In this episode…

We have seen drastic changes in real estate and financing through this Coronavirus pandemic.  Pat Goldstein, experienced Realtor, will be sharing some of the changes she is seeing when it comes to buying and selling real estate. I will be sharing some ways mortgage borrower overcame obstacles with tighter lending guidelines.   Leah Anne Morse of All Things New will be helping us with some tips how to deal with life changes.   Which of these changes are here to stay? Find out later in this show. 

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.  What is your story?  What are YOUR plans?  Call me at (901) 482-0354. Subscribe to get weekly Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes.

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


Good morning, Memphis!  Welcome to our internet listeners and podcast listeners across the 50 states! You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  You can connect with me at   Our general topic is Real Estate and Mortgage Financing-New Changes and Which Changes Are Predicted to Stay. Subscribe to get our weekly blogposts with podcasts at Call us while we are live at (901) 535-9732 Today is April 25th, 2020.  


Pat Goldstein, with Crye-Leike Realtors in West TN and North Mississippi, it is great having you back in the studio.   You a great reputation with many career awards and certifications. With and over 30 years experience as a realtor in this market, you are certainly qualified to give us a view from 35,000 feet on the changes that we are seeing and some changes we will continue to see.   Take a minute or so and tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what services you offer your real estate clients. (Pat introduces herself and talks about the services she offers her clients…)

(Jo) The late Jack Redden, former licensed counselor and friend to many, used to tell us at Talk Shoppe, “One thing that will never change is that things will always change.”  He let us in on a little secret when you need to go through a change or implement a change in someone else’s life.  He said, “Most people resist change and back pedal against a disruption in a comfortable routine.” He went on to explain, “ Instead of announcing that you are going to make changes to something, you say ‘we are going to do an experiment.’”

All of us as American’s have been forced into doing some “experiments” outside our normal routines since the Covid-19 pandemic has hit our fair cities.   Some changes have been positive and some negative.  But something good can come from everything in some way or other.

Here are some changes that we are seeing in the mortgage industry. We are experimenting with better methods of getting loan applications, supporting paperwork and even closing without leaving our homes or our cars. Wow!   Personally, I miss seeing people face-to-face, but I keep telling myself, “this is an experiment. I will find a way one day to meet these clients in person one day.”

More and more homebuyers have said they first viewed the home they want to buy online through 360 degree video technology or simply by taking a virtual video tour of the home from a website.    Most of these same people did end up physically walking through the home once they found one online that felt like the right house.

Millennials are still dominating the first-time homebuyer market. Baby boomers and Generation Xers are launching their own experiments to downsize and simplify their lives.  Real estate investors are taking this opportunity to buy homes and add them to their income-producing portfolios. 

People are ordering their groceries and their restaurant meals online. They are getting treated online through telemedicine by their doctors .  Some people are working from home  very productively in their pajamas and flip flops, while getting to spend more time with their children and their family. 

What changes are going to be labeled temporary and what changes are already entrenching themselves into our new normal? What is your  opinion?    Later in this show we will be revisiting this topic.  

We will be covering some conservative trends with tougher lending restrictions that we are seeing banks and mortgage companies make to hedge against uncertain risks.   We will be covering some solutions you  can use, like boosting your credit scores, using a different loan product or combination of financing products to accomplish your goal.

Pat Goldstein, has seen a LOT of changes over her 35 year career in real estate.   What changes are you seeing especially as we have been exercising  the “safer-at-home” measures? (Pat launching into her topics which we can continue after the 9:15 break)

(Jo)  You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe and I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer.  What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage? MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY.   Connect with me at Email me at  or just call me at (901) 482-0354.  When we come back Leah Anne Morse with All Things New will be sharing some tips on making lifestyle and living transitions positively easier.  We will be hearing more insights from Pat Goldstein.


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 and health and wellness. Talk  Shoppe is made possible by the financial support of its sponsors. For more about Talk Shoppe, go to (shoppe)  For our Talk Shoppe Business Tip today we have Talk Shoppe sponsor Leah Anne Morse of All Things New. Leah Anne Morse has personally experienced down-sizing and has helped so many people organize their move and even estate sales.  Leah Anne Morse of All Things New, what is our Talk Shoppe Business Tip For Real Estate Pros?(Leah Anne  has about 1  minute to share some tips from her industry )

Leah Anne Morse, All Things New (901) 488-9733

One thing I feel people have realized as a result of this pandemic, is the importance of focusing on family and not so much on stuff.  I’ve talked to so many of my friends that have cleaned out clothes, holiday decorations, and  just closets of stuff they no longer use or need.  My tip for you now is to let those things go, but don’t replace them with more stuff.  Think about the design of your home and how it can better work for you. If you discover you would like to change the design of a living room to become a gym or office, or if the home you live in is too large or small, then entertain the options you have in that. Options to change are always available.  Gather information from reliable sources to help you make the best decision that suits your “new normal!”

