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Are you on the road to buying your home or refinancing one? With all the new government guidelines, there are new rules on what you DO and DON’T DO to avoid flying monkeys, wicked witches and stay on the yellow brick road to get your home and your money right on time at your real estate closing. Joe Rojas will be covering some tips and warnings to help you know how to prepare for the real estate closing. I will be covering some tips on how to maneuver quickly through the mortgage process. If you are a realtor, call us while we are on the air and share YOUR tips to your buyers and sellers.

We want to hear from you! Subscribe to our weekly podcasts and show notes and more at or just email me at Let’s stay connected!

To Your Success,
Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS#757308 (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 Our general topic is REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS-AVOID FLYING MONKEYS AND FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. If you have a question, you can call us while we are live at (901) 535-9732 Today is October 28th, 2017. What part of the real estate industry interest you the most? Let’s stay connected! You can get our weekly podcast WITH SHOW NOTES for your convenience. Just subscribe at or just email me directly at
Are you on the road to buying your home or refinancing one? With all the new government guidelines, there are new rules on what you DO and DON’T DO to avoid flying monkeys, wicked witches and stay on the yellow brick road to get your home and your money right on time at your real estate closing. Joe Rojas will be covering some tips and warnings to help you know how to prepare for the real estate closing. I will be covering some tips on how to maneuver quickly through the mortgage process. If you are a realtor, call us while we are on the air and share YOUR tips to your buyers and sellers.

Joe Rojas is a real estate title specialist with Quality Title Group in Memphis, TN. You have been working with people in closings for over 15 years. Thank you for taking care of my mortgage clients, Joe. Tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do for your clients at Quality Title Pros. (Joe introduces himself)

(Jo) Even though the temperatures are dropping, the real estate market is HOT! The demand from home buyers is still high and the number of houses available for sale is still low. It is more important now more than ever to put some real estate pros on your team, follow a proven process to get to the closing table. The reward is getting your house, your money and walking away with that feeling of accomplishment.
In the classic story The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught up in a tornado and suddenly find themselves in a strange land far from home. Dorothy’s desperate wish is to get back to Kansas, back home to the family she loves and the people who love her. Glenda the Good Witch instructs Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz. Dorothy believes that the Wizard of Oz can get her home. But can he? Or is the power of getting back home with her all the time?
Very much like the story of Dorothy and the friends she encounters getting past the Wicked Witch of the West and monkeys, homebuyers set out on the road to find their home. To get to the mortgage approval and real estate closing, it is important to surround yourself with experienced, reputable real estate professionals who can save you time, money and heartache.
Using the Wizard of OZ theme for today’s show, Joe Rojas and I will be preparing you and directing you along the way to a successful mortgage approval and loan closing.
Joe, what are some of the first tasks that take place at the real estate title office as soon the property seller, the realtor or the lender notifies you of an upcoming real estate closing?
(Joe starts going through what the title company does to prepare for the closing )
1. Search title to find any liens, claims or other clouds on the title chain such has old mortgages that have been paid off but no release documents recorded.
2. Issue of the lenders title insurance policy and the owner’s policy. If the borrower is refinancing a mortgage and he has had the title insurance policy for less than 10 years, it is possible he may get a rebate or discount on the lenders policy on the new loan or the same property.
3. Transfers title from the seller to the buyer and records the necessary documents
4. Pays off loans and liens as directed on the closing package instructions

(Jo) Before you even get close to the closing table, buyers need to get approved for their mortgage loans to purchase the home. Before you go out with your realtor to look at houses, the first step is to know your personal comfort level on a house payment and the amount of money you can put down at closing.
If you only have time to look at the last 3 months bank statements and credit card statements , write down your net income being deposited into your account and the amount of money coming out. How much are you spending each month on your credit cards? Add the items that you only pay once or twice a year like when you pay your car insurance or your car tags and other once a year bills. NOW, how much can you afford on a house note? What items can you eliminate from your spending so that you can afford the house that is calling you name?

How much can you pay down and still leave enough money in the “rainy day” account? Want to go treasure hunting? I can help you find money you did not even know you HAD. Call me after this show if you want to talk OFF the air on my direct line at (901) 482-0354. But you have to talk with me PERSONALLY so I can work with you personally. MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY. Or you can call me right now while we are on the air in the studio at (901) 535-9732.

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 # 117 10/28/17

Wolf River
Question: I start a meandering journey in Mississippi and end in Tennessee. Who am I?
Hint: I was named (Margot) by French explorers centuries ago.

