Central Mississippi Real Estate and Community News

April 5, 2024

River Forest Homes for Sale Updated

Are you looking for Homes for Sale in Brandon, MS?  Make sure to check out River Forest, which is conveniently located to shopping, restaurants and grocery all within 5-10 minutes from the neighborhood. And about 20 minutes to the airport if you need quick access to the Jackson, MS airport. River Forest is also located within Rankin County School District serviced by Flowood Elementary and Northwest Rankin middle and high schools.

Check out this video for a tour of one of the beautiful homes in River Forest.

 

Now let’s get into some neighborhood facts.

River Forest is a fairly newer neighborhood that was started in 2017 and it consists of existing and new construction. There are currently five active listings and they are all new construction. They range in price from $450,000 to $538,900 and square footage falls from 2,169 to 2,623 and they are all 4 Bedrooms/3 Bath floor plans. There will be morel listings throughout the year as they are adding on and finishing phase IV of the neighborhood. Most of the lots are close to a quarter acre, so you do have room for a decent sized front and back yard. There are not any neighborhood amenities such as a pool, so the neighborhood HOA dues are low. 

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

 

In the last 12 months, there have been 6 homes sold with prices ranging from $490,900 to $554,900 and the average square footage being 2,531. So stay tuned and we are going to do a walk through of one of the new construction homes in River Forest so you can take a peek at what type of home you could get!

Posted in Neighborhood Tours
March 29, 2024

Madison MS Homes For Sale

Tired of your hometown and want to find a great town in the Southern US that's consistently voted the top city in our State?  Well, let's dive into why Madison is the BEST!  Once you're done reading this, no doubt you'll want to find your own Madison MS Home to buy!

 

Madison is consistently given an A+ rating on niche.com for things like Safety, Schools, Home Prices, etc.  The median household income for Madison is $123,600, which is substantially higher than the national average.  

 

Madison MS Homes for Sale

 

As a native Mississippian and someone that's live in Madison for well over 20 years, it's easy to see why Madison is the best city in the state!  The thing I love and have learned to appreciate about Mississippi and especially Madison is the slower, more peaceful pace of life.  As a town of about 30,000 people, there’s almost never any traffic, the weather is mostly warm and and the town is clean!!!   Madison has several  neighborhoods with lakes, like Lake Caroline, where you can live in this lake community starting at around $350k which gets you a nice brick home, 3 bed, 2 bath and fairly new construction. 

 

 

There are lots of higher end neighborhood also, like Reunion, which is situated on a gorgeous 18 hole golf course where home prices typically start around $600,00 up to around $1,500,000.  Most of the homes in Madison are in covenant protected communities, which also helps keep the home values from falling.  Nothing worse than having your next door neighbor decide they want to paint their home an atrocious color or start a graveyard for dead cars out front!  

 

Madison is a short 20 minute drive to Jackson, MS, so if you work in the city at one of the many hospitals or in the downtown part of Jackson, the commute to Madison is a no brainer!  Many is a quiet bedroom community, and mostly residential.  There are lots of parks to stroll, walking trails, and bike trails around the Rez.  Madison's neighbor to the south, is the small city of Ridgeland that has some great restaurants and shopping.  There's a Costco, Apple Store, Barnes and Noble, Orvis, Anthropologie just to name a few!  

 

Let's talk a little more about why some people moving from out of state find it difficult AT FIRST to find a Madison MS home for sale...well part of that reason is because they start of looking for rentals.  Well, you won't find ANY apartments in the city of Madison.  The Mayor forbids it and that won't likely change.  In fact, it's even difficult to find a home to rent.  The rate of home ownership is 95%, and that's something that is significantly higher than the national average.  The city is not friendly to big investors buying homes here just to rent.  In fact, many neighborhood HOA have changed their covenants in the past few years to forbid rentals.  So, this can be a bit of a deterrent when looking to move here, but no fear...you can easily find a smaller home to purchase that will hold its value for years to come.  The home prices in Madison have consistently risen year over year, even when some parts of the country have seen a bubble burst, but not here!   

 

Like much of the nation, Madison is currently experiencing and inventory shortage and there are only 191 homes for sale as I write this post.  Here's a LINK to all active Madison listings, and this is updated every 15 minutes.  So, if you're looking for a Madison MS Home for sale, check back often!

 

 

One thing I’d also like to mention for those of you that don’t know much about Madison…over the last 10 or so years, as the east side of town ran out of land, new construction has pushed to the west side of the Interstate. What was once lacking in shopping and restaurants has really started to pick up some great spots.There’s a high end Mexican restaurant, coffee/donut shop, Asian , Mediterranean and even a new restaurant called the Twisted Turnip, which I ate at today.It’s only been opened for a couple of weeks, and it was super tasty.There’s also a new grocery store called Sullivans…and new shops being added every month it seems like.This new area is only about 4 miles from Lake Caroline, so no more having to drive to Jackson or Ridgeland for good food!

