Multi-Generational Living

A current trend in housing is multi-generational living.  Home buyers are seeking properties or remodeling their current homes to accommodate themselves and their parents. Multi-generational living can also accommodate the Millennial who is living at home after college.

There are great advantages to this.  With Seniors living longer, many want to be near their families and help with the kids but do not want the mortgage of a new home involved when they relocate. Others, single-Seniors who want independent living, are not interested in being alone or living in a Seniors-only facility.

Parents who want to help their grown children, who are paying off college tuition bills or just getting themselves back on their feet after a difficult time, are also living the multi-generational life.

The single-family home with the additional bedroom, or a cottage on the property are interesting to these families.

How to find the best multi-generational home.

You don’t have to have a large property with two homes on it for multi-generational living. What you do need, though, is to look for a home with features that serve both adult generations. These features include:

  1. two areas that can provide a master suite. Your Senior parent(s) should have their own bathroom that isn’t shared by the rest of the family. Why? Privacy. Older adults have different health issues and should be honored with privacy.
  2. space on the main floor for the older generation. That upstairs bonus room/bedroom works great for the Millennial who moved back home but the stairs could be a challenge to an older resident. Perhaps the upstairs bonus room could be the second master suite. Be sure there is a bathroom and ample closet space. Make the downstairs master suite home to the older generation.

    Garden Patio Handrails Building Flowers
    Handrails
  3. a separate cottage would give Senior parents their own space, privacy and the feeling of independence not gained through living in the main household. And a noisy house for a Senior could be a stress builder and lead to confusion. Seniors, like all of us, need down-time and quiet. But for a older person who has already raised a full house of children, why not give them a quiet space? Be careful about the apartment above the garage. Remember what I just mentioned about stairs? However the above-garage apartment would be perfect for the adult child who just moved back home.

Sharing your home with a Senior parent.

Once you’ve found that home to share with a Senior family member be careful with the interior decor.

  1. throw or scatter rugs can be a hazard to the elderly who may not be steady on their feet. These rugs are generally used in bathrooms, kitchens, and near entry doors. If you have to use them, secure the rugs with a double-sided rug tape so it stays in place.

    kitchen-2165756_1920
    clean design, no rugs
  2. hand railings are crucial for safety, inside and out. Any where there are steps, install a hand rail for older residents and visitors to use.
  3. bathroom fixtures should also include hand railings in the tub and near the toilet.
  4. universal design guidelines can assist you with remodeling or finding the perfect home to share with multiple generations.

Here are some great resources that can help you with multi-generational living, remodeling, aging in place and more.

For more information about finding the right type of home for your multi-generational family here in Oxford, MS, call me. I love to talk about this topic.

Eileen Saunders, Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), REALTOR | Tommy Morgan Realtors          2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 | 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344
Equal Housing
Advertisements

Buying New Construction? Get An Agent to Represent You.

Dual Agency is having the same real estate agent represent the buyer that represents the seller.

There are only 8 states that BAN dual agency. Mississippi is NOT one of them. Mississippi allows for it. So, when you are looking for a house with an agent, this might be an issue only if the agent shows you a house that his or her broker has listed AND you like it enough to purchase. Then that agent is working for both you and the seller.

real-estate-agent-28776_1280

Before you start looking at houses with an agent you should be handed a disclosure of agency form. This will explain to you the fiduciary duties in both a single agency and dual agency situation. Know your rights. Know what that agent can and cannot do for you.

If you are a buyer and really do not like this dual agency situation, talk to your agent about it.  There are solutions for everything. For example, I have an agreement with an agent outside of my broker’s office who will help any of my buyers in this situation.   If she shows the house and the buyer doesn’t like it, I continue to help the buyer. If they do like it, than that agent can work to get the house sold.  So, please don’t assume that you have to deal with dual agency if it is against your convictions. Talk to your agent.  You may also find that it works o.k.

Likewise, in a situation where you go to a neighborhood to look at the new construction and sit down with an agent representative, you have just entered into a dual agency situation. You want to buy into the neighborhood and the agent is now helping both you and the builder/contractor.

