Tag Archives: Oxford MS

Renovating Floors: Carpet, Tile, Vinyl, Wood

With very few houses on the market, homeowners are opting to renovate a room or two to freshen up what they have.

Paint, window treatments, rugs, furniture; don’t forget the floor. There is a wide variety of flooring choices these days. Here are a few to consider:

WOOD FLOORS

Wood floors are popular. Wood flooring not only comes in great choices like pine and walnut but you can also get engineered wood, laminate and more.wp-1592275375447.jpg

The variety of wood finishes and colors provide even more choices. Wood floors can be stained, lacquered or painted.

Upkeep is easy as long as you use products for cleaning that your flooring store recommends. Certain finishes have specific needs so before buying that wax or cleaner, make sure it is compatible to your type of floor.

Soft wood doesn’t maintain the new look for long in a house with a dog or in rooms with high traffic. Hard wood holds up better. While your wood floor can be a “forever” choice, area rugs can be changed often to perk up the decor in a room and protect the wood floor in heavily traveled areas.

TILE FLOORS

Tile floors seem to be self-explanatory but think again.

There are ceramic tile floors, teracotta tile floors, marble tiles, textured tiles, high gloss, matte and now porcelain tiles that look like wood planks. These can look so close to wood you might be fooled when you walk into a house with these porcelain tiles on the floor.

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Tile comes in a variety of finishes and sizes, can be laid horizontal or diagonal to the lines in the room and can be set in designs.

Tile floors are great in rentals, coastal homes and high-traffic areas because they are low maintenance. Tile is also recommended for rooms with water features, like laundry rooms and bathrooms. Some builders, insurance companies and code inspectors do not like wood floors in these rooms because wood can damage easily from water, but always check first because you may be able to get the wood floors into your kitchen if you’d like.

An expanse of tile floors over a concrete slab can keep your home a little cooler in the summer.  But in the winter (depending on where you live), you may feel a chill so consider an area rug for the season, or wear socks.

VINYL PLANK FLOORS

Vinyl is a great choice for rental property. Today’s vinyl isn’t like your mom’s 1970’s kitchen vinyl; it’s better and comes in sheets, planks that snap together, peel-and-stick tiles, and vinyl tiles that you can grout. There are some great prints designs, wood grain looks and solids.

This flooring choice is easy to clean, said to be water and stain proof, and can last a long time. Set properly in a large room you won’t see the seams if you have vinyl sheets, and a wood grain vinyl looks fantastic.

CARPET FLOORING

Carpet gets a bad rap sometimes because the wood look is currently trending and highly sought out.  But carpet, the wall-to-wall kind, is a great option.

Put it in small rooms and ones that don’t get much traffic: bedrooms, music rooms and home offices. Carpet provides a warm spot to put your feet when you step out of bed each morning. Used in a noisy area, carpeting can absorb some sound rather than allowing all of the noise to bounce around the uncovered floors, walls and windows.

Carpeting can look attractive but needs more care than other types of flooring. Regular vacuuming and steam cleaning can be time consuming and costly. It might be easier to wipe up a spill from a wood or vinyl floor than from a carpeted floor, but, it is still a great option and many homeowners and buyers still like carpet.

Area rugs are great to use over all types of floors. They add a splash of color to a dull room. Rugs provide warmth under foot and a soft spot on the floor to sit. Be sure to add a rug pad if you place it directly over wood because, in some cases, fibers or the underfinish of  a rug can react with the finish on your wood floors. You can also place an area rug over a wall-to-wall carpet. What?? Yes, layering rugs is a trend and looks fantastic.

Whether you are staying in your home or buying a new one, flooring is an important consideration. What type of flooring is your favorite?

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc – Oxford 2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344 eileen@tmhomes.com

Reasons to Buy a House or Condo for your college student

Investing in real estate is always a good idea. Why not start with your college student’s housing needs for an investment while at Ole Miss?

Most upper-level students do not have on-campus housing available to them at the university since it is secured mainly for freshman and Greek organizations. Finding an apartment, condo or house to rent off campus is not always easy, especially when your student doesn’t have particular friends to move in with.

Off-campus housing will assign you to a unit in their complex and you meet your apartment-mates usually a week before school starts. While these student-housing facilities do try to match students with people of similar study habits, noise level sensitivities, and interests, it does not always work out. When the year is over, your student is back to looking for another place to live.  How many times do you really want to move?

