buying house with mortgage

Buy The House You Love & How To Get The Right Mortgage Financing & Appraisal Too!

In Appraisal, Financing & Refinancing, Home Buying by Jo Garner0 Comments

If you are thinking about how to pick the right mortgage terms for purchasing a home with your unique situation in mind, this is the episode for you.  I’m going to share some stories of how some of my past clients have been able to buy the house they love and get the mortgage terms that worked best for their unique situations.  Tom King, appraiser with Bill King Company will be giving you some inside-the-rule book on how to get an appraisal you will love too. Business coach Eric Eurich of Focal Point Business Coaching offers a very effective marketing tip to real estate pros.

Thank you for connecting with me at   Please subscribe to Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe so we can stay connected.  What areas of real estate interest you?  Let’s talk about these areas.  I am happy to share my knowledge and resources to help you achieve your hopes and desires in the real estate.

To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer (901) 482-0354


Good morning, Memphis!  Welcome to our internet listeners and internet and podcast 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   Our general topic is: “Buy The House You Love, and How To Get The Best Mortgage Financing & Appraisal Too.” We want to hear from you, so if you have a real estate question or a short story to share about how to get the house you love, call us in the studio while we are live today February 11, 2017 at (901) 535-9732.

In This Podcast

If you are thinking about how to pick the right mortgage terms for purchasing a home, today I’m going to share some stories of how some of my past clients have been able to buy the house they love and get the mortgage terms that worked best for their unique situations. Tom King, appraiser with Bill King Company will be giving you some inside-the-rule book on how to get an appraisal you will love too.  

Tom King, Appraiser

Jo: Tom, you really knows your stuff.  You have been in the appraisal business in the Memphis area for over 40 years, I believe you know every nook and cranny of Shelby, Tipton and Fayette County here in Tennessee.   What other type appraisals do you do other than the ones assigned to you for mortgage purposes?  

Want to hear about the other type appraisals? Listen to the podcast as Tom explains how he can do like estate appraisals, relocation company appraisals, divorce settlement appraisals and appraisals you do for people paying cash for a property!

Competitive Strategies To Help You Get The House You Love

Jo: One of the most common challenges for home buyers right now  is the short supply of homes for sale.  This is creating a competitive situation that make it hard to win the love of that seller when an offer from someone else is netting that seller more money. I’ve  seen more houses sell for OVER the list sales price  these past few months than ever in my 25+ career.

And if you need the seller to pay your closing costs, like some of my clients, you may find that you have to offer a price over the listing price to get the house. Here’s some things I did for a client  to shorten the courtship with  the seller and make that client’s offer to purchase the house more attractive.

3 Strategies For Getting Ahead In The Competitive Offer Situation

  1. Submit an iron-clad pre-approval letter. Preparing a very strong pre-approval letter made this client’s offer a sure offer. Even though my customer’s offer price was a little bit lower than the other family’s, my client was clearly a surer bet since I had notated on the pre-approval letter that I had already reviewed her income and asset documents and her credit. This gave my client a competitive advantage, even though her offer price was a little lower. Happy Day!
  2. Use the lender premium strategy. A different customer really needed the seller to pay her closing costs.   She had been making offers on one house after another for over 2 months and each time someone else won the heart of the seller because they weren’t asking the seller to pay as much.  Since my client did not qualify for down payment assistance, so I asked her if it would be okay for me to increase the mortgage interest rate just a little so that I could pay some of her closing costs from the extra money I got in the mortgage market from pushing the rate up a little bit.  Since I used this lender premium money to help my customer on closing costs, she didn’t have to ask the seller to pay as much on her closing costs, and the seller accepted her bid.   It was celebration time with her!
  3. Offer a higher price than the listing price. The other strategy I have seen realtors use is simply offering a little higher price for the house than the listed sales price.  If the house will appraise for that little bit more, then everyone is happy.  The seller makes a bigger profit because he sold the house for higher than the listing price and the buyer still gets to buy the house he loves because he was able to beat out the competition.

