Do you know someone who has had their heart set on owning their home but keep getting blocked by credit, not enough money down, not enough income or a problem with repairs?

Pat Goldstein, realtor with Crye-Leike Realtors in West Tennessee and North Mississippi, will be talking about how some of our customers have met these challenges and overcome them. Mark McLaurine of Refrigeration Unlimited will be in later to share some great tips for homeowners and homebuyers on how to improve their heating and air systems.

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

To your success,

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

Join us!

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 OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO HOMEOWNERSHIP . Subscribe to get our weekly blogposts with podcasts at Call us while we are live at (901) 535-9732 Today is January 16th, 2021.



Pat Goldstein, you have been a realtor in the Mid-South area for well over 30 years. She’s known as the “Gold Standard” and has won many awards, certifications and designations in the real estate industry. Pat, you are a great negotiator and have helped several of my mortgage clients to win their home buying offer and get to close on their home. Take a very moments to tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do for your clients. (Pat introduces herself and talks about the services she offers her clients…)


(Jo) Coming into 2021 we are still experiencing an unprecedented real estate and financing market that is advantageous to both the buyer and the seller. The buyers’ goal is to lock in the lowest mortgage rates in history on a house that will help them build wealth for the next several years. Sellers are cashing in on some of the highest equity profits they could not have predicted just a couple of years ago.

Based on predictions, buyers and sellers are hoping the high performing housing market will continue throughout 2021. But here are the hinderances buyers and sellers are experiencing.

#1 Lack of inventory is causing a challenge for buyers who are competing with multiple offers on the house they want to buy. With the right real estate professionals on your team, you can use strategy to get the home you want. If you are a buyer, think like a seller. I was recently working with a buyer who needed a certain house close to family. She offered a little higher price than the list price, did not ask the seller to pay for a bunch of costs, she was flexible on the possession date and handed the seller a very strong prequalification letter from her lender.

The seller admitted at closing that the strong letter from the lender made her offer more likely to close on time than the higher priced offers without the strongest lender letters. Let’s put together your strategy plan.

#2 Issues with lender repair requirements can complicate and delay negotiations for sellers who want to close quickly and inexpensively. There are a number of solutions you can use to avoid this second round of negotiations. An experienced realtor can offer great advice and a pre-listing home inspection may not be a bad idea in some cases.

#3 Income qualification for some buyers –especially self-employed borrowers-has created a challenge for some. Just because one lender turns you down for lack of income may not be the end of the road. Some of us lenders specialize in self-employed income borrowers. Let’s take a look at your tax returns—starting with the BACK pages first.

#4 Investment for down payment for other buyers can be a barrier. An astounding number of first-time homebuyers have told me they believe the minimum down payment to buy a house is twenty percent. Many homebuyers today can buy a home for ZERO down to very little down

As a mortgage loan officer, I get the opportunity to experience up close how some of my mortgage customers have face what seemed like insurmountable odds and found a way to climb over the barriers trying to keep them from homeownership.

Time After Time Something Else Would Crash In On Me-The Flannerys story

Meet the Flannerys- The Flannerys had lost their jobs, their cars and their home during the economic downturn around 2010. They had two young children and yearned to own their own home again so their children could play outside safely and not be cooped up in an apartment.

The loss of the car and health issues delayed this couple getting the better-paying jobs they needed so the cycle of hardship pressed down on them. Mr. Flannery said, “Time after time I would finally get up on my feet and something else would crash in on me and take me down again. It was like a terrible movie where you just want to click off the television, but you can’t because the movie is about you and you are the actor on the stage and the film is still rolling.”

The Flannerys considered signing up for a program to help them resolve some debt issues, but there was a cost to the program. They tried something else but it didn’t work either. No quick fixes. They went to a special meeting about managing finances at church one evening and that is where I got to meet the Flannerys.

Through a strong faith in God and just tenaciously working on their budget and applying any extra to paying off some debt and paying down some credit cards, the Flannerys emerged debt-free a few years later. I got to be on their homebuying journey as their lender. It was a spectacular celebration that day at the loan closing.

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. Contact me at or call me at (901) 482-0354.

