Getting a Mortgage – What You Must Know For Your Road To Success

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Avoid common mistakes that homebuyers and mortgage borrowers make that costs you money. Get the inside scoop from a mortgage insider and a real estate appraiser insider to plot your course on your road to success. Did you know that a large amount of people are putting off buying a home because they think the minimum down payment is twenty percent? Actually homebuyers can get into a home for as little as zero to 3.5%. How do you protect yourself from a low appraisal value on a home? How can the recent rule changes by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rule changes positively affect me on qualifying for a loan?

Let’s stay in touch! Subscribe by emailing me at . We will send you our weekly podcasts with show notes and more. What topics in real estate interest you the most? We can talk about those topics.

To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS# 757308
(901) 482-0354

Good morning, Memphis! Welcome to our internet listeners 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 Subscribe by entering your name and email on the subscription box on the front page of You will get our weekly show notes with embedded podcasts and more. Our general topic today is Getting a Mortgage- What You Must Know For Your Road To Success. If you have a question or comment text me right now at (901) 482-0354. You may have your own short real estate story to tell. You can also call us while we are live in the studio at (901) 535-9732. Today is September 23rd, 2017.



     Avoid common mistakes that homebuyers and mortgage borrowers make that costs you money. Get the inside scoop from a mortgage insider and a real estate appraiser insider to plot your course on your road to success. Did you know that a large amount of people are putting off buying a home because they think the minimum down payment is twenty percent? Actually homebuyers can get into a home for as little as zero to 3.5%. How do you protect yourself from a low appraisal value on a home? How can the recent rule changes by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rule changes positively affect me on qualifying for a loan?



     Our own real estate appraiser insider is sitting with us at the coffee table—Tom King of Bill King Company. Tom, since you are a regular co-host on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe, most of our listeners know you have been driving around appraising for 40 years and that you also like jumping out of airplanes, bridges and tall buildings. But take a moment to tell our new listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do for your appraisal clients. (Tom takes a minute to introduce himself and what he does for his clients)



     (Jo) Tom, before we hit the road giving our listeners some pointers for their real estate journey, lets cover some mortgage market headlines. 1. Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are still making noise in the marketplace. For the new construction business, Home Services of America predicts the renovation and replacement of thousands of homes in Texas and Florida will cause a shortage of skilled construction workers in other markets. Their prediction is that the costs of building materials will be going up soon. But all of this renovating can also cause a boost to the economy.

2. Other headlines cover the Equifax Credit Bureau data breach of 143 million consumers. I share a link with you on where to go and what to do to protect yourself

3. Here’s a flashing warning light: If you are planning to close on a home loan or wire money anywhere, NEVER WIRE ANY MONEY until you have called and confirmed with your mortgage company and the title company closing your loan the exact wiring instructions. Hackers can get lots of information about the real estate transaction and the parties involved. Call both your mortgage company and the title company BEFORE you wire any money to confirm the correct wiring instructions.

4. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the largest mortgage funders in the nation, are now allowing less risky borrowers to qualify for loans with up to a 50% debt ratio instead of 45%. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing the proposed house note including taxes, insurances and any association fees PLUS the payments on other installment debts and credit card debts into the borrower’s gross income. I have an example on this show’s show notes coming out on Monday.

Example: Bill gets a salary making $5,000/month before taxes and other income is taken out. He is in a profession where his salary is continuing to increase every year. He has a car note with a payment of $300/month and is paying for another car note of $300/month for his wife who is staying home with their new baby. He has student loans of $375/month. The two cars will be paid off in less than 12 months. The minimum required payment on his credit card is $25/month. He is applying for a mortgage and his total house note will be $1,500 per month including this property taxes, homeowners insurance and lender’s mortgage insurance
Total monthly gross income: $5,000
Total monthly debts: $2,500 ($300 car + $300 2nd car + $375 student loans + $25 credit card payment)
$2,500/$5,000= 50%

Bill is considered a low risk since his credit scores are fairly high at 740 and he has more than adequate emergency funds in bank account. The two car notes are scheduled to be paid off in the short term.

Before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac raised the debt ratio from 45% to 50%, Bill would have probably only qualified for a note of $1,250 instead of $1,500. Under the old guidelines, Bill would not have qualified for the house his family wanted with the amount of money he was comfortable paying down. The new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rules were gamechangers for Bill and his family in a positive way.

You may not have qualified for the house or loan you wanted earlier this year, but today you might qualify based on these new debt-to-income mortgage rules. So.. Make your plan. Let’s work your plan. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY!

(Tom makes comments about real estate trends he is seeing, his comments on the headlines and other real estate related headlines)

(Tom shares some myths that people believe about appraisals)



     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.
Garner # 114 09/09/17

St. Blues Guitar Workshop

Question: I am a custom “Made In Memphis” product that is heard around the world. Who am I?
Hint: I am located near the most famous recording studio in the world – Sun Studio.

Hint: I was “born again” in Memphis in 2006.

Hint: I am smack dab in the middle of The Edge District.

Final Hint: Some of my product line takes on the image of a cigar box or a washboard!

Answer: St. Blues Guitar Workshop. Saint Blues Guitar Workshop was born in the heart of the Delta, Memphis, where country tangled with the blues and spawned Rock & Roll. Every guitar we make today is made right here in Memphis. On the street now called Elvis Presley Boulevard, across the way from Graceland, Mike Ladd and Tom Keckler were doing something magical with guitars at Mike Ladd’s Guitar City.   Seems whenever these boys laid hands on someone’s guitar, it just played a whole lot better. Hell, they even customized one for the King ordered by his father. You can see him play it in “Aloha From Hawaii”.

In 1978, Keckler joined Tom Anderson and David Schecter out in California to turn Schecter Guitar Research from a parts supplier to a guitar company.  But anyone who’s ever lived in Memphis knows you can’t stay away long and in 1983 he came home to continue his guitar work, and joined the guys at Strings and Things to form, Saint Blues Guitar Workshop in 1984.   Using the body shape that Tom and Charlie Lawing from Strings and Things had created some years before, the first St. Blues model was created and not surprisingly named the “Bluesmaster”.   Sometimes you hit it just right.
This unique guitar stands up to any classic design, and people who know a great guitar were quick to notice.  Soon you would find a Bluesmaster in the hands of Eric Clapton, Bono, Albert King, Elliot Easton, Marshall Crenshaw, Glen Frey, Billy Gibbons. In 1989, St. Blues took a break, but like Memphis itself, you just got to come back to a good thing.   Players and dealers alike wouldn’t let it go, so in 2006 St. Blues was reborn by Bryan Eagle.  He eventually talked Keckler back into the business and moved to the current location on Marshall Ave across from Sun Studio.  The initial product was a well received import, made in Korea, but with USA components.

In 2011, Jeff and Teri Cox partnered with Bryan to bring production back to the US and launch the high end Workshop Series line of US made, custom shop guitars. In 2012 they launched the line of roots instruments which includes the cigar box guitar and the Woogie Board, an electrified washboard.  In January of 2013 they launched the Juke Joint series a line of affordable guitars and bases.

Jimmy Ogle gives free outdoor walking tours on the sidewalks and parks in Downtown Memphis during year, with the next being The Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour at 12:00 noon on Thursday, September 21 (meet at the steps at the Southwest Corner, Second & Adams). Also, Jimmy will give his annual walking tour of selected part of Elmwood Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 16. Call Elmwood at 774-3212 ( for registration. TUESDAY TOURS begin October 3. Go to jimmyo



1. What can a buyer do if the appraisal value on the home he is buying comes in lower than the sales price?

2. What can a seller do if the appraisal is lower than the sales price?

3. What type repairs does the real estate appraiser mention on the appraisal? Which type repairs do the mortgage companies require to be completed before the closing ?

4. Talk about the mortgage firewall between the mortgage companies and the appraisers.

5. What are some common myths that people believe about real estate appraisals?




Earlier this week I had the opportunity to pop in and speak to a group of experienced, non-real estate craftsmen. I asked for a show of hands. The men and women in the room were knowledgeable and skilled at their craft, but a majority in the room had never purchased a home. Want to know the most popular reason WHY some had never purchased a home? They thought they had to save up at least a 20% down payment to buy a home. You can probably imagine the sound of a collective sigh of relief in the room when I announced, “Guess what? The minimum down payment to buy a house is ZERO to five percent.”
After racing back to the office to check some google searches, I was floored to discover that a large percentage of Americans, just like this experienced group of craftsmen, have been waiting YEARS to buy a house because they thought they needed to plop down 20% of the price of the house for a down payment. My heart ached for these people because those years of building wealth owning their own house has slipped through their fingers– all because they believed one small myth. If you want to look into some of zero down and low down payment mortgage programs, call me after the show at (901) 482-0354 or send me an email

2. Talk about some mortgage myths that people believe that hold them back from investing in real estate and cost them money.
Mortgage Myth #1: You have to have a minimum of 20% to buy a home. This is false. You can buy homes for zero to 3.5% to 5% down. Call me and let’s talk.
Mortgage Myth #2: Real estate investors buying rental property are only allowed to own up to 10 properties if they are getting the Fannie Mae low fixed interest rate, and low payment mortgage.
INVESTORS CAN OWN MORE THAN 10 PROPERTIES AND STILL ENJOY A FANNIE MAE LOW, FIXED 30-YEAR INTEREST RATE LOAN. If you are buying a property to use for a 2nd home or rental property, you just can’t own more than 10 FINANCED properties. And commercial properties and properties with over 4 units do not have to count in the number of financed properties at all anymore.You can own as many of these as you want. So if you are a real estate investor wanting to get a low interest rate and whopping bigger positive cash flow on the rental homes you purchase, you may still be able to do it with the Fannie Mae loan . If you are buying a home that you will occupy as your primary residence, THERE IS NO LIMIT ON HOW MANY FINANCED PROPERTIES YOU OWN. You can buy a property, live in it for a year or more and go buy another property and continue this pattern and end up at your destination with a portfolio of properties.

Mortgage Myth # 3: If you have experienced a short sale or foreclosure in less than 7 years, you cannot get a mortgage.
False. There are a number of mortgage programs that will allow you to get a mortgage at least 3 years following the completion of a foreclosure, if you can document extenuating circumstances that caused the foreclosure and if you can show you have adequately reestablished your credit. There are ways to get around these bumps on the road. Underwriting decisions on done on a case-by-case basis.

3. Mortgage Myth # 4: Mortgage rates change only once a day and mortgage rates go up with when the Federal Reserve rate goes up. False. Mortgage rates are not tied directly to the Federal Reserve rate. Mortgage rates tend to follow the up and down movements of the 10 year Treasury bond yields. Financial gurus often are quoted to say, “As the 10-year bond market goes, so goes the mortgage market.” Mortgage rates can be a wayward child at times, though and do not follow any particular index except the whims of investors buying the mortgages like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other buyers. Mortgage rates can change multiple times a day in a volatile market.

Mortgage Myth # 5: As long as my credit scores are good, it doesn’t matter how low my spouse’s credit scores are even if both of us need to be on the loan. When applying jointly for a mortgage, lenders will pull both your credit scores and your spouse’s scores from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Lenders are required to use the middle score of the scores reported by the three bureaus. Lenders have to use the middle score from the spouse with the lowest middle score. This means that the least creditworthy borrower will have the greatest effect on your monthly payment. In some cases where one spouse’s middle score is extremely lower than the other spouse, we might look at taking the low scoring spouse off the loan and just keeping them on the title of the property. If the income of the low-scoring spouse is needed, then the lender tries to find a way to use the lower mid credit score.
Mortgage Myth # 6: The credit score I pulled from a consumer site like Credit Karma will be the same scores the mortgage company will get. Wouldn’t it be simple if everybody used the same credit scoring formula? You would have one score for each of the three bureaus. But in real life, at least when it comes to calculating your credit score, nothing is that simple. There are DOZENS of different credit scoring algorithms. Mortgage companies across the country use the same ones which I find tend to give lower scores than the consumer sites. It doesn’t hurt to check your credit free once a year, though, to make sure the information is accurate. You can get a free credit report for your own use once a year at

4. Mortgage Myth # 7: Once the mortgage company has checked my credit, my income and my money to close during the mortgage process, they won’t check it again right before I close. Don’t take out credit or add to borrowed balances on accounts you already have because mortgage companies many times WILL check your credit right before time to close. Don’t buy the furniture or appliances until AFTER you close. Stay away from 12-months-same-as-cash accounts too until after closing.

5. Mortgage Myth # 8: If I get a gift from someone to use as my down payment and home closing funds, the person giving me the money doesn’t have to show a paper trail on the source of their funds. The gift donor must still be able to verify the source of the gift funds.

6. Mortgage Myth # 9: If I show that I have someone to rent out my current home, the lease income will offset the house payment on that house, so I can qualify to buy a new home. Most loan programs have a rule they call Buy and Bail. Lots of people during the real estate downturn tried to use lease income on the home they could not sell so they could qualify to purchase a different home to be their primary residence. Since so many people let the former home go into foreclosure once they had moved to new home, lots of lenders made it a rule that lease income would not be used as income to qualify someone for the loan on the new home. +

7. Mortgage Myth #10: I can use cash I have kept under my mattress for funds to close on my mortgage. The source of all funds used to document reserve funds and money used to close on a real estate mortgage transaction MUST BE properly verified. One of the first loans I did over 25 years ago was a couple who had dug up buried treasure when they were building their new home. They split it with family members and my clients’ haul was over $20,000 dollars. Luckily the treasure had been appraised and the funds from selling some of the treasure was well documented by the gold coin appraiser and a legal bill of sale. Good to know if you happen to sink your shovel into someone’s forgotten stash.



     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 in Memphis .This Wednesday September 27th, 2017 Talk Shoppe presents: “The Mastermind Principle: based on the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

2. Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to advertisers like Leah Anne Morse of Cartridge World of Collierville. (901) 853-3230. Talk about debunking some myths to save money—Cartridge World of Collierville uses the latest technology to create recycled cartridges that perform like those factory made by the printer company.

3. Thank you to Jana Cardona, executive director of Business Network International of the Mid-South. Build your business with a system of referrals

4. Thank you to Pat Goldstein, Realtor with Crye-Leike Realtors in Tennessee and North Mississippi Pat puts her 30 years experience and commitment to excellence to work for you. (901) 606-2000

5. Welcome to Fall Equinox-even though it still feels like summertime (Tom King)


5. Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe reminds you that IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY.


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.” Anonymous
“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” Susan Heller
“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” Lawrence Block
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” Fitzhugh Mullan




Gwen Christensen, owner of Builders Floors and Interiors Gwen can get the exact right flooring for you and get it installed for less than the big box store price.
Eric Eurich, Kaizen award-winning business coach with Focal Point Business Coaching Ask Eric about his early morning coaching sessions with breakfast at the Crescent Club in Memphis
Mary Jane Lessley, Signs Now of Memphis (901) 368-0784 Banner and Flags, / Custom 3D Signs/Custom Architectural Storefront Signs, and more

Transitional Music: “On The Road Again”  by Willie Nelson;  “Route 66”   by John Mayer; “On My Way”   Phil Collins ; “Memphis” for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest


CALLER: LYNN MCDONALD, INSURANCE AGENT WITH ERIN MCDONALD INSURANCE AGENCY (901) 849-7101 (Lynn offers very competitive rates with the best coverage. Lynn is known for her homemade cookies she delivers to the real estate closings. She loves her customers!





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. (901) 487-6989


ABOUT JO GARNER-MORTGAGE LOAN OFFICER: (901) 482 0354 twitter @jogarner NMLS# 757308
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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