Have you ever considered purchasing a home at a bargain price at a tax sale but you just didn’t know how to go through the process? We have the experts here today to show you  where and how you can buy a bargain-priced property at a tax sale.  As the mortgage expert, I will be talking about ways investors get the financing to buy these properties.  

Subscribe at www.JoGarner.com and we can talk about what interests YOU in the real estate and financing industry.  

To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer and Radio Talk Show Host For Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe


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 www.JoGarner.com.   Our general topic is “How To Buy Real Estate At Tax Sales, Financing Them & Ways Shelby County Makes It Easier.” Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe is sponsored by Joe Rojas of Quality Title Group here in the Memphis area.  For your commercial or residential real estate closings, give Joe Rojas a call at (901) 289-5821.

If you have a question or comment you can shoot me an email at jo@jogarner.com  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 27th, 2017.

Have you ever considered purchasing a home at a bargain price at a tax sale but you just didn’t know how to go through the process? We have the here today to show you  where and how you can buy a bargain-priced property at a tax sale.  As the mortgage expert, I will be talking about ways investors get the financing to buy these properties.  

Our special guest today is Shelby County TN Trustee, David Lenoir.  (David can make a short comment here if he wishes)    (Jo continues with intro) David, you have a packed shelf of  awards and accolades for the great job you’re doing as Trustee here in Shelby County. You were named the statewide Trustee of the Year by the Tennessee County Trustee’s Association in 2016.  Two years ago you accepted the Pinnacle Achievement Award from the National Association of State Treasurers and I have more written in the blog post for today’s show.   Thank you for all you do for Shelby County and all of us in the Memphis area.   And welcome back to Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe.  Tell us a little about yourself and what you do as Shelby County Trustee. (David introduces himself and talks about what he does as Trustee)

(Jo) We also have Kesha Whitaker who recently was selected at one of the Top 40 Under 40 in the Memphis Business Journal.  Kesha, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for the Shelby County Trustee’s Office. (Kesha introduces herself and what she does for the Trustee’s office)

(Jo) Before we jump into how to buy bargain-priced houses at the tax sale, let’s get to some good news-bad news in the mortgage market this week.  I don’t know about you, but give me the bad news first and its easier to take because I know good news is coming.  Bad news—The Gross Domestic Product report came in much weaker than expected. Good news—stocks and mortgage rates tend to go lower when there’s bad economic news.  After spinning us around on a roller coaster ride, the mortgage rates skidded in yesterday to close at about 30YR FIXED – 4.125% to 4.25% on the conventional loans with the 15 year fixed coming in around 3.375% to 3.625%.  These rates can vary depending on a lot of factors.  Rates can vary based on other types of loan products too.   Let’s you and I talk.  But you’s have to talk with me personally so I can work with you.  You can connect with me at www.JoGarner.com or call me directly at (901) 482-0354. MAKE YOUR PLAN. WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY!

  • If you are a real estate investor looking for some bargain-priced homes, this topic is right down your alley and we would love to hear from you while we are live today January 28th, 2017. You can call us in the studio at (901) 535-9732  or you can call me after the show directly at (901) 482-0354.  

David, what percentage of buyers at the tax sales are investors and what percentage are buying the home to live in it?

(David or Kesha talk briefly about the types of buyers and bidders they encounter at the Road Shows which are a few people wishing to buy a primary residence but mostly investors

Civicsource.com )

(Jo)  Occasionally I will get a call from a client wanting to bid on a Shelby County Tax Sale property with intentions of living in the home.  Most of my callers are investors who want to buy at a discount, fix up the house and get it rented to good tenants.  Later in the show, I plan to share with you more details on some financing solutions we use to get the investors the money they need to pay cash for these properties.  

Here are just a few financing sources I see investors using:

  1. Existing credit lines with a bank.
  2. Substitution of collateral such as getting a cash out mortgage on one of their other properties that is free and clear.  
  3. Borrowing against a CD or stock fund or even a retirement fund or  trust fund.  
  4. Investment Partners-  
  5. Some investors will sell a house with a lot of equity and use the funds to pay cash or a large down payment down on a house.
  6. Quick Cash Back Refinance program-my special niche program that allows the real estate investor to pay cash or use one of the credit lines I just mentioned for funds to pay cash for the home.  Right after they purchase the home, I can refinance the property eliminating the need for the borrower to have the property in his own name for 6 months or longer.  Its quick.  I tell you a little more in a few minutes.

But now that you know I can SHOW YOU THE MONEY, let’s talk about ways you can buy a bargain-priced home at a Shelby County Tax Sale.   Inventory on available homes on the market is so tight right now, it is getting harder and harder to find homes that you can buy at a deep discount.   

David Lenoir, If I were a real estate investor and wanted to purchase a house through a Shelby County Tax Sale, what are the steps I would take to make the purchase? (David launches into this part of his topics until the 9:15 break)


[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 www.JimmyOgle.com .  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.]



In 1970 I became Memphis’ version of Greenwich Village, Bourbon Street and Gatlinburg all rolled into one.  Who am I?


My early roots were near a race track, streetcar land and amusement park in the late 1800s.


I “opened” on December 1, 1970 with restaurant and eight stores and one restaurant.


My early owners were instrumental in getting Liquor-by-the-drink passed in the State of Tennessee.

Final Hint:

After a 30-year demise, I have been re-born as a leading entertainment center in Memphis.


Overton Square. In 1969, Overton Square Founders & Developers James D. Robinson, Jr. (23), Ben Woodson (25), Charles H. Hull, Jr. (24), and Frank Doggrell, III (25) led the efforts to pass a referendum to allow establishments to sell liquor by the drink. The approved license was driven from Nashville right to the doors of T.G.I. Friday’s in Overton Square, the first franchised location outside of New York City. It quickly became a success and an anchor for other shops, restaurants, pubs, and other attractions.  In the 70’s, Overton Square was home to 11 restaurants, 27 shops and employed 800 Memphis locals. Over time, the Square was home to an ice skating rink, Solomon Alfred’s, the Mississippi River Co., the Public Eye, Bombay Bicycle Club, Gonzales & Gertrude’s, the Hot Air Balloon, Lafayette’s Music Room, Yosemite Sam’s (originally a disco), Godfather’s Supper Club, Trader Dick’s, and the original Huey’s. Pub crawls attracted over 40,000 people and Christmas at Overton Square was known for its carolers, roasted chestnuts and for bringing snow to the Mid-South every year.

Overton Square fell into disrepair in the 1980’s as businesses closed and a series of absentee owners led to further area-wide blight. In 2012, developers Robert and Louis Loeb of Loeb Properties, Inc., purchased Overton Square to save the area from imminent demolition. Each building was thoroughly renovated, public art installed throughout the neighborhood, a new public parking garage and detention pond constructed, and new tenants began to move in.  Overton Square today is home to thriving businesses anchored by five live-performance theaters and a multi-screen movie theater. Loeb Properties is cultivating this local landmark into a new kind of arts and entertainment district that is a destination for locals and visitors alike.

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 jimmyogle.com for more information.


SPECIAL CALL IN: ATTORNEY GREG GALLAGHER, Delinquent Tax Attorney at Shelby County TN Trustee



  1. Talk about the Road Shows.  Where are they and when are they?  
  2. Where are they publicized?  
  3. How does the Road Show work?



  1. If I were a real estate investor and wanted to purchase a house through a Shelby County Tax Sale, what are the steps I would take to make the purchase?
  • Log onto www.civicsource.com to enter the online bidding process.   You can get information on the properties on the tax sale.  You can put in your top bid and the software will increase your bid incrementally until you reach your top price. At that point the system will  notify you when someone has exceeded your bid price for the property.  You can opt to make a higher bid.   You can do this from the comfort of your home.   You will need to enter information to show that you are in a position to pay for the properties right away if you win the bid to buy the property.  

2. Since some of our listeners live in other states, what advice would you give them on finding out how to buy tax sales in their area?

  • Google the Property Tax Assessor for your county or parish or call your Real Estate Tax Trustee.

3. What are some of the barriers to getting clear title on properties that people buy through the Shelby County tax sale process?

  • Tax attorney Greg Gallagher for the Shelby County Trustee’s office called into the studio to cover some actions Shelby County has taken to create a clearer title for the investors buying properties at the Shelby County Tax Sale.  
  • One barrier to purchasing has been the existence of buyer’s redemption rights that normally gives the buyer a whole year to come back, pay the delinquent property taxes and get full title ownership of their property back.   The redemption rights period has been problematic for investors who pay the delinquent taxes and take over ownership of the properties because, within the 1 year for the redemption period, if the former owner can come up with the money to cover what was owed on the tax bill, that former owner could get the property back from the investor.
  • The Shelby County TN Trustee office has been working with tax attorney Greg Gallagher and the State of Tennessee Legislature to break down the barriers.   Attorney Greg Gallagher and the Trustee’s office have set up a better process with Chicago Title to attempt to reach ALL of the heirs or owners so that the chance of not notifying all owners or heirs is reduced significantly.
  • The Trustee’s office went to Nashville and got the laws changed so that the redemption periods for properties that have unpaid, delinquent taxes can be shortened from one year down to as short as 90 days depending on the amount of time the taxes have been delinquent.   By shortening the redemption period, buying a property at the tax sale in Shelby County is more attractive for buyers.
  1. What are some of the measures your office has taken to reduce some of the barriers to buying homes through the Shelby County tax sale process?
  2. What are some of the programs and plans your office has for expanding the Shelby County tax base through commercial and residential real estate?
  • The Shelby County Trustee’s office has developed programs to help people in our community with financial literacy, credit repair help, workforce development, an entrepreneurship program  and more to help people improve where they are financially.  



  1. What are some common sources of financing that investors use to purchase property at a tax sale or other similar real estate purchases?
  • Existing credit lines with a bank secured on a primary residence or rental property or secured on a business.
  • Substitution of collateral such as getting a cash out mortgage on one of their other properties that is free and clear.  Many investors that I would with have rental property that is paid in full. I have helped them refinance the paid off properties to give them cash to go pay cash to buy an additional property or even buy the property and do repairs and renovations.
  • Borrowing against a CD or stock fund or even a retirement fund or  trust fund.  Sometimes you can get a loan secured on a financial investment account without actually taking the money out of the account.
  • Investment Partners-  I have seen some real estate investor partnerships where one partner has the cash to put down and the other partner does the renovation work and property management part of the business.
  • Some investors will sell a house with a lot of equity and use the funds to pay cash or a large down payment down on a house.
  • Quick Cash Back Refinance program- a special niche refinance product I have that allows investors to refinance right after purchasing a home and within less than 6 months of purchasing a property for cash.   I can most of the time get the investor’s money back that he or she invested in the rental property that they spent to purchase the home.

2. What are some basic lending rules for people buying real estate property for investment to rent out to others?

  • One of the most common investment mortgage products is through Fannie Mae and Fannie Mae requires at least 20% of the price as a down payment. In some cases it is 75% loan-to-value based on the sales price or the appraisal value, whichever is lower.   Fannie Mae also limits their financing programs to investors with 10 or less financed properties.   Freddie Mac programs limit their programs to investors with 6 or less financed properties.
  • The more properties an investor owns, the more money available in reserve or for emergencies the investor needs to show in a verifiable bank or institution.  Most investment traditional products require in reserve what is equal to 6 months of house payments with taxes and insurances and association fees on the primary residence and the investment property being purchased as well as 2 months reserve for the mortgage payment, taxes and insurance on other properties owned. So, the more properties you have, the more socked in with capital reserves you will need to show.
  • I have had investors call me and say, “I have less than 10 houses with financing on them, but, hey, I own over 20 houses. Can I get a low interest rate 30 year loan?”  The answer to them has been YES.  And that is because, even though they own over 10 properties, less than 10 of them have financing secured on them.”



(David Lenoir and/or Kesha Whitaker spent a couple of minutes talking about the wonderful opportunities people have today with the low interest rates and very decent prices on houses.)



  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 the Nova Copy Conference Center 7251 Appling Farms Parkway Memphis This Wednesday February 1st, 2017 Talk Shoppe presents: “Landlords vs. Animals:What You Need to Know About Current Laws & Renting to a Service Dog Family”  Janne Zaccagnino, Ralph Jones Home Plans 901-756-6070 Janne-RJHP@Comcast.net
  2. Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to supporters  like Tim and Katie Gilliland of BackupRX.com. They keep Talk Shoppe’s data and recovery systems accessible and safe.   They can help keep YOU in business too.  
  3. This episode of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe was brought to you by Joe Rojas with Quality Title Group in Memphis, TN.   For residential and commercial real estate closings, call Joe at (901) 289-5821.  
  4. Kesha Whitaker to announce the upcoming Shelby County Roadshows Real Estate Road Show – Feb. 9th Shelby County Tax Sale – Feb. 21-23   and City Only Tax Sale – Fall 2017
  2.  Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe reminds you that MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, DO IT TODAY.



“Life is like a trumpet.  If you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it.”

-W.C. Handy



  • Joe Rojas, Quality Title Group in Memphis TN  (901) 289-5821 real estate closing services for residential and commercial real estate transactions.
  • Sherry Fincher, VP Branch Manager Evolve Bank and Trust West Memphis, AR


Transitional Music: “Talk Memphis” Jesse Winchester;  “Memphis Blues 1954”  Louis Armstrong;  “Maybe It Was Memphis” Pam Tillis; “Memphis” by Johnny Rivers for Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest



Kesha R. Whitaker is a writer and consultant, providing copy writing, voice over and public relations services. Her experience in media and public relations spans several industries including government, education and athletics. Her work has appeared in Memphis Crossroads, Grace Magazine, Divine Magazine, Memphis Minority Business Magazine, and Olympic Beat Magazine. Her clients include FedEx, Ampro Industries, the American Heart Association, Memphis Athletic Ministries, High Calling for Women and a number of small businesses and non-profits.

Whitaker is a graduate of The University of Memphis where she earned a B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. She is an active member of her community as a member of Young Women Philanthropists, past board member of Memphis Urban League Young Professionals and is a graduate of the New Memphis Institute.



As Shelby County Trustee, David C. Lenoir uses a visionary approach to improving the financial health of Shelby County and the lives of its residents.

Also known as the county’s banker, David takes the distinction to heart and has created several community initiatives to promote economic stability. He is leading the charge and tackling issues such as poverty, blight, financial literacy and access to mainstream banking.

Programs such as Project H.O.M.E. and Home for the Holidays are focused on helping delinquent taxpayers keep their homes while paying down back taxes. On My Own and Bank On Memphis are centered around teaching strong financial principles for both youth and adults with opportunities to build wealth for the unbanked and underbanked.

The foundation of his experience was built during a 20-year career in the financial services industry. David’s business acumen, combined with his passion for public service has created a higher level of transparency and technological efficiency in the Trustee’s Office. Collection of property taxes continues to increase annually, resulting in surpluses in revenue delivered to the county. 2015-2016 marks the highest percentage of collections to date with a rate of 96.5%.

For his efforts, David was named the statewide Trustee of the Year by the Tennessee County Trustee’s Association (TCTA) in 2016. Two years ago, he accepted the Pinnacle Achievement Award from the National Association of State Treasurers for the proactive financial literacy outreach by the Trustee’s Office. In 2012, his accomplishments were recognized when he was named Trustee of the Year for the West Tennessee region by the TCTA.

In 2011, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam asked David to serve with the Delta Leadership Institute to help address problems specific to the Delta Region with solutions that incorporate community and collaboration.

He currently serves as the president of TCTA and was past president of the West Tennessee Trustee’s Association (WTTA).

David is a graduate of the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse School of Accountancy where he received his B.S. in accounting. He enjoys hunting and fishing with his two sons, is an avid reader, amateur apiarist (beekeeper) and gardener. David and his wife Shannon live on a small family farm in east Shelby County.



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. www.TalkShoppe.com  Jo is host of Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe  and currently publishes on her blog www.JoGarner.com