Did you know if a student moves out of one apartment complex and into another for the next school year, move-out date is always July 31st by noon and move-in date is always the week before school starts. If you choose to rent, reserve a storage unit now for next July-August and find a place for your child to stay during those 3 weeks. Storage units, hotel rooms and moving trucks/trailers are hard to find during that time and once reserved, are subject to cancellation without you being told.

Off-campus rental rates are competitive with on-campus dorm rates but get expensive depending on the facility. A single-bedroom unit will cost much more than a 4-bedroom apartment.  Many off-campus housing facilities offer amenities your child may not need or use, but these are built into the rental price.

Before deciding to pay rent to someone else, consider purchasing a house or condo for your child while they are at college. Here are some benefits to purchasing:

  1. Rather than pay rent (which pays someone else’s mortgage) pay down a mortgage loan on the house or condo that your child can live in for the duration of their college experience.
  2. When your child graduates, you can sell the condo. You’ll most likely recoup your monthly payments, over the 3-4 years you own it, with the sale price. (You cannot recoup rent payments made to someone else.)
  3. If you have other children who might attend, you already have housing waiting for them.
  4. If your student wants a roommate, rent out one of the extra bedrooms for income. Use it toward the mortgage or as living expenses for your child. You stay in control.
  5. A condo purchase will give you a tax break on mortgage interest each year.
  6. Your child can live away from the hustle and bustle of the off-campus student apartments. While some students want the excitement, many others would rather enjoy the quiet for studying and decompressing after a tough school day.
  7. Choose a condo size wisely. Multiple bedrooms offer you a place to stay when you visit.  Ole Miss and the City of Oxford have many events throughout the year you may want to attend. These include: Music, Theatre and Art department events and performances, Homecoming, Parent’s weekends, sports games and tailgating, Double Decker Arts Festival and, of course, graduation. While there are hotels and short-term rentals available, why bother with the added expense or the chance of not finding a room. Rates are high for special event’s weekends and can book months, if not the year, before.
  8. Condos have assigned parking and usually one spot per bedroom in each unit. So a 3-bedroom condo will have 3 parking spots. And don’t worry about special events weekends; most have security guards to keep out non-guests so your parking spot is assured.
  9. Most condos are on the public bus route in Oxford so your child can leave their car at home. Commuter parking passes on campus are reasonably priced if using their car is a must.
  10. Condos have restrictive association rules so you know the other residents/owners will guard their vested interest and make the community a safe and respected place to live.

Oxford, MS is a rural community and you may qualify for a variety of mortgage loans not available in larger cities. Consult a mortgage banker in Oxford for more information. Meet with your financial planner to find out if purchasing a condo is a wise choice based on your current financial situation. And, talk to a real estate attorney or title company about pros and cons of putting your student’s name on both the deed and the mortgage. When you’ve decided to hunt for a condo or house for your student to live in, call me to show you what is available.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors BOF-Oxford 2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655  662-404-0816/662-234-5344 eileen@tmhomes.com
This article was written by me and previously published on Parents of Ole Miss website

Oxford: A Retirement Community

Recently Oxford MS was featured in Where To Retire magazine.

Oxford is a great community for retirees. It offers a lot to do for retirement-aged residents. The University of Mississippi is a social connection for many retired alumni as well as for those retired residents who have no college connection here. Football, baseball, basketball and other sports and keep a fan busy year round.

There are plenty of classes for a retired person to participate that both the city of Oxford, private organizations and the university offer. Exercise classes, art classes, special interest classes are just a few.

Activities such as the Oxford Civic Chorus, volunteering opportunities, Newcomers Club, Thacker Mountain Radio and the monthly art crawl can fill up a calender quickly.

The weather, choice of restaurants, availability of doctors in Oxford, quality golf courses, low taxes and abundance of theatre productions also help to make Oxford MS the place retirees want to live in.

Many people have read headlines or accolades about the article in the January issue of Where To Retire but I suggest you get a copy of the magazine and read the original article. The writer visited Oxford several months ago, met with several retired residents for their view, toured the city, ate in the restaurants, stayed in a local hotel and visited places in Oxford that are special to the town.

I was asked to spend a few hours with both the writer and a representative from Visit Oxford. I gave them a real estate tour of the town and answered a lot of questions relating to how the city meets or can meet the needs of retirees.  My background and training as a Senior’s Real Estate Specialist (a designation earned through the National Association of Realtors) enables me to help the 50+ population with their special housing needs. These include downsizing, selling the family home, second home sales, aging in place, home design trends, multigenerational living and emotions involved in moving the aging population.  I work hard to stay on top of these issues so I can help buyers who want to retire in Oxford or move to a more aging-friendly home.

