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 PAY ATTENTION TO THESE 4 HOT SPOTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE & YOUR HOME INSPECTION. Subscribe to get our weekly blogposts with podcasts at Call us while we are live at (901) 535-9732 Today is June 29th, 2019.

On Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe today we will be sharing with you 4 points you want to pay close attention to on your home inspection. These are the areas that can cost you money and even cause the contract on a home to fail. I will be covering some tips to help you overcome some areas that can cost you big time on your mortgage approved.


Sitting in the co-host chair, back by popular demand, we have Brandon Thompson of HomeTeam Inspection Service. Brandon, you have helped some of my clients, and I am one of your clients too. I have heard so many good things about how efficiently you work and how willing you are to work with buyers, sellers and realtors to get them what they need. Take a moment and introduce yourself and tell us what HomeTeam Inspection Service does for your clients. (Brandon introduces himself and talks about the services offered by HomeTeam Inspection Service—home inspections, pool inspections, air quality testing, and more )

Brandon, we have been talking about one of the hotspots for watch on a mortgage, what are some important hot spot areas to pay attention to on a home inspection?

(Brandon launches into his topics with a very important part of the home inspection—dealing with drainage)


(Jo) Just like there are some hot spot parts of the home inspection I know you are going to cover, Brandon, there are four hot spot areas that can make or break your mortgage approval too, which we will get into later in the show. As a mortgage loan officer, I can tell you that one of the hotspots is making sure you have enough “qualified” income to keep your income-to-debt ratios in line with the loan program guidelines.

  1. Here’s a story that illustrates some barriers that self-employed borrows can smack into when they are applying for a mortgage loan on a home when it comes to qualified income. Mr. Patrick Palmer had invested and worked long and hard in his own successful business for over 10 years. For the last several months he struggled with fatigue and burn out. What Mr. Palmer needed was a change of scenery—like a nicer house out in the country with a view.

On the day Mr. Palmer saw a home for sale that he felt was a dream home for him, he made his offer to the seller. For the first time in months he felt an exhilarating rush of hope that the move to this home with its serene outdoor space would give him the relief from burn out he was feeling living so close to his business.

Mr. Palmer confidently marched into his bank to get his mortgage approved. He was shocked when his banker shook his head no and handed Mr Palmer back his tax returns. Next stop the realtor’s referred lender. No again-because of not enough income showing on his tax returns.

A friend referred Mr. Palmer to me. He scanned over his last 2 years tax returns, and in just a few minutes, I had his preapproval letter ready for him. “How did you do that,” he said?

I explained to Mr. Palmer that instead of starting at the front of his tax returns, I started at the back and added back expenses to income that he was legally allowed to write off to reduce his taxes. But he had so many paper losses such as depreciation and several other items that I could legally add back to income for mortgage qualifying purposes. It was a matter of paying attention to detail when it came to calculating self-employment income from tax returns. Mr. Palmer was approved and bought his dream home!

What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage? Make your plan, work your plan. If the deal works for you today, do it today. Let’s talk! Call me at (901) 482-0354. You can email me at or connect with me at

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 Brandon Thompson of HomeTeam Inspection Service will be covering the four hot spots on your home inspection. 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. Jimmy Ogle offers free historic walking tours downtown in the spring and fall. For information about Jimmy Ogle, go to . The Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is sponsored by John and Jennifer Lawhon of Lawhon Landscape (901) 754-7474 the Lawhon’s can help you plan your landscaping if you have a BIG, BIG project or a smaller project . The Lawhons are giving away a $25 gift card to the first person with the correct trivia answer. If you know the answer to our trivia question, call us at 901 535 WREC 901 535-9732.]

Garner # 95 11/25/16

[Trivia Answer: ] W.C. Handy Home & Museum

TRIVIA QUESTION: I was the residence for one of Memphis’ most famous musical names. Who am I?