 

Taylor Realty Group

 601-613-9100

Posted in Buying a Home
March 29, 2024

Is Jackson Mississippi a Good Place to Live

So, you're wondering if Jackson, MS is a good place to live?

 

There are many people that live in the Capital City of Mississippi that will say. "YES"!  But, I hear the chatter you guys are making about my disdain for Jackson, and the squabbling about your frustrations about how I’m giving an unfair picture of living in the City of Jackson.  So, in today’s video I’m going to share the good things about living in Jackson, because it’s not all bad…and you can decide for yourself if you think Living in Jackson is a better option that the neighboring cities. 

 

Our channel was started 2 years ago and continues today to try to help people that are looking to relocate decide whether Mississippi is a good place to live …or not?  So, it’s our mission to help people see by video what is not always easy to find through a simple google search. 

 

So first, a little about Jackson, which is the capital city of Mississippi, and currently has a population of around 153,000 people.  Unlike other cities in the greater Jackson metro area that have been consistently growing over the last 20 years, Jackson’s population is shrinking.  In 1990 the population of Jackson was 30% more than it is today.  We can discuss all day long why people are leaving the city, and you’ll get all sorts of answers.  But, I thought it might be better to let the some video do the talking.  Just like with any city, especially capital cities, there are good parts and there are bad parts.  Jackson is no different, there are definitely some good parts of Jackson.  When I say good parts, I mean where the home values are steady, the streets are in good shape and the violent crimes are lower than the national average.  The city of Jackson is given an overall rating by Niche.com of C+.

 

So, let’s talk about the positive things in Jackson.  There are some nice restaurants and shopping areas on the northeast side of the city.  Actually, the only Whole Foods in the entire state of Mississippi is located in Jackson.  The shopping center where the WF is, which is Highland Village, has several great shops and restaurants.  There’s a lululemon, Vineyard Vines, Kendra Scott, Pure Barre and lots of smaller local boutiques.  Some of the best restaurants in our area are in this small quadrant of Jackson. There’s also some nice pockets of town in Belhaven and Fondren. Over the last several years, there’s been some nice revitalization in Belhaven and Fondren and you can really see the change and the new restaurants and shops that have consistently been popping up over the last few years.

 

Let’s look at employment opportunities in Jackson.  If you work in the medical field, there are 4 major hospitals located in Jackson.  There are also plenty of government jobs just like you’d expect in any capital city.  There are also several banks that are headquartered in Jackson, for all you bankers looking to relocate.  There are lots of businesses downtown, and it’s a nice safe place, but the nightlife for a capital city is just about non existent, so if you’re a young med student or looking to rent, there’s some really nice areas at the District, which is a nice development on the northside of town that has a nice Marriott and nice apartments to rent.

 

So, let’s talking about housing costs in Jackson.  During the last 6 months there were 790 homes sold ranging in price from 6,000 up to 887,000.  The average though was $116,000.  So what can you expect for that average price?  You can expect a 3 bed, 2 bath home that was likely built in the 1950 - 60’s and a quarter acre lot.

 

So, I did some driving this weekend, to South Jackson, where I actually grew up back in the 70’s and 80’s.   And I have to admit, I didn’t even recognize it.  At least 30%, maybe more of the homes has windows boarded shut, roofs caving in, or just completely abandoned and neglected.  Also, I don’t know how anyone drives around here at night, the potholes, omg!  Some of them are clearly marked with orange barrels, that I hate to guess how long they’ve been there.  But others, you really need to drive about 10 mph, to keep your car from bottoming out! 

 

Another reason that living in Jackson isn’t for the weak, is the struggle that City has to meet basic 1st world living needs.  Take the water crisis for example.  For years, the City has struggled to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to it’s residents.  It’s gotten so bad in the last few years, that it’s made national news…just google “Jackson water crisis” and you can read all about the theories of how it got to be so bad.  

 

Then there’s trash pick up debacle.  Apparently, the city can’t come to a resolution on a contractor to pick up the trash and was fined the by DEQ.  This issue has been going on a couple of years now, and it’s still not solved.

 

And then there’s the crime, wow, For the last few years, Jackson’s homicides per capita beats just about any other city in the nation. If you look at Niche’s crime and safety numbers are double, some triple the national average.  This really makes me sad, because I hate violence and want to see the capital of our great state succeed.  I firmly believe that when Jackson succeeds, the whole state will benefit.  I wish I knew what it would take to get there, and I’m sure some of you will comment on your opinion, but the fact remains that 
Jackson has been falling down a slippery slope for over 40 years now and it sure seems hopeless when you ride around some parts of the city. 

 

Oh, and big shout out to some fellow Realtors Locke Ward and Casey Bridges for starting an organization a few months ago to help clean up the streets in Jackson.  They got so tired of seeing all the trash and neglect of the curbs and storm drains, and have tirelessly been cleaning them up everyday.  Ultimately, I believe it will take more residents like these 2 guys to personally take on making Jackson a better place to live.  

