Cicada Invasion in Lafayette County/Oxford MS

Here’s my story: Not too long ago we moved into a house whose back yard faces a  well-traveled road but we have a  rather high, brick wall surrounding the patio yard which buffers a lot of sound. I was commenting on how peaceful it is to just sit in the yard with your eyes closed. The road noise from the occasional car passing by reminded me, with a powerful imagination, of ocean waves slowly rising to shore, crashing and retreating. Every now and then a powerful wave crashes. That’s the equivalent of a noisy car or truck. (I used to live seaside).

So, sitting in the yard is a pleasure until recently there has been such a noise that has become maddening. It sounds like a machine, or some sonar-type impulses. I hadn’t noticed it before.

Clearly, it should pass but the noise only got louder so I investigated, which is something I do well. Jumping into my car, I took a ride through an adjacent neighborhood where the sound was louder. There’s a dam back there and a farm beyond the trees. I remembered the county landfill/dump is nearby so I drove up there, stopped at the top of the hill and listened. Nothing. So I thought, “OK, that’s the farm noise.”

The noise disappeared that evening so I was convinced it was a machine.

But no!  The next day it was back. I later ventured into Water Valley to preview a house for a client. When I opened the car door I was struck, full blast, by the same sound.  Was there some kind of inviso-shielded space craft hovering over my space to antagonize my ear drums?

My husband heard it. The window-treatment rep who came to my house the day before heard it. My neighbor heard it. We were all stumped.

I headed to the office which sits across Highway 6 from the Ole Miss campus and the Park and Ride lots.  Getting out of my car I heard it again.  I texted my husband with the news and received a reply: “someone said it was cicadas,” he explained.

Cicada, Cicadoidea, Insect, Exoskeleton

That was a much better explanation than an invisible hovering space craft.  This morning after writing this story, I read, in the Sunday edition of the Oxford Citizen newspaper, that cicadas have invaded. Sigh of relief. Cicadas are friendly, although annoying.  They present no threats to beam any of us up to some unknown adventure and will die off soon. According to the article, sometime around mid-June our environment will quiet down again. And if not, watch the skies.

Eileen Saunders, Realtor ~~ Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Rd., Oxford, MS~~ 662-234-5344 (o) or 662-404-0816

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Trees

It’s true that trees can add value to a home.  They can also do a lot more:

  • Trees add a cooling effect for your house when planted in the correct space. According to the Center for Urban Forest Research, a tree planted on the west side of your house can save you 3% in energy bill after 5 years. And, the USDA claims that properly places trees can reduce both air conditioning and heating needs.
  • It is believed that landscaping with trees can increase property values. Mature trees can add appraised value to your home, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraiser.
  • Trees add an aesthetic quality to a home.  A landscaped yard, with trees included, add to the curb appeal of the house making it more appealing to potential renters or buyers.
  • Trees can reduce runoff and erosion on your property. This allows the ground water supply to stay at top levels which is important for tree survival. Tree roots can also keep sediment and harmful chemicals from entering streams.
  • If you need a Green reason to plant trees, the USDA estimates that one acre of forest can absorb 6 tons of CO2 and adds 4 tons of oxygen, which we need to breathe.
  • And for mental health, Texan A&M University research determined that visual exposure to tree trees  reduces stress, blood pressure and muscle tension.

So why wouldn’t you want to plant trees on your yard?

Source.

Eileen Saunders, Realtor ~~ Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Rd., Oxford, MS~~ 662-234-5344 (o) or 662-404-0816

 

Earthquakes

The area around Memphis TN sits on the New Madrid fault line. Earthquakes, small and large, are felt throughout the region.

Two earthquakes were felt just yesterday, May 2,  in the Canton/Madison MS area. One happened last month in eastern Missouri. The most famous of all the New Madrid earthquakes happened in 1811 when, it is reported, the Mississippi River flowed north for a short while. There is a great book about this event titled, “When the Mississippi Ran Backwards…” by Jay Feldman. It’s a little political, and seems a little fiction-like but it’s true and still a great read.

The quakes that happened today registered in the lower 3 range. According to a Richter Magnitude Scale chart on Wikipedia, a range of 3 on the Richter scale generally means: Often felt by people, but very rarely causes damage. Shaking of indoor objects can be noticeable. A range of 4 means: Noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Felt by most people in the affected area. Slightly felt outside. Generally causes none to minimal damage. Moderate to significant damage very unlikely. Some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over. A 5 is generally when you start seeing structural damage.

Oxford, MS is part of the New Madrid Fault area.

What does that mean?

Well, there is the possibility of earthquakes in this area.

The most recent earthquake that was close to Oxford, MS happened in February 1999 near Enid Lake. It was a  2.9 magnitude.

As a homeowner you can inquire with your insurance company about additional insurance to cover any damage that could occur from an earthquake. Your insurance agent can advise you.

Disclaimer: I make no money endorsing the book listed above. I simply enjoyed reading it and recommend it.

