All posts by Eileen Saunders

A daughter, sister, wife, mom and friend. I am married to the love of my life, have two awesome sons and a dog. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and remember that my photos are copyrighted; please ask first before using them. Thanks.

Fall Home Repair Checklist

Since fall is around the corner and you’ll most likely be spending more time indoors, get the exterior of your house prepared and cleaned up before settling inside.

  • Check the caulk and weather stripping around windows and doors.  Keep the cold winter air outside.
  • Clean your gutters and maybe install leaf guards before they have a chance to get clogged.

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    Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com
  • If you have shutters that open and close, that you actually use, check the hinges to make sure they are secure and well lubricated/not rusted.
  • Clean and store or cover your patio furniture if you won’t be using it.  In snowy areas, it’ll last longer if you protect it. Warmer climates: keep it handy for nights you want to sit around the fire pit.
  • If you get freezing weather, drain and store your garden hoses.  Weatherize your faucets.

    close up colors equipment garden
    Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com
  • Drain or weatherize/cover the pool.
  • Change the light bulbs on the exterior of your house with some long-lasting bulbs. Don’t get stuck in the dark. There are only a few things worse than having to change an outside light bulb in freezing temperatures.
  • Call a chimney sweep if you haven’t had your chimney cleaned out in several years. Put a cap on the top to keep out Chimney Swifts. I had them nest in a chimney in a house I once rented.  They can be noisy and messy.
  • Paint your doors.  Weatherize them with a fresh coat of paint or stain and sealant for the winter.
  • If your house is on natural gas heat and has a gas fireplace, now is the time to check your meter.  Stand nearby and check for a rotten
    orange pumpkin on brown hay near gray carriage
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    egg smell.  Even a faint smell could indicate a leak.  Call your gas company immediately to have it checked and repaired so you’ll be safe through the winter months.  I was told the seals and bolts and gauges on the meter should be replaced every 5 or so years so if your meter is about that old, check on it. These days, gas meters are read from a device in a vehicle that drives by your house, so checking on that smell is up to you, the homeowner.

  • And, right now, when it seems the spiders are making webs everywhere, get a broom and sweep under your eaves if you can reach them.
    arachnid branches close up cobweb
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    Keep those creepy orb spiders and others away from your exterior flood lights by being diligent about keeping the area swept.  Some people use a spray mixture of peppermint essential oil and water to keep spiders at bay…they apparently don’t like the smell.  I’m trying it for the first time this year and so far it works at my house.

Enjoy!

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

Fifth update 9.28.18, Fourth update 9.22.18, Third update 9.9.18, Second update 9.7.18, First update 9.6.18

COFFEE SHOPS: A Progressive Story

Coffee Shops are cool and useful places for many activities.

Whether you go there for people watching, meeting friends or clients, to read a book, plug in your laptop for studying or for work, or just hang out for a cup of joe, you can’t dispute the purpose of the coffee shop as a neighborhood gathering spot.

Each one has it’s one vibe.

Oxford has several great coffee shops and new ones have recently sprung up around town. I set out with friends to see what they all offered.

A coffee shop is not a restaurant that serves great coffee. There are several of them as well. But a coffee shop that I’m looking for sells a variety of coffee, employs a Barista and also sells some treats or a grab-and-go sandwich.  However, coffee and lunch?  Let’s talk about that later.

Coffee with Camille

CRAVE. 800 College Hill

We met at Crave, just north of town on College Hill Road at the 3-way.  Mid-afternoon was perfect because it wasn’t crowded and that’s what I wanted. The inside was comfortable and clean. Lots of windows facing east and south to let the sun in. High ceilings and metal chairs make it light, airy and cavernous, great for producing white noise if that’s something you like. There are plenty of tables to set up your laptop or sit alone and read or meet with friends. 20180905_1603372041835030.jpgCrave has outdoor seating, too, but it was “Oxford-hot” outside so we sat indoors. My iced-latte was perfect. Not too creamy, not to bold and a perfect amount of ice. Camille had the Caramel Macchiato and said it was great.  Crave is known for their desserts but has an extensive coffee menu so it is a coffee shop.  They also sell their own beans. Their signature is the Blueberry Cobbler flavored coffee. I’m not a fan of flavored coffee but it was yummy.  I will definitely drop in again.