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

Posted in Buying a Home
March 25, 2024

Lost Rabbit

If you’re looking for a beautiful lake front neighborhood in Central MS, where you can fish, waterski, and have access to your own marina to enjoy the surrounding beauty, you must watch today’s video on Lost Rabbit.  Be sure and stay tuned to the end of the video below, we will tour one of the new construction homes that is currently on the market.  

What's the Deal with that Name?

 

What is Lost Rabbit you might be thinking?  What a strange name?  Well, legend has it that back in the 1960’s, which was around the same time the Pearl River Reservoir was made, a group of teenagers shot a rabbit and left it to come back later to get it and cook it, but when they returned, the rabbit was gone.  So, for the next 40’s years, the name LOST RABBIT stuck, and in the early 2000’s when the Pearl River Valley Authority decided to develop the land, they let the name stay, since it already had the name recognition.  The official name of the neighborhood is The Town of Lost Rabbit.  When development plans began around 2003, there were plans called for a marina and yacht club, 3 small but unique neighborhoods, and a town center.  But, when the economic crisis of 2008 happened, the developer pulled out and for several years, development stalled until around 2015 when a new developer came in and started building and it hasn’t slowed down since.  The master plan for Lost Rabbit calls for around 700 homes, but today there are only about 250.  One of the unique characteristics of Lost Rabbit is the architecture of the homes.  Driving into Lost Rabbit’s tree lined streets thru the Historic Natchez Trace, sets the tone for a showplace along the main blvd, featuring beautiful 2 story homes with a tree lined walking path down the avenue leading to the 33,000 acre lake known by locals as the Rez.

 

Do I need Flood Insurance?

 

Many people ask about flood insurance, well that’s not necessary here.  The Pearl River Valley Authority that manages this man-made reservoir is flood controlled by a dam with a gate, so it won’t flood.  The Reservoir was built in the early 1960’s to help supply water to the City of Jackson and control flooding down the Pearl River.  The reservoir extends to Rankin County on one side and Madison County on the other side and is connected by a spillway, which is where the flooding is controlled.  

 

 

What's there to do?

 

There are lots of recreational activities that are available on The Rez.  Over the years it’s became very popular for outdoor enthusiasts.  There are many campsites available, lots of walking/biking paved trails, champion fishing, boating, tubing, and water skiing.  There are lots of annual events around the Rez, especially in the summertime like the summer concert series. 

 

What's Happening Lately?

 

So, let’s get to the point of this BLOG…the 2024 update!  There’s been a lot of substantial growth in just the last 12 months.  That includes the building of a new mixed used building that has a General Store on the main floor, and a craft/cocktail bar that is opening May of 2024.  There are also condos built above the store, there are still 3 units that are all 2 bedroom/ 2 bath units ranging in price from $568k-$575k.  There is also a new phase that will have 37 homes, known as Phase 4.  As of today, there are 7 new construction homes on the market ranging in price from $620k to $699k most are 4 bedroom/3 bath ranging in size from 2,500-2,900 sq feet.  Later this summer/fall there will be more homes becoming available that are just starting construction.  So, if you aren’t quite ready to make the move, check back later this summer. The homes that are currently active are zero lot lines, so if you’re looking for very low yard maintenance, this could be a great fit.   Conversely, if you’re looking for a big yard with lots of space between you and your neighbors, this is definitely not for you.  But, Lost Rabbit has lots of green space and parks, so there is room to roam around, just maybe not in your own backyard. Most homes for sale in Madison, MS have about a quarter acre to half acre lot, so Lost Rabbit homes are definitely on a smaller lot, but boy oh boy do the views make up for it!  

Lost Rabbit

 

 

Next let’s talk about schools.  Lost Rabbit is located in the Madison Avenue Elementary school zone  (which is only about 3 miles away) and Madison Middle and Madison Central High School.  There is also Madison Ridgeland Academy and St. Anthony and St. Joe Catholic Schools nearby if you’re looking for other school options. 

 

What about fees?

 

Lost Rabbit is on Pearl River Leasehold land, so there's a fee for that ranging from $900-

$1,800 per year.  But, since Lost Rabbit is located just outside of the city limits of Madison, the property taxes are lower than the city rate.  Currently, the HOA fee is $1,375 annually.  

 

Here's a link to all active Lost Rabbit listings, check it out.  

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

 

Posted in Neighborhood Tours
March 22, 2024

Best Cities in Mississippi

Join us today as we explore the top cities in Mississippi, perfect for those seeking safety, excellent schools, and affordability. Let's dive right in!

 

In this video I’ve picked the 5 best cities and as native Mississippian who’s lived and traveled this state for over 40 years, I’ll give you some insight on how I arrived at my top 5 along with some truths about why some of the cities that google will tell you are great places and why they aren’t on my list.  And for those of you not familiar with Mississippi, the first thing you might think of when you hear about our state is the Mighty Mississippi River, well none of the towns on my list today are on or near the river…that’s because most of the towns along the river aren’t somewhere you’d want to live.  And Mississippi gets a bad rap sometimes…as being the last on so many lists, but there truly are some great cities here!