[TRIVIA HINTS] Hint: My original location was at 659 Jeannette Place in Soulsville USA.

Hint: My occupant wrote a song named “Mr. Crump” which later became a famous song under another title.

Hint: I am open for tourist to visit and learn more about my time in Memphis and my impact on the world.

Final Hint: I was moved in 1983 to Beale Street by the City of Memphis.

Answer: W.C. Handy Home & Museum. William Christopher Handy known as the “Father of the Blues” was born in 1873 in Florence, Alabama in a log cabin built by his grandfather. Growing up, he received lessons on the cornet in the local barber shop. Handy was teaching school by age nineteen, but left for a high paying job at a factory in Bessemer, Alabama. Touring and traveling, he heard and recalled music made by rural people. He particularly recalled the strange sounding music he heard a man playing at a train station in Tutwiler, Mississippi: The Blues. Handy was a religious man whose influences in his musical style were found in the church music he sang and played as a youth. He said that his inspiration came from “the music of every songbird and all the symphonies of their unpremeditated art.”

In 1909 Handy and his band moved to Memphis and established their presence on Beale Street. “The Memphis Blues” was written in 1909 and was the first blues ballad Handy ever wrote, and arguably the first blues ballad in history. After publishing the song himself in 1912, “The Memphis Blues” became popular all over the United States. It was originally entitled “Mr. Crump” as it was a campaign tune written for mayoral candidate Edward Crump. Handy continued to write music based on what he heard in folk song. “Memphis Blues” was followed by “St. Louis Blues” which was written in 1914 and “Beale Street Blues” which was written in 1916. Handy moved to New York in 1917 where he wrote five books and continued with his music until his death in 1958. For preservation sake, the “shotgun style” home was moved to a more prominent location at Fourth & Beale, and is now operated by Heritage Tours of Memphis ( or
Station on the site of the old Calhoun Street Station.
Jimmy Ogle gives free outdoor walking tours on the sidewalks and parks in Downtown Memphis during the Spring and Autumn 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, December 15. Go to for more information.


Gives a tip about when a realtor is involved in a transaction where the home inspection is being done. Be there to meet with the home inspector. If there are repairs mentioned on the inspection, it might be helpful to get a reinspection by the home inspector to make sure repairs under the house or on the electrical box etc. Get copies of receipts to show that the work was done and who did it and how much it costs.



4 hot spots for home inspections

  1. Drainage Problems —

  2. Roofing

  3. Systems- Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC

  4. Foundation and Structure (rotted wood, termite damage, foundation problems)

(Added hot spot is the swimming pool for certain properties)

  1. What sets you apart as a home inspector?

  2. How much does it cost to get a home inspected?

  3. How long does it take for the inspection and how long does it take to get the completed report?

  4. What are the advantages of getting a home inspection?



Watch out for these four hot spots on your mortgage:

There are 4 common barriers to obtaining a mortgage to buy a house or refinance one. Like hurdles to clear on the race to the finish line, these are the four hot spots that can trip you up if you are not paying attention.

  1. Verifying Assets. First, clients will tell me they don’t have any money to put down. My experiences with mortgage clients come in saying they have no money has transformed me into a pretty good treasure hunter. I can help people find money in places they never thought to look! Particularly for clients who have not owned a home in 3 years or more, there are a multitude of down payment assistance programs available. If the seller pays the closing cost and prepaid taxes and insurance for the buyer, then normally the down payment assistance pays the down payment and they get in for zero down or very little.

Even if you are not a first- time homebuyer, we have the 100% VA loans and the 100% USDA loans. We can possibly use a bank loan secured on a different asset to give you the funds you need to close with very little money down on the house you really want. In many cases you can borrow against a retirement fund without penalty. Gifts from family are nice.

DUDLEY DUNDERMEISTER’S STORY-(don’t do what Dudley did)

But here is a quick story about a mortgage customer several years ago who thought he knew a perfect way to double the money he and his wife had saved over several months while their dream home was being built. This is a case where the best made plans of mice and men go awry. Let’s call the customer in this story Dudley Dundermeister (not his real name).

