Category Archives: Oxford

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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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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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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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.

person giving keys on man
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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.

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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

100 Things To Do Oxford, MS Fall 2108

It’s here: Fall season in Oxford.

Football, pumpkins, arts performances and more.

Here’s my newest issue of “100 Things To Do Oxford, MS Fall 2018.”

Print it out and share with friends.  Can you do all 100?  Be sure to take a picture of yourself on location with each thing you check off this list, post it to Instagram with  #100thingsoxford

100 ThingsTo Do InOxford, MSFall 2018 update pg 1100 ThingsTo Do InOxford, MSFall 2018 pg 2

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
100 Things To Do Oxford, MS is a publication of OxfordMSLife.com  All rights reserved (c) 2018

Football Weekend Rental Income

*Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. I am a real estate professional. This article is to inform the reader about an IRS tax form that they may want to read if  considering renting their property during college football season in Oxford, MS.  When making decisions that can affect your taxes, always consult a tax professional.

Many Oxford homeowners rent their homes or condos during Ole Miss football weekends. Some live here year-round and stay with local relatives or camp out in the family RV on football weekends in order to make some extra money by renting their home in the fall.  I know of families making $1000+ depending on who the Rebels are playing that weekend.

Others have a second house or condo here and visit for some games, renting their place out during games they can’t get here for.

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Each of these homeowners that rent out their homes for a weekend earn Christmas money, vacation money, pay-the-mortgage money, what-ever-you-want-it-to-be-for money.  The point is that many Oxford homeowners rent their homes short-term.

There are HOAs that don’t allow this practice, so if you live here or plan to buy a house or condo in the near future, check your HOA rules before advertising your home in the fall. But for those who can rent, it can be extra money.

Consider the cost, though, for advertising, cleaning, and staying somewhere else that weekend when you price your rental weekend.  Do you have family in town you can stay with? Do you have an RV you can camp out in while strangers rent your house?  Are you planning to be away that weekend anyway?

Check with local rental companies that specialize in this type of rental.  Ask friends who rent and get their list of pros and cons. Consider the number of new hotel rooms in town.

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Football isn’t the only weekend for rentals. There other Ole Miss sport events, local conferences and festivals that also bring in tourists wishing to rent a house, rather than a hotel room, for the week or weekend. Graduation is a popular time for week-long rentals as student’s family members pile into town to celebrate.  Oxford is also a wonderful wedding town with so many classy venues.  Guests and family members might rather stay in a house than a hotel as they prepare with pre-wedding festivities.

Real estate can be an investment so don’t just consider whether to buy a second home in Oxford based on your ability to rent short-term.  The real value is in the equity you might be able to grow through the years of ownership, and the enjoyment you will have when you use it to visit this great little town.

If you are wondering about how renting your home affects your income taxes, click this link to the IRS form (topic 415) explaining short-term rental income.  It talks about the deductions you might be able to take and the taxes you could pay with a rental property. But it also reads: “There is a special rule if you use a dwelling unit as a personal residence and rent it for fewer than 15 days.” Read up on what this special rule says for your situation.

With only 7 home football games you may not have to worry about keeping track of or reporting your rent income. Laws change year to year and while this one is current as of this writing, it may change tomorrow. Please read carefully and always consult your tax professional for advice before making plans to rent your home.

 

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

 

100 Things To Do in Oxford MS

Oxford can sometimes have amazing weather in January. Average temps are usually in the 50s. So what do you do when the weather is great? Get outside and enjoy Oxford. Explore. Hike. Walk around the Square. Go to the park. Walk to the museums. Did you know there are 100 things to do in Oxford MS?

There are really over 100 fun and interesting things to do in Oxford but when I compiled a list of things to do for my family, I had to stop my list at some point. This is a list I want to share with you and I publish it 3 times a year: Winter/Spring list, Summer edition and Fall/Christmas.

The Winter/Spring 2018 edition of 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS is available. Download a copy of it here, today or pick up a copy from the Visitor’s Center on Jackson Avenue at the Square.