TRACK 61 Coffee Lounge. 703 N. Lamar (has since closed)

At Track 61, Camille and I arrived after the rush and sat outside since a cold front passed through the night before. Track 61 has a coffee lounge open til 11 am.  Two large windows allow for plenty of light in the center while keeping the corners of the room cozy and mysterious for quiet conversation. That’s nice though because in the morning, a cup of Joe in a cozy environment, can be a great thing. There are tables and chairs in either end of the lounge, a long bar (open again at night for evening libations) and covered outdoor seating. 20180821_101200-11418471266.jpg I had a cappuccino, and since they only serve 2% milk and almond milk, I chose the 2%.  I’m a skim drinker so this coffee was a little creamier than I usually drink, but oh, so good. I was not disappointed. (Nut allergies kept me from the almond milk).  Camille had a latte which she said was tasty.  The service was excellent and friendly and I loved sitting outside, as it was a perfect place that day for coffee.  It’s definitely not a stay-all-day coffee shop because of the hours but I recommend it as a place to meet friends in the morning or get your business day started.  Head to Track 61 for a table-side coffee or to-go cup.  I’ll be going back.

HIGH POINT OLD TAYLOR. Old Taylor Road (Across from The Mark condos)

High Point opened on Old Taylor Road between the Mark condos and Faulkner Flats apartments. Camille and I went on opening day and was not disappointed. They have an extensive coffee menu with their own roasted beans.  I’m a huge fan of their dark roast and ordered Sumatra.  Camille got her caramel macchiato.  20180831_1104061725746625.jpg

There is ample seating indoors and out, in addition to private meeting rooms where you can go with your coffee and muffin for secluded studying, a private business meeting or distraction-free production space for your YouTube channel. A great location for the residents of the Mark condos, Faulkner Flats and other south-of-town college students. Check it out!

CABIN 82. 400 N. Lamar at the Graduate Hotel.

Cabin 82 has a coffee bar and a great list of caffeine-laced drinks. Camille had the drip coffee and I had a hot cappuccino with skim milk. The indoor seating area was busy with coffee drinkers and business meetings going on. It was a cool, breezy morning so we sat outside on their N. Lamar-side patio in the shade. The atmosphere was vibrant being so close to a busy road but traffic was not overpowering and we sat and talked for a long time. 20180828_090417-1737457107.jpgYou can also grab your coffee and sit in the hotel lobby. There are comfy sofas and a long table with a strip of plugs running the length of the table so you can keep your laptop and phone charged for a day of busy work.  It’s relatively quiet so I don’t see why you couldn’t set up for a while with coffee in hand if you want to escape the office for a change of scenery.  Cabin 82 is a recommended coffee spot.

Coffee with Gary

UPTOWN COFFEE. 265 N. Lamar

My husband, Gary, is a fan of Uptown and their cappuccino.  I’m a strong-coffee drinker and Uptown is a little light for me so I stick to the cappuccino. And it is good. Friends who love Uptown comment on its coffee’s light notes and say it’s the best.  20181003_150903-1856484403.jpgLocated on the north end of The Square, Uptown is a great place to meet friends, read a book, do some work, study, whatever you fancy. Tables, comfy chairs and outside seating offer a lot of options. Uptown has bakery items and sells both ground and whole beans. The walls are decorated with rotating artist’s work.  Currently, my friend Nicole Gladden is featured. Check it out.

Coffee with Polina

CUPS, AN ESPRESSO CAFE. 1501 W Jackson

There is no other place in town that Polina will drink coffee, as far as I know. Cups is a  traditional coffee cafe and a casual place for students and business people alike. Located near Ole Miss campus, the interior is comfortable with an eclectic blend of tables and booth-style work stations in the back.  20180926_142032901110247.jpgThe newly enlarged, wood counter space has electric plugs for each seat so you can enjoy your coffee and open your laptop there as well.  South-facing, prepare for warm sunlight during the winter months. I like sitting up front in the sunshine.  Polina likes the cappuccino while I like the French Roast, but decided to try the cafe americano.  It was good while piping hot but ended up tasting slightly sweet as it cooled down.  You know I’m not a fan of light tasting coffee but this was pretty good.