Eileen Saunders ~~ Tommy Morgan Realty, 2092 Old Taylor Rd., Oxford, MS~~ 662-234-5344 (o) or 662-404-0816

100 Things To Do In Oxford, MS This Summer 2015

Wondering what to do in Oxford, Mississippi this summer?

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Here’s a list with some great ideas:

  1. Swim at the Oxford City pool or the one in your neighborhood
  2. Take a mountain bike ride on the Whirlpool Trails or just take a walk
  3. Tune into a live MPB broadcast performance of Thacker Mountain Radio during August
  4. Tour Cedar Oaks
  5. Borrow seeds from the Seed Lending Library at the Oxford public library

There are 95 more ideas on this printable list: 100 Things To Do This Summer

100 things to do in Oxford this summer FINAL.docx-page-001

100 things to do in Oxford this summer FINAL.docx-page-002

Click, print and enjoy your summer in Oxford!

Eileen Saunders, Realtor ~~ Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Rd., Oxford, MS~~ 662-234-5344 (o), 662-404-0816 (m)

Oxford is Growing

Lafayette County, home to Oxford and Ole Miss, has grown by 11.8 percent in the past four years making it the county with the most growth in Mississippi.

The University population is expanding, bringing more full-time residents to the area to service them. New businesses have added to the growth.

The City of Oxford recently launched an update to their long-range plans, called Vision 2037, which will guide the city planners over the next several years on issues such as transportation, community, land use, housing, preservation and more. This meeting took place last week.

Two new meetings are scheduled to allow for public input.

Online information: Vision 2037 online

The Facebook Page is: Vision 2037

Eileen Saunders ~~ Tommy Morgan Realty, 2092 Old Taylor Rd., Oxford, MS~~ 662-234-5344 (o) or 662-404-0816

Real Life House Hunting

According to my Pinterest, I need a house with 14 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, 11 kitchens, 5 bonus rooms, 6 garden areas, 32 screened porches, 100 closets …

~  ~  ~

My husband and I enjoy watching the home shows on television such as Beach Front Bargain Hunting and International House Hunting.  If you are not familiar with these shows, I’ll explain. A couple or family decides to move overseas or to the coast. A Realtor shows them 3 options, some within the budget and almost always there is one above the budget.  After seeing 3 homes, the couple makes a decision. Meanwhile, they critique the home’s livability, outdoor space, bathrooms and need for repair.  One home definitely gets the “X” and they pick between the 2 left over. Rarely do they have to wait and find something unscripted, which ends up on the “update” at the end of the show.

While it is fun to see what they picked, also it is fun to see what is available around the world. However, this type of home-buying experience is not the real world.

When shopping for a home your Realtor should have a great selection in your budget to show you.  It should not be unusual for him or her to show you a house that is more than your budget; remember, you can always make an offer lower than the asking price.  However, if the inventory in the area is low, you may only have 3 choices.  If none fit your needs, wait if you can because there is always tomorrow and something to your liking will pop up.  Ask your Realtor to investigate FSBO homeowners that will work with Realtors.  But beware: if you are working with a Realtor and have signed State-required papers that essentially exclusively hire that Realtor, do not go to a For Sale By Owner home seller on your own. You may end up having to pay the broker’s commission if you purchase the house.

The rules may differ from state to state but they are made to protect the consumer, so pay attention to what you sign and let your Realtor do your work for you. Remember this, the seller always pays the commission, unless you go behind your Realtor’s back and find something on your own.  Then in most cases you will pay it.

Working with a Realtor benefits  you in the following way:

As the buyer:

  • Realtors can save you time by searching for your specifications and making the appointments for you to view houses
  • Realtors are professional negotiators
  • Realtors have access to the local MLS containing accurate information about what is for sale in your price range
  • When you work with a Realtor, other Realtors will leave you alone
  • When you work exclusively with a Realtor, the seller pays the commission

As the seller:

  • National statistics show that Realtors can get more for homes than homeowners
  • Realtors are familiar with the necessary paperwork
  • Realtors can pre-qualify prospective buyers and know what similar homes in your neighborhood sold for
  • Realtors can market your house more effectively
  • You reach more home buyers with a Realtor lock box on your front door.

If you go it alone, be sure you have an attorney to help you out with the contract, the contingencies, the disclosures, inspections…your rights.

Happy house hunting!

Eileen P. Saunders, Realtor
Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors
2092 Old Taylor Rd., Suite 101
Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-5344, 662-404-0816

Double Decker Festival Oxford MS

dd-poster-2015-320x396It’s almost time for the most beloved festival in Oxford, MS…the Double Decker Festival.

If you haven’t already, then make plans to attend. The festival takes place around the Square this month on the weekend of April 24-25.

Click here for the festival website and I hope to see you there.

Eileen P. Saunders, Realtor
Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors
2092 Old Taylor Rd., Suite 101
Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-5344, 662-404-0816

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