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.

Local Schools

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.

Bad Day For School Bonds in Three SE Texas Towns.


The voters said, "No". 

Three different towns all had the same result at the polls. Voters spoke and they said no to the school bond issues in Lumberton, Vidor, and Orange.  KBMT Channel 12 covers the Vidor Independent School district bond defeat.  It seems unanimous that we all believe our local children need updated classrooms, the latest technology, and improved recreational facilities but the question is are we willing to pay for it.

Earlier this year, the Beaumont Independent School District was supported by Beaumont voters in a bond issue which passed.  They are the only district in our area to have won the support of local voters.

So what is the difference between voters in Beaumont and the other three towns?  Probably nothing.  More likely, the defeats can be blamed on the current economy. Things have changed in the past few months.  The country is now in a recession.  Energy prices are up.  Food prices are up.  Gas prices are way up.  Voters aren't as willing to vote for another tax increase right now.  Bad timing for these three school districts.

Other school districts around the state faired better with voters. 76% of all school bond issues passed, according to the Texas Independent School District Website.  Apparently 86 Texas towns voted on school bonds this week.  66 of those towns passed the bond issues. 

For more coverage on the local bond defeat read The Beaumont Enterprise article.

Good school or good neighborhood which comes first?

School_busesIts the old question:  Which came first the chicken or the egg?  You could ask yourself the same question about schools and neighborhoods.

"Do good neighborhoods create better schools? Or do good schools create better neighborhoods?" 

The topic has been hotly debated, widely researched and extensively written about.  However, there doesn't seem to be a clear answer. 

One study by the National Association of REALTORS found that 19% of home buyers cited schools as a top reason for buying in a particular neighborhood.  Neighborhood quality was the top reason cited by 62% of home buyers.  You could argue "quality" encompasses many things: nearby shopping, close to dining, general condition of homes, and probably schools.  In my years of experience, there have been more than a few home buyers that choose to look in one particular school zone.  They did not want to see any homes outside that chosen school zone.  It was the most important factor influencing their home purchase. 

Other home buyers might not be so concerned to make it their top influence, but rarely is a home purchase completed without some substantive discussion of the schools and attendance zones of a neighborhood.  In Beaumont, TX you can find out the attendance zone of any home by entering the street address at the BISD website.  The Beaumont Independent School District provides this information for any concerned citizen. 

School zones have become so important they are even addressed in the residential sale and purchase contract in most states.  Real estate companies have grown increasingly demonstrative in disclosing to potential home buyers that school zones can and do change.  Home buyers have been know to back out of contracts if a school zone change is announced before closing.  Home buyers seem to believe good schools mean good neighborhoods.  Then simple laws of supply and demand then kick in. 

When demand goes up for a particular school, the homes in that school zone see their market value go up.

If you are a believer in the theory, A good school = a good neighborhood, then you'll want to know the best schools in our area.  The Texas Education Agency has an accountability rating system that rates all the schools in Texas.  The 2007 District Accountability Summary lists three Beaumont schools with the highest rating -Exemplary- and nine other with the second highest rating -Recognized.  Dunbar, French and Price Elementary took the top rating. 

Want to know what neighborhoods attend these top notch schools?  Click BISD Map to see for yourself. 

Surprise! Not any of the top three are located in the west-end of Beaumont which is often thought of as the most sought after residential area.  But don't be too alarmed, many of the Recognized schools are in the west-end. 

Where does this all lead us?  Back to the same question we started with.  Do good schools create good neighborhoods or do good neighborhoods create good schools?  While there still doesn't seem to be a crystal clear answer one thing is clear.  Somewhere out there right now, there is a family deciding where to buy their next home and guess what, they are asking about the schools.