Getting the House You Want- Quick Ways to Connect with the Right Solutions

In Financing & Refinancing, Home Buying, Real Estate & Foreclosures by Jo Garner0 Comments

Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe we will talk about some Do’s and Don’ts to consider when you are buying a house. Frank Guido, Terri Murphy, and I will share some ways to get over and around common barriers that might stand in your way. If you have a real estate scenario of your own that YOU would like to share, we would like to hear YOUR stories.  

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To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer and Host of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe

(901) 482-0354  


Good morning, 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  This episode of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe is sponsored by the Memphis Mortgage Office of Evolve Bank and Trust.   If are a mortgage professional looking to take your career to a higher level, contact Chad Irwin at (901) 260-1480.   Our general topic today is “GETTING THE HOUSE YOU WANT–   QUICK WAYS TO CONNECT WITH THE RIGHT SOLUTIONS”

If you have a question or comment email me at  or call me directly off the show at (901) 482-0354.  You can call us while we are live at (901) 535-9732 or outside the Memphis area (800) 474-9732 Today is  January 21st, 2017

Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe we will talk about some Do’s and Don’ts to consider when you are buying a house. We will share some ways to get over and around common barriers that might stand in your way. If you have a real estate scenario of your own that YOU would like to share, call us while we’re live. We would like to hear YOUR stories.  

Last night I set my alarm so I could get to the station EARLY to enjoy a cup of coffee with my Expresso Connoisseur friend, Terri Murphy. Terri tells some really funny  (and not so funny) real estate stories because she hangs around listening to realtors and lenders every day.   Maybe she’ll share one or two of her stories with us today. Terri Murphy, it would take the whole show to talk about all the awards you’ve won, TV and radio shows you have been on and books you’ve written.  I tried to list some of your accomplishments on the blog post for this show on  So glad you could drop by the studio.  Tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do <Terri introduces herself and talks about what she does—about 1 minute>

<Terri introduces Frank Guido>

<Frank Guido introduces himself and talks about what he does and gives his forecast for the building market in 2017 or some other market news of his choosing— including his outlook for real estate market >

(Jo) If you have been following the mortgage market this week, you may be feeling what the airline industry likes to nicely call “motion discomfort.” We all know what that really means. It’s written on the little disposal pop-open bag in the pocket of the seat in front of you.   

Mortgage rates in the beginning of the week were around 4.125% to 4.25% and then, POW, they jumped to around 4.375% to 4.5% on Wednesday and Thursday. Then, like a sigh of relief, the prices on mortgage rates began to inch down again yesterday.  You need to be connected to a good lender who will help you watch the market. Let’s talk!

But first, here’s some news that will interest you if you or someone you know is thinking about getting a government FHA mortgage.  The government FHA, low-down payment mortgage program made an official announcement a few days ago that they were lowering their mandatory monthly mortgage insurance premiums  by a quarter percent on their most popular programs. This would save a lot of borrowers around $250 to $500 per year on their payments.  BUT, yesterday this reduction that was supposed to go into effect January 27th got reversed back to where it has been and the promised reduction will not occur at all. Since the FHA monthly mortgage insurance is based on the loan amount and not amortized in the loan this will feel to the borrower like a .375 increase on the rate.  For instance, on a $175,000 loan this raises the payment $37/month or $444 per year.  There are some possible solutions to help you get the payment back down though.    

<Terri makes short comments here about the market and how to take advantage of where it is. >

(Jo) If you are a borrower who feels like you are stuck with a higher payment because you need to close your loan and the price hike on rates hit before you could get your terms locked OR if you were counting on the lower FHA mortgage insurance premium and now your payment will be higher because of the reversal of this reduction, I may have a solution for you. Each customer scenario is different which calls for different measures to fix the situation.  

One of my borrowers called me because his offer to buy a house did not get  accepted until AFTER the rates moved up. He needed the payment to be lower to meet his budget.  There were several solutions for him. For one, he and his seller changed the closing day from 60 days from now to only 30 days to close.  We did this because, for him,  the prices on rates were so much better on the 30 day lock term rather than the 60 day lock period. This got him where he was comfortable with his mortgage payment.  