I want you to be aware of this before searching for a new home in a new development.

Your own agent will have your best interest in mind.   Your agent will:

  • help you negotiate
  • know the law and will work it in your favor
  • make sure custom orders and upgrades are delivered as ordered
  • inform you of warranties
  • handle documentation of everything
  • identify issues you might not be aware of
  • keep confidential information
  • advise you on what personal information not to disclose to the listing agent
  • encourage inspections

These are just a few things your own agent can do for you.  Shop around for an agent; there is plenty of information on the internet these days so that you don’t have to sit for hours interviewing each agent until you find one you like. Trust your instincts and enjoy the company of an agent you has your best interest in mind. If you do find a personality conflict or find that the agent you hired is not helping you as you wish, providing you haven’t signed a Buyers Agency Contract, simply fire your agent in writing and move on. This rarely happens but can.

The best thing you can do as a buyer is know your rights, have an agent working for YOU and communicate fully with him or her.

Eileen Saunders, SRES, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655  662-404-0816 / 662-234-5344   eileen@tmhomes.com  Equal Housing

Seller’s Market Stats

It is a seller’s market in Oxford, MS.

realtor-156501_1280

That means there are fewer homes than buyers, even during this typically slower time of year, so higher demand can mean higher prices. In some cases buyers are scrambling and often competing for the same house which means the seller gets the price they want. There are exceptions based on a house that is definitely overpriced in its neighborhood. Mostly, and unfortunately, this overpricing is done by the for-sale-by-owner crowd because these sellers don’t have the advantage of a professional’s pricing strategy. But once in a while the overpricing is done by the buyer who doesn’t quite trust his or her agent. Consequently the house sits for a while waiting to be sold. Since Mississippi is a non-disclosure state, selling prices are kept as private information. Popular on line, national real estate websites do not have this information. The local Oxford real estate professional does have that information and the statistics to help their sellers price homes appropriately.

For the seller, even if you know the overall uptick of housing sales prices for the general area, the individual neighborhoods may have their own statistics. A popular neighborhood may increase in sales value quicker than an older, stable neighborhood. Homes that need extensive interior updating (new kitchen, bath) may find themselves accepting a lower price than their neighboring homes which are updated. Your real estate professional can guide you through that process.

Oxford sees housing price upticks differently in each housing category: condos, single-family homes, land and commercial. Condos might be super popular at a particular time of year; single-family homes might show their uptick during another time.  And land seems to be at a premium at any time.

The following chart shows a sample of the uptick in housing for just the years 2015-2016 in the entire Lafayette County area but it is not the whole story. This includes houses in both the county school district and Oxford school district and does not include condos. Twenty-sixteen was an interesting year in real estate and the stats for 2017 aren’t in yet. So please don’t think you can sell your house at 14% higher than you purchased it just by looking this chart. You really need the whole story which could be a 5-year trend analysis by school district or by housing type or, in some cases, simply a neighbor comparative analysis for the past 6-12 months. If you are interested in condos, this chart doesn’t apply. So reach out to your real estate professional that you trust, or me if you don’t have one, for more information so you can price your home appropriately before trying to sell it.  There can be nothing worse than having your house sit for a while on the market and then have a price reduction. Buyers may wonder what’s wrong with it.

 

Year Average List Price Average Selling Price Average Sold/List Percentage Average Price Per Square Foot Average Number of Days on the Market
2015 $255,827 $249,495 97.57% $115.89 139
2016 $292,129 $283,624 97.71% $121.49 139

 Oxford, Mississippi, Real Estate Trend in Single-Family Home Sales

Source: North Central Mississippi Board of Realtors® MLS

Includes single-family homes exclusive to Lafayette County and both Lafayette and Oxford School Districts

© 2017 Market Trends in Oxford MS   All Rights Reserved

Information Herein Deemed Reliable but Not Guaranteed

If your property is currently listed with another real estate broker, please disregard this notice.  It is not our intention to solicit the listings of other brokers.