Dudley and his wife had scrimped and sacrificed to save several thousand dollars they needed to close on a house they had been having built for the last 6 months. It was a week before closing and Dudley’s wife decided to go out of town to see some relatives. Dudley’s cousin didn’t want Dudley to be sitting at home alone so he invited him to join him for a little fun down at the Tunica gambling resorts. “You can make double your money,” his cousin claimed.

Dudley called me the next morning. His voice was low and trailed off when he said he needed to tell me something. My loan officer instincts told me, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Dudley sheepishly started on the story of how he and his cousin took off down to Tunica while his wife was out of town to “double the money” on the house fund. In short, he lost it all. We were a week out from closing and he did not have he money to close. “What are we going to do now,” he moaned.

When I mentioned we should talk with his wife to see if she had some ideas on where to get the money, Dudley, jumped in and blurted out, “Miss Jo, you can’t tell my wife. If you tell my wife, there won’t be any home closing because I’ll be dead!”

Good point,” I thought. Then the next call Dudley made to his cousin to figure out where to get the funds, because if Dudley’s wife found out about the gambling fiasco, Cousin Dundermeister’s knew his head would be on the chopping block too.

Cousin Dundermeister had a spark of inspiration that very day and informed Dudley that he could get Dudley some money from an investment but he could only get a paltry portion of it once a day which he did each day right up until the morning of the closing. It was a great relief to get the source of all the gift funds from Dudley’s cousin verified properly. Dudley’s wife did not know about the misdeeds of her husband at least at the moment of closing.

  1. Verifying income to establish income-to-debt ratios. 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 losses from a side business, the loan officer has to deduct this amount from your other qualified income, 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’s review ALL PAGES of your last 2 years tax returns and business returns. We have found tens of thousands of dollars’ in 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.

  1. Verifying Credit – Make payments on your existing credit on time, never going over 30 days late.


Don’t be like one of my nightmare clients a few years ago who promised us he would have the money to close even though it was not in his bank account. All the parties to the contract knew we could not verify any funds from the borrower, but everyone chose to hang in there and see if his income would truly cover what was needed at the end of the month as the borrower promised. It was the first week of the following month-only a few days away from closing and his old credit report had expired. We pulled an updated credit report and discovered the source of his extra funds—he just didn’t make the payments on any of his bills and assumed he could use this money to pay down on his new home. Don’t do this. By letting his bills go over 30 days late that last month, it dropped his credit scores by over 100 points and he no longer qualified for the mortgage to purchase his home. Make sure you pay your bills on time every month.

Keep your revolving account owed balances UNDER 30% of the total credit limit. Revolving credit is open ended credit lines like credit cards. Revolving credit activity makes up 35% of your credit score. Many times if a mortgage client needs 15 or 20 points added quickly to their scores, I will suggest they try paying down the revolving accounts to under 30% of the total credit limit. As soon as the lower balance owed is reported it can many times add 10, 20 or even 30 points to a borrowers score. Whatever you do, DO NOT get a 12 months -same as- cash account. These appear to the credit scoring computers like maxed out revolving accounts and send your score down in the tank.

My older customers grew up with credit in the 70’s and 80’s and were taught that the higher credit balances you carried, the better your scores. NOT TRUE TODAY! In fact, if you owe over 50% of your total credit limit on a revolving account, today’s credit scoring algorithms will cause your credit scores to go down by 10,20, or 30 points or more. Not a good thing.

If you do not have a credit score due to having no credit or if you are trying to offset some negative credit accounts, you may want to open a small secured account and keep the balance owed between $12 dollars and $20 dollars each month. In order to keep such a tight control on the balance owed like that some of my customers just use the secured credit card account by buying $12 to $19 dollars in gas for the car each month. That way they can control keeping the balance strategically in those margins. You’re just playing a game with the computer scoring system.