(Jo) Pat Goldstein with Crye-Leike Realtors, what are some of the most common barriers you see homebuyers facing when they are trying to buy their home? (Pat launches into her topic)

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 Pat Goldstein will be sharing more on overcoming barriers to homeownership and we will be hearing from Mark McLaurine of Refrigeration Unlimited. ,


2nd segment after 9:15 advertising break – (producer to start the song “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive –but bring the volume down before the lyrics start) It’s time to talk shop with Talk Shoppe’s Business Tip For Real Estate Professionals. Talk Shoppe is a marketing company offering free education and networking to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe is made possible by the financial support of its sponsors and advertisers. For more about Talk Shoppe, go to (shoppe) For our Talk Shoppe Business Tip today we have Talk Shoppe sponsor Mark McLaurine of Refrigeration Unlimited. I have heard some testimonials from people who say you have found a quick and inexpensive repair that prevented them having to buy a costly new heating and air system. Mark McLaurine, you are known as the heating and air strategist. Mark McLaurine, what is our Talk Shoppe Business Tip for Real Estate Professionals today? (Mark McLaurine has about 1.5 minutes to share some tips to help homeowners and homebuyers )

Mark McLaurine, how do we contact you? (901) 216-7782



(901) 216-7782

WWW.MYHVACMAN.COM (901) 216 7782

Change your air filters out every 60 days to 6 months. Sponge filters are the very best. Getting an ultra violet tube installed in your heating and air duct system cleans the air, eliminating viruses and other harmful particles before it enters your living space. The I-Wave is the most state of the art system right now for purifying the air in your home.



  1. What are your top tips for homebuyers who are trying buy a home?

  2. What are some of your winning strategies for giving your homebuyers an advantage over the competition when it comes to multiple offers on the home they want to buy?

  3. What is strategy do you use for homebuyers and home sellers when it comes to dealing with home repairs?

  4. What are some of the most common home repairs that cause purchase agreements to fail?

  5. Give some examples of clients who have successfully gotten around the barrier of required repairs by the lender.

  6. Give some examples of clients who got the seller to accept their offer even in a very competitive bidding situation. What made the positive difference in their offer?

  7. When do you recommend offering a higher than list price when in a competitive offer situation? How much higher? What are the risks in making this kind of offer?



  1. What is the first thing you advise a mortgage client to do before starting the homebuying journey?

  1. Be prepared. Be preapproved.

Know what your personal comfort level is on a house payment and know your personal comfort level on money to put down on buying a house. Know your personal comfort level on move-in costs and monthly payment cost before you talk with your lender. Lenders use mortgage underwriting software that might prequalify you for a much higher payment than what you are comfortably able to pay.

  1. Be ready for some competition with other people making offers to buy the house you want. Know in as much detail as possible what you want in a house—how many bedrooms, baths, access to the city or not, other amenities. Communicate this clearly with your realtor.

  1. Have a very strong preapproval letter from your lender. Some sellers are looking more for the surest offer than the highest offer. Have your income and asset documents and other loan documents ready to hand over to your lender.


As a mortgage loan officer, I am seeing some really clever clients and how they are getting ahead and getting wealthier during this 2020 real estate market situation because they take the time to check out the market conditions.

Luis and Lydia Lopez (avatar picture)

Here are some winners: First time homebuyers like Luis and Lydia Lopez. They had worked hard for several years trying to save the money needed to buy a house in the school district where they wanted their 5-year old to start school next year.

Every time they would get some money put back, some emergency would happen that sunk their savings and the rent kept going up each year. Lydia admitted she was the biggest problem, since she had sometimes made quick decisions to spend money on things she really thought their family needed, only to find out she should not have spent the money.

The Lopez’ spent four months looking for houses, making offers only to get turned down over and over again. They needed a low mortgage payment and needed the least down payment at closing. Due to their lower credit scores, they needed a loan program lenient on credit that would still allow them a very low mortgage rate to keep their payments down.

Here was the solution for Mr. and Ms. Lopez:

After their daughter was tucked in one night, Mr. and Ms Lopez spent an evening after their daughter went to bed to look at bank statements and credit card statements from the last several months. They determined the maximum house payment that they could comfortably afford. They set a line in the sand on the max dollars they would pay down.