Here’s just a sampling of some things to do and what events you can participate in this month:

January Events

  • Pop Up Oxford January 22-23
  • Oxford Fiber Festival January 26-28

February  Events

  • Oxford Film Festival February 7-11

GET OUTSIDE

  • Bike or hike the Whirlpool Trails/Thacker Mountain Rail Trail
  • Picnic on the Grove or Rowan Oak
  • Go Geocaching
  • Play golf or frisbee golf
  • Hike the Bailey Woods Trail
  • Enjoy the Parks: Lamar, Avent, Stone and the skating park on Bramlett Blvd.
  • Take a walking tour of Oxford, a tree tour or get a list of haunted landmarks and visit them.

RAINY DAY FUN:

  • UM Museum, Burns Belfry, Cedar Oaks and others
  • Hang with friends at a coffee or yogurt shop
  • Go bowling
  • Catch a movie

MORE FUN:

Click here to download list

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

Getting Your Condo Ready to Sell… While Your Student Still Lives There

College-town residents come from a variety of backgrounds and parts of the world. While these unique towns are home to full-time, year-round residents, college towns also host part-time residents who own second homes for retirement vacations or to have a place to stay for college, conference or other cultural events. There are, of course, the short-term residents as well. These are the college students whose parents bought a condo for them to live in during their studies at the college or university. The condo purchase serves many functions: student housing, a place for parents, family and friends to stay when they visit and provides an investment. An extra bedroom can be rented to another student for income. Mortgaged condos provide tax benefits and the condo or house can possibly earn equity income when market values rise.

Most condos are bought and sold on an average of a 4-year cycle. Families that choose to keep a home in the college town after their student graduates may move up to a bigger or newer property, although some choose to stay with the property they’ve owned for years.living-room-2155376_1920

Each spring offers a market demand for condo sales in a college town. Buyers of this type of property generally do not need to move in right away, like a single-family house would. This allows condo sellers to put their property on the market early with a closing date after the graduation date.  The student can stay in the house through that time and the family has a place to stay during graduation weekend to save on hotel costs.

So, when is the best time to put the condo on the market?  Buyers start looking after the first of the year for their student’s fall-semester housing needs. The season can pick up in February.  Benefits of early listings include getting sold quicker and alleviating your student from having to deal with showings during exam week.  Later listings may get a higher price due to perceived lack of inventory, but showings may hassle the student during exam time.  Waiting until after graduation means the house is cleaned out and showings do not necessarily need appointments. However, buyers might not be as plentiful at the end of this selling season.  Any way you look at it, when to sell completely up to you, the seller.

Here’s how to get your condo ready to sell.

  1. Professionally clean carpets. If they are very nasty and stained, replace them.
  2. Pack up and send home the extra stuff to eliminate clutter. You want to show how big the closets are, not how much stuff you can force into them. Remove kitchen counter appliances that aren’t used and décor that collects dust. Minimal is best for staging.
  3. Whether your condo is a stand-alone, a townhouse or multi-unit building, meet with your condo association to look at any exterior surfaces that condo fees cover and are in need of repair: these could be soffits, railings, paint on doors, missing screens, non-functioning lamps, broken roof shingles, fences surrounding your patio, etc. You’ve been paying condo fees so these items should be cared for. A buyer wants to know they are purchasing into an association that utilizes its fees to properly care for its properties.
  4. Have the HVAC unit serviced and change the filters. In my experience, this is usually an item an inspector finds issues with so unless you have an annual service contract, make sure the system is working properly.
  5. Look to see if the walls look fresh. If not, paint them or at least the one that looks bad. If you need to paint the entire interior, use a popular, neutral color.
  6. Check for leaks in any faucet and have these fixed.
  7. Professionally clean the interior and the windows
  8. Declutter patios and porches. Remove any broken chairs and tables. If you have use of a garden hose, roll it up out of the way.
  9. Find out if your association allows REALTOR signs. Some do not.
  10. Find a great real estate agent and put the house on the market

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Reasons you should not sell your student condo by yourself.

