time to buy house

When is the Best Time to Buy a House & Lock in a Mortgage?

In Home Buying, Housing Market by Jo Garner

Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe Tom King is going to talk about getting your timing right on ordering an appraisal for the highest value and the least amount of your cash out of pocket. I will be giving you some moves to take and cues to take on when and how to lock your mortgage terms so that you don’t end up paying more than you originally expected.  

Welcome to Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe where we offer you scenarios for your real estate financing scenarios. What interests you the most in the area of real estate or mortgage financing?   Are you trying to buy your first home?   Are you trying to refinance or restructure existing financing?  Are you a real estate investor?  

Subscribe at www.JoGarner.com so that we can stay connected.   If I can help you personally, please contact me at (901) 482-0354 or email me at jo@jogarner.com

To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer and Radio Talk Show Host



Hello, Memphis!  Welcome to our listeners across the 50 states! You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  You can connect with me at www.JoGarner.com.   Our general topic is WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BUY A HOME & LOCK IN A MORTGAGE? MOVES TO MAKE & CUES TO TAKE” Call us while we’re live today March 11th, 2017 at (901) 535-9732.  If you prefer email, send your message to jo@jogarner.com  or call me directly after the show at (901) 482-0354.

Timing Is Everything For Your Mortgage and Your Appraisal

Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe Tom King is going to talk about getting your timing right on ordering an appraisal for the highest value and the least amount of your cash out of pocket. I will be giving you some moves to take and cues to take on when and how to lock your mortgage terms.  

Introducing Tom King, Expert Real Estate Appraiser

Tom King, experienced appraiser from Bill King Company is back in the co-host chair.   Here’s a guy who knows how to get your timing right when you order an appraisal.  Tom, tell our new listeners a little about yourself and the types of appraisals you do for your clients. 

Jo: Tom you’ve been watching the Memphis market closely. Give us one of your many tips on how to get our timing right for the best chance at a higher real estate appraisal value. 

Mortgage Market News

Jo: Today we are talking about timing is everything, moves to make and cues to take.  Prices on mortgages usually make their moves and take their cues from the bond market. Like a symphony of errant soloists, instead of following the cues of the maestro, the market sort of played their own tune this week. Since the prices on mortgages had already risen in anticipation of the employment report being better, when the report came out yesterday the prices on mortgages stayed steady.   The conventional 30 year fixed rates are coming in around 4.25% to loan products offer different terms.   Let’s talk about YOUR terms.

Perfect Timing Is When Preparation Intersects With Opportunity

Jo: Oprah Winfrey is quoted as saying, “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity.  If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.” When is the best time to buy your home? When is the best time to lock in your mortgage terms? The answer to both of these questions depends on your individual goals and circumstances.  Let me give you an example.  Can you think of a customer you have served in the course of doing business that you would call the impossible client?

Mortgage Client Story

I had a really nice client who shared her dream of home ownership with me about two years ago.   What seemed so impossible was that she had very limited funds to put down and she said she would not buy a house with a payment that exceeded her comfort level.  But the houses where she really wanted to live required more money down and a house note much higher than she was comfortable paying.   

Fast forward to last week when Tennessee Housing Development Agency released their new $15 thousand dollar Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance program.  One of the first calls I made was to reach out to this dear client to let her know that there was finally an assistance program offering her enough down payment assistance funds that she could pay her costs and pay the mortgage balance down enough so that she could handle the payment on a house in the area where she wanted to live.  As Oprah Winfrey describes “luck,” this lady’s preparation met her opportunity.  She was prepared because she knew what she wanted, where she wanted it and under what terms she was comfortable paying.  Her perfect timing happened when the $15k down payment assistance program came available March 1st, 2017.

The Best Time To Buy A House

Do you know what you want, where you want it and how much you are willing to pay for it? The answer to the question of “When is the best time to buy a house?” It is when your individual financial/borrower profile intersects with the right house in the right neighborhood with a monthly payment that is right for your budget.

MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY. But you have to call me personally to work with me personally. I want to work with you.   Call me directly off the air at (901) 482-0354, email me at jo@jogarner.com or connect with me at www.JoGarner.com

Timing Tips For Real Estate Appraisals

Later in the show I want to share some inside mortgage industry tips with our listeners about good practices for picking the best timing to lock in mortgage terms and other perfect timing tips when you have a mortgage in process.   But for now, Tom, you have some great real estate appraising inside tips you can share to help our listeners hit the best timing when it comes to ordering an appraisal.

Tom shares some of his appraisal tips on when to order and how to order to get the best value at the least costs—examples of in a rising value market, wait until right after the end of the month when more data is available for end of the month real estate closings.  

Getting obvious repairs completed before the appraiser comes out if time permits.  If the appraiser notates repairs, more than likely, the lender will require that the appraiser go back out to the home to inspect and make sure the repairs were done in a workmanlike manner.  There is a fee for the appraiser to go back out to the home.



  1. What type appraisals do you do?  

Tom serves different type client needs. He does estate appraisals, divorce settlement appraisals, cash sale appraisals, relocation appraisals and he works with third party appraisal ordering services for mortgage companies.

2. How do the different appraisal types differ and how do the differences affect the real estate owners?

3. How do you pick the best timing for ordering an appraisal on your home if you want to get the highest value possible?

If you can afford to wait a few days into the start of a new month in a rising value market, you stand a better chance of getting a higher value on your appraisal. More real estate closings occur at the end of the month.  If the values are rising in an area, by waiting until a few days into the new month, presumably the higher home sales that took place at the end of the previous month will show up on a database accessible to appraisers who are searching for comparable sales in preparing new appraisals.

4. What kind of repairs do appraisers notate on an appraisal when they see them?

Cosmetic repairs that are not always notated in an appraisal are as follows:

Painting, cleaning, carpet touch ups

Structural repairs that are regularly noted on appraisals.  Mortgage companies tend to want these repairs done before the loan closes.  In some isolated cases, the mortgage company will allow all or part of the cost of structural repairs to be put into an escrow account at closing so certain repairs can be  done after closing.   

Jo Garner & Tom King



  1. What are some mortgage insider tips on how to pick the best timing when you lock in terms on your mortgage

No one wants to go on vacation to a far away land and run out of money half way through the trip. Likewise, you don’t want to have a contract to buy a home in 60 days and only lock the rate and terms on the mortgage for 30 days.  I have heard stories from people (not my clients) who thought that, even though the contract gave them 60 days to close, the sellers would surely be okay for them to close in 30 days instead.  The seller has a reason for setting the closing for 60 days from now and not 30.   

Make sure your mortgage interest rate is covering you for the entire time of the contract.   If rates go up and you go past your rate lock period, most lenders can extend the agreement for a few days, but maybe not.  Depending on how high rates go, you don’t want to have to unload your savings account to buy the rate back down.  If you really needed the lower rate to qualify for your loan and you cannot buy the rate back down, you risk not qualifying for your loan because you let your mortgage rate get away.

Here’s a mortgage insider tip you probably can already guess.  The price on a mortgage rate locked for 30 days is less expensive than a rate locked for 60 or 90 days. Depending on how the market is moving, sometimes there is a serious uptick in price on the longer term lock periods.  On a $200,000 loan, the 60 day vs the 30 day lock can cost you an extra $500 to $1,000 of closing costs.

Mortgage rate prices vary according to your loan type, loan-to-value, loan amount and credit scores.  Ask your mortgage loan officer to look closely at how you can arrange your terms to get the very best pricing on your mortgage.  .  If you get a great price break for having  a loan-to-value at less than 70% but your loan-to-value is going to be 71%, you may want to pay a little bit more down to enjoy a lower rate and better terms.  Consider your credit scores and perhaps a different loan program too.