For others, you might consider renegotiating to pay a couple thousand dollars more for the house in exchange for the sellers paying $2,000 more to buy your interest rate back down to where you are comfortable. The house would have to appraise for the higher amount though. But whatever your real estate financing situation–call me. But you have to talk with me personally so I can work with you personally.  You can connect with me at or call me directly at (901) 482-0354. MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY!

(Jo) Terri Murphy and Frank Guido, what are some do’s and don’ts when you’re buying a home? <Terri and Frank launch into their topics.  After the commercial break, we launch back into your topics>


[2nd segment after 9:15 break: Our Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is brought to you  by notable Memphis historian, Jimmy Ogle. Jimmy Ogle offers free historic walking tours downtown in the spring and fall.  For information about Jimmy Ogle, go to .  The Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is  sponsored by John and Jennifer Lawhon of Lawhon Landscape (901) 754-7474 the Lawhon’s can help you plan your landscaping if you have a BIG, BIG project or a smaller project . The Lawhons are giving away a $25 gift card to the first person with the correct trivia answer.  If you know the answer to our trivia question, call us at 901 535 WREC 901 535-9732.]



I was conceived when there were only eight automobiles in Memphis.  Who am I?


My medians are considered “park” land, rather than street medians.


I run a span of 22 miles and contain 80 acres of “park land”.


My medians also contain bridle paths.


I was designed by the same architect that designed the original plan for Overton Park.

Final Hint:  

This avenue has multiple names determined by where on the compass point it is located.


The Parkways.  Back in 1904, Memphis had just eight automobiles and the Speed Limit was eight miles per hour.  Citizens were beginning an eastward movement to the areas around Overton Park that had been annexed in 1899.  Automobiles in Memphis were increasing in large numbers and grew to over 6,000 by 1913. To handle all this traffic, Memphis decided to purchase lands to connect Overton Park to Riverside Park in the southwest section of the county.  By 1915, the Parkways had become a traffic movement model for the nation. One of the top landscape architects in America in the first part of the 20th century, George Kessler, designed the Parkways, and he was also designing other parks in Memphis like Gaston, Bickford, Confederate and Riverside.

A one-mile long stretch of North Parkway was called The Speedway, and at times in the early part of the century allowed for both horse and automobile racing. East Parkway took over the street named Trezevant, and South Parkway stretch from the Fairgrounds all the way to the Mississippi River.   The Parkways have a distinction of two four-name intersections (North Parkway, East Parkway, Summer, Trezevant) and (East Parkway, South Parkway, Spottswood and Airways).  North Parkway runs east/west and East Parkway runs north/south – go figure!  So, why do you drive on a parkway, and park on a driverway???!!!


Jimmy Ogle gives free outdoor walking tours on the sidewalks and parks in Downtown Memphis during the Winter and Spring of each year, with the next being the Judge D’Army Bailey County Courthouse Tour (indoors): one Thursday each month at 12:00 noon – the next being Thursday, February 15.  Go to for more information.



1. People who buy an existing house that needs work may not be fully aware of the hidden costs and hidden issues:


Grandfathered issues with electric, plumbing, etc.

The costs exceeding the bids –inaccurate bids, hidden defects can be the culprit

The timeline: 

The excruciating period of overhaul that impacts living there while the work is done and dealing with the delays from out of stock, restocking, weather – you’ve been there

New construction- No landscaping factored in – Can be pricey and not really recoverable  

  • The bad contractor scenario.
  • Work without permits that haunt you later.
  • Disappears with your money.
  • Doesn’t have the subs to get the job done according to time line.

2. What you should or should not do to improve your home to attract a new buyer – that won’t return the money invested.

New report came from House Logic’s post on your FACEBOOK PAGE – mention those important items that can offer a better return on your investment

Be mindful of Current Fads and Trends:  Talk about what is no longer “in”  (Built in Tubs, etc.)

Be aware of the “extras” you might need:  Window Treatments, Appliances that are not included, landscaping, decking/patio’s etc.

3. If you do buy a property that needs updating here are my recommendations:

Bring in a trusted contractor

Get some idea of costs before finalize

Work with the listing agent to negotiate with the seller for updating allowances

Make sure the new improvements don’t impact appraisal issues. (example: Someone puts a ton of money in a property and can’t recover it – like some fancy flooring or highly customized cabinetry, you know the drill

If you buy new construction – think thru the extra’s you may need, like landscaping, appliances, fencing, decks/patio’s window treatments, paint, etc.



1. Discuss the opportunity for Millennials and others too for building wealth now by buying a home instead of renting.   

The 30 year fixed rate mortgages are still low and the US is the only country in the world that allows the 30 year fixed rate.   In a significant number of cities around the country home buyers can buy a house with a payment about 25% to 33% less than the rent they would pay for a comparable house.   Check with an experienced, reputable realtor to compare your rental market to home buying markets in your area.

2. What advice would you give to our listening audience?

  • Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.
  • If you are a realtor or lender, check out Terri’s Power Partners program at



1. What are some common solutions to helping your mortgage clients get the house they want?

There are 4 common barriers to obtaining a mortgage to buy a house or refinance one.

First, clients will tell me they don’t have any money to put down.   My assistant and I are very good treasure hunters and we can find money from people in places they never thought to look!  Particularly for clients who have not owned a home in 3 years or more, there are a multitude of down payment assistance programs available.  If the seller pays the closing cost and prepaid taxes and insurance for the buyer, then normally the down payment assistance pays the down payment and they get in for zero down or very little.  

Even if you are not a first time homebuyer, we have the 100% VA loans and the 100% USDA loans.    We can possibly use a bank loan secured on a different asset to give you the funds you need to close with very little money down on the house you really want. In many cases you can borrow against a retirement fund without penalty.  Gifts from family are nice.   

The second barrier is showing enough income to qualify for the loan you need to buy or refinance a home.   If you have only been on your job a few months, we can only count your guaranteed base income and not the commissions that you hope to average over the course of the next several months.   One possible solution is to have a family who is financially strong cosign for you.

If you have a great salary but write off on your taxes $10,000 or $20,000 dollars in unreimbursed employee expenses, on some loan products, the loan officer has to deduct this amount from your pay, so when you are with your loan officer, be sure and tell them about any losses showing on your tax returns.  

If you are self-employed and you have a lot of income that you control but, after write-offs, you only show very little, let Susan and I review ALL PAGES of your last 2 years tax returns and business returns.   We have found tens of thousands of dollars worth of income in the BACK PAGES of the tax returns.  If there is a way, we can find it to help our clients get qualified for what they want to accomplish.

The third barrier that we can overcome is credit issues.   My assistant, Susan Belew and I have trained on the Credit Simulators (like flight simulators).   By using the Credit Simulation tools, we can look at your credit report and suggest ways you may be able to raise your credit scores by 20 or 30 points over a course of a few weeks with the least amount of investment on your part. You may be thinking, “It will take me a year to get this credit score up.  But, with some very simple fixes, you may be closed in less than 60 days!”

The fourth barrier is problems with the house needing repaired or a title issue.  This is where an experienced realtor or closing attorney.

(JO) Your answer to the repair requirements can be easily fixed by negotiating the seller of the property to pay it or agreeing to put money back into an escrow account in some cases to make the repairs after closing.   If the repair list is massive, then we may need to switch you to one of our Renovation and Repair loan programs.    Title issues, most of the time, are managed or cured by an experienced closing attorney.  

2. What are some of the most popular loan programs that connect mortgage customers to solutions?

For borrowers who are looking to get into a home with very little money down, depending on factors in the loan application, we might look at the 100% Veteran Administration loan for veterans. Or, in some cases, we look at the 100% Rural Housing loan or compare some down payment assistance programs.

But the most popular program for low down payment requirements is the FHA government loan and the Fannie Mae conventional Home Ready loan.   It’s good to compare these loans because Home Ready has a LOT less mandatory mortgage insurance to pay.

The biggest difference is that FHA does not have an income restriction and the Home Ready product  does require the household income stay within a certain limit as is designated for a particular zip code.  

FHA requires a minimum down of 3.5% of the price and allows sellers to pay up to 6% of the price toward the buyer’s closing costs and prepaid taxes and insurance. The conventional Home Ready product only requires 3% down payment but limits the seller to only paying up to 3% of the price toward the buyer’s costs.



Terri Murphy shares more about why to buy real estate now and why buying can be much more profitable than renting. 



  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 7251 Appling Farms Parkway Memphis, TN.     This Wednesday January 25th, 2017 Talk Shoppe  presents: “MASTERMIND : based on the book by Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich.”   For more about Talk Shoppe, go to

Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to sponsors like Dr. Dale Foster and Lee Ann Foster of Memphis Neurofeedback.  Dr. Dale and Lee Ann Foster use the latest tools and methods to get their clients back to healing from brain injury, stroke, memory loss and more.

And Pat Goldstein, Realtor with Crye-leike Realtors. Pat has over 30 years experience helping her clients buy and sell their homes.  You can reach Pat at  (901) 606-2000

2. This has been a stand-out week celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr AND Inauguration Day. We wish you all peace, prosperity and the successful pursuit of your dreams in 2017!

3. Thank you to Chad Irwin, mortgage manager of the Memphis, TN Evolve Bank and Trust Mortgage Office at 6070 Poplar Ave 200 Memphis, TN for sponsoring this episode of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe.  If you are looking to up your game and build your mortgage career in the Memphis area, contact Chad Irwin at (901) 260-1480




“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”

“Always remember that your present situation is not your destination. The best is yet to come.”




  • Peggy Lau, Memphis, TN. World Ventures Immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind travel community and make money while you are taking dream trips of a lifetime. Peggy can show you how  (901) 289-0747
  • Marx Sterbcow, Stercow Law Firm New, Orleans, LA
  • Troy and Lynn McDonald, Erin McDonald Insurance Agency  Lynn McDonald is one of the top-selling insurance agents in the Memphis area.  She has a terrific reputation for digging to find the very best deal for her clients and makes it her priority to give the best service.  (901) 849-7101



Transitional Music: “Connection” by Rolling Stones; “The Right Stuff”  by New Kids On The Block;  

“All The Right Moves” by One Republic;  “Memphis”  by Johnny Rivers for Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest



Frank Guido Construction located in Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Frank Guido Construction (FGC) has been building luxury homes for over 30 years. These homes and renovations can be found in the prestigious North Shore neighborhoods as well as among the Lake Resort Homes on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. Our familiarity with communities such as Lake Forest, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Bull Valley, and Lake Geneva, give an edge in navigating the requirements of upscale communities to facilitate a harmonious building experience.

We work with superior craftsman who have proven their skill and expertise time and time again. The hand selected few know what to expect when they work with FGC, and ensure that you receive high quality work in a timely fashion.  FGC prides itself on maintaining an aggressive timetable to deliver a high quality finished product as quickly as possible. That means that home sites do not sit idle waiting for work to be done, rather there is consistent activity, all towards the goal of moving you into your dream home as soon as possible.

The home building process can be trying, and it can be difficult to find a builder you can trust. FGC is up front about the entire process, right from the beginning. As we discuss your project and work towards creating a price, there will be a preliminary selections process so that any pricing is reflective of the quality and style that you will expect in your home. We will not price our  project using inferior materials simply to secure the job. We foster a collaborative environment where your participation will enable you to get a true estimate of costs, eliminating many of the budget surprises further down the line.

Clients working with Frank Guido Construction find a teacher, a consultant, and a guide through the often dizzying process of building or renovating your home. We understand that your home is unique, and your satisfaction is the driving force to all we do. 

​For details on one of our completed homes, or to discuss your own custom home project or existing home alteration,  ​call 262-767-1942 or contact us online.


Terri Murphy

Author, Speaker, Consultant & Communication Specialist

Terri brings a depth of industry experience and education to the Real Estate Industry. Having earned the GRI, CRS and other designations has helped Terri perform at the top of the real estate industry… at a consistency of listing and selling over 100 homes per year for over 28 years in the Chicago area. Today she performs as a consultant to the real estate and general sales industry to help build communication systems and resources that foster relational capital that result in true clients for life

Click to learn more about Terri


For more information, visit | or call 847-970-2717



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

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