Hint: I pass through two states, four counties and by eleven communities on my journey.
Hint: I was declared “dead” in the 1970s.
Final Hint: In 1997, I designated as an American Heritage River by Presidential Proclamation!
Answer: The Wolf River begins in Holly Springs National Forest in Marshall County, Mississippi and meanders over 90 miles to the Mississippi River, just north of Downtown Memphis. Early 19th century, declared navigable, from Memphis to La Grange, by the Tennessee General Assembly, which appropriated funds to remove obstructions for keel boat travel. In 1888, Memphis stopped using the Wolf River as its principal source of drinking water, switching to artesian wells, which are still used and which are replenished by the Wolf’s watershed.
In 1960 because of its foul odor, the Wolf was dammed in 1960 near its mouth and diverted into the Mississippi north of Mud Island. The section of the Wolf downstream of this channel diversion became a slackwater harbor of the Mississippi known today as Wolf River Harbor, which separates Mud Island (actually a peninsula) from the Memphis “mainland.” In 1970, surface drainage, sewage, and industrial pollution caused a group of scientists and environmentalists to pronounce the river “dead” around Memphis. Home to deer, otter, dirt pigs, mink, bobcat, fox, coyote, turkey, and a wide variety of waterfowl, reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic life. Migrating osprey, great egret and bald eagle have been spotted.Tennessee state record trees located in its bottomland forests, including a Tupelo Gum that is 17 feet (5.2 m) in circumference; and other hardwoods include green ash, red maple, swamp chestnut oak, blackgum, and the majestic bald cypress. Native flowering plants include cardinal flower, ironweed, swamp iris, false loosestrife, spatterdock, swamp rose, blue phlox and spring cress.

Concerned citizens formed the Wolf River Conservancy in 1985 and have been making the Wolf River healthy again and accessible for all future generations.
Jimmy Ogle gives free outdoor walking tours on the sidewalks and parks in Downtown Memphis during year, with the next being the Court Square & Surroundings Tour on Tuesday, October 31 at 11:45 a.m. (meet at Court Square) The Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse Tour at 12:00 noon on Thursday, November 15 (meet at the steps at the Southwest Corner, Second & Adams. Go to for more information.

1. What are the first steps the title company takes on the road to the closing? Starting when you are first notified of a closing.

2. How should sellers prepare for the closing? (don’t go get a last minute credit line on the house they are selling without notifying the title company so they can be prepared to clear this credit line so it is paid off at closing, keys to the house and garage door openers and appliance manuals, repairs completed that they promised to complete, picture ID and otherID)

3. How should buyers prepare for their real estate closing? (Two forms of ID and one being the picture ID on the driver license, cashiers check or getting money wired to the closing table, beware of hackers and scammers trying to redirect your wire funds)

4. If the buyer or seller cannot attend the closing, what type Power of Attorney can they use to have someone close on their behalf? (specific Power of Attorney, Get it done early and make sure the mortgage company and the closing attorney agree)

5. Documents buyers with a mortgage can expect to see:
Promissory Note promise to pay terms
Deed of Trust agreement to give the house back to the lender if the terms on the note are not paid as agreed. Other agreements such has promising to pay the taxes and insurance and make repairs.

6. What is lender’s title insurance? What does it do? Who does it benefit? How much does it cost? Lender’s title insurance is mandatory when there is a mortgage involved. It is a one time fee and covers the lender up the amount owed on the mortgage.

7. What is owner’s title insurance? What does it do? Who does it benefit? How much does it cost? Why is important for the homeowner?
Owners title insurance is paid one time at closing but will cover the entire time the home buyer lives in the house. It is usually very inexpensive because most of cost for this insurance is covered when the lender insurance is done. Owner’s title covers the hon

1. Talk about some of the Do’s and Don’ts Tips For A Smooth Closing that you cover with your clients?
A. Make sure you electronically sign the e-consent forms sent to you at the beginning of the loan process. This allows the lender to use your email to send time sensitive information instead of having to wait on snail mail through the postal service. Within 3 days of an official loan request, you should get your official Loan Estimate through your email address. It is important to e-sign this right away so that your loan process can get into full swing. When your loan is approved, you will receive an official Closing Disclosure to electronically sign which will start the government mandated 3-day delay to give you time to review your numbers before closing on your loan.
B. Be prepared to give your lender copies of all pages of your last 2 years tax returns, W2s, 1099s and latest paystub. Sometimes only the last 1 year taxes is required, but be ready to produce both of them. Be prepared to send over all pages of your last 2 months bank statements. If there are large deposits appearing on the bank statements, be prepared to have your bank send over an image deposit of the amount that was deposited into your account. You can write the reason for the deposit and send to your lender. Funds that are borrowed unsecured cannot be used in the real estate transaction.
C. Please do not make any changes to your income or manner of payment from income from your business or employment. Even if your income is increasing, under current loan guidelines some methods of income payment are not allowed to be counted as qualifying income so it is important to let your loan officer know of upcoming changes right away to make sure the type payment of income is acceptable for loan qualification purposes. If you own 25% or more of a business, please send all pages of the business tax returns for the past 2 years also. Watch out for unreimbursed employee expenses and losses from businesses showing on your tax returns. In some cases the amount of these losses could be subtracted from your regular income.