 

 

As I go thru my list, I’ll be giving you stats on the population for each town, the area attractions along with what you can expect to pay for housing.  I find that everyone looking to relocate has their own personal reasons for choosing a town that is right for them.  Some of you are looking for things that are best for your family with school aged children, while some people are looking to simply get away from harsh winters.  Whatever your reason, I hope to shed some light on why Mississippi might be a great place for you to call home.

 

So counting down….First up on the list is Oxford, MS.  Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss.  The first thing that might come to mind is that Oxford is only a college town.  And it’s true that’s definitely a vibe there, but there’s so much more to Oxford than collegiate activities. Despite its small size, which is currently about 25,000 people, Oxford is home to a thriving cultural scene and it hosts art events regularly.  There are several small Gallery’s throughout the town. Oxford is also know to have a great foodie scene as well.  The schools in Oxford are given an A rating according to Niche.com and Crime is given a rating of C.  The square in Oxford, which has been around since the city was incorporated back in 1837 is home to a variety of shops and boutiques. Oxford is also just a short 1 hour and a half drive to Memphis, so if you’re looking for some a quick weekend get away to the blues capital of the world, you’ll like that aspect. Housing prices in Oxford range greatly depending on how close to the campus you are.  There are smaller homes starting in the mid 200’s up to a little over 2 million for a luxury estate, but the average price is around $330k.  Oxford is one of those quaint towns that claims once you come to visit, you’ll want to move there.  It really is a fun town, if you have the opportunity, definitely worth a visit. 

 

Number 4 on my list is Southaven, Mississippi.  Southaven is one of those lesser-known towns in Mississippi that has seen a big growth in population the last 20 years.  It’s located in North Mississippi and is really considered a suburb of Memphis, TN.  I picked Southaven for my list today for those of you that don’t really like a small town and want to live closer to large metropolises, but still enjoy the things that a small town offers.  Southaven has a population of 55,000 people and is a short 20-minute drive to Memphis.  So, you can live in Southaven where the schools and crime both are rated B+ and still have the night live and fun big city things to do in Memphis on the weekend. Or if you looking to work, a lot of people commute to Memphis and prefer to live in Southaven.  The median home price is $200k, so you can really get your housing dollar to go a long way.

 

3rd on my list is Hattiesburg, MS.  Hattiesburg is home to the University of Southern Miss, but unlike Oxford, the school doesn’t dominate the town. That’s because this university is smaller than Ole Miss by about half.  Also, Ole Miss is part of the SEC conference, where “Southern Miss” as it’s referred to locally, is part of a smaller conference that doesn’t seem to get near as much sports hype at SEC schools. Hattiesburg is located about 90 miles south of Jackson.  But not too far south that it’s considered part of the coast, so they are rarely impacted by hurricanes.  Hattiesburg is known has the hub city…because many many years ago, it was the intersection of the railroad industries.  But today, we still refer to it as that because in less than a 3 hour drive you can be in New Orleans, the panhandle beach area of Alabama and Florida, or to Baton Rouge, LA.  Hattiesburg’s population is 48,000 people and it’s rated B+ by niche.com.  The average price of a home here is very affordable in the mid $200’s.

 

The next two on my list are in Central MS.  They are outside of the Capital city of Jackson and both of these are good options for jobs due to the major hospitals located in Jackson and the professional jobs.  So, number 2 on my list is Flowood, MS.  Flowood is located to the east of Jackson in Rankin County, and the population is only 10,000 people.  By land mass, it’s very small, but because it’s squeezed in between Brandon and Jackson, it doesn’t really feel like a small town.  It’s only a 15 minute drive to Jackson if you have to commute for work.  Niche gives Flowood an overall A+ rating.  There are lots of dining and shopping options.  There are larger National big box stores and restaurants and plenty of smaller boutique brands as well.  Actually, Flowood’s commercial development  is one of the fastest growing in the state. Flowood also has one of the nicest parks in the area,  winner circle park that was voted best park in the entire state last year. The average home price here is higher than the other cities I’ve covered so far, coming in at around $350,000.  Flowood is a relatively “new” town, it officially became a city in 1990.   So, most of the homes in the Flowood are newer, relatively speaking.  So, if you’re looking to relocated to Central MS, Flowood is a great option.