SRES 2011

I encourage you to look into the neighborhoods that were noted in the article and investigate others. Read what featured residents say about the town and why it became their new home town. Research the cost of living, crime rate, services and activities for active retiree living and for the elderly who may need any level of  assistance (in home help, transportation, personal shoppers, etc).

Oxford often finds itself on a “top” list and that says a lot for why the city is loved so much, but by reading the original articles about why Oxford is at the top of a list, you can learn more. This goes for any town or city that you may live in or want to live in.  Wouldn’t you want to know why it made the list?

As a real estate professional, I appreciate learning what people find interesting so I can pass that information along to the next person seeking an Oxford home for their retirement years or for a second home until they retire. Business owners and other professionals in town could use that information to not only stay above the competition, but to spot the trends that can help improve their business and better serve the population.

Where to Retire magazine has no online presence. It is available in a few stores around Oxford. Enjoy the article. I’m here to help if you want to search for your Oxford retirement house.

Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR, Tommy Morgan BOF-Oxford, 2092 Old Taylor Road #101, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816 (m) or 662-234-5344 (o) 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

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

College-Town Retirement

College towns can offer a lot to retirees:

  1. Cultural & sporting events20161110_195040.jpg
  2. Life-time-learning programs
  3. Diverse nightlife
  4. Infinite dining options
  5. Exercise trails and fitness facilities
  6. Public transportation and a cab system

Those are some of the things that make Oxford, MS attractive to retirees.  Not only is the University of Mississippi in the center of town, but Northwest Mississippi Community College is just a quick bus ride across Hwy 6. Additionally, Oxford is home to a regional medical facility and several Senior’s housing options.

So, what if you are considering retirement to a college town? Will you be purchasing a house or condo to age-in-place? Will you be joining a retirement community with an assisted living facility for future use? Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Know the cost. From single family housing to condos, what will be your fixed costs: HOA or condo fees, lawn maintenance, etc. Can you afford the cost of living
  2. How close to campus and the town’s amenities can you live? Does public transportation exist in the area you are considering to live?
  3. Know restrictions: visitors, pets, cars/RVs/boats, and gardening.
  4. Investigate the true benefits of the college or university if you want to take courses: tuition waivers, limit on classes per semester, online access and accessibility to campus events.

For more information about choosing a retirement destination, Click Here

“You can count on an SRES to guide you through the process of buying or selling your home, making the transaction less stressful and more successful.”

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

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

 

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.

Roof Repairs

I drive around town a lot to see what’s going on. I check out the neighborhoods for new construction, what’s for sale by owner, for rent, what is being remodeled.

Here’s what else I notice:

  • shutters that have fallen off their hinges,
  • roof shingles that have slipped or broken off from the latest storm; perhaps a branch scraped the roof on its way to the ground,
  • gutters hanging along the side of a house
  • fences that need repair, and more.

While broken shutters are a curb appeal issue, a missing or damaged roof shingle can cause harm to the house itself and needs attention.

Oxford seems to get a lot of rain and the last thing a homeowner wants is water dripping into the attic. Even a little once-in-a-while drip can cause damage in the long run.  If it gets in, it is sure to affect the rest of the house and that requires more repairing. A damp spot on the ceiling may not get noticed until it forms a stain. If you sell your house, you’ll have to put the leak and any damage that was repaired (or not) that you know of, in a disclosure for the new owners. And if you don’t know about it, the inspector will be sure to find the stain to alert you.Maison-fuite-leaky-house-2400px.png

It is best to check your roof on a regular basis. A walk around the house to take note of shingles, flashing, gutters and trim can help you stay on top of maintenance issues.  Put a scheduled walk-around on your  phone calendar for reminders. Every few years ask a roofer to give your roof an inspection. He can tell you the life expectancy of your roof, whether he sees any issues, and an on-the-spot estimate for maintenance.  If you’ve noticed some black stain lines on their roof, ask him what it would take to clean it up.

Homeowners should care for their homes to get the maximum life out of it. Caring for your home and the roof on a regular basis will maximize your selling potential if you decide to move.

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

photo source: openclipart.org; “maison fuite-leaky house by enolynn