Legislation to Limit Liability for Property Owners

An important bill in the Mississippi Legislature last week was the passage of HB 767. This legislation would codify the common law duty of care of a land possessor to a trespasser and licensee. There have been attempts through rewriting tort law definitions used by courts to expand the liability of a landowner to a trespasser. This bill limits liability. There is a companion bill SB 2464 in the Senate which could be voted on as early as tomorrow morning.

Homeowners and other property owners in Mississippi need to take note and contact their state Senator today to encourage them to vote for SB 2464.  Let’s keep our liability to a minimum.

For more information, read SB 2464 here.

Find your legislator on the Mississippi Legislature website

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


6 Things That Could Destroy Your House

There is a television series on The Weather Channel called “Secrets of the Earth.”  One episode is titled “Abandoned Places” and focuses on deterioration of property that has been abandoned for any variety of reasons (Detroit, Katrina …).

While it shows drastic deterioration, I would like you to keep in mind that any time you do not take care of your house and other buildings on your property, the environment can work to destroy it. Depending on where you live, that damage can come on fairly quickly.

Make sure you stay active on your home’s repairs. These include:

  • Cracks in brick mortar that may allow moisture in toward the walls
  • Missing tiles/shingles on the roof which allow leaks
  • Cracked or missing caulk around doors and windows letting moisture, air and insects through
  • Wood rot on eaves, soffits, door and window frames, and shutters
  • Crumbling or cracked concrete in your slab, garage floor and driveway that could erode further
  • Water ponding at your foundation which could cause water damage that you cannot see

Many houses in Oxford are second homes and stay vacant for long periods.  Others may be for CAM00261sale and already vacated because of a job in another town.  If you own a single-family home that is vacant, plan to visit it regularly or hire someone to check on it. Your lawn care company may not be equipped to help you with this so find a concierge-type company to keep an eye on things.

Meanwhile, I hope you get a chance to watch this episode of “Secrets of the Earth.” It’s pretty interesting.

Five-Year Housing Trend: Oxford, MS

A lot of home buyers in Oxford are from out of state. They might be graduates of Ole Miss and want a second home or “football” home in Oxford. They might have a child at the University and want to “invest” in a house or condo for that student to live in. Freshmen and a select few other students get on-campus housing. All others need to find a rental or purchase something. An out-of-state client, with a child at Ole Miss, recently asked me what the 5-year single-family housing trend in Oxford has been. Is Oxford, MS in a position for a lot of future growth? Is the town at the top of a current “bubble” or somewhere in between?

While I cannot predict the future and do not have a license to advise on investments, I can tell you, as a licensed real estate professional, what the real estate market here has done. So, after putting a chart together for this family, I want to share it with you. These statistics are gathered from records of the North Central Mississippi Board of Realtors and only include single-family housing. Click this link for a printable version, 2011-2015 Oxford Real Estate Sales Trends.

The information below tells us that over the past 5 years the average list price of a single-family house in Oxford, MS has increased by approximately 36% while the average selling price has risen about 39%. Buyers contracts are currently closer to the actual list price than they were 5 years ago and houses, on average, are selling faster in today’s market.

What’s available in Oxford? Our inventory is down from over 3 years ago and what is available is selling faster.  As of this writing, there are only 310 available homes in Lafayette County listed on the local Board’s MLS ; 215 are in Oxford. That’s not very many which makes this a seller’s market.

Springtime in Oxford is when most homeowners who want to sell, put their house on the market. If this brings a sharp increase in inventory, we could see a buyer’s market. A moderate or low increase would probably keep it at a seller’s market. Either way, if you are planning to sell, consider listing it now while there is less competition. With interest rates being low, buyers are looking.

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

2011-2015 Oxford Real Estate Sales Trends-page-001




Out of this World Property

So you want to buy property but can find anything you can afford.  There is nothing on this great Earth of ours that fits your budget. What do you do?

You could save more money, build, visit your mortgage banker for advice, keep searching or buy something out of this world.

Yes, there are companies around the world that can sell you property on Mars, Venus, one of Jupiter’s moons, our Moon, or somewhere else located in the heavens above.  These include Lunar Embassy, Buy Mars, Moon Estates and more.

I’ve searched around for you already and starting at just $15 (Groupon deal this week, limited time only) you can own an acre of property on Mars. The usual price starts around $35. For other celestial properties you’re looking at $99. You get a map, deed, photos, and more.