  1. The important way to maintain your credit is to get a free report (without the credit score) each year from a place like Just look over the activity and make sure it is correct and that your revolving account balances are comfortably under 30% of the total credit limit. Check for any derogatory reporting. Since identity theft is one of the most wide spread white-collar crimes, it is probably a good idea to sign up for a service that alerts you if someone is trying to use your social security number

  1. Verifying information from the appraisal and title work. Sometimes the appraiser comes lower on the value than anticipated, causing a problem. Sometimes the appraiser mentions repairs. When the repairs are considered structural pertaining to the habitability of home, mortgage underwriters often require these repairs to be completed before closing.

Your answer to the repair requirements can be easily fixed by negotiating a price and terms so the seller of the property can pay for repairs 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 you have questions about the title on a property you are buying or selling, ask to speak with the real estate attorney at a title company. Quality Title Group office number (901) 249-4787 in the Memphis area sponsors Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe.

REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Brandon Thompson shares a real estate tip. When you know there are repair issues that may come up on a home you are selling, go ahead and get a pre-listing home inspection. You can decide which repairs you are willing to pay to have done and which items can be negotiated with a buyer. A pre-listing home inspection can lessen the chances of the second round of negotiations that occur when a home inspection gets done by the buyer after the home purchase contract has been signed )


Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT at Pinot’s Palette 8225 Dexter Rd Cordova, TN. This Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 Talk Shoppe presents: “Open Microphone- Meet and Greet and Talk About Your Business” Casual event with breakfast snacks and coffee. Qualifies for 1 CEU credit for Business Network International members.

Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to supporters like Pat Goldstein, realtor with Crye-Leike Realtors in West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Pat is known as the Gold Standard in Real Estate (901) 606-2000

2. Happy Fourth of July week! Happy Birthday to our country, the United States of America.

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




Charles R Swindoll- “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”

Anonymous- “I opened two gifts this morning—my eyes”



  1. Mary Lou Nowak, Mid-South Home Helpers (901) 414-9696 Mary Lou knows what to do when it comes to offering non-medical assistance for your handicapped or aging loved one so they can stay safely and comfortably in their own home.

  2. Scott Owen of Best Choice Roofing in Memphis, TN (901) 483-7114

  3. Mark McLaurine, Refrigeration Unlimited in the Greater Memphis area, known as the Heating and Air Strategist (901) 216-7782

Transitional Music: “Pay Attention”  from Sister Act,  “Watch Out” by Abba;  “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities; “Memphis” for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest



Brandon Thompson, Home Team Inspections

Direct (901) 848-2388

Appointments (901) 562-0988

TN Home Inspector License#: 1553

ASHI Member#: 263050

NACHI Member#: 17020732

Home Team Inspection Service – Memphis

Brandon Thompson – owner of HomeTeam Inspection Service Memphis. I am a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and NACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors), Memphis Area Association of Realtors, Women’s Council of Realtors, BNI, and I’m a licensed home inspector in the state of TN.

HomeTeam Inspection Service is the leading home inspection company in North America. For more than 20 years, home buyers, home sellers, and real estate professionals have recognized HomeTeam for being fast, trusted and accurate. And just as the name implies, we make every inspection a team effort. Because your time is valuable, we bring a team of professionals to your home inspection. This assures you of an efficient and thorough inspection.

I’ve lived in the Memphis TN area since 1998 and have spent the last 19 years working full-time for the Air National Guard as an IT Specialist. I earned my degree in Business Management from the University of Memphis with a minor in Real Estate Finance. My love for real estate started early on while working with my father on a couple of remodeling projects and developed over the years as a home owner and DIYer. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and I wanted do something to help people. I love the fact that I’m able to help buyers make one of the most important decisions of their life.


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR MORTGAGE? (901) 482 0354 twitter @jogarner NMLS# 757308

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