 

And finally, we are at #1.  The best city to live in the State of Mississippi, is Madison.  Madison is about 10 miles North of Jackson.  So, like Flowood it’s also rated A+ overall by Niche.   Madison’s population is around 30,000 people and a little more residential compared to Flowood.  There are still national big box stores that’d you’d recognize, but there are more neighborhoods to choose from than Flowood.  The median price is going up a little here and is currently close to $400k, but the interesting thing about Madison is the rate of home ownership.  94% of the residents in Madison actually own their homes, and to me that is obvious when you drive through the neighborhoods and see the clean streets and well-kept homes.  Another interesting stat on Madison is the high median household income, which is currently $125,000, which is about 60% higher than the national average.  So, with the higher home prices, comes a higher tax base which is a big reason why the schools in Madison are rated high. Another thing to take note about Madison is there are no apartment complexes in the city, unlike the other towns of my list.  The mayor of the city, Mary Hawkins Butler, has been in office for over 40 years.  She won’t let apartments in…which some folks might not like, but hey, that’s probably one of the main reasons the home values have stayed steadily increasing every year.

 

I hope I’ve shed some light on which city is the best to live in Mississippi.  Moving to a new town really is a personal preference and those things that you prioritize are different for everyone depending on your needs and wants.  

If you are looking in Central MS, be sure to check our website www.taylorgroupms.com

 

 

I get calls all the time from people that are moving to the Central MS area, especially the Madison and Flowood areas, my number is in the description below.

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

 

Posted in Buying a Home
March 22, 2024

Home Buying in Central MS

Buying a home is a big deal and navigating the real estate landscape can be overwhelming. But fear not, because in this video, we’re going to demystify the process of buying a home in Central MS. Buckle up, grab a seat and let’s dive into the video!

 

First up is understanding the central Mississippi market. Currently between Brandon and Madison, there are 380 active listings, ranging in price from $52,000 to $1,750,000. So as you can see there is plenty to choose from, no matter your price point. Homes in the Central MS area typically sell quick so if you are starting your home search, be sure to be prepared so you don’t lose out on your dream home! And that leads us to the first step in the home buying process, accessing your finances and credit score followed up with a call to a mortgage lender and if you don’t know where to start, reach out to me and I can put you in touch with reputable local lenders. This is a critical part in the process for the reasons of you will know your budget, loan type and other key items that will narrow down exactly what area and type of home you can consider. And if you are not aware, there are several different home loans and the down payment requirements all differ. USDA and VA loans are $0 down to qualified buyers, FHA is minimum 3.5% down and conventional loans are anywhere from 3-20 percent down so you do have options to explore what works best for you. A mortgage lender will be able to walk you through every step to find the your best financial choice. Once you have the mortgage loan details worked out, that’s when you can start the fun part of touring homes and finding the right one for you!

That takes us to the next step, finding the right real estate agent who knows the central MS market well. (I may know of one, hint hint 😉) Make a wish list of your wants and needs that you are looking for in a home and share those with your agent so they can keep that in mind when searching for properties for you and one thing a lot of buyers don’t understand is that your agent can show you any home listed in our MLS and make appts for you to view so that stress is taken off of you as a buyer. Your agent is there to guide you through every step of the process and negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible. An experienced and knowledgeable agent is very important in the negotiation process and in the home buying journey. 

When the time has come and you find that perfect home that you want to submit an offer on, you will work with your agent to come up with a competitive and reasonable offer to submit to the seller. The seller will then accept, reject or make a counter offer. A counter offer is when they suggest different terms than the original offer such as different sales price, closing costs, additional terms etc. When both the buyer and sellers come to an agreement, the contract is then executed by both parties and you proceed to the next step which is typically the home inspection. This helps identify any potential issues or necessary repairs. The buyer gets to choose which licensed home inspector they would like to perform the inspection and if you are not familiar with any, your real estate agent can give you several suggestions to choose from. Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a written report from the inspector and you can submit a list of repair requests to the seller. Based on the inspection results, you may need to negotiate with the seller for repairs, repair credit or adjustments to the selling price. Also if anything major comes back on the inspection that you are not comfortable with moving forward, you as the buyer do have the right to forego the contract. Once everything is settled and finalized with the home inspection, the lender will then order the appraisal. A home appraisal is a process through which a real estate appraiser determines the fair market value of a home by using comparables of similar homes sold in the same area as the subject home. 

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

Posted in Buying a Home
March 3, 2024

Unique Places to Visit in Mississippi

5 Hidden gems in Mississippi! Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a traveler seeking unique experiences, you’re in for a treat. I’m uncovering Mississippi’s best kept secrets. So, if you’re curious about the hidden gems that make Mississippi truly special, read on, or check out the video!

 

First up is the historic Natchez Trace. The Natchez Trace is a historic trail and modern scenic highway that extends 81 miles through Mississippi. It follows the route of a centuries-old Native American trail that connected the Mississippi River to the salt licks in the Cumberland River Valley.

Key points about the Natchez Trace:

          

         Today, the Natchez Trace is preserved and managed by the National Park Service as the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Parkway is a two-lane road with a speed limit designed for leisurely travel, making it a popular route for scenic drives, cycling, and hiking.

         The Natchez Trace Parkway passes through diverse landscapes, including forests, farmland, and river valleys. There are numerous pull-offs, overlooks, and historical sites along the route, providing opportunities for visitors to appreciate the natural beauty and learn about the area's history.