Now, getting there might be a little difficult.  It won’t be an easy commute so you have to keep looking here on  Earth for a realistic place to live. You’ll have to plan ahead for travel and weekend getaways might be out of the question until further technological advances in transportation (like “Beam me up, Scotty”) are made but, through one 045company, you can purchase an extraterrestrial passport to use once you lock in your ride.

Is this legal? Well, you can check out the legal basis for the ability to sell space property on the Lunar Embassy website.  It’s an interesting story.

Purchase directly from these companies, if you wish. They do not use real estate agents. However, if you want to look at property in Mississippi, North Mississippi specifically, give me a call.

You know the phrase “I’ll give you the moon”? Well, here’s a way to give someone the moon, or part of it. What a great Valentine’s Day gift.

Disclosure: I am not an affiliate of any company mentioned in this article. I am a licensed real estate professional in Mississippi.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR® with Tommy Morgan REALTORS®, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Suite 101, Oxford MS 38655. 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 Equal Housing



Thank A Mail Carrier Day 2016

Moving can be an exhausting activity. There are too many things to do but one is most important of all: changing your mailing address with the post office.

As soon as you have a move out day or a closing date and the contingencies on your sales contract are removed, go ahead and change your mailing address.  Whether you arrive at your destination by that date or not, you’ll want your mail there waiting for you, not the other way around.  How frustrating for you to have your mail go to the “old” address and then have to wait for it to be forwarded to you by the new owners, if they are kind enough to do that.

The new home owner should write “not at this address” or something similar on your mail and send it back to the post office. The post office will then forward it to you but you will have to have a forwarding order  placed with the post office for that to occur.

If you get mail at your new residence for the previous owners, please be kind and forward their mail along.

Change of address can be done for free at the post office on a form or online at http://www.usps.com for a small convenience fee.

Then stick a nice note into your mailbox today to say “THANKS” to the guy or gal that delivers all of your bills, catalogs, birthday cards and online purchases.  Today is, after all, Thank A Mail Carrier Day.

No Sign Ordinance Hearing Tonight


The sign ordinance proposal has been tabled for at least two weeks and removed from the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

No public hearing at this time. If you were planning to attend based on this issue, you can now do something else.

I will stay in touch as I find out information with a possible new hearing date or another decision about the proposal.

Thanks for contacting the Aldermans’ offices as well as the local Board of Realtors with your questions and concerns.

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

Stormy Weather

Bad weather is forecasted for today in Mississippi. You can read about it here.

With the tornadoes that hit south of Holly Springs last month still fresh in our minds, it’s a good time to plan your property for winds and heavy rain this Spring.

First, if you don’t have a shelter or access to a neighborhood shelter, find a spot in your house that is low to the ground and in the center of your house. If it happens to be a closet, clean it out now so that you and your family can climb in and hunker down if necessary. There is no time to clean closets in an emergency.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Once you have that place, it’s a good idea to have a weather radio stored in there. You can purchase the wind-up, no-battery necessary kind so you don’t have to think about batteries.  There are other options so shop around, but don’t procrastinate.

If you have extra pillows, store them in that closet so you will have protection for your head and face if needed.  Also, be sure to keep shoes handy.  If you are unfortunate to have your house struck by damaging winds, it will be easier to walk around with shoes, than with bare feet.

If you do have a shelter, clean it out. It should not be a storage area. It could save your life but not if you can’t fit into it. If you have space and have to store anything, keep water, flashlights, shoes, jacket for each person using it.

One thing my family does is this: if we know bad weather is forecasted, we put the family binder (important papers) in our saferoom. We keep glasses, wallets, car/house keys and at least one laptop handy to take inside with us.  Why the laptop? Well, we backup our computers to the cloud. If the house gets damaged along with our computers, we can always access our files and photos. I’ll write about the family binder and the cloud in another article.

Keep a weather-alert app on your phone. I have several: WeatherBug, Weather Channel, Simple Weather are a few I am currently using. I suggest keeping no less than two on your phone. One may not pick up an alert quickly and you will want to know ASAP if something is coming.  There are settings for severe weather, tornadoes, flood watches and warnings. You decide what you need.

Second, look outside your house. Do you have dead trees in the yard? Light-weight loose furniture? Things scattered about? Have these cleaned up for the spring.  These issues have potential for causing damage when an otherwise high wind on its own might not.

Third, look at your roof. Are any shingles missing? Are any shingles loose?  Have these repaired/replaced quickly. Water damage to your house can be costly so take preventative measures.

These are just a few things you can do to prepare for stormy weather. Be safe.

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