Home Safety: Windows

I recently read a story about a theft in a family’s new home. Turns out the police investigation found the employees of the moving company were the robbers.  These two men moved the family to their new home and left a lower-level window unlocked. Not long after, when the homeowners were gone for the day (work, school), these guys got into the house through that window and stole some items.

Moral of the story: Always check your windows to make sure they are locked.

Home sellers: after each showing, check your windows.  I’m not saying everyone is dishonest but people do like to test things out. Buyers will run the faucets, open and close a few windows, cabinets, oven, pantry and more. Make a quick check after a showing to make sure your home is safe, even a garage window. If there is a note on the door to the garage telling agents to leave it unlocked (kids might use the key pad to get inside after school) and the garage has windows, that  is an easy entry point. Be secure.

Home buyers: after you move in, make sure your windows are locked. Don’t assume they are. The previous owner could have had windows open to air out the house while they were moving out. A less-than-honest worker could unlock a window to get back in. Movers know what kind of stuff you have, especially if they’ve packed it which makes for the point that you should pack your valuables.

Homeowners: you know that “tricky” window in the dining room?  Get it fixed so it can close and lock properly. I was recently showing a house to a buyer and discovered a water stain on the window sill that looked like it had been there for a long time. I don’t think it had rained for 90 days at that point. The window, it turned out was left unlocked and opened because it was stubborn and wouldn’t close tightly enough to latch.  They are sometimes easy to fix so please, for your safety, get that “tricky” window fixed.

Moving companies do their best to hire the most honest people but like any other business, sometimes a dishonest person can slip through the cracks. Just be aware that if this happened once, it could happen again.

So, how do you know your real estate agent is safe and honest? In a growing number of states real estate agents must go through a background check in order to get and maintain a license.  Fingerprints are also kept on file. Recently, Mississippi has joined at least 37 other states that require this.

Be safe.

Eileen Saunders is a Realtor® with Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford, MS. She is an expert at moving,  having moved 15 times in 23 years, buying, selling, and renting houses along the way. Her soon-to-be published book, tentatively titled “Moving,” chronicles her family’s adventures over the past years and includes tips to make your moves smoother and less stressful. You can reach Eileen at her office, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 or by phone: 662-234-5344 or 662-404-0816. Eileen is a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® and believes in Equal Housing for all.

9 Ways to Save Energy on Thanksgiving

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

used with permission

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

Tips for Moving After the Elections 2016

 

Have you heard?

Millions and millions of Americans are planning to move after the up-coming election. This news is all over the internet: Facebook, Twitter, blogs. And, if it’s on the internet it must be true.

I’ve read that some people will move overseas. Some will go to Canada or South America or Europe. Some will stay in the U.S. but just want to go somewhere to “get away from it all.”

So I’m here to help.

First of all, if you plan to stay in the U.S. and haven’t decided where to go yet, consider Oxford, MS. Oxford is a wonderful, college town with a retirement community. There are plenty of things to do: arts, culture, sports, dining, outdoor activities. Oxford has great schools in both the county and city limits, is a designated bike-friendly community, has a world-class food scene, ranked #1 Smartest Place to retire, is home to the #1 bookstore in the country, ranked #2 of the top ten small towns in America and has literary charm. There are literally over 100 fun things to do in Oxford and if you don’t believe me, request my quarterly list of 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS.

So if Oxford seems like the place you want to move to, please call me and I’ll help you find your dream home. I am a REALTOR and work with Tommy Morgan Realtors in the Oxford office. We are a full service brokerage and can assist you through the entire process of buying a home here.cropped-dscn7959.jpg

Now, if you are one of the people leaving Oxford, know that we will miss you and wish you well. Again, please call me and I will help you sell your house. I am quite experienced with sellers that relocate due to jobs, mostly, and will take great care to keep your house watched over until it sells. Don’t worry about the paperwork; we can send it to you and most forms you can e-sign or sign before a notary or local attorney. With all of these people moving around I just might have a buyer for your house in the very near future.

Moving? Time is of Essence

Well, let’s get down to the business of all of this moving that is about to happen. There is much to do so it is wise to start preparing now. With the election just a few weeks away, you’ll have to be quick.

  1. Update or get your passport if you plan to move out of the country. With all of these people moving, you won’t have to stand in line if you do it now. Get up to date on those necessary shots, too.
  2. If you are a renter, get your notice in that you are leaving so you don’t get charged that extra month. You may have to pay to break your lease if it does not end for a while, but that’s ok. Add the extra cost to your moving budget so you won’t have any financial surprises at the end.