They got me their supporting paystubs, bank statements and asked us to review them. We did and I sent her an email about how good her documents were looking. They did not have a house to sell first and were willing to work with the seller on a possession date. They were prequalified for a government FHA loan with 3.5% down payment. We also had them prequalified on a conventional 3% down payment program—just in case the seller was concerned about the stricter appraisal inspection requirements.

Their realtor presented their letters with the home purchase offer. Hard work and perseverance paid off. The Lopez’ got some assistance with the move-in costs and, because of the low mortgage interest rates, their house payment was much lower than the going rent in the same neighborhood. We celebrated together at the real estate closing table.

  1. Talk about the four most common barriers to homeownership you see your mortgage clients face.

  1. The most common challenge is having the money to pay down.

  2. According to the Real Estate Today show through the National Association of Realtors, 90% to 95% of people needing down payment assistance to buy a home, do not know there are programs to help home buyers with the down payment .There are other down payment assistance programs available to first-time home buyers in other states other than Tennessee. Most of them have restrictions, similar to the programs we have been discussing today. Some of these restrictions are not owning a home within the last 3 years, income restrictions based on the number of people in the household and the location of the property. If you want to know more, Google “Down Payment Assistance” and the name of YOUR state and you should hit the jack pot. Many metropolitan cities have their own down payment assistance programs with certain restrictions. ask an experienced, reputable realtor in your area what programs THEY recommend. They usually know what programs are good and which ones may be not so advantageous. You can also check with Rob Chrane at Down Payment Resource, supported by Housing Finance Agencies across the country, for assistance programs in YOUR city and state.

Some common low down payment loan programs available today are these:

  1. The 100% Veteran Home Loan program. You have to be an military veteran eligible for this program to use it.

  2. The 100% Rural Housing USDA loan for borrowers meeting certain guidelines and the property has to be in an eligible area –not in high density places.

  3. FHA 3.5% down payment loan

  4. Affordable conventional loans with 3% down payment

  5. Down payment assistance programs (must meet their program guidelines)

  6. Combination loan programs

Places to go treasure hunting for money down:

To find your pot of gold to use for down payment funds, here is some places to sink your spade.

Three areas to search are the borrower’s forgotten assets, gifts from family or employers and move-in costs paid by third parties. Sinking a shovel into these three areas has turned up pay dirt in the past. Here is a treasure hunting map detailing some clues.

Gift From Family: Gifts can come from family members or employers. The amount of the donation varies according to different loan programs. The donor will be required to document the source of his funds and that the money is a gift to the donee not requiring repayment.

Borrower’s Forgotten Assets: Whole life insurance policies or annuities may have a cash value that can be borrowed. Many times the borrower does not realize the insurance she purchased years ago has a cash value that can be borrowed to pay the move-in costs.

Loans secured on certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, and durable assets such as cars can be used as acceptable sources of funds to close as long as the loan is secured on an asset owned by the borrower. The payment must be added into the debt-to-income ratios for qualifying purposes

IRAs, 401(k)s and Retirement Funds. There can be heavy financial penalties for pulling money from these sources. However, many companies allow the homebuyer to borrow against these assets with no penalty. The repayment terms may be calculated in the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.

Sale or Cash Out Refinance of Existing Real Estate Property can generate needed funds to close on another property. Lenders will require the Closing Disclosure Statement or sufficient proof of the source of funds.

Tax Refunds can provide a surprising source of closing funds.

Move-In Costs Paid By Third Parties: Sellers are as motivated to sell a house as the buyer is to purchase. Sellers can pay up to 3% of the sales price toward the buyer’s costs if the borrower is getting a conventional loan above 90% loan-to-value. If the loan-to-value is 90%, the seller is allowed to pay costs up to 6% of the sales price or value whichever is less.

On certain loans, the sellers are allowed to pay more and even loan the borrower the equity on a second mortgage. Investor loans allow the sellers to pay no more than 2% no matter how much money the investor pays down.

