In this show you will hear some stories of people who have had a dream and a desire and created a design to go after what they wanted.  I will be sharing some financing solutions to put in your tool box. John and Jennifer Lawhon will share some stories of how some of their customers found solutions and a design that recreated their world to something better.

Let’s stay connected!  Subscribe at  to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes every week.  What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage?

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   Our general topic is DREAM IT, DESIGN IT, DO IT—WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR MORTGAGE LOAN, YOUR LAWN, YOUR LIFE WITH REAL ESTATE Subscribe to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes at  Call us while we’re live today February 8th, 2020 at (901) 535-9732.


John Lawhon of Lawhon Landscaping is in the studio again.  John, Lawhon Landscaping has been building a great reputation in the Mid-South area for over 55 years, but you don’t look old enough to have run the landscaping business that many years.   Take a moment and tell our listeners a little about yourselves. Also, tell us the type of services you offer your customers. (John introduces himself and shares what services Lawhon Landscaping offers their clients.)

(Jo)   We are talking about Dream It, Design It, Do It.. What are YOU dreaming about doing? What would YOU like your house to look like? What do you want your LIFE to look like?


Someone said,  “The best way to get ahead is to get started.”  Let me introduce you to Ian Iverson, a man who started with a big dream on a small budget.  He is a perfect example of why it is important to start today investing in real estate so that you can enjoy living the life you want tomorrow.  

Back in the late 1980’s I met a young man in his twenties that we will call Ian Iverson.  We were in San Diego at a real estate investing conference.   He and I spent several hours together that week comparing real estate strategies and life goals. What impressed me about Ian is that he had already purchased his first property with very little down payment, buying his primary residence. But, since Ian wanted to free up as much money as possible for buying more real estate, he lived frugally in the back bedroom and rented out the rest of his home to a local white-collar professional man.

Over the years Ian and I have stayed in touch.  He joined his local landlord association in the city where he lives.  From some seasoned investors he found some really good investment deals.  Ian found a banker who would give him a credit line on the house he already owned to give him the down payment to buy a duplex from one of the investors he knew from the landlord association.   Ian plodded along year after year, one property at a time, buying and sometimes fixing up property but keeping them all for rental income. Through many good times and bad times,  slowly but surely, Ian planted his seed (his investment money and his time) to gradually build his real estate empire. Today Ian is in his 50’s and does not have to work.  He lives well with his family out in the country with land, a barn and horses.  He is living his dream.   People like Ian are an inspiration to persevere through the uncomfortable times, stay frugal, invest his money like planting seeds into real estate that sprouts and produces more and more seed that Ian continued to plow back into improving the homes he owned and getting more and more in rent while his property continued to go up in value.

MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY.   Connect with me at Email me at  or just call me at (901) 482-0354. 

John Lawhon, you have been working in the lawn and landscaping business for most of your life. Share some examples of clients you remember who have used a landscape or outdoor design to change for the better how they enjoy living in their home (John, share a story or two about the type landscape designs their clients have used to help them enjoy living in their home…about 3 -4 minutes before we go to 9:15 break)

You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  What do YOU want to accomplish with your mortgage? Make your plan. Let’s work your plan if the deal works for you today, let’s do it today. Connect with me at   When we come back the Lawhons of Lawhon Landscape will be taking your calls and sharing some more ideas on how to get started designing outside your home today so you can enjoy it this summer.



2nd segment after 9:15 break: Our Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is brought to you  by notable Memphis historian, Jimmy Ogle. Twelve of his Memphis History lectures entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle may be viewed by Googling “JIMMY OGLE PINK PALACE”.  View at .  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 or you can do the big project in phases . 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 # 171 * 02/08/20

Elliot Perry

Question:  My jersey # 34 is retired and hangs high in FedExForum. Who am I?

Hint:  I played my high school basketball years at Treadwell High School in Memphis.

Hint: I started every game in my four-year collegiate career at Memphis state University.

Hint: I am an avid art collector.

Final Hint: My nickname is “Socks” for the high footwear that I wore.  Who am I?

Answer: Elliot Perry Memphis, Tennessee, native and 6-foot point guard Elliot Perry was Memphis State University basketball coach Larry Finch’s first recruit. He started every game during his collegiate career (1987-91), leading the program to two NCAA tournament appearances and a second-round berth in 1987.
Now, Perry is director of player support for the Memphis Grizzlies, a title he’s held with the team since 2014. His responsibilities include helping players prepare for life outside of basketball — an area in which he’s found much success. He also advises the team on community-based efforts in Memphis.

Perry played for seven teams over his 10-year NBA career. Known as “Socks” because of the high footwear he wore during his collegiate and NBA careers, he retired from the NBA in 2002, closing his career out with his hometown Memphis Grizzlies on a 10-day contract. He later worked a year with the National Basketball Players Association. Perry is part of the minority ownership group for the Grizzlies. Perry holds a degree in marketing. He was selected in the second round (37th overall) of the 1991 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, he founded the annual SOCKS Banquet (Supporting Our Community and Kids) to provide financial support to organizations committed to helping Memphis-area youth and also serves as a board member of Teach for America. An avid art collector, Perry focuses on modern and contemporary works by African-American artists and artists of African descent.

