5 Safety Tips: Securing Your Home Part 1

It doesn’t matter how much time you spend at your home, how many security systems or barking dogs you have, it still makes sense to follow common sense ways to keep your house secure.

l. Make sure your doors are always locked.  A story circulated last year that a mom was getting her kids ready for school. Her husband had already left for work and left the front door unlocked. She walked out of one room and into the living room to find a stranger going through her things.  True story; don’t let this happen to you.

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Credit: Creative Commons

2. Check your window locks. Surprisingly, I have noticed a lot of lower-level windows unlatched when I show a house. If someone is going to break into your house, they’ll want to find an easy way to get in. Don’t help them. Always check your windows. If y ou have a window that doesn’t shut properly, call a professional to fix it. Better to pay a few dollars for repair, than come home to find your house has been broken into.

3. Keep outside areas well lit. Do not give a thief an opportunity to hide in darkness around your house in order to break in, unseen.

4. If you have a garage but park outside, make sure your cars are locked each night before heading to bed.  I lock each of our cars by remote and watch to see the headlights light up for assurance. Not only do you leave your car vulnerable to theft when it is unlocked, but if your garage door opener is in the car you’ve just invited a stranger into your house. A former neighbor’s garage was emptied one night because she left her car unlocked. Bikes, tools, golf clubs: all gone. (that wasn’t in my current neighborhood)

5. Do not leave a key to the house under a rock near your front door, or any door. It’s so common place, someone is bound to find it. I just found an old key sticking out of my front garden. Yup…it opened my front door. Maybe I should have had my locks rekeyed when I moved in (like I always suggest to homebuyers). I know…time slips away and before you know it you’ve been in the house over a year with the same locks.  I searched near all of the other doors to my house and that was the only “hidden” key. Lesson learned for me. If you need to give someone access to your house, put a coded keypad on the front door (be sure to keep up with the batteries). If you have a garage, code the garage keypad just for that person and hide a key inside of the garage so he/she can get into the house from there. But don’t put a key under a rock or your doormat.

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

 

 

Just Listed in Windsor Falls Subdivision

4 Bedroom/3 Bath house in popular Windsor Falls subdivision located just south of the famous Oxford Square and Baptist Memorial Hospital. Fenced yard, wood floors, granite counters. Oxford School District.

Home Owners Association with additional fee for neighborhood pool access.

Call today to see this house.

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

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100 Things To Do In Oxford Fall 2016

There are so many things to do in Oxford MS this Fall that I made a list. It’s my seasonal list of 100 Things.

100 Things To Do In Oxford MS Fall 2016

While most of the things to do on this list are year-round activities, this Fall there are special events highlighted. Mark your calendars so you can attend them.

Click the photo below to download the list. And while you are checking it off, take a picture of you and your friends at each event or location and hashtag it to #100ThingsOxford.

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You can also find 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS Fall 2016 at the Oxford MS Visitor’s Center.  While you are there, pick up some brochures to find out more about these things to do.  Don’t forget to grab the walking tour and the tree tour.  For the hauntings list, check out HottyToddy.com’s updated article.

Follow me on Instagram @eileen.saunders.realtor.

Have fun this Fall in Oxford, MS.

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

 

Homestead Exemptions

When purchasing a house one of the main questions a buyer will ask is “how much are the taxes?”

Good question and the answer is usually included in the information provided on the listing. A seller will gather this information from their past tax bills or can call the tax office. A seller’s real estate agent can also look up the information to verify it.

But, buyer beware: the taxes listed may not be what you will pay. Here’s why: there are several different kinds of exemptions that can be filed for by the homeowner. In certain cases, there may not have been an exemption filed or the homeowner doesn’t qualify.

For no homestead exemption, the taxes are generally higher. If this is the case for the house or condo you are purchasing, once you are able to file for homestead exemption, you’ll notice a reduction in your payments and your tax bill.

A regular homestead exemption is the usual amount. If that is how the current owner filed and you are purchasing the home to be your main residence, you too will get the regular homestead exemption.

If you are 65 or older you will qualify for a discount on your taxes. This discount will show on your tax bill the year that you file for the discount. But let’s say you are not 65 and you buy a house with a 65 homestead exemption. When  you file for your exemption, your tax bill will correct itself to apply to your current situation.

If your purchase is not your main residence (if it is a rental investment, a football home, vacation home) then you will not qualify for homestead exemptions. That will be something you can file (if not already filed) in your home town for your full-time residence property.

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

 

Tips to Winterize Your House Now: Exterior

It’s August 1st in Oxford, MS.

You know what that means?  Football season is almost here.