FHA loans allow the seller to pay up to 6% of the price toward the buyer’s closing costs and prepaid taxes and insurance. ( it is much more difficult to get the sellers to pay the buyer’s costs in today’s market with multiple offers being placed on the same home)

Lenders are motivated to close the transaction and sometimes can bump up the interest rate slightly in order to use “premium pricing” to pay the borrower’s prepaid taxes and insurance or some of the closing costs. In most cases the rate is increased .25% and the difference in the monthly payment is minimal.

  1. The second most common barrier to homeownership is Credit.

What advice do you give your clients who need help with credit issues?

  1. Pay your bills on time. By paying them on time and early, you can prevent creditors from showing late payments or collections on your credit report.

  2. If you have notice of a creditor about to file a collection against you, contact them right away and pay the bill or set up amicable terms with the creditor. Collections stay on your account for seven years. Even if you pay it off, it still remains on your credit report.

  3. Keep balances low on credit cards and other open-ended, revolving credit lines. High, outstanding revolving debt can affect a credit score. Ideally, you should try and keep the balances owed on credit cards and other revolving credit under 30% of the credit limit.

  4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around. A big influence on your score is how you handle revolving credit accounts. Be sure and make your mortgage and car payments on time. But if you pay your mortgage and car on time, then your revolving account usage is the next biggest factor in determining your credit score.

  5. Don’t open new credit cards that you don’t need, just to increase your available credit. This method could actually lower your score .

  6. If you are newly building your credit, don’t open a lot of new accounts too quickly. New accounts will lower your average account age, which will have a larger effect on your score especially if most of your credit history are new accounts. Also, opening new accounts in a short space of time can look risky if you are a new credit user.

  7. Do your rate shopping for a given loan within a two-week period. If you inquire over a two week period, the inquires from a certain type of merchant, like a car company or mortgage company, should score as only one inquiry if they occur within the same two-week period.

  8. If you have had credit problems in the past, opening a couple of new accounts and keeping them paid down to under 30% of the total credit limit should raise your credit score in the long term.

  9. Check your credit often and the scores too if possible. One place to find references for credit scoring information is to go to

  10. Someone with no credit cards and no credit tends to be seen as a higher risk than someone who has handled credit cards responsibly.

Third common barrier to homeownership- Getting Enough Qualified Income- If you have only been on your job a few months, we can only count your guaranteed base income and not the commissions that you hope to average over the course of the next several months.

If you have a great salary but write off on your taxes $10,000 or $20,000 dollars in expenses from a side business you own the loan officer has to deduct this amount from your pay, so when you are with your loan officer, be sure and tell them about any losses showing on your tax returns.

If you are self-employed and you have a lot of income that you control but, after write-offs, you only show very little, let Susan and I review ALL PAGES of your last 2 years tax returns and business returns. We have found tens of thousands of dollars worth of income in the BACK PAGES of the tax returns. If there is a way, we can find it to help our clients get qualified for what they want to accomplish. Your answer to the repair requirements can be easily fixed by negotiating the seller of the property to pay it or agreeing to put money back into an escrow account in some cases to make the repairs after closing. If the repair list is massive, then we may need to switch you to one of our Renovation and Repair loan programs. Title issues, most of the time, are managed or cured by an experienced closing attorney.

If your debt ratios are too high, let’s talk about what you want to accomplish with your mortgage financing. It may be possible to rearrange some debt to make your cash flow each month more manageable. Don’t pay off any debt until you have talked with your loan officer. Depending on your situation, it may be more advantageous to you to keep more money in the bank than to use it to pay down debt.

  1. The fourth most common barrier is the appraisal.

  2. 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.

If the appraiser notes repairs on the appraisal, it is very possible he/she will need to reinspect the property to make sure repairs are completed in a workmanlike manner. Appraisers charge an extra fee to do this which could increase your costs at closing.

Appraisal fees are not refundable.

Roof causing a leak in mortgage approval

Portrait Of Grandparents And Grandchildren In Garden

Tal and Tia Thompkins are empty-nesters and want to down size to a home with just enough room to have the kids and grandkids over to visit but not big enough for everyone to get comfortable moving back in with mom and dad. Their spacious 5 bedroom-3.5 bath mansion with a barn and acreage to mow was cramping their budget.