         Some notable points of interest along the Natchez Trace Parkway include the Emerald Mound, Mount Locust, and the Sunken Trace. Additionally, there are several recreational areas, hiking trails, and campgrounds along the route.

         There are several visitor centers along the Parkway that offer information, exhibits, and educational resources about the history and natural features of the Natchez Trace.

Whether you're interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying a scenic drive, the Natchez Trace Parkway provides a unique and picturesque journey through the Magnolia State.

Next up is an attraction on the Mississippi Gulf Coast -  Ship Island is a barrier island located off the coast of Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which encompasses several barrier islands along the Gulf Coast. Ship Island is known for its beautiful beaches, historic fortifications, and diverse wildlife. Ship Island is renowned for its white sandy beaches and clear waters. Visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the Gulf, and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. In addition to beachcombing and exploring the historic fort, visitors can engage in various recreational activities such as snorkeling, shelling, and nature walks. Before planning a visit, it's advisable to check the ferry schedule, as services may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. Ship Island offers a unique combination of history, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities for those looking to experience the Gulf Coast. Adding on to while you are in the area, be sure to check Ocean Springs for a quick weekend getaway. Ocean Springs is a charming city located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Ocean Springs has a thriving artistic community with numerous galleries, studios, and art events. The city hosts the annual "Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival," one of the largest fine arts festivals in the Southeast. The downtown area is known for its historic architecture, boutique shops, art galleries, and a variety of dining options. Visitors can explore the picturesque streets, filled with vibrant shops and eateries. Whether you're interested in exploring art galleries, enjoying the beach, or learning about the city's history, Ocean Springs has a lot to offer.

Next and very local to the Madison/Brandon, MS area, the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The Ross Barnett Reservoir is a large artificial lake and covers approximately 33,000 acres. The reservoir was created by impounding the Pearl River and was completed in 1965. It is named after Ross R. Barnett, the Governor of Mississippi from 1960 to 1964. The primary purpose of the Ross Barnett Reservoir is to serve as a water supply for surrounding areas. Additionally, it provides recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, and camping. The reservoir is a popular destination for outdoor activities and is surrounded by parks, marinas, waterfront restaurants and other amenities. Fishing enthusiasts can find a variety of fish species in the reservoir, including bass, crappie, catfish, and bream. Boating is also a popular activity, and the reservoir offers several boat ramps and marinas.

The Ross Barnett Reservoir plays a significant role in the region's water management and serves both practical and recreational purposes for the local community and visitors alike.

Lastly and where we actually are today is Red Bluff. Located about an hour and a half from Brandon. Red Bluff is situated in Foxworth, MS in Marion County. Red Bluff is well known for its hiking and is called the Grand Canyon of Mississippi. It features a moderately challenging one mile trail that usually takes 45-60 mins to complete. This massive formation stands at 400 feet above sea level, creating unforgettable views and an amazing hiking experience. The area was created by the natural erosion of the Pearl River and hikers can access the river and follow it through the woods. If you are looking to experience the great outdoors of Mississippi than look no further than Red Bluff and experience a wide range of activities. 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

Posted in Community News
Feb. 25, 2024

Best City to Retire

Retiring in Mississippi may well just be the best decision you make! Today we’re diving into the serene beauty of Mississippi's best retirement haven and we’re starting right now! 

 

 

Hi, I’m Donna Taylor with Living in Central MS.  Today we are looking at the “Certified Retirement City” of Madison MS, when it was first earned it’s designation in 2004.  There are currently 13 cities in Mississippi with this designation.  To be considered certified retirement, a city has to meet certain benchmarks to provide a community that meets certain safety measures,  has programs for retirees, and adequate healthcare options, and is considered to have relatively low cost of living.  Madison must get recertified every 3 years to maintain this designation. 

 

For those of you not familiar with Madison, let me tell you a little about it.  Madison is located just north of the city of Jackson.  Madison has it’s own water systems, A Rated public schools, top notch police force enforcing a very safe city, all with a population of about 28,000 people.  There’s not a lot of traffic here and with warm weather for about 11 out of the 12 months, it’s no wonder seniors love living here.  Another thing that you seniors love is the southern hospitality, if you’re looking for a place that has a strong sense of community, Madison is a great option.  According to the city’s website, which by the way, has a wealth of information…make sure you check it out at www.madisonthecity.com has the demographics for the city and all of their crime statistics, which touts Madison as the safest city in Mississippi for the past 3 consecutive years (2019-2021). Another thing that’s impressive about Madison is 93% of it’s residents own their own homes.  Think about that for a second…that’s pretty impressive when you consider that for most towns only 66% of it’s residents own their own.  Having such a high level of home ownership is a big part of what keeps our home values strong year after year. Madison also boasts that 68% of it’s residents have a 4 year degree or higher, compared to the national average of only 22%. 