If you are a homeowner, get your house on the market fast while there is little competition. You’ll want your house to be the first to sell. Of course, if the house and yard are in disrepair it may take longer to sell than a spiffy new building with hardwood floors and the latest appliances and counter tops. But that’s ok; since you have no place to go yet you will have time to make some repairs and upgrades.  I have a list of local contractors and handymen that you could pick through to hire to help you, but do it fast to schedule them or you may be put on a waiting list…or DIY.

  1. Regardless of whether you rent or own, since you are moving, start packing. There might be a run on supplies and that would be horrible if you move but cannot pack your things. Boxes, tape and packing materials are expensive; add it to your budget. This is a good time to purge your belongings, too. I mean, really, if you’re one of the millions heading overseas, it will be so much cheaper for you to get rid of all that you have and lighten your load. Go shopping once you find a new hometown.

I have also read many times on the internet that many kind people will help you move. Specifically, I saw one woman’s Facebook post about her friend that wanted to leave the country after the election and she was offering to help her pack. How sweet and neighborly. So my point is, if you need help, there seem to be a lot of people that will give you a hand. And if you decide to purge your belongings, maybe those helpers would like them, too.6140787735_d253bfd60a_o

  1. Make arrangements for a truck. There are only so many to go around and if all of those people move at the same time, it will be difficult to get a truck when you need it, so make your truck reservations now. You could, in fact, order a storage container for the short term. The company you choose can bring the container to you, you pack it up and they’ll store that unit until you need it. When you find a new home just call them to deliver it. Remember that extra storage time and long-distance travel will cost you, so make note of that in your budget.
  2. Cancel your utilities, lawn care service, pest control, your daughter’s ballet lessons, pet walking service, and any upcoming doctor appointments. Empty your aquarium and give away the fish. Reptiles that you aren’t taking with you should go to a pet rescue service or a good friend. Have your mail held if you do not know your new address yet; have it forwarded if you do. Magazines don’t get forwarded so be sure to call them each about your move. Students will need to fill out the necessary paperwork to withdraw from school (sorry but tuition is non-refundable at most schools by this time of year). Notify your bank and other financial institutions, credit card companies, safe deposit box and credit monitoring subscriptions. These might put a hold on your accounts if they see unusual movement. You can’t move without money so make sure they know you are moving. Schedule car maintenance asap so you can get where you want to go in a safe car, even if it is just to the airport. Make sure your tags and ID cards are current. Of course if you are a homeowner, keep the utilities on so the house doesn’t mold over while it sits vacant waiting for a buyer. You can switch the utilities to the new owners. Get your children’s school records, doctor records, and stock up on prescriptions. Call your insurance company to let them know you are moving. They can advise you on keeping your stuff safe during the move.
  3. Empty out the refrigerator and pantry. Eat down your inventory and have friends handy on moving day to take the stuff you couldn’t eat. If you are using a moving company, drink all of your liquor now! They won’t pack or move liquids.
  4. Pack your bags for as many days as you’ll need until your stuff arrives at your new home or until you can get to the nearest shopping district in your new hometown. Keep valuable items with you at all times.
  5. Consider what to do with Fido or Miss Kitty. Make arrangements now.
  6. Hire a cleaning service to come in after you so you leave your place the way you originally found it.

Whew!  Are you sure you want to do this?

Just remember, I’m here to help whether you want to move away from or move to this great little town of Oxford, MS.

Bon Voyage.

Eileen Saunders is a Realtor® with Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford, MS. She is an expert at moving,  having moved 15 times in 23 years, buying, selling, and renting houses along the way. Her soon-to-be published book, tentatively titled “Moving,” chronicles her family’s adventures over the past years and includes tips to make your moves smoother and less stressful. You can reach Eileen at her office, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 or by phone: 662-234-5344 or 662-404-0816. Eileen is a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® and believes in Equal Housing for all.

photo credit: libertygrace0 Moving House via photopin (license)

3 Low-Cost Tips to Fix Leaky Windows

  • Got Leaky Windows? 3 Low-Cost Tips to Fix Them

    I used to hang an extra woolly robe in my bathroom because my post-shower route took me past a window so drafty it made me wonder about the etymology of “window.” Turns out it comes from the Anglo-Saxon “vindr” and “auga,” which translates as “wind eye.” How appropriate. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Reprinted with permission

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

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

 

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