Eileen Saunders, SRES(c) REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road  Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com  Equal Housing

How To Help Senior Parents Downsize

Helping a Senior parent, or parents, downsize and move on to their next home can be stressful but it can also be a joy. The joy comes from spending the time with them to find out about what they have and why, where it came from and who they were with when it was acquired. There are more memories and stories in that old vase on the book shelf then you might realize.

FAMILY STORIES

I was recently visiting my in-laws and sat with my 80+ year-old mother-in-law for a while. She is filled with stories but the thing that got her really going at that moment was her address book. By the end of the conversation neither of us could remember why she pulled it out but we were both glad she did.

You see, every page had a story on it. There were friends from her childhood and from her first neighborhood after she married. There were family members, dead and alive written in and some scratched out and rewritten several times because they moved. She had doctors and housekeepers, car repair specialists and her hairdresser in that book. There were friends from churches she attended in both her home up north and the one in Florida.

And she told me all about these people and some events that they shared. I learned how nice most were, how comical some could be, and generous they all were.  I also learned about their children, who was in college and who was married.

My mother-in-law had a wonderful time conjuring up the memories to tell me and it brought her alive and happy. She normally is quite happy, but it was great to see her even more elevated.  She has had a great life so far and I’m glad to have been in that room with her at the moment she pulled out her address book.

 

RECORDING MEMORIES

There are things you shouldn’t get rid of … memories. And, I believe the address book is the story book of our memories. When going through your senior parent’s things, get a joyful mindset, do it with them, ask questions and make notes. We all have cellphones these days so why not take a photograph of some items with your parents holding them for your memories? Make some notes using your voice recorder or, better yet, record them telling you about special items. If you have a writer, like the Samsung Note phones (my phone of choice and so handy), write out your notes. When the entire process of going through their items to downsize and move on it complete, you have great photographs that you can us to make a photo book. Companies like Snapfish, MyPublisher, your local big-box drug store, and several apps on your phone can help you make a great memory book. Just be sure to add photos of your notes, too, so you have the whole story. Retain an SD card with the photos and downloads from the voice recorder, in case you need to make more copies at some point in the future. Then you have a great collection to pass on to your kids; a family history.

SENIORS VS. MILLENNIALS

Seniors are more likely to want to keep things than Millennials. In other words, Baby Boomers helping aging parents downsize and move, need to understand that what your parents have is not likely to be passed down. However, the memories would be great to hold, and can be stored digitally, too. The old sofa, china set, art display will most likely not be embraced by the Senior parent’s family members so help your aging relatives understand that they don’t need to save it all. Downsizing and getting rid of things can be good for the parent and a relief for the children.

I recently explained this to my 80+ year-old mom. She still has her parent’s old couch and several other items displayed in her house. She was once a contestant on The Price is Right, in the 1950s, and still has her furniture and accessories that she won. She’s hoping to pass them on to me and my brothers. She also has 3 large, plastic tubs in an extra bedroom upstairs with smaller items she wants each of us to have.  Do we want them? Only time will tell.

While you are working through the “memories” items, decide what to get rid of and how. The “HOW” includes, appraising and selling, holding an estate sale, giving some things now to family members. Then, with the “what’s left” pile of items, these either go to your parents new home and stay with them, get donated or consigned, or thrown away.  If you aren’t doing any of the heavy lifting or appraising/consigning immediately, make sure you schedule a time to have this done, so the process doesn’t get drawn out. There is also the chance that if you wait too long, you’ll run out of time before the big moving day and get stuck moving unnecessary things or having them go to storage … or your garage. Tackle this project head on with a sense of urgency, but enjoy your time with your parents as you work along side each other.

SENIOR RESOURCES

Need some help? I am a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and member of the Seniors Real Estate Specialists Council and can provide assistance as you go through this process with your aging  parents. There are great resources for you on the SRES Council webpage and you can find local assistance if you or your parents live outside of the Oxford Mississippi area, where I am located.