D. If you are legally married, and buying or refinancing a primary residence, even if your spouse is not on the loan nor on the title, your spouse will be required to sign a few key documents to keep your title clean under the state law. Change in marital status could cause problems on title.
E. Do not open any new credit accounts (and especially not a 12-months-same-as-cash account.) Do not add balances to any existing credit accounts. Do not apply for any new credit during the loan process. Do not make any changes on your credit status.
F. If there will be a full appraisal on the property you are financing, please inspect the subject property for repairs that may be required prior to closing by the appraiser. Some common required repairs are leaky roof, rotted wood, peeling paint, torn flooring, broken tile, non-functional plumbing, electrical or HVAC systems, drainage problems, holes in sheetrock, broken windows, foundational problems, termite damage, hazardous waste on property, etc.
If the property is in a flood zone, flood insurance will be required. Appraisal values are determined by the assigned appraiser. Comparable property sales over the last 6 months to a year on houses like the subject property in the subject property neighborhood are used to determine the official value used by the mortgage company. Government guidelines require the mortgage company to order an appraisal and have the appraiser to be assigned to the property by a third-party, government approved order agency separate from the mortgage company.
The mortgage company must order the appraisal from the approved agency. Appraisals from other mortgage companies and appraisals ordered by anyone else, are not qualified to be used under current loan regulations.
G. Use funds for closing DIRECTLY from the account where we have verified your funds. If funds come from a different account, it can delay or jeopardize your closing . Also do not move money from the account where funds were verified to another account to access for closing. Funds must come DIRECTLY from the account where funds were verified and not moved to a different account for any reason. Earnest money must come from the account that you will be fully documenting.
REMEMBER, AT CLOSING THE FUNDS WILL NEED TO BE IN THE FORM OF A CASHIER’S CHECK AND/OR WIRE PAYABLE TO THE CLOSING AGENT. You will need 2 forms of ID at closing including drivers license. All borrowers and interested parties will need this documentation at closing.
H. Due to the new TRID government lending guidelines, there are mandatory delays set up throughout the process, giving you a chance to review the terms as the process moves forward. If you change anything that triggers a change in the final terms after final disclosures have been sent, this could delay your closing to wait on new documents to be received by you and the mandated delay period completed.
I. Due to a rising number of incidences of hackers redirecting wired closing funds, please do NOT have any funds wired before verifying the wiring information with your loan officer and the attorney’s office. There may be additional steps to take to ensure your money is wired to the correct account.

REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (JOE ROJAS shares a reminder to married couples that, even if your spouse will not be on the loan nor the title on a primary residence. The spouse must sign a few documents to clear the title for marital rights claims later):
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 Memphis. This Wednesday November 1st, 2017 Talk Shoppe presents: “After Flood, Fire, Mold or Bio Hazards—Making Your Home Like Brand New” with Marcus Fors of Puroclean of Memphis (901) 237-2040
Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to sponsors/advertisers/supporters like Talk Shoppe’s newest advertiser John Dancy, Automobile Appraiser. (901) 343-2684
2. Thank you to Jana Cardona, Executive Director of Business Network International of the Mid-South
4. Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe reminds you that MAKE YOUR PLAN. WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY.

Quotes from “The Wizard of Oz” “There’s no place like home”;
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when if faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”

1. Gwen Christensen, Owner of Builders Floors and Interiors (901) 231-4777
2. Jeri Jeffries, Tiger Paws Carpet Cleaning (901) 327-1884
3. Tom King, Bill King Appraisals (901) 487-6989

Transitional Music:
Somewhere Over The Rainbow (song from The Wizard of Oz); “Follow The Yellow Brick Road” (song from the Wizard of Oz); “There’s no place like home” song from The Wizard of Oz “Memphis” by Johnny Rivers

ABOUT JOE ROJAS, Quality Title Group, LLC Memphis, TN

(901) 289-5821
Joe Rojas has been in the title company business for over 15 years and has assisted hundreds of clients have a smooth closing over the years.

ABOUT JO GARNER-MORTGAGE LOAN OFFICER: (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. She was also the editor of Power Shoppe, a free weekly e-zine designed for real estate professionals and others indirectly connected to the real estate industry and currently publishes on her blog


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