Today on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe we will be sharing some stories of people who have overcome some challenges in life and how they were able to angle their way into some personal independence owning their own home.  Tom King, expert appraiser, will be sharing some real estate trends and opportunities in our current market.

What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage?   Subscribe at to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes. 

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

Let’s Get This Party Started…

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 HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! REASONS TO CELEBRATE YOUR PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE OWNING YOUR OWN HOME. Subscribe to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes at  Call us while we’re live today July 4th, 2020 at (901) 535-9732.

 Back in the studio we have Tom King with Bill King Appraisal Company.  Tom, you have appraised thousands of homes in the Shelby County, Fayette and Tipton county TN areas. I understand lately you are working wall-to-wall every day doing real estate appraisals for people buying homes, selling homes and refinancing.   Take a moment and tell our new listeners a little bit about you and what you do for your appraisal clients. ( Tom takes 1 minute or so to introduce himself and talk about the types of appraisals he does)

(Jo) Today we are celebrating our beautiful country, America, land of the free.  We are talking about ways that owning your own home can help you enjoy your personal independence.  I was listening again to a news story from a national news agency out of Washington, DC.  The story was about 24 metropolitan cities in the United States Of America where it was much less.

The news anchor talked specifically about Memphis, TN and how our average rent of $914/month is DOUBLE the monthly cost to buy a home in the same area. As the anchor was ending the segment she yelled to her production team, “ I want to live in Memphis!”

Even if you are a listener living on the West Coast where it may not be as profitable up front to own vs rent, there are still advantages of homeownership that we call all enjoy.

Number one: The landlord is not knocking on your door every year to raise the rent higher and higher.   The hard-earned money you pay each month to live in the house is not simply paying off someone else’s mortgage, it is paying down your mortgage and continuing to give you more and more equity and wealth. 

Number Two:   The United States of America is the only country in the world that offers homeowners a true 30 -year fixed rate. That means you can lock in a fixed rate mortgage and the principle and interest on that mortgage NEVER CHANGES.  As prices go up on things year after year, your neighbors who are renting are having to pay more and more each year to their landlord.   But more and more of your budget is freed up to travel, invest and do other things you love because your house note is the same low payment year after year. (Taxes and insurance may go up marginally but not your principal and interest payment.)

Number Three:  When you own your home, you have the freedom to live in it however you wish.   Check the neighborhood covenants and restrictions. But, you can modify the home to fit your changing needs and wants.  You cannot make major changes to a landlord’s home.   You may want to build a pool in the back yard with a covered patio an outdoor bar-b-que entertainment area. You may want a garden or any number of things that can make your life better.   

Number Four:  Check with the financial advisors.   Ask about the many tax advantages to owning a home that you do not get from renting.  One of them is the capital gains advantage.   If you have lived in your home at least 2 years over the last 5 years, you can sell and make a profit up to $250,000 to $500,0000    WITHOUT BEING TAXED.

Number Five: You can buy a home with very little down, even zero down in some cases, and leverage this to get a home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.   There are many different government-backed mortgages and combinations of loan programs that allow you to get into a home for zero to very little down.     USDA 100% loan, Veteran 100% loan, FHA 3.5% down, various down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers and some programs that can work for homebuyers who are NOT first-time homebuyers.

Number Six:  Pride of ownership. Stable relationships with neighbors and associations in the area.

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 Email me at  or just call me at (901) 482-0354. 

Tom, as our expert appraiser, you can describe what has been happening with our Memphis real estate values during this Coronavirus pandemic time in history.  Tom talks about the real estate market and how real estate values and buying/selling and refinancing trends are moving during our continued pandemic situation  1. what real estate values have been doing in the Greater Memphis area.  2.  What real estate trends he sees in our area

Tom King reminds us about the economic law of supply and demand. When the demand is high and the supply is low, prices tend to be pushed upward.  We are seeing fewer homes on the market and lots of demand.  The demand is largely fueled by the extremely low mortgage rates. 

You need to be prepared with a strong mortgage prequalification letter and use every strategy you can to make your home purchase offer more compelling than any competing offers. 


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.   When we come back Tom King and I will be sharing more about the reasons you can celebrate YOUR independence by owning your own home in America. See you back in just a moment. 


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 # 181 * 07/04/20

Memphis Pink Palace Museum

Question:  I was designed to be a residence in an area formerly known as “Buttermilk Town”, but now I am one of the more popular attractions in Memphis. Who am I?

Hint:  My original name was to be Cla-La-Clare (named after the developer’s children).

Hint:  My original developer was a Memphis businessman that was quite innovative in his field of endeavor.

Hint:  My neighborhood was later developed into some nice homes by a company from Louisville, Kentucky.

Final Hint:  There is a color in my name!