More Coffee with Camille

Starbucks, 1804 Jackson Ave. West

So, Camille had a mobile coupon for coffee from Starbucks and called me to join her. It was a buy one, get one deal so while she waited for me, she ordered a Maple Pecan Latte for me and a Carmel Frappuccino for herself. Starbucks has indoor and outdoor seating and while it was chilly out, it seemed chillier inside so we hung out on the patio drinking our fall coffees.  Lots of students use the table space inside.  Business people do, too.  I’ve met colleagues and clients there many times, spreading out the laptop or just sitting with a coffee to talk.  Parking can be a hassle depending on the time of day especially since they share a parking lot with a few other businesses. It seems most people go through the drive thru because it’s always long but worth the trip.  And, as for the Maple Pecan Latte…it was yummy.

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

 

Literary Town of Oxford MS

Oxford literary town

Take a literary tour of Oxford:

According to Wikipedia*, famous writers from Oxford, MS include: Ace Atkins, Howard, Bahr, Larry Brown, Tim Earley, John T. Edge, John Faulkner, William Faulkner, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Richard Ford, Tom Franklin, David Galef, John Grisham, Barry Hannah, Jonathan Miles, Willie Morris, Chris Offutt, JE Pitts, Cynthia Shearer, Neil White III, and Stark Young.   Some were born and raised in Oxford, some are from other places but make Oxford home.  I’ve met many great writers, like Julie Cantrell (not from here but lives here), that aren’t on this list but you get the idea.

The Visitor’s Center and Visit Oxford have a literary walking tour planned out for you. Of course it starts at Faulkner’s beloved Rowan Oak and before it ends you’ll have to get into your car to drive out past Grisham’s former house and also visit a restaurant or two which are part of the literary history of Oxford.DSCN8028

Oh, and the book festivals and writers’ conferences.  During the spring you can participate in the Conference for the Book. Each summer sign up to attend the Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference. No stress…you do not need to know how to pronounce Yoknapatawpha to attend.  I’ve heard a few translations depending on the depth of the southern accent. Yokna is acceptable.  Mississippi hosts a book festival each August but it is not in Oxford. However, it is in Jackson which is a short drive south and makes a great weekend getaway or end to your week-long literary pilgrimage to Oxford.

The Square in Oxford, MS hosts 3 versions of Square Books, our independent and award-winning bookstore. There’s the main store on the corner of the Square and South Lamar, Off Square Books is in the southeast corner and hosts the Thacker Mountain Radio Show.  on the east side of the Square is Square Books Jr.  The University of Mississippi has a Barnes and Noble College bookstore and I’m told they have a children’s reading program.CAM02690

There are four libraries (actually 5 but that extra one is a bar on the Square), which house extraordinary collection of books: J.D. Williams Library , The Blues Archives and Visual Collection and The Science Library on the Ole Miss campus houses many special collections, and the Lafayette County library located on Bramlett Blvd.

Writers’ groups are everywhere. One I’ve participated in is Oxford Writes, but there are others. You just have to ask.

It goes without saying that Ole Miss has a top-notch English department graduating writers of all interests. The Journalism school and Samir Husni aka Mr. Magazine holds an annual conference, through his Magazine Innovation Center for the magazine industry that his students, and others, can attend.  I enjoyed it one year along with my husband and son (an Ole Miss IMC student) since we are in the planning stages of a magazine. Shhhh!! Don’t tell anyone.

Ole Miss also offers, through their Outreach department, a program called Communiversity, featuring workshops of all types which sometimes include writing workshops.

There is so much to do here in Oxford with regards to the literary world.  You definitely need to come visit. Then you’ll want to come back so why not purchase a condo while you’re here so you don’t have to scramble for a hotel or AirBNB?  Let me know when you get here and I can show you the available real estate.

Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing
All photos are my own. All rights reserved (c) 2018

* Wikipedia contributors. “List of people from Oxford, Mississippi.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jul. 2018. Web. 1 Sep. 2018

Repairs To Make Before Selling Your Home

When you were in the market to purchase a house, chances are you wanted one that was in really good shape; no…you wanted one that was perfect, right?  Now that you are selling, don’t you think a potential buyer wants to find your house in perfect shape?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I suggest to all sellers, whose homes I list, that they make obvious repairs before putting the house on the market.

