We all enjoy a little outdoor recreation from time to time.  For those of us fortune enough to be living in the Golden Triangle, we have over 30 parks to choose from.  A complete list of all Parks can be a helpful resource when trying to plan an afternoon outing or a weekend picnic. 

For the boaters in the group Collier's Ferry Recreation Area & Natural Preserve has a boat launch and docking pier.  Boaters can enjoy the Neches River.  Do a little crabbing, water skiing, fishing, or choose your favorite water activity.

For the horse lovers in the group Tyrrell Park features equestrian trails and horses.  It is the largest and most extensive park in Beaumont.  The park is also home to the Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Tyrrell Park Stables, and the Henry Homberg Municipal Golf Course

Residents of the Golden Triangle enjoy average monthly temperatures ranging from a mean of 52 degrees in the winter months to a mean of 82 degrees in the summer.   The comfortable climate is another lifestyle factor that makes SE Texas a great place to call home.