Paperwork Required for a Mortgage Application

When making a mortgage application in Mississippi the following documents are needed for loan approval.  Each person involved in the one loan needs to submit this documentation.

With the new laws taking place October 1, 2015 this list is subject to change so I will update it when I find out what you will need. For now, have the following ready for your mortgage lender:

  • Copy of each borrower’s drivers license
  • Copy of each borrower’s social security card
  • One month of pay stubs for each borrower
  • Last two years W2 forms for each borrower
  • Last two years tax returns and proof of income on all residents
  • Last two month bank statements: all pages numbered
  • Most recent 401K statements, money market and/or stock statements for each borrower

Be aware the additional documentation might be requested from the loan officer.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR(r)~Tommy Morgan REALTORS(r)~2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344~Equal Housing

Home Selling Checklist: Curb Appeal

Selling your house?

I put together this great list of things to do to the exterior of your house when it is for sale.  Increase the curb appeal and potential buyers will want to see the interior.

You can go to Checklistables.com for a printable version but read it here first. Either way, regardless of the season, get your home’s exterior ready for the sale.

Yard and Garden Checklist

  • Fertilize the grass, kill the weeds before the grass comes in green
  • Trim the bushes
  • Prune the trees
  • Replace dead bushes or remove them and repair the ground
  • Mulch the gardens
  • Find an out-of-the-way spot for the garden hose
  • Keep the garbage cans hidden
  • Clean up the back yard
  • Remove broken playground and patio items
  • Repair and paint to match any broken parts in the fence surrounding your property
  • Replace or remove the shed
  • Clean out vegetable garden beds
  • Tidy the wood pile

home sellers checklist garden tools

Exterior House Checklist

  • Paint the front door
  • Paint or wash all exterior doors
  • Sweep the front porch
  • Replace or repaint the mailbox
  • Clean gutters and replace broken parts and down spouts
  • Wash the windows
  • Remove spider webs and mud dauber nests
  • Replace or remove broken or rusted furniture on the front porch
  • Wash the garage door and replace damaged sections
  • Replace burned out light bulbs
  • Clean or replace outdoor light fixtures
  • Repair or replace rotting shutters and rusted hinges
  • Clean roof tiles
  • Power wash siding, mildewed porch railings and trim
  • Power wash driveway and walkways

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR(R)~Tommy Morgan REALTORS~2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344~Equal Housing

Renting in Oxford MS

I moved to Oxford in the month of June several years ago.  It was after schools let out, which is a great time for the rental cycle in other cities my family has lived in, but not here.  Rentals in Oxford generally start August 1.  June was a difficult time for us to find either a home for sale (that particular year) or a rental. We opted for a home in Taylor that had a purchase option available. We took it. It was a beautiful home we were sure we’d love for years.  Since our boys opted for Ole Miss, we eventually decided to move closer to campus so we didn’t buy the house, but it was a great house that we enjoyed.

The rental market in Oxford is competitive. It opens at August 1 which means that in the spring or maybe even earlier, you should have a game plan: either stay where you are or start agressively looking. Most real estate agents cannot help you although some can and will. Most landlords choose to advertise and manage their own homes which can make them hard to find.  These homes are rented through word of mouth.

There are great rental companies in town with a lot of properties available but you’ll need to make friends with these  people early and let them know as soon as possible what your needs are so they can add you to the list.

Most of the rentals in town consist of 2 bedroom/2 bath situations, few are 3/3 and usually rent per bedroom. There are cottage communities all over Oxford that fit this description because of the needs of the University’s population. Only Freshman can live on campus. Greek, students with families (spouse and kids) and a few others are allowed as well but basically once you finish your freshman year, you need to find an apartment, condo or cottage for rent, or purchase something.

This leaves out the families that are moving into town for job transfers, or just a new job.

Oxford’s housing market is hot. Few rentals available to families means people have to purchase or settle for something less. Homeowners that really want to sell, know they can sell rather than rent, so there goes that rental market. I get calls frequently asking me if any of my vacant listings would rent.  The answer for these propoerties is always no.  The homeowners want to sell and they know they can.

Like my family’s situation when we first moved here, you don’t get a long, advanced notice about your transfer, so you can’t act leisurely and plan your move for the perfect time.  And, when you don’t know the area, it is really hard to find any rentals.  You can visit Oxford and drive around and you start to wonder if there is a conspiracy of property owners who keep their rentals through word of mouth only.  Sure this would keep the homeowner from having rent to the students, if they prefer not to, but it’s also illegal due to fair housing laws.  But owners find it is more cost effective to manage their own properties instead of paying fees to a real estate professional.

FOR_RENT_SIGN

Truly, there are homes that rent at times other than the school schedule. However, if you are coming to town expecting to find a home to rent, please understand that, for the most part, Oxford’s rental cycle starts August 1. Plan accordingly, or consult a real estate professional for some help as soon as you know you are coming to town.  If he or she cannot help, you’ll be referred to someone who can.

If you insist on doing it yourself, here are some tips. After leaving the kiddos with a sitter:

1. Get a map of neighborhoods from either the Visitor’s Center on S. Lamar or the Chamber of Commerce on West Jackson Avenue. If you are worried about areas of crime, visit the local police department and ask them about high and low crime areas.

2. Use your phone or tablet’s mapping app to scope out the lay of the land and neighborhoods on the satellite view.

3. Consult facebook pages for homes for rent or sale in Oxford and in Lafayette County; very few rentals end up in the newspaper. They’d be rented by the time the paper was printed.

4. Call the local rental management companies. Call a real estate agency; Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford has a few agents that manage rental properties.  I can certainly help you.

5. Consider an apartment for a temporary home. Get your family settled somewhere before all of the options are gone. There are plenty of storage units available for your extra stuff. I suggest looking outside of Oxford for storage solutions because they tend to be both available and less expensive.

6. If you’re stuck in a last-minute situation, pray first then proceed to the closest rental you can find that fits at least 50% of your needs. Like number 5, above, states: consider a temporary situation. Leases can always be broken or bought out or subleased if you find a home to purchase.

Need help finding a home in Oxford? Call me. I’m a relocation pro. My family and I have moved from state to state, renting, buying, packing, unpacking.  I understand how to start over in a new town.  I’m here to help.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR(R)~Tommy Morgan Inc., REALTORS(R)~2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344~Equal Housing.

Communiversity, Oxford MS

The Communiversity schedule is out for the Fall classes.

Communiversity is brought to you by the Division of Outreach at the University of Mississippi. The classes offered are non-credit classes taught by members of the community with a talent, skill or idea to teach.  Each class has a date/time schedule, place and pricing listed in the course description.

Classes may include dancing, jewelry making, computer skills, cooking, a language or a sport such as fencing. Communiversity is open to all ages unless there is an age specific class and it will be noted as such.  Participants do not have to be enrolled at Ole Miss.

Click here for the schedule

Selling Your House and Keeping It Clean

You’re selling your house!

Chances are you will live there until it sells. Maybe you have children, a dog, a home office.  Maybe an elderly parent lives with you.

How in the world are you going to keep it clean to show it while you still live there?

Not all of us can afford regular house cleaning services so we have to do it ourselves.  If you are selling your house consider having a major, one-time cleaning done before or just as you get the house listed.  It will make a big difference to how the house shows and  it is well worth the expense.

It is not enough, in many cases, to just tidy up the place. A home buyer is going to inspect everything. If the kitchen is greasy, the bathroom has soap scum, the livingroom floor is coated in pet hair, or the bedrooms have unreasonable clutter, the home buyer might wonder if the house has been maintained over the years.  A one-time deep cleanse might help eliminate this concern.

A home inspection will tell what maintenance issues exist but if the house is filthy, the home buyer might not consider making an offer and checking out the home inspection report.

Once a deep cleanse is done, it should be easier for any home seller to maintain the house while it is on the market.  There are many places in the house that get overlooked by the seller once that cleanse is done so read below for a list of areas around the house to pay attention to until you move out.  This list comes partially from PureWow.com but I’ve added a few of my own ideas based on my own expertise.

  1. Kitchen: drawers, pantry floor, refrigerator, dishwasher, gas cooktop.  These are areas that home buyers inspect. Nothing is grosser than grease and food particles stuck to the inside of the dishwasher door near the seal, or in the microwave or refrigerator. If these items are staying with the house, keep them clean. Keep food and boxes off of the floor of the pantry so people can see how much extra space is inside.  Crumbs in the kitchen drawers can also be a turn off. Send the home buyer away with a good feeling about the house.  The last thing they want to think of is how much cleaning they’ll need to do to get into the house so make it look move-in ready. A quick wipe down after use will  keep it clean.
  2. Ceiling fans, hanging lamps, light bulbs: These are huge dust and spider web collectors so be sure to keep watch on how much dust is overtaking them after the “big clean”.  Don’t leave the home buyer with the impression you have a spider problem because of the hanging webs from the lamps.

    Can you see the spider webs?  A home buyer will and wonder if there's a spider problem in the house.
    Can you see the spider webs? A home buyer will and wonder if there’s a spider problem in the house.
  3. Behind the toilet: a very overlooked area because no one wants to reach back there. This spot collects hair, dust, pieces of paper and more, so keep it dusted.
  4. Laundry room: if the machines are staying, clean them. Keep the floor dust- and lint-free.
  5. Bed Skirt: my dog lies next to my bed at night so I have dirt and dog hair on my bedskirt from her furr. This is one area that I have to keep clean and if you have a pet, take a look at your bedskirt. It should be easy to launder so be sure to do it regularly and keep the home buyer’s eyes up to look at the room, not down at the dirt.
  6. Windows: again, I have a dog. She puts her nose on my windows to look outside.  Dogs and little children can leave windows less than sparkling so if you get a call for a showing, be sure to wipe the smudges before leaving the house. It’s quick and easy to do.
  7. Shower curtains: mildewed shower curtains can leave a smell that someone else will pick up on. It may leave the home buyer wondering if there is a mold problem in the house so before you put  the house on the market, change your shower curtains.  If you have shower doors, check the sweep at the bottom of the door for mildew. These are easy to replace and available at your local home improvement store.
  8. Kitchen cabinets: you might not notice the greasy hand print or the smudge of syrup or grease splatter on your cabinets but a home buyer will and it is a turn off.  Once you have the deep cleanse, get into the habit of a quick wipe-down each night after loading the dishwasher. It’s a good habit to get into and you can stop the dirt build-up with daily attention.
  9. Bathroom sinks: wipe down each  morning when you finish getting ready for the day. Then you don’t have to worry about cleaning for the next showing.

If you get into the habit of wiping up the little things each day, your house will stay clean and look great to each potential home buyer that passes through. This attention to detail may be the difference between no offers and an acceptable contract.

Eileen Saunders, Realtor~Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344. Equal Housing.

 

Virtual Staging of 342 Winners Circle, Oxford MS 38655

This MLS-listed home is vacant. This beautiful home’s photos on the internet show empty rooms and when you visit, you get to walk through those large rooms without an idea of what they’d look like furnished.

But here’s some great news: I’ve staged several of the rooms, virtually, to give you, the homebuyer, a picture of what the house looks like as a home.

Winners Circle, in the Steeplechase subdivision, is  located approximately 8 miles west of Oxford, MS along Highway 6/278.  It is in Lafayette County and children residing in Steeplechase would attend the County Public Schools.

As you watch the slideshow below, note the before and after photos: the empty room with the virtually staged room to compare. The home does not come with window treatments. The only carpets are wall-to-wall in 3 bedrooms and the upstairs media/bonus room.

Contact your REALTOR, or call me, for an appointment to view this home. Priced at $449,900, it is a lovely home with a peaceful, country view from a hilltop.

Could this be your Dream Home?

Enjoy the slideshow.

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Eileen Saunders, Realtor~Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655~662-404-0816/662-234-5344.  Equal Housing