One of the life-long dreams Tal and Tia have yearned for is to travel around the world doing cruise ship vacations with a travel group of friends. The obstacle stubbornly preventing the Thompkins from getting to see the world was MONEY—or not enough of it.

The Thompkins were excited about reinventing themselves as frequent cruise ship adventurers. They were smitten by a very small, sort of rustic older place with a minute sized storage shed to match the style of the home and a low maintenance, postage stamp sized lawn. Tal and Tia felt at home in the quaint neighborhood and the smaller place would expand their free time and money too.

Bad news came like a black cloud with the home inspection though. The home needed a major roof repair which was going to cost about $3,500. The mortgage company required this to be repaired before closing since it affected the structure and habitability of the house. It looked like a stalemate since the sellers would not have enough money to pay for it until the home closed and the Thompkins did not want to spend $3,500 on a roof for a home they did not own yet.

In this case, the realtor helped negotiate for the seller to pay for the roof repair AND have it done before closing, but only AFTER the Thompkins mortgage was fully approved subject only to the repair being done. The roofing contractor agreed to be paid the day the home sold and the sellers had received their money at the closing table. It was a happy ending helped by the realtor, the lender and the buyer and sellers being willing to negotiate creatively.

REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Mark McLaurine 1 to 1.5 minutes to share a real estate related money-saving or time-saving tip):


Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A by going to (shoppe), then click the Upcoming Events tab. You will see the virtural zoom web address. This Wednesday January 20, 2021 9AM Health Talk: Bewindi Bobb, “Balance for the Care Giver in Self Care”

Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to sponsors like Brett Carter of Servicemaster by Cornerstone. When it comes to water damage, fire damage, bio hazards, don’t go it alone, call Cornerstone 901 624-9200

Thank you to our Talk Shoppe business coach Tim Flesner for your guidance and your support of our sponsors’ successes. If you want to get your business on a faster, more profitable track, contact business coach Tim Flesner at (901) 461-5438

3. Monday is Martin Luther King Day. Let’s make others number one in 2021 and help someone else enjoy a better life.

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




The quote of the week: Audrey Hepburn “Nothing Is Impossible. The word itself says I’m possible” “Dear life: When I said, ‘can my day get any worse,’ it was a rhetorical question, not a challenge.”



  1. Greg Inman, Next Day Access (wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, grab bars and more) (901) 258-2626

  2. Mark Loden, Monthly Budgeting Specialist from Germantown, TN (901) 624-0052

  3. Leah Anne Morse, All Things New, organizing your move, your estate sale and more (901) 488-9733

Transitional Music: “Break On Through” by the Doors, “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammar; “Good Life” by One Republic; “Taking Care of Business” by BTO for the Talk Shoppe Business Tip for Real Estate Pros




901-216-7782 (901) 216-7782

Do you need help with your heating, cooling or refrigeration problems?

Mark McLaurine is a certified, licensed and insured universally approved technician in Memphis who can quickly diagnose and repair appliances in a cost-effective manner. We also offer other services that are often related such as:
• Plumbing issues and repairs
• Electrical circuitry and repairs
• Ventilation issues and repairs
• Indoor air quality services and related products
• Sewer and drain services
• Mechanical and gas piping services
• Filter contracts
• Appliance repair and installations

No repair is too small!
Prompt and friendly service in a timely manner is the key to our success. Our reputation depends on you as our valued customer. We have also found by giving customers options, (repairs vs. replacements) it benefits all involved. We possess a good inventory of refurbished air conditioning and heating equipment for sale as well as installations in the greater Memphis area.

Our two signature programs are as follows:
• Cash trade-in for working, non-obsolete equipment
• Referral Rewards Points for satisfied customers that recommend us to others or allow themselves as a reference on a related service at our website.

At Refrigeration Unlimited, we believe we are taking service and the satisfaction desired to a whole new level. Call us for any appliance repair.


The “Gold Standard In Real Estate”

Crye-Leike Realtors

For buying or selling residential real estate

For West TN and North Mississippi

(901) 606-2000



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