If I can offer one piece of unsolicited advise to you as you help your parents: help them with joy in your heart.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655  662-404-0816 / 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

Moving Checklists

Moving?

Look on the internet, especially Pinterest, and you are likely to find hundreds of Moving Checklists, that is lists filled with activities to help you get your household packed, shut down and moved to a new location.  These checklists tell you when to do what before you move. Most are 6-week lists and a few start sooner and give you more lead time.

I have moved over 15 times in 25 years and pretty much have my own way to prepare. I don’t believe that you need to take your time and do certain things each week.  I do understand that some people, who haven’t moved often, will need a little more guidance, but most events on the checklist can be done at one time.  If you know the date of your move, sit down at once and make all of your phone calls or fill out your internet forms to end or move services, let the teachers know, order doctor and prescription records and more. Do it all at once, then focus on other things.

Because of my experience as a mover and as a professional real estate agent, and because of my own opinion that not all lists are perfect for everyone, I have made my own to share with you.  These lists give you things to do as soon as you plan the moving date. Where most lists end the day of the move, my Moving Checklists end a  month after the move is complete. There are plenty of things you don’t need to do before you move, but need to be done in the first month at your new residence.  Remember, these lists were made based on my personal experience. If you need to tweak them a bit, feel free.

My checklists come in two designs: one is made specially with sentimental value for the Oxford MS mover (moving in or moving out). The other has a garden design and can be used by anyone. The In-Town Moving Checklist is one sided while the Distance Moving Checklist is two pages, or two sides, long.

You can download them here:

In-Town Moves Garden Design:

In-Town Moving Checklist garden-page-001

In-Town Moves Oxford:

In town moving checklist Oxford-page-001

Distance Moving Checklist Garden Design:

Distance Moving Checklist Oxford:

Later this year (2017) my book, tentatively titled The Ultimate Guide to Moving, will be available both in bookstores and online.  It’s an adventure in moving with lots of tips. The book, with the use of anecdotal experiences, is also a commentary on moving over the years and how it has changed. These in-town, long-distance moving checklists and more will be a part of the book. For now, I’m passing these along to anyone who needs to move in a short amount of time, like I usually had to do, and needs some organization to ease the overwhelming task ahead.

And if you are moving to Oxford, download my 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS and get busy enjoying this great little college and retirement town in Mississippi.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655   662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344  Equal Housing

Deadline for Filing Homestead Exemption Approaching

In Lafayette County Mississippi, homeowners who purchased a house can file for Homestead Exemption between Jan-Apr 1 of the following year. So if you live in and around Oxford and bought your house last year and currently live in it, you can file and should file for this tax exemption benefit. But don’t delay; if you miss the April 1 deadline you  must wait until next January to file.img_1015

Non-exempt taxes are higher taxes. You may have city and county taxes and it makes sense to file for the exemption.

Here are the rules and what you need to file for exemption, below. Click here for a printable version. When you are ready, head to the big white building in the center of the Oxford Square and on the first floor you will find the Tax Office for filing homestead exemption.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

Homestead must be filed between January 1 and April 1 to take effect. The home owner must occupy the property as a primary residence for the exemption to apply.

Filing a New Homestead

When filing a new homestead, you must have the following information:

  1. Copy of your recorded warranty deed
  2. Social security numbers of both husband & wife
  3. Purchase price of your house & land
  4. Tag numbers of all vehicles in your possession

Special Exemption

If you became 65 or were declared 100% disabled on or before January 1, you need to file for the special exemption.

  • 65 or Older
    • Know your date of birth
    • Tag numbers on all vehicles in your possession
  • 100% Disability
    • Social security awards letter stating your disability & the date you were declared disable or
    • Two detailed letters from two different doctors stating your disability and the date.
    • Tag numbers of all vehicles in your possession

Eileen Saunders, SRES, REALTOR,  Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Rd, Oxford MS 38655  662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com  Equal Housing

%d bloggers like this: