Sign Ordinance Proposed for Oxford MS

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan REALTORS
2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655
662-404-0816 (direct) | 662-234-5344 (office)
Equal Housing

The following is the opinion of Eileen Saunders, REALTOR

Homeowners, business owners and anyone doing business in Oxford, MS: a proposed law by the City Council will negatively affect your rights so please read on.

A hearing is scheduled on February 2 at 5pm in the courtroom at City Hall for a proposed ordinance relating to signs that everyone needs to attend.

Homeowners, rental property owners, and landowners will be hindered from properly selling their property if this becomes law.

Business owners will be hindered from promoting their business.

Residents and business owners will have property rights taken from them.

The ordinance calls for a limit of 365 days that a property can have a temporary sign installed. Once the sign is taken down, whether on the 365th day or any time before, the property cannot have another sign on it for 365 days.

Should your house be for sale or rent, if you do not sell or rent within 365 days (which happens) you have to take down your sign and wait another 365 days to putting it back up.  You can’t put up a different sign. You can’t put up any sign, even your kid’s Oxford High School (OHS) sign.  Now, in the case of real estate, you may apply for a 90-day extension but you need a good reason for the extension and it may not be granted. So your house or property goes un-signed and your REALTOR cannot do his or her fiduciary duty for the sale of your house or land.

If you just had a contractor’s sign or and OHS sign or Ole Miss sign in your yard, you may not be able to put a political sign in your yard during campaign season if you’ve met your 365 day.  This is a free speech issue. It’s a property rights issue.

Restaurants with menu boards will lose out too.  Only 365 days, then you have to wait another 365 to put it back out on the sidewalk.  Those flag signs are included in this.

This ordinance affects anyone with a city water hookup.

Lafayette County residents should take note, too, because the city can annex your part of the county sometime in the future and then your property would be included in this law. This ordinance affects everyone: those who live and work in Oxford and those who do business in Oxford; those who would one day to own a house or condo in Oxford. It will also affect everyone around the country. If Oxford can pass a law like this, it sets a precedent and other towns, cities, counties and states around the U.S. can pass a law like this.

Click this link for a copy of the City Sign Ordinance. I encourage all citizens of Oxford and Lafayette County and those who do business within Oxford to attend the meeting next Tuesday  and express your opposition to this. Voting by our Alderman may or may not take place on this date, but it is important for everyone to express their view.

The City Council meeting is Tuesday  at 5pm in the Courtroom of City Hall.  Please plan to attend and voice your opposition.

I’m encouraging my friends and readers to oppose this proposal because I believe that it will hinder your rights as a property owner to pursue the disposition of your property and the right to choose who will represent you in the disposition of your property.  It will hinder your rights to share with others the businesses you have chosen to hire to do work around your house. It will hinder your rights to express your support for your high school, a charity, or political candidate.

As a REALTOR, my duties to you, the seller, are compromised by this law. As a business owner, my abilities to advertise for my clients are restrained. If you are a business owner, you too need to consider how this may affect you.

I oppose this proposed ordinance and I believe you should, too.


10 Tips for Home Sellers

These are 10 legal mistakes home sellers make.

  1. Accepting the buyer with the highest offer without regard to the other contractual terms.
  2. Not properly handling multiple offer situations with multiple buyers.
  3. Not properly handling back-up offers.
  4. Entering into an agreement with no earnest money deposit from the buyer, or a very small amount.
  5. Entering into an agreement before verifying the buyer’s financial ability to close.
  6. Not providing the buyer with property disclosures.
  7. Not obtaining buyer’s acknowledgement of receiving property disclosures.
  8. Not disclosing known material fact affecting the value or desirability of the property.
  9. Not requiring the buyer to remove timely contingencies.
  10. Not excluding items from the sale that the seller wants to keep.

Your Realtor is a trained negotiator and, as a licensed real estate professional, knows the law, the proper forms and timeline for getting things done.

However,  if you want to sell your house on your own, knowing about these 10 things can help.



Eileen Saunders, Realtor with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655. 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344  Equal Housing (courtesy of CAR)

Gas Leaks

I was recently at a house that had a gas leak. There was not a “loud” smell of rotten eggs but rather an intermittent soft smell. You could have missed it. But it was a rotten egg smell and was near the gas meter so the gas company was called.

It turned out to be a leak and the technician got to work quickly to replace the faulty parts of the meter.

The meter was on the side of the house not regularly visited which gives me pause for thought: What if this leak continued for several months without notice and became bigger and bigger?  But then I thought, doesn’t the gas meter get read?



Natural gas is used thought the United States for residential and commercial properties. Over half of all homes have natural gas as either a heating choice or for cooking.  How often do these homeowners really think about their gas connections?

I doubt it is often and most homeowners in their 50’s and older grew up in a time when the meter was read at the meter. If the gas company employee went to the meter and there was a leak, he or she would notice it and take care of the situation.  It is not done that way anymore in most places. Gas meters are read remotely and rarely do meter readers actually go to the meter. Gas meters can be read from a device as the meter reader drives past each house. This information gets uploaded to the billing department and gets passed off to the consumer for payment.

Unfortunately the device does  not pick up smells. As a homeowner, or even a renter, of a house with natural gas you need to be proactive with your gas meter.

Make a note on your calendar to walk the exterior of your house on a monthly basis. Stop by the meter for several minutes, hang out and try to detect a scent.  Sniff several times and if you have any doubt, call the gas company.

The gas meter is good for about 20 years and, I was told, the gas company keeps tabs on checking and replacing older meters.  The regulator can last about 10 years and a bad regulator can cause a small leak.  But, a leak is a leak and needs attention regardless.

If you suspect a leak, call your gas company immediately. They will send an inspector out quickly.

Be proactive. Make sure you add “check the gas meter” to your home maintenance checklist.

Homestead Exemption In Mississippi

If you bought a home in Mississippi during 2015 you can save on your local taxes by filing for Homestead Exemption.  Your home needs to be your primary residence to qualify. If you have two or more homes you can only claim one for your primary residence even if one or more are in another state.  Contact your local tax office if you have more questions about this.  In Lafayette County the phone number is 662.234.5562

When you bought your home, you may have been made aware of the current tax amount and that Homestead Exemption had been filed for. This would have been on the MLS details and given to you at and prior to closing.  As a new owner you will need to file for yourself to continue the exemption, otherwise your taxes will go up and you will have to wait until the next cycle to file which is always January 1 to April 1.  If you have any questions please call your local tax assessor’s office.

Once you file for Homestead Exemption you don’t have to do it again. However there are 3 reasons you would need to:

  • If you have already filed for homestead exemption and during the previous year turned 65,
  • or became 100% disabled

For these two reasons you would recieve a Special Exemption, saving you more money.  The third reason is

  • you sold your house and moved to another

Click here for information about property taxes in Mississippi. A phone number is provided on this link if you have more questions.

When you file for homestead exemption you must file in person and you will need to take documention relating to your home and your car and have a state-issued ID with you. Below is a detail of what you will need or click here for a printable version:  Homestead info 2016 Oxford


Homestead info 2016 Oxford-page-001

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and this article is for information purposes only.  The tax office in your county is the best source of information regarding tax issues that affect  you and if you have any questions or doubts to the validity of this article, please call them.

5 Things You Need to Ask Yourself Before Turning Down a Low-Ball Offer

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100 Things To Do In Oxford Winter/Spring 2016

(edited at the end…)

It’s the new year and there are new things, and old, to do in Oxford Mississippi.

100 things title page


This is my seasonal list and includes 100 things that are available for both residents and tourists to do in our great little town.  This list will be updated June 1, 2016 for the summer.

Please post on Instagram all of the things you do from this list and use #100THINGSOXFORDMS so I can follow your adventures.  My account is Be sure to follow me as well.

Sure there are more than 100 things to do if you get to the details of specific stores and restaurants but I’ll let you pick which stores to shop and in which restaurants to eat.

A lot of spring events are not posted at the time I published this list. If you know of any more things to do, let me know in the comments below.

Click this link for a 2-page printable pdf:  Things to do winter spring edition 2016

This list is also available at the Oxford Visitor’s Center starting January 4.

Have fun!

EDITED: Oh! I can’t believe I forgot the following things to do:

  • Oxford Science Cafe: once a month at Lusa Bakery sponsored by Ole Miss Physics Dept.
  • Sustainable Oxford Speaker Series
  • Oxford Craft Beer Fest & Food Show March 5
  • Rebel Man Sprint Triathalon April 3
  • World Championship of Old Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival May

2016 Things to Do brochure update-page-001

2016 Things to Do brochure update-page-002Eileen Saunders, Realtor with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655. 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344  Equal Housing