Some people choose to, and they either fix the things that they know are a problem, like a door that sticks or a faucet that leaks, or pay for an inspection and fix those recommended repairs before the seller sees them.  An inspection in Oxford will run approximately $350.00.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Buyers will touch everything in your house: they’ll open the refrigerator, open and close cabinet doors to see how well they are made, turn on faucets, look under cabinets checking for leaks or damage from previous leaks.  They’ll turn on the fireplace, ceiling fans and lights.  Buyers will test the locks on the doors, the garage door, and look for cracks in tile floors and counters.  A serious buyer will check everything…at least that’s what I’ve experienced with buyers I’ve worked with.

So, if something is leaking or off its hinge, fix it before a potential buyer sees it. Enough problems will leave buyers shaking their heads and moving on to see a house that they consider less of a project.

It’s so simple to do many of these pre-selling fixes, so take the time to do it.  These can include the following, although depending on your house, there could be a few more items:

  • plumbing (leaks, “running” toilet)
  • electrical/light bulbs (if a socket doesn’t work you’ll need to fix it anyway)
  • change a/c air filter
  • clean/purge/box-up items (you are moving anyway so declutter now)
  • cosmetic paint issues
  • front and back door lock that sticks
  • damaged screens on a screened porch
  • clean out gutters

I also suggest, that before you list your house, you have it deep cleaned. There are many detail-oriented professional house cleaning businesses in Oxford. Hire one to deep clean: wipe down doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, behind washer/dryer and refrigerator, baseboards, windowsills and frames, ceiling fans, fireplace, oven/microwave, floors, sink faucets (that crusty stuff around the base of faucets), dust around all light fixtures and crown molding.  They will surely find more to clean, but you get the idea.  Make your interior sparkle.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Outside, trim your bushes, remove anything dead, cut and edge the lawn, replace a missing fence board (a fenced yard with a missing post is not a fenced yard if Fido can escape). Plant some in-season annuals for extra color and wow.

I understand you may not be able to do all of this. Job relocations require you to move fast but if you are in the running for a transfer or a new job elsewhere, I’d get the house ready now just in case.  A good looking house, in great condition will sell faster.

Another reason that you might not be able to make repairs ahead of time is due to something major.  If you plan to fix a large issue but cannot before the house sells (price or having to move out to have it repaired), you’ll be disclosing it anyway so offer to have it fixed before the closing date or offer to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs in lieu of making the repair.

By making repairs pre-listing, you aren’t covering up problems. You’ll need to disclose the fixed leak, the screen repair and the replaced window, but you’ll be passing along, to a new homeowner, a house that is in good condition…one that is perfect, like when you bought it.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing
All rights reserved (c) 2018

 

Grand Oaks

As you can guess from the photo, Grand Oaks is a golf course community in Oxford, MS.

grand oaks 2

There are condos and single-family homes of varying sizes depending on the location in the community.

Located near the intersection of Hwy 6 and Hwy 7, Grand Oaks is easily accessible and a short distance from the hospital, Ole Miss and shopping. Grand Oaks residents can send their children to Oxford city schools.

Check it out. Have your real estate agent show you around. Don’t have one, then call me. I’m happy to help.

Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing
All rights reserved (c) 2018

Oxford Home Market Trends

Here’s an overview of what’s going on in Oxford, MS housing.  Every 6 months I put together a summary of stats on condo sales and single-family-home sales for Lafayette County which includes the city of Oxford.  Since I found the numbers to be close when looking separately at Lafayette school district properties vs Oxford school district properties, I have combined the two and the report below reflects condo and SFH sales trends for Lafayette County MS.

Questions? Feel free to call or email me.

2011 to mid-2018 Oxford Condo Sales Trends BOF-12011 to mid 2018 Oxford Real Estate Sales Trends SFH LSD and OSD-1

Eileen Saunders, SRES  REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344  eileen@tmhomes.com Equal housing
All rights reserved (c) 2018