2. What other advice on timing is good to know to keep the mortgage process smooth?

The timing is a bigger factor in a smooth closing today than it was a few years ago.  The Dodd-Frank Act has mandated delays in designated places of your loan process, making it urgent to get to your lender whatever documents the require within 24 to 48 hours.  

One of the most recognizable delay in the mortgage closing process if the delay from the time your loan is fully approved and the day you are allowed to close on your loan. Once your loan is approved and through the compliance tests, the lender sends you an electronic form of your Closing Disclosure.  Once you e-sign your Closing Disclosure stating you have review it, you must wait an additional 3 business days before you can close.   

Factor in the possibility that an appraiser might get assigned to appraise your property and may be behind the eight ball.   If the appraisal is late coming back, the mortgage company may be pressed to meet your closing date.   Get the appraisal ordered as early as possible.

If you are just getting ready to close on a loan for a new home or refinance, and you file your latest tax return, you may be delaying your closing by 30 to 45 days, because the lender is required to wait on the IRS to process your latest tax return and allow us access to the third-party IRS transcript.  It’s  like American Express. Instead of “don’t leave home without it,” it’s more like “you want close on your home without it.” You may consider filing an extension until after you close the loan to prevent delays.  



  1. Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT at Nova Copy Conference Center 7251 Appling Farms Parkway Cordova, TN  This Wednesday March 15, 2017 Talk Shoppe presents the Senior Corp of Retired Executives SCORE on  “Getting Free Help To Start And Run Your Business”    For more about Talk Shoppe go to www.TalkShoppe.com  
  2. Talk Shoppe events are free thanks supporters  like Jana Cardona, Executive Director of Business Network International www.bnimidsouth.com  Helping  members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional word-of-mouth program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals.
  3. And Talk Shoppe advertiser, Dr. Dale Foster and Lee Ann Foster of www.MemphisNeurofeedback.com  Recently recognized on WMC TV for their success in helping people train their brains to overcome effects of brain injury, ADHD, autism, stroke and memory loss.
  4. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward Sunday March 12th, 2017 Its Daylight Savings Time
  6. Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe reminds you that MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN.  IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY.





  1. Peggy Lau, Independent Rep with World Ventures. Connect with Peggy at (901) 289-0747. She can show you how to earn first-class vacations and have fun with your own travel community.  You can share your awe-inspiring stories of oceans and mountains, different cultures and the good food too.
  2. Eric Eurich, Business Coach with http://www.ericeurich.focalpointcoaching.com/ Be More, Do More, Have More, Know More, and Earn More
  3. Mary Lou Nowak, Mid-South Home Helpers  (901) 414-9696 Home Helpers In-Home Care Services is more than an in-home health care agency: we’re your extended family when family can’t be there. We’re a locally owned, trusted provider of quality, compassionate in-home care, and we customize our home care solutions to your unique situation for an affordable solution that keeps your loved one where they’re happiest: at home.



(901) 487-6989

Tom is a well- respected and sought after appraiser in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is a second generation appraiser with 40 years experience.  He has been elected to the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Board of Directors three times.  

Tom is a certified residential appraiser in Tennessee.  He have appraised over 20,000 homes in his career.  A graduate from the University of Tennessee with a degree in real estate, Tom is also a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP).  Tom also has vast experience in dealing with the county and state boards of equalization and in valuations of property for tax appeal purposes.


Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer
cell: (901) 482 0354



  Twitter: @jogarner

Jo describes her job description: As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to give my client the benefits they want from their financing terms– listening to my client and determine what’s of the most value to THEM–  What is their comfort level on a house payment, how much are they comfortable paying down, what type of financing do they need to get the house they want to buy or refinance. Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds.  Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income. Whatever their personal priorities are, my job is to put together a mortgage with comfortable terms that will help them achieve their goals.”

Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country.  She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases.  

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home  purchase financing.   

Jo Garner  has been in the real estate/financing business for over 20 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge. 

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 20 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner  is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis. www.TalkShoppe.com  Jo is host of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe  and currently publishes on her blog www.JoGarner.com