But whatever your home buying or refinancing strategy, please call me while we are live today in the studio at 901 535 9732 or call me personally after the show at (901) 482-0354.  Let’s look at strategies that will get you the house you love with financing you can love too.  

Tom King makes comments regarding the trend on houses selling for more than the list price.  It is a good market for sellers because of the higher prices they get on the sale of their homes.  Buyers get a good deal too since the mortgage rates are still low, keeping the mortgage payment low.


Mortgage Market Rates of the Week:

Jo: Tom, it’s getting really close to Valentine’s Day and the mortgage rates gave us a little love this past week. They actually dropped down earlier in the week to about a 3-week low. But Thursday and Friday they started inching up some. The conventional 30 yr rates ended the day yesterday around 4.125% to 4.25% with no points. The 15 year hit around the low to mid 3’s again. Rates on other products came down a little bit too.  But watch out for comments coming up from the Federal Reserve. They are talking about drastically kicking their bond buying habit. Some economic commentators are expressing a fear that this could cause mortgage rates to go higher.   

How To Make A Realistic Guess On Value Before Paying For An Appraisal

Jo: Tom, as a 40+ year appraiser, if I am thinking about listing my house for sale and wanted to know how much is my home worth or if I want to know how much my house is really worth or if I am buying a house and want a little assurance BEFORE I pay for an official mortgage appraisal, what are some inside-the-rule book information you can give me on what I can look for to determine the approximate value or trending value on that house?



Talk Shoppe is a marketing company offering free education and networking to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk  Shoppe is made possible by the financial support of its sponsors and advertisers. For more about Talk Shoppe, go to (shoppe)  For our Talk Shoppe Business Tip today we have Talk Shoppe Business Coach, Eric Eurich of Focal Point Coaching.  Eric helps us accelerate our personal and business growth. Eric, what is our Talk Shoppe Business Tip for Real Estate Professionals today?  

Eric Eurich shares a tip to real estate professionals to avoid “Me Too” advertising.  He encouraged realtors and other real estate pros to be very specific about the types of transactions and types of customers where they specialize.  Differentiating where you excel in your business sets you apart from everyone else.  




  • Talk about how you work with your coaching clients individually and also in groups? Depending on his clients needs and their budget, Eric can help a business person with individual coaching sessions or setting up group coaching sessions to accelerate his coaching clients toward their goals.  
  • How do you work with your clients individually  or in groups? Contact Eric to discuss how to set up the best coaching arrangement that works best for you or your team.



  • What comparable sales in the vicinity will an appraiser likely use to determine value?

Tom points out that the house across the street that just recently sold is not necessarily the best comparable sale if your house is updated with upgraded counter tops and appliances and the house across the street has not been updated in decades.  

  • Which comparable sales will he not use and why?

Tom explains that he is looking for homes that are the most like the property he is appraising.   It may be across the street or a mile away, but the best comparable sales are homes that are most like the subject property in number of bedrooms and baths, degree of upgrades, proximity to the subject property and homes that have sold within the last 6 months to one year.

  • What can appraiser use to justify giving a value on a house that is higher than the list price.  

Showing evidence of other recent sales in the area that are selling over the listprice.  Tom also invited realtors to meet him at the property when he performs the appraisal.  Tom also offered the realtor to bring recent comparable sales info for him to review if they choose to do this. 

  • What is the difference between what an appraiser has to do in the house when performing an FHA appraisal vs. a conventional appraisal?

Tom explains that the FHA guidelines require him to make sure the house meets a few extra bits of criteria like having a minimum 18 inch clearance for the crawl space underneath the house.  FHA appraisers are required to make sure the plumbing and electrical and HVAC systems work. The conventional appraisal regulations do not have such strict detail on checking the home’s systems.



  • How can you help your mortgage clients who are in competitive bidding war with others for the same house?
  • Submitting an iron-clad pre-approval letter.
  • Using the lender premium strategy.
  • Offering a higher price than the listing price.
  • How can you help home buyers who need help with the down payment?
  • Treasure hunting for down payments.

All answers and tips are provided on transcript.