You know what else that means?  You will probably not want to do any weekend chores around the house once football season starts.football

I know that winter seems so far away but it will creep up on you. So, why not work these next few weeks and get the house in shape for winter. Then you can relax in your recliner or stadium seats

Here’s how to winterize the exterior of your house **  …

  1. Look at the exterior of your house and take note of the following:
    1. Are the windows and doors caulked sufficiently?
    2. Is the weather-stripping on your doors and windows in need of updating?
    3. Are there any exposed water pipes?
    4. How many exterior faucets are there?
    5. Do you have an irrigation system?
    6. Is the roof old or are there some areas of shingles that should be inspected?
    7. Do you have a pool?
    8. Is any part of the wood trim on your house soft, cracked or rotted?
    9. Are your wood shutters soft, cracked or rotted?
    10. Are the rain gutters full and overflowing when it rains?
    11. What about the outdoor kitchen?
  2. Once you have answered these questions, decide what you can do and what you will need to call a contractor to do for you.
    1. Purchase supplies for the items you are going to work on.
    2. Call your contractor, painter, roofer, irrigation and pool specialist now to get on their schedule list.
  3. Make of list of the items you are going to do and write next to each item the date you plan to tackle that task.
  4. Mark your calendar for the dates your contractors have scheduled appointments.
  5. Once your tasks have been completed, enjoy the football season.

CAULKING

If you plan to caulk your own windows and have never attempted this before, consider a class at the local building supply store. Home Depot in Oxford and Lowe’s in Batesville usually hold these type classes for their customers. *

WEATHER STRIPPING

Close your exterior doors and feel for drafts. Shine a strong flashlight around the door and, with another person on the other side of the door, decide if any light shines through. Examine the current weather stripping and make note of its condition.

If you can feel a draft, see a light or observe damage, now is the time to make repairs. Waiting until you actually feel the cold air coming through your house will only cause more cold air to enter your home since repairs will be made with the doors or windows open.

EXPOSED WATER PIPES

Insulate them now to avoid freezing and bursting later. Pipes under your house should be insulated as well as any exposed garden faucets. Exposed pipes in your attic are at risk so don’t overlook these.

EXTERIOR FAUCETS

Before they sell out, purchase insulated faucet covers now so you’ll be ready when the cold sets in.

IRRIGATION SYSTEM

Your irrigation system needs winterizing to avoid broken underground pipes. Call your irrigation specialist or garden/landscaper today to make sure you get on their schedule list when they winterize. All businesses operate differently but according to my irrigation specialist, the equipment they use is only available to them for a scheduled time. Also, after a point in the season it is difficult to do the winterization of irrigation pipes, as I understand, so you really should not wait too long to get this scheduled and taken care of.

ROOF

Typically, Oxford gets a lot of rain in the winter. Take a good look at your roof now. Address any issues, such as broken or missing tiles/shingles. Get this taken care of now before the real rainy season starts. It will be easier and less costly to make repairs now then after a leak is detected inside the house. And if a leak occurs, be sure to paint the ceiling in the room that leaked, once the ceiling dries.  Over time, that once-damp area will show a water mark that will leave questions when you try to sell the house later on. If you do sell your house, remember to disclose that there was a leak but it was repaired.

POOL

Unless you drain it annually, now is the time to call your pool service company to schedule winterizing. It is never a bad idea to have a professional inspect it, too, for cracks including pipes.

WOOD TRIM AND WOOD SHUTTERS

The damp air and rain in Oxford causes damage to wood trim and shutters. Schedule your painter now to take care of any issues you see. He or she will probably want to wait for the weather to cool down because weather affects paint quality, to some degree, so now is the time to talk about the work you need done.

RAIN GUTTERS/DOWNSPOUTS

Are your gutters still clogged from seeds and pollen that collected during the spring? Trees will start shedding leaves before you know it, including pines.  Make sure your gutters can accept rain from your roof so clean them out now. Maybe this year, install gutter covers so you won’t have to do this every year.

OUTDOOR KITCHEN

Include shutting off the outdoor sink along with your irrigation winterization so the pipes are empty and not at risk. Insulate any exposed pipes associated with the sink. Depending on what else you have in your outdoor kitchen, take note and make arrangements to have it ready for the cold weather.  You may not have to do anything, but consider now the things you will have to do.

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

** Always consult a professional if you are not sure what to do. These items listed in this article are only suggestions and any winterizing activities you choose to do on and around your home is strictly your decision.  I cannot be held accountable for the cost or any unsatisfactory work that was performed.

*Neither Home Depot not Lowe’s have any affiliation with this blog or the writer. Photo copyright (C) 2016 eileensaunders. All rights reserved.

Lafayette School District 2016-17 Academic Schedule

LSD2016-17

Source: http://www.gocommodores.org

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