 

Another thing that many retirees want to know when relocating to a new town is what’s the healthcare options like. First, there are 4 major hospitals in Jackson, which is about a 20-30 minute drive from Madison, which are St. Dominic’s, The University of MS Medical Center, Baptist Hospital on the VA Hospital.  Most of these hospitals have satellite clinics in Madison, so if you need appointment for regular doctor office visits, there are plenty of options for that right in the City!

 

Madison has a calendar packed with events tailor-made for retirees. Whether you're into therapeutic chair stretching, cardio classes, yoga, or line dancing, there's something for everyone. If socializing and games are more your speed, they've got Bridge, Bingo, and Bunco too! You can try out some classes for a small fee or opt for a low monthly fee once you find your groove. It's like a retirement paradise!  And it’s very affordable. And for those of you that enjoy playing Golf, there are a few country club options too.  There’s the very high-end Reunion Golf and Country Club that is a 18 hole par 72 course designed by Bob Cupp.  It has a gorgeous Club House that was built in 2019 that is sure to impress the finickiest golfers.  There’s also the Annandale Golf Course which was designed by Jack Nicklaus.  Then there’s the more affordable Whisper Lake Country Club for those of you on a budget.  It’s a smaller 64 par course, but joining Whisper Lake which is just a few hundred dollars, also gets you a membership at nearby Lake Caroline which is right outside the city limits of Madison, but still in Madison County.

 

Madison truly knows how to blend city living with nature! The parks offer a delightful escape. Strawberry Patch Park, with its picnic tables and a scenic one-mile paved walking trail circling a picturesque one-acre lake, sounds like a serene spot. And Liberty Park, boasting a longer 1.5-mile paved walking trail, must be a great place to stretch your legs and soak in the surroundings. I’ve walked these 2 parks many times and there’s always something going on at both of them.

 

So, what about when the time of life comes where you need some assistance?  Well Madison has some of the best assisted living options too.  One of which is St. Catherine’s Village which offers independent living, assisted living and full care all the way to skilled nursing home. St. Catherine’s has been serving seniors in MS for over 35 years.  It truly is a well designed all inclusive continuing care retirement community located on 160 beautiful acres right in the heart of Madison.  There are a few other retirement communities including Sunnybrook Estates, which is rental only option, a little smaller and not quite as high end at St Catherine’s. There’s also Madison Home Place which is a little older and less expensive then the first 2 on my list.  They also offer independent and assisted living options.

St. Catherines Village

 

Madison only has one neighborhood that is a 55 and over community.  So, if you’re looking for  neighborhoods that are just for seniors, you won’t find those here.  But, Madison does have many varying neighborhoods where home prices start at around $300,000 and go up to around $1 million.  Many of the retirees that we’ve helped relocate here over the last few years find living in a neighborhood with a diverse age group keeps them feeling young anyways.  The average price on a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in Madison during the last 12 months was $317,000.  At this price you can expect a home that was built in the last 10 -15 years and averages around 1,800 sq feet on a quarter to half acre lots.  

 

Madison is as small city, but there’s still lots of restaurants and shops.  Some of the major retailers that you’ll find here are Home Depot, Lowe’s, CVS and Walgreens pharmacy, Walmart and Sam’s Club to name a few.  There are also many more small/boutique shops for those of you that prefer to support small local business. There’s also Malco Grandview Theatre with 17 screens and reclining seats.

 

I get calls all the time from people (including Seniors) that are moving to the Central MS area, especially the Madison Area, which was also by the way voted the best city in Mississippi.  So, reach out to me if you’re looking to by in or around the Madison area.  Or, if you’d like more info, my number is in the description below.

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

Posted in Community News
Feb. 14, 2024

Cost of Living Mississippi

If you’re eyeing Mississippi for your next home, or just curious about the living costs, you’re in for a ride. I’m here to guide you through ‘Living in Mississippi in 2024: Navigating Living Costs’ From housing to everyday expenses, stick around as we break down the essentials of living in this charming state. Whether you’re a local or potential resident, this video is your key to understanding the costs of living!

The cost of living in Mississippi is generally lower compared to the national average and ranked number one in the country for affordability.  Factors like housing, groceries, and transportation tend to be more affordable. Keep in mind that specific expenses can vary based on your location within the state. First, we are going to dive into the current housing market in Brandon, MS. The average home price for the area is $353,000 and the average rental price is $2,300 and of course that depends on which area and neighborhood you are looking in as that effects price, currently in the Brandon market home prices range from $80,000 to $1,595,000. The larger price homes are generally waterfront or on a larger parcel of acreage and typically there is a large number of homes to choose from in all price ranges. And speaking of home prices, you can expect your property taxes to be about .007 percent of your home value in Brandon which is significantly lower than the national average so that means more cash in your pocket! Also, homeowners who are 65 and older receive additional exemptions on property taxes!