If you have good credit and you want to buy a house but you don’t know where you are going to get the money to close, please call me.  My assistant Susan and I can find money where you didn’t even think to look.   We call it treasure hunting and we usually can come up with a treasure trove somewhere.  

  • Government and Community Down Payment Assistance. Other sources of funds to close can come from government or community down payment assistance programs.  Ask an experienced, reputable realtor in your area what programs THEY recommend.  They usually know what programs are good and which ones may be not so advantageous.  You can also check with Rob Chrane at Down Payment Resource, supported by Housing Finance Agencies across the country, for assistance programs in YOUR city and state.
  • Tennessee Housing Development Agency for Tennesseans: THDA just came out with a special program offering up to $15,000 for assistance.  For more about this product, click the link to the Commercial Appeal news article…/need-15k-house-…/97456206/  This product is designated to be used in several zip codes around the state, specifically 21 zip codes in the Memphis area.  Memphis also has the City of Memphis Down Payment Assistance Program and in addition to the regular program, they have some funds especially  for Police, Firefighters and Teachers.  
  • What are some other ways to make sure you are getting the right loan terms for your situation?
  • Compare the FHA loan to a conventional loan.

In the last year or two comparing terms on an FHA loan vs a Conventional loan has been critical to make sure my clients are getting the absolute best terms for their unique situation. Here are some examples

Recently I had a customer come to me who had asked for down payment assistance.  She had a large amount of money in her retirement fund so  and intended to live in the house for over 10 more years or for the rest of her life.  After asking her about her comfort level on a house payment and down payment, she said, “If I am going to live in that house the rest of my life, what program would save me the most money over time, even if I have to put money down.” We set to work comparing numbers on the FHA 3.5% down program and the conventional 5% down program.

FHA only required 3.5% down payment and would allow the seller to pay all of my buyer’s closing cost, getting her in for just the 3.5% of the price. However, FHA added a1.75% upfront mortgage insurance premium to the top of the loan AND they charged .85% for an annual fee to be divided over 12 months that would have to be paid FOR THE LIFE OF THE LOAN.  

We then compared the conventional loan that required 5% down payment and  only allowed the sellers to pay 3% of the price toward the buyer’s costs  This loan program was going to cost her more than she felt comfortable taking out of her banking account.  BUT, since the monthly mortgage insurance dropped off once the house was paid down to a 88 to 80$ loan-to-value, the conventional loan over time would save my client tens of thousands of dollars over time.  She chose to go with the conventional loan, borrow the little bit of extra money from her 401k  fund.  Now she had a loan with a smaller payment, and a lot of peace of mind because of the money she was saving.  

Another common call is from the parents of a college student.  Student housing is eating them up in fees.  They want to buy a house close to the college for their child but, as a non-occupying borrower, they would have to pay a higher rate and they would have to put down 20% of the sales price which would hurt their bank account.

The government FHA loan program was the answer for them because that program allowed their college student son to be on the loan with them as the occupying borrower, even though the college student had no income and no savings.  They did have a credit score. Since their son was on the loan AND occupying the home, the parents and their son got to buy the house with only 3.5% down and a low interest rate and payment.  Perfect fit for this family’s unique situation.  Now they could build equity by owning the house. Their son rented out some rooms to his college student friends which resulted in an income rather than him having to pay rent and he build a better credit profile for himself. This was the perfect loan for this family’s unique situation.

There are so many stories like the ones I just shared.   Call me today on the air or after the show.  Let’s look for the right loan terms for you that fits YOUR unique situation.  MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY.



Eric Eurich shared a business tip for our real estate pros, advising them not to engage in “Me Too” promotions. Eric suggested differentiating yourself and being very specific about what you do best.     



(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.



I’m in the business of business. I help professionals capitalize on their strengths to Achievement the most. I coach and train business owners, professionals and teams to

  • Be More
  • Do More
  • Have More
  • Know More, and
  • Earn More

Please check out my site for articles, blogs, newsletters, e-books, assessments and more that are here to help you reach your business goals quickly and efficiently. Keep reading to learn more.



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.  Jo is host of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe  and currently publishes on her blog

Leave a Comment