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.

Real Estate Technology

Explore 4424 Hillbrook Estates in 3D

The latest and most high tech way to showcase a home for sale today.  The Matterport 3D images allow a buyer to experience a home space like never before.

I just listed this beyond fabulous home in Hillbrook Estates in Orange, Texas.  If you are looking for a five bedroom executive home with traditional grace and spectacular craftsmanship you need to see this home.  

If you are thinking about selling your home in Southeast Texas and want to talk to me about marketing your home please comment below or call me direct.  

Explore.  Enjoy.



Southeast Texas Prepares For Ike!

For the second time in less than two weeks, Southeast Texas is under mandatory evacuation orders due to a hurricane.  Labor Day weekend Hurricane Gustav hit to our East in Louisiana.  This time its Hurricane Ike that is coming our way. 

Since not many people want to look at homes with an approaching hurricane in the Gulf, it was time to teach myself something new and "techie".  Here is my first attempt to video a property for an out of state client and post it here on the blog. 

Step one, take video.  Step two, download from camera to computer.  Step three, upload to You Tube.  Step Four,  copy the embed code to the blog.  Did it work?  Check out my first video. 

Did you watch the video?  Oops.  Next time, no camera vertical shots.  I hope you didn't get a kink in your neck trying to see the inside of the duplex. If you have a laptop just turn it sideways and watch it again. Hopefully the stills at the end of the video made up for that.  Live and learn.  What can I say?

If you are in Southeast Texas, be safe through the storm.  I'll be back out showing homes as soon as the evacuation is lifted and you are ready to go look.

How You Search For A Home Is Changing Everyday.


Mapping technology is revolutionalizing the way we find things these days. If you haven't used Mapquest yet to find driving directions you are behind the times. 

Interactive maps are bringing us more and more user friendly information. The City of Beaumont has plans to have GIS maps of Beaumont online by early 2009 that will identify the zoning of all parcels of property located in Beaumont.  I've seen a preview.  Its going to be a great resource.

In the bigger cities across the country the newest technology is bringing home searches to life on interactive maps.  Click link for an example from Coldwell Banker in Portland.

Want to look in a certain neighborhood?  Want to look on a certain street?  The technology is now out there.  Google Maps and Yahoo! Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth are the premier interactive mapping services that are breaking new ground. 

The map shown above demonstrates the way a new search could be conducted.  The area shown is Beaumont westend from Thomas Road west toward Dowlen but stopping about Howell.  The red numbered squares represent homes that are for sale.  In the interactive version you can scroll your mouse over the number and a photo with information about the home will be displayed on your screen. 

Its amazing technology.  You will never look for a home the same way again once you experience this interactive mapping. 

Want to know a secret? 

The mapping technology will be added to the blog soon!  We are doing some beta testing now.  Soon blog readers will be able to search the MLS for homes on an interactive map.  Its going to be the first site in Southeast Texas that has the technology available.  Stay tuned. 

How you search for your next home will be changing soon.

Interactive Aerial View of Southeast Texas: New from Microsoft Virtual Earth.


Want to see an aerial view of Beaumont? 

How about an aerial view of your street?  With the new interactive program by Microsoft Virtual Earth you can even see an aerial view of your house. 

The interactive technology is really cool.  You can search anywhere.  There are bird's eye views, aerial views, road views and just about any view you can think of. 

Thomas_road_birds_eye Check out this close up.  This is a Bird's Eye View of Thomas Road.  The views are so clear you could see swimmers in the swimming pool. 

Look up your home and let me know what you think!  Need help selling your home, let me show you how this technology will help give you a competitive edge.

New home technology. See it to believe it.

If you like hi-tech gadgets this home is for you. 

From a virtual golf course, to a in home dry cleaning system, to the latest in Kohler kitchen and baths this home has it all.  Its not here in Beaumont.  Its in New York but hi-tech homes are still fun to see.  Just imagine what our homes will have in them 10 years from now.  What one thing would you put in your home if you could choose any hi-tech gadget?  Send me your thoughts.

Need a watchdog? How about a Robot?

Spygee Our homes are getting smarter these days.  The home enhancement market is going hi-tech.  Companies are producing "space age" products that improve our home safety, conserve energy, and monitor the systems in our homes.

One such product is "Spygee".  Its an all in one watchdog and robot.  The little fellow can keep and eye on your home while you are away.  You can monitor his movements through your home from a Web site and see what he sees through his digital eyes.  Think of him as a moving web cam.  Spygee can take photos and record video with sound which you can keep track of on-line.  The company that created Spygee is Meccano.  In the US the products are sold under the Erector brand name.  They can be found at amazon.com.  Retailers such as Radio Shack and Target also carry the Erector products.

While the exact number of homeowners with a Spygee's watchdog robot in SE Texas is not known, the numbers will most probably be on the rise.  Home buyers like hi-tech gadgets and they are becoming hot selling points.   

Texas Town bought on eBay

13 acre Texas town is bought with a winning bid of $3.8 million on eBay.  The town of Albert is located about 60 miles North of San Antonio.  No one lives in Albert, but the town has a tavern, a 85-year-old dance hall, a tractor shed, a three bedroom house, plus peach and pecan orchards.  The full story on CNN.com notes that a town in northern California was the first town ever to be sold on the eBay auction site.  It was sold twice.  The first sale fell through. 

Home Buyers Turning to Internet

Haven't heard of Zillow yet? 

The Internet is changing the way people buy and sell homes.  Zillow is one of the new wave of Internet based real estate information providers.  Zillow.com gives sellers "zestimates" of what your home might be worth.  The value given on the Zillow site is based on the public records in your town.  So if your town hasn't updated the public tax records, or home values in your town are rising - like they are here in Beaumont - then your zestimate is only going to be a guide not a true current market value.  To get the most accurate current market value, your best resource is a professional real estate agent that works in your market.   

How does a Real Estate Agent fit in?

The average home buyer looks at 9 homes before they purchase.  Buy narrowing down their search on-line home buyers can make a more informed decision.  From a marketing state point more than 80% of buyers start their home search on-line.  Some of the most popular on-line home search sites are Coldwell Banker's site and Realtor.com's site. The Internet is giving buyers and sellers more information than ever before to help them make educated decisions.  However, none of the information you find on the Internet will replace the true value of a professional real estate agent.  A Realtor is your personal advocate.  Their job is to protect your interests, get you the best deal possible, manage all the details from contract to closings, and make sure you avoid any pitfalls along the way.

The Texas Real Estate Center keeps records of Beaumont Residential Housing Activity. You can get a snapshot of the sales, average prices, and months of inventory in our market.  As you may already know its a great time to own a home in Beaumont.