Answer:  Memphis Pink Palace Museum.  The Memphis Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium serves as the Mid-South’s major science and historical museum and features exhibits ranging from archeology to chemistry. Over 240,000 people visit the museum each year. The Sharpe Planetarium, housed at the Pink Palace, features 165-seat theater-in-the-round auditorium and offers public shows that project star fields, visual images, and laser lights on a domed ceiling. The Crew Training International IMAX Theater opened on January 21, 1995 and features a four-story high movable screen. The Pink Palace Museum, the Sharpe Planetarium, and the Crew Training International IMAX Theater are accredited members of the American Alliance of Museums.

The headquarters for the Pink Palace Family of Museums is covered in pink Georgian marble; the mansion was given to the city of Memphis in the late 1920s by Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly, because of his financial troubles. He had the residence built in 1923, but lost a fortune and the home due to financial reversals on Wall Street. In March 1930, after the Stock Market Crash, Memphis Museum of Natural History and Industrial Arts opened in the mansion. The original exhibits featured stuffed animals and birds, dolls, anthropological items from local wealthy collectors, as well as items related to Memphis’ history, particularly Confederate military uniforms and memorabilia.

Bonus: Jimmy Ogle’s four distinct tours of Elmwood Cemetery that were scheduled for Saturday, April 25 are postponed until Autumn. For more information, call 901-774-3212 or go to

Jimmy Ogle has retired from walking tours in Memphis.  Twelve of his Memphis History lectures from the Pink Palace entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle, and now more than ten hours Downtown Walking Tours are FREE on the internet at . . . You Tube Jimmy Ogle.  
                                                   View for more info!



  1.  What current real estate trends are you seeing with our real estate values?  
  2. What real estate trends are you seeing in the Greater Memphis area
  3. What steps can someone take to appeal a low appraisal?
  4. What types of repairs do appraisers tend to require to be fixed before closing?
  5. What aspects to owning your own home can YOU share that bring people personal independence?



  1.  What are some of the most important reasons that owning your own home vs renting? (covered in the first segment)
  2. Examples of homeowners who are enjoying more independence with the homeownership advantages
  1. Raymond Ridley (not his real name) started out as a real estate agent helping     people buy and sell homes.  He worked day and night as a realtor and on weekends too.   His commissions were high but at the end of the year he had to pay thousands of dollars to the Internal Revenue Service and other taxes. 

To overcome his discouragement, Raymond worked harder and sold more   houses.  But the more he produced as a realtor, the more taxes he paid—up to 50% of his income at one point. 

Raymond had been observing some of his real estate investor friends.  They legally paid very little in taxes or none at all?   Wow!  If he didn’t have to pay out 50% of his hard-earned real estate commissions to Uncle Sam, he would be a wealthy man.  

That is when Raymond Ridley started buying homes himself to rent out to    tenants.   Today he enjoys working as a realtor but more than that, as a real estate investor he enjoys legally being able to keep all of his earnings using the tax deductions he now has as an investor.   Real estate over the years served as a hedge against inflation too.   Double duty…, giving Raymond his financial independence and more time with his family too.

Raymond shared with the Talk Shoppe group here in Memphis that one of the    most surprising benefits from buying a lot of rental properties, is that he hired his kids to work with him fixing them up.   The rental renovation projects bonded the family and created some great memories and life lessons.

The Veterans Administration Loan
  Edited version of this article published in Power Shoppe E-zine 2006 by Jo Garner all rights reserved (Mortgage 101 Series) It had been a long, overseas military tour.  Wayne Tozer’s eyes anxiously combed over the sea of people with their children.  They were waving small American flags and some were waving posters with “Welcome Home Our Heroes” written on them. Wayne’s heart skipped a beat and he had to catch his breath when he finally caught sight of his wife holding their three year old son.  They had not seen him yet and he worked his way toward them through the jostling crowd. Besides spending time with his family and getting settled in his new civilian job, Wayne’s commitment was to purchase a nice home for his family that would build equity and give them room to grow. Wayne’s credit was okay and his income would be enough to manage the house note.  The problem?  Wayne did not have the cash to put down nor did he have any to pay closing costs. Key Puzzle Pieces: (1) Wayne Tozer’s veteran status and time in the military made him eligible for the zero down VA loan. (2) The sellers were willing to pay some closing cost and prepaid property taxes and insurance. Mortgage Solution: The Veterans Administration Loan allows the eligible veteran to get a 100% loan.  If the seller agrees to pay all of the closing cost and prepaid taxes and insurance, the veteran pays zero down to move in. The VA programs offer fixed rate terms.  VA Fixed Rate
Max loan amount:    No longer a maximum loan amount as of 2019 Borrower Eligibility:  The borrower must have served in the regular military a minimum of 2 years or the full term.  (at least 90 days in war time and 181 days in peace time.) Cosigner:
Not applicable.  The coborrower can be married to the veteran Or have his/her own VA eligibility. Must occupy the property. Documentation:
Fully Documented
Minimum Down Payment:
VA Funding Fee: The VA funding fee can be paid in cash at closing or it can be rolled into the loan provided the loan does not exceed the maximum allowed. The seller, the lender or the veteran can pay the funding fee. The amount of the funding fee varies according to the amount of down payment, the type of service, and term of loan. For a veteran from the regular military, using his entitlement for the first time with zero down, the funding fee percentage  would lower than a subsequent use of the VA program.  There is no monthly VA funding fee for veterans when the documentation from VA indicates reasons allowing that veteran to waive the funding fee.   (Example in current market to this edit—veterans with 10% or higher VA declared disability) (There are exceptions to the payment of the funding fee)
Primary Residence Prepayment Penalty:
Property Types:
1-4 units
43% is the suggested maximum debt-to-income ratio. The VA loan program also considers the estimated maintenance cost of the house, square footage etc. Subordinate Financing:
Allowed under certain conditions. Seller Contributions:
Up to 4% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less or whatever the normal costs are for the geographic area
Source of Funds:
Gifts allowed with documentation and some restrictions.
30 yr and 15 year on fixed rate FHA loans. J. Garner, Instructor
Professional School of Real Estate   2006 __________________________________________________________________

The Johanassen’s story—HIGH Hopes With A LOW Payment & LOW Down payment

I got to attend the closing with two of my mortgage clients—a married couple who have spent much of their lives serving others  overseas.  On returning stateside they really wanted to own their first home. Their challenge was not having the funds to close on a home and not having a large income to afford a payment on a house like the one they needed.

The Johanssons (not their real names) put a good realtor on their team who listened to what they really wanted and needed in their home.  The realtor watched the market daily for months until she found a home that the Johanssons knew was meant to be their home. 

But the challenge was that the price of the house with a normal down payment would wreck their budget and leave them no emergency funds.   The Johanssons laid out their boundaries on payments and move-in costs. Because of their income level and the location of the home they wanted to buy, they qualified for a special down payment assistance product that offered $10,000 down payment assistance and a low  interest rate.  Using this product, the house was well within their grasp.  The payment was comfortable and they had emergency funds left over too.

When we all arrived at the title office to complete the closing of the loan and transfer of title to the Johanssons, it was a celebration time.  While Mr. Johansson signed the papers, Ms. Johansson talked excitedly about how she planned to decorate the home and make it a happy place for their family and friends to come visit.   When the last paper was signed and notarized, Mr. and Ms. Johansson rushed into each other’s arms in celebration of achieving he their dream of owning their own home.   We were all laughing and cheering.  It was a long won victory.

As we took pictures and shared more stories of the Johansson’s journey to homeownership, I felt that rush of happiness and fulfillment, knowing I had a part in making a lifelong dream come true for this very deserving couple.  I reminded myself, “This is why get up, get ready and get to work each day.  This is why I do what I do as a mortgage loan officer.”

REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Tom King offers tip): Jo Garner shares tip for homeowners taking advantage of refinancing to lower mortgage rate, shorten term, or freeing up cash per month.  During the Great Depression of the 1930’s the United States introduced the wonderful 30 year fixed rate and the FHA low down payment loan program  that has helped millions of of people since then to own their own homes. I believe that we will see some good things come from our pandemic situation too.

Tom thanks our first-responders, health care workers and military soldiers and veterans for protecting and helping us around the country. 

It takes special people to do their job well


Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business and health and wellness. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT virtually in our awesome location.  Go to click on he Upcoming Events tab and then click on the zoom web link to join us every Wednesday.  This Wednesday July 8th, 2020 Mark Loden of MKL Personal Monthly Budgeting Service will be presenting “Fiscal Fitness for your Personal Fitness”  

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 Brett Carter of Servicemaster by Cornerstone They restore residential and commercial properties and their contents when they are damaged by catastrophes resulting from water, fire, mold, odor or biohazards. Thank you to Servicemaster by Cornerstone for your service in sanitizing ambulances and sheriff’s cars.   You have a great reputation for treating your clients well.   Contact Servicemaster by Cornerstone at (901) 624-9200

2.  Happy 244th Birthday to the United States of America!   This weekend as we celebrate our freedom in the great nation —be grateful for all the other blessings we enjoy.   Bless someone else today—your neighbor, a friend or a family member. 

3. Thank you to our veterans and soldiers who have made great sacrifices to keep America free.

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




Former US President John F Kennedy-  “So my fellow Americans, Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.” 

Retired Senator Johnny Isakson said, “Wide ownership of land in America is the difference between America and, really, the rest of the world.  Most nations are nations of tenants.  We are a nation of homeowners.”



  1. Mary Lou Nowak, Mid-South Home Helpers (non-medical assistance in the home) (901) 414-9696    
  2. Pat Goldstein, Realtor for West TN and North Mississippi  (901) 606-2000 “The Gold Standard in Real Estate”
  3. Leah Anne Morse, owner of All Things New (organizing and help with downsizing and estate sales) 

Transitional Music: “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood; “America-Why I Love Her” by John Wayne; “Home” by Roger Miller;  “Memphis” by Johnny Rivers for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest



Tom is a well- respected and sought after appraiser in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is a second generation appraiser with 40 years of 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 appraising real estate for pre-listing sales, cash buyers, divorce settlements, estate settlements. (901) 487-6989


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