Bonus: Jimmy Ogle will be giving four distinct tours of Elmwood Cemetery on Saturday, April 25. To register, call 901-774-3212 or go to

Jimmy Ogle has retired from walking tours in Memphis.  Twelve of his Memphis History lectures entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle may be viewed for FREE on the internet by Googling “JIMMY OGLE PINK PALACE”.  View for more info!



1. What are some examples of clients who have benefited from getting you to help them plan their landscaping projects? John shares the story of the man who realized his range of mobility would decrease over the next few years.  He went ahead and had the Lawhons redesign his backyard so that he could enjoy lots of his favorite activities even though his ability to walk and climb would be restricted.

2. Why should the homeowner spend the money to hire a professional when they could just use Home Depot? The landscape professional knows which plants will grow well and will serve your purpose and which ones will not, saving you lots of time and money overall.

6. What are some solutions you use to help fix drainage problems? Physically redesigning the ground area and creating a swale—a gently sloping drainage ditch lined with gravel and other material.   There are other solutions but creating a swale is one of the most common answers.

8.  Please share information on when to trim shrubs and trees and when NOT to trim them.

Do your heavy pruning in February so you don’t lose new buds to frost

9. What is attacking crepe myrtles in the Mid-South area and what to do to save your plants

This is a insect that was brought into the area accidentally .  It bores into the crepe myrtle and sucks out the juice.  The product that comes from these insects causes black fungus to build up eventually killing the plant.     There are special chemicals that can quickly kill of the insect without killing the plant but you must work very fast to save your plants.



  1.  What are some tips on ways to get your mortgage paid off early with the least amount of costs?
  1. Imagine how you would feel if you were headed down to the bank to make the very last mortgage payment on your home.  Would you already have a plan and design for the next step in your life of freedom?
  2. On a 30 year amortized mortgage, if you make one extra principal and interest payment per year starting at the first year, you can eliminate  7 to 8 years off your mortgage term.
  3. Making extra principal and interest payments in earliest years of your mortgage can save you thousands of dollars in interest cost. The reason is because, on an amortized loan, the biggest portion of the principal and interest payment is interest and only a small amount of the payment makes up the principal portion.   As the loan term progresses, more and more of the principal and interest payment becomes interest and not so much principal.  If you are prepaying your mortgage in the early years, making a small amount of prepayment to principal eliminates a lot more interest payments because in the early part of the mortgage the principal portion of the payment is so small.
  4. For example, on a mortgage in the low $200 thousands with a 30 year term, the principal and interest would be around $1,000 to $1100 per month give or take.  The interest portion of the monthly  payment is in the mid $700’s per month about and the principal portion is smaller at around the mid 200  dollar mark.
  5. If you have a lot of other debt with higher interest rates or variable rates that carry higher interest rate costs, you might consider looking at a cash out refinance on your home and use the cash out funds to wipe out all the high interest rate debts.  Once the high interest rate debt is paid off with the funds from your cash out refinance on your home, then take the savings per month and start aggressively start paying the mortgage off early.  You will be surprised how restructuring your debt can make a world of difference.  
  6. Consult with your licensed financial advisor. Picture your debt as a long candle with a wick at both ends.  Let’s explore some possible financing options to help you burn the candle at both ends to get rid of all of your debt sooner rather than later.
  7. Make your plan. Let’s work your plan.  If the deal works for you today, do it today.   Connect with me at Subscribe at and you will get our weekly podcasts with show notes conveniently in your email box.  Pick up the phone and call me the old fashion way. I want to hear your plan and roll up my sleeves with you to come up with a design to get your mortgage financing working for you.  (901) 482-0354
  9. We can call him Charlie (not his real name.)  He was in his 30’s with a wife and a young child and another baby on the way.  “The house we are in is a little cramped now, but when the baby is born, this house won’t work for us at all.”  He talked about a neighborhood where he and his wife were looking at houses. 
  10. When I asked him questions about the price ranges of the homes in the neighborhood where he was describing he had been looking, his voice sort of trailed off and he didn’t finish his sentence. Without any warning, he just blurted out, “I don’t really want  to buy an existing home anywhere.  What I really  want to do is build the house the way we want to live in it.”
  11. When he asked me which way would be the best deal for him, my answer to him was the answer he already knew to be true before he ever asked. The real question was, “Where will you be happiest—in an already built home or the new construction home you design yourself?”
  12. So may times the best deal ever is the one where you follow your heart and figure out for yourself how to make it work.   Charlie and I started doing the numbers on what the money down would be and the payments per month if he built the house he really wanted out in the country.  After looking at a few ideas, he finally decided that he could afford right now to build the house he wanted if he didn’t finish the attic and left the bonus room unfinished. 
  13. “With small children, I wouldn’t want them trying to navigate stairs anyway. When the children are a little older and I have a little more saved back, we can finish out the upstairs and it will be like having a brand new house.” His plan was to consult with a realtor who knew the values in the area. He was going to get with a builder and then come back to me with some prices and terms we could compare on putting together his mortgage terms.