Next up, is day to day expenses such as groceries, utilities, healthcare and transportation and according to CNBC, Mississippi ranks as an A plus for affordability for everyday costs. Your dollar seems to go a little farther in the Magnolia state as the average gallon of milk is $2.37 and an average electric bill seems to average around $153/monthly.. As of today, gas was marked at $2.47 a gallon so as you can see the costs of living is very economical for the Brandon area. Adding on to expenses, Mississippi is one of the states with no state income tax on social security benefits or retirement income, a nice perk for retirees and anyone long term planning. 

And if you are not close to retirement and wondering about the job market in Brandon, MS, the unemployment rate is a low 4.1 percent according to bestplaces.net and is reporting the average household income is around $86,000 and is expected to have future growth. The public-school districts in Brandon are also A rated so would not have to worry about private school costs unless you chose to go that route! As a Brandon resident myself, I can say I honestly love this town and everything about it and stay tuned and we will take a quick tour of an average price home in Brandon so you can get an idea of what you can get and hopefully you will be calling Brandon home soon!

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 15, 2024

Top 5 Brandon MS Neighborhoods

Hey everyone, Tinsley Mitchell here with Living in Central MS and recently I have had several clients moving to the Central MS area and Brandon MS is usually always one of their top places to look at when we start their home search and one of the top questions is “which neighborhoods should we look at?” and of course it is going to vary by each clients wishlist for a home but today we are going to use some analytics and basing this list on the number of homes sold and some neighborhoods will make the list based on the large side of the neighborhoods. As a realtor, I have access to all the closed listings in our MLS so I pulled data for the last 12 months so let’s see which neighborhoods come in the top 5 for most sold.

 

Coming in at number one is Castlewoods. Located just off of Hwy 25 and Lakeland Drive and only a short 5 minute drive to grocery, shopping and dining. It is about a 30 minute drive to Jackson and 20 minute drive to the airport. Castlewoods neighborhood is loaded with amenities such as the Castlewoods Country Club which features a 18 hole par 72 golf course, resort style swimming pool, splash pad,  tennis courts, gym and restaurant. Castlewoods consist of homes of different ages some being built in the 1980s to new construction and it houses single family style house to townhomes. HOA fees currently are $286 annually and in the last 12 months there have been 61 homes sold ranging in price from $115,000 to $680,900 with the average sale price being $390,000 and the square footage ranged 1,187 to 4,660. 

 

Number 2 is Crossgates and it was not far behind in numbers of homes sold from number one. Crossgates is located off of Hwy 80 and very close to downtown Brandon and the entire neighborhood is around 1,700 acres and it has a mixture of uses that include residential, commercial, medical, professional offices, restaurants and shopping centers. Things to consider with Crossgates is that it is majority older homes built in the 1970’s to early 2000s so not a ton of newer homes and the amenities include a park and pool and there is no HOA for majority of the neighborhood. In the last 12 months there have been 53 homes sold ranging in price from $152,000 to $255,000 and the average sq foot of those homes was 2,100 sq feet so you do get a little more square footage for less price it seems like in Crossgates. 

 

Number 3 is Greenfield Station located more on the outskirts of Brandon and just off of Hwy 468. Located about 15 minutes from downtown Brandon. Greenfield Station does consist of newer built homes and new construction with new phases to come! All of the homes are brick constructed and are either 3 or 4 bedrooms and most have decent sized backyards. The neighborhood consists of several different section and each has its own unique name all within Greenfield Station. Several lakes are scattered throughout and some of the homes are waterfront. There is a neighborhood pool and clubhouse and HOA dues are $380 annually. In the last 12 months 49 homes have been sold ranging in price from $210,000 to $335,000 with an average square footage being 1,590 square feet. Greenfield Station is great choice for a home if that falls within your price range.

 

Coming in at number 4 is Barnett Bend. Barnett Bend is located off of Old Fannin Road and is known for its smaller, cottage type homes with having an average square footage of 1,186 and the lot sizes are on the smaller side also. The homes are mostly brick and vinyl siding with carports and some garages.  The neighborhood is made up of 4 different sections and does not have amenities and no HOA. In the last 12 months there have been 37 homes sold ranging in price from $134,900 to $222,500. A plus to Barnett Bend is its location as it is very close to shopping and dining in Dogwood Festival Market.

 

And lastly coming in at number 5 is Farmington Station. Located also off of Old Fannin Rd and just down the street from Barnett Bend. Farmington Station is typically a pick for first time home buyers as the homes are  brick construction, 2 car garage and back yard space and not to mention the great location They are in a great price point also. There is an HOA and that price is $165 annually. In the last 12 months, there have been 27 homes sold ranging in price from $230,200 to $289,900 with the average sales price being $258,000. The average sq footage of the homes sold was 1,456,

 

I hope you find this information helpful if you are considering a move to Brandon MS and this list was based strictly off the number of sales. If none of these are what you are looking for in a home, then Brandon has plenty more to offer. Don’t forget to sign up on our website for daily market updates at www.taylorgroupms.com 

 

Taylor Realty Group

601-613-9100

Posted in Neighborhood Tours