  1. The student is inconvenienced to make time to be at the house to show it each time.
  2. It limits the available time for potential buyers to view it. If they cannot get in when they want, they might move on to a property they can see on their time. Most condo buyers are parents who are in town for a short time to view what is on the market with their real estate agent.
  3. FSBO properties are not represented by a real estate agent so legally in Mississippi, an agent needs a signed One-Time-Showing Agreement in order to enter the condo with one client. A FSBO owner would have to sign a new one for each agent that wants to show it and for each new client. Arrangements must be made to pick up a key.
  4. There may be several showings in one day. Your student should be spending the day in class or at the library rather than showing the house.
  5. It may also put your student in danger since an unrepresented buyer will know your student lives alone.
  6. Your student would have to let inspectors and contractors into the condo.

The most your student should worry about is keeping the condo clean until it is sold.  By hiring a real estate agent your student should be a student and work toward graduation day.

For more tips and to learn my point of difference, contact me for an appointment.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | eileen@tmhomes.com |   equal housing

Scavenger Hunt Idea Through Oxford, MS

Here’s a way to get a group of friends together and have fun outdoors: hold a scavenger hunt.

There are many things you can put on your list to check off, or find and take back to the group: business card of an attorney, a yellow cupcake, an acorn, an item in a shoe store made of wood.  Tons of ideas can be found on Pinterest.

Did you know there are 43 historical markers in Lafayette County?  Some are on the University of Mississippi campus while others are inside the city of Oxford. More markers exist way out in the county. Why not do a search including all of them?  Benefits of an historical marker hunt include:

  • having fun with friends and family
  • getting to know your county’s geography
  • teaching younger family members how to read a map
  • learning valuable history of the area
  • getting out of the house or dorm room

You can find the list here. Now go find them and read all about why that spot is important to local history.

How long will it take?  Plan to spend the whole day. Start early, take photos of each one. Don’t forget that while most signs are one-sided, some have information continuing on the other side. Since many are within walking distance of each other, consider a walking tour. Stop for lunch to talk about what you’ve found. If you have a large group going in separate cars plan to meet up mid-day to share which ones you’ve located.

As with any scavenger hunt you do, be respectful of property including neighboring property and businesses. Park in designated areas. Be aware of traffic and stay safe when you approach a sign, that sits near a busy road, to get a photo.

The Blues Trail Marker, located in the city of Oxford, is one of many related to the Blues Trail around the state. Finding all of them might be a cool day trip in your region or definitely road trip for several days. Check out the map for a complete list. Plan to visit the blues museums as well.

Have fun and comment below when you’ve done your search. Be For more ideas on what to do around Oxford download the list of 100 Things To Do Oxford MS 2017 #100ThingsOxford

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

National Go On A Field Trip Month

Field trips are not just for school children.

October is National Go On A Field Trip Month. Field trips are wonderful ways to get outside, go do something different, explore something new. Take a field trip with a friend, family member, group or some kids.

There are plenty of places in Oxford MS to go on a field trip. Here are some:

Outdoor field trips can be educational. Take a journal or art book with you. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars. This month in Oxford go to one of the many parks, tour Rowan Oak, Cedar Oaks, Historic Burns Belfry and more. Take an historic walking tour, a walking tour of haunted landmarks, or walk the tree trail. Get some exercise along the Bailey Woods hiking trail or the Whirlpool Trails.

Indoor field trips can keep you busy, too. Visit the political archives of Mississippi at the University Library. Check out the latest exhibits at the University Museum or investigate the Blues Archives on campus.

Other field trips can include participating in the open nights at the UM Observatory and the monthly art crawl through town. You can always explore history with a visit to St. Peter’s Cemetery.

There are plenty of things to do in Oxford…plenty of field trips to take around town. Pick up the list of 100 Things To Do In Oxford, MS Fall 2017 at the Visitor’s Center on the Square or download and print a copy here.

There are also plenty of day trips outside of Oxford that you can take as well. Find some ideas here.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors  2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 | 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 | equal housing