 You have heard so many stories of people who have, because of unexpected tragedies they find themselves covered up in credit card debt.  It starts small and then it really hits home when they realize the next time they have a chance to enjoy a timely vacation with friends and family, but they have to say no this time for the first time.  It can be depressing.

Restructuring your mortgage is not always the answer. But sometimes, especially if the crisis has passed, refinancing the home mortgage to a lower rate and including the high interest rate credit card balances, can save some people $500 to over $1,000 per month on their cash flow

Just moving the debt around is not enough though. It is when the hardship has passed that caused the debt crisis  that makes it a great time to put together a plan to get rid of all of it in stages.

The plan out of debt clearly is different depending on different situations of course. Some of the mortgage customers I have assisted who refinanced their mortgage and rolled in the high interest rate credit card debt are people who had compared other options for reducing the COST of their debt.

As an example, if you have a mortgage loan balance in the low $100K’s and roll in $40K-$50K in credit card debt and if, by doing this, you can reduce the amount you have to pay out each month by over $500 to $700 per month, you can set up a plan to use some of your savings to pay off your mortgage early.  Your debt would be on a low, stable interest rate  on your mortgage instead of the higher, variable rate debt that has accumulated on the credit cards.

But the key to this option is to set up a plan, like automatic prepayments to principal in order to get rid of your mortgage sooner at  less cost


Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT at Concorde Career College 1st floor 5100 Poplar Ave in Memphis (The Clark Tower) This Wednesday Charles Winton, Jr. of Kardia Counseling will be presenting #Trauma: My Event, My Story, My Behavior.”

Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to supporters like Tim Gilliland of  When you need to recover lost data on your computer, you will feel very thankful when you call Tim at BackupRX and simply download all your data and system files immediately when you need it.   Contact BackupRX about getting your data automatically backed-up  at

Thank you to Miranda Griffin of Healthy Mid-South, inspiring healthy behaviors from the home and into the work place.  To get focused on your healthy habits, contact Miranda at

2. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY is coming up.  Talk Shoppe wants  to thank Don Lawler, wedding videographer of StorytellersMemphis, for teaching us a few techniques to improve the green screen videos for sponsor promos.  Don Lawler’s clients say he is truly the master of his craft.  Contact Don Lawler today. He can tell YOUR story by professionally videoing your wedding.

4. Subscribe at and you can get our weekly blog posts with podcasts conveniently in your inbox.   



QUOTE CORNER:  “The Secret Of Getting Ahead Is Getting Started”

Walt Disney “All Our Dreams Come True If We Have The Courage To Pursue Them”



Jana Cardona, Executive Director of Business Network International of the Mid-South. Building your business by the power of referrals.

Sonia Balcer, Rocket Scientist -Montrose, California

Mark McLaurine, Refrigeration Unlimited (Heating and Air Repair Strategist) 

Transition Music:  “Dream” by Imagine Dragons; “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics;“You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oates; “Memphis” by Johnny Rivers for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest

CALLER: Sonia Balcer, Rocket Scientist and Physicist

(Methods to Launching Your Plans To Reach Your Dreams)



(901) 754-7474

Beautiful gardens begin with thoughtful design. The staff of Lawhon Landscape Design includes professionals with degrees in Landscape Architecture, Plant Pathology, Studio Art, and Agronomy. Our designers and plant professionals create outdoor living spaces with your lifestyle in mind.

Our many years of experience in design, installing, and maintaining Mid-South landscapes make us uniquely qualified to create gardens that are both beautiful and practical to maintain.

A Family Business

Our business was started in 1958 by Rex and Beth Lawhon and was one of the first weed control companies in the Southeast. Over the years, we have kept our client list small and personal in order to serve the gardens of Memphis with the best in lawn and shrub care. The high quality of our work has paid off over the years by the many repeat customers we have – both residential and commercial. We follow the philosophy of doing it right the first time. We hope that you will give us the opportunity to serve your garden needs as well.

In 1985, we expanded our family company by offering a complete design build landscape service. John Lawhon, with a degree in Landscape Architecture, offers complete landscape designs for every budget as well as outstanding plant installation services. In order to help maintain your landscape, we offer complete irrigation system installation. We have verything you need to make your home more beautiful than ever.


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR MORTGAGE?    (901) 482 0354  twitter @jogarner  NMLS# 757308 (currently working with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Inc)

“Whatever YOUR  personal priorities are, my job is to help you get the mortgage terms that will give you bragging rights when you talk about it and help you score on  hitting your goals .”

As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to help you get to the  benefits you want from your financing terms.  What is most important to you? I can help you find the financing terms that will help you get to what you want.   What is your comfort level on a house payment? How much are you comfortable paying down,? What type of financing do you need to get the house you 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.”

 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 25 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 25 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 Garner also host the radio show Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe airing on News Radio AM 600 WREC and iHeart Radio with podcasts and show notes published on