Leah Anne Morse




Covid has definitely impacted the real estate market, but hasn’t crushed it.  There are fewer buyers in the market, but also fewer listings.  The balance has still left us, at least here in the Memphis market in a highly competitive seller’s market.  Although the meteoric price increases, that were corrections from the years of recession have slowed, they haven’t stopped, just not rising as rapidly now.  If a house doesn’t sell almost immediatly with multiple offers, it may take a little longer because of decreased buyer activity, but sales are still happening.  The houses that have the best chance of selling quickly for top dollar are those that have been totally renovated and are in exceptional condition.  The number of sales have dropped, but that may also be due to many who want to wait til the crisis has passes before allowing anyone in their home.  I believe that when the stay at home order has ended, and people feel safer about getting out and being around people, the pent up demand will cause an increase in both buyers and available listings.

Some things that haven’t changed are the need to be preapproved before starting to look for a home and knowing what your comfort level is.  It’s very easy to get caught up in a bidding war, and before you know it that dream home has just gotten out of your comfort level, even though it may be within your qualifying range.  It’s very important to know where your limits are. You need to know how much cash you’ll need in a worst case scenario (like having to pay all your closing costs) and how much you can come up with if needed.  Have a general idea of what your non negotiable needs are and the things you want, but could live without, at least in the short term.  That could keep you from making offers on houses that you fall in love with, but then discover it doesn’ have that really important thing, or does have that thing that you just can’t live with.  Know what you can change and what you can’t, or at least what you can afford to change.  

Know that every neighborhood may not be right for you, but there should be several that are.  Be flexible.  

Have an experienced, knowledgable agent who can guide you through the transaction.  Most of the issues arrive between contract and closing.  You need someone who can handle the difficult negotiations that frequently arise.

In a number of lists of life’s most difficult times, buying or selling a house is right up there with death and divorce.  Make sure you have who can get you through it

Things that are different.  More transactions are being done virtually.  Although it’s very difficult to tell if you really love a house from a virtual tour, it is one way people are looking at houses and making decisions.   Contracts are more often being written and signed online.  It’s really important to see a copy of the purchase and sale agreement and go over it with your agent either on the phone or by zoom or facetime, or some other similar medium.

Another impact on this market is the number of people out of work, and the number of businesses that are closed.  Many will not have jobs to return to or businesses to reopen.  If any of those people were planning to buy a house, they may not be in the market for a while.  

The way we live and work now has changed, and those changes may impact the type of homes people want.  As people continue to work more from home,  Home offices may be seen as a necessity and media rooms may become more sought after.  If online education takes off, a study for the kids may be needed.  People have been cooking more and may start thinking they need a larger or more upscale kitchen.  And of course plenty of room to store an extra case of toilet paper!  An exersize room or home gym may be considered essential to keep ourselves in top shape so we can survive the next pandemic.  In the meantime, although it may not be business as usual, the real estate industry is still strong and will continue to adapt to meet the needs of home buyers and sellers.



  1. What new opportunities have opened up for homebuyers and homeowners wanting to refinance?

The Coronavirus pandemic is presenting some helpful opportunities for people to improve

their current financial positions when it comes to real estate.

  1. Mortgage Rates are predicted to stay very low in 2020, especially if your credit

scores are high.  These low, fixed mortgage rates are great for homebuyers to enjoy low mortgage payments. The low mortgage rates give some homeowners an opportunity to lower their rate and payments, shorten the term on their mortgage.

  • Mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are waiving appraisals on a higher number of home purchase and refinance loans, saving borrowers around $400 to $500 on closing costs.
  • Even though we are still seeing a competitive real estate market out there with multiple offers, the stay-safe-at-home rules have lessened the crowds of looky-loos clogging the market. Real estate is considered an essential business. We are seeing more serious buyers and sellers. This might mean less competition if you are wanting to buy a house. 
  • FHFA is allowing borrowers whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA to delay making mortgage payments for a few months if they are impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.  You must talk with your mortgage servicer to request forbearance.  You are not skipping your payment —just delaying it.

Credit bureaus are now allowing you to check your credit every week for the next year instead of only once a year at

  • What are some of the changes that are being phased in by mortgage companies?
  • When the stock market plummeted several days ago surrounding the effects of the  Covid-19 pandemic and the government announced that people who were losing incomes and needed help could put their mortgage payments in forbearance, the supply of mortgage-backed securities funds to lend begin to dry up very quickly.  Remember your old high school economics class?  When supply is low and Demand is high, what happens to price?   Prices go up.
  • Mortgage rates are still very low, especially for borrowers with high credit scores.  Scores down in the 600s are considered by lenders to be riskier, therefore many lenders have raised their minimum credit score to lend to only those people with a 680 or 700 score or higher.  Sierra Pacific has kept the minimum credit score for some of our loan programs at around 640, but the price on mortgage rates are tend to be higher for lower credit score borrowers. 
  • Improving Your Credit Game to Gain Yourself a Lower Mortgage Rate:

Let me share Benton and Baily’s story, because I think what happened to them is happening to a lot of you out there.  When mortgage rates recently started a rapid climb upward, some of my clients were still out house shopping and could not lock their rate on a standard program. When the seller finally accepted their home purchase offer, rates had moved away from where they had been originally.

Benton and Baily were disappointed that their payment would be a little bit higher since the mortgage rates had jumped higher.   Benton and Bailey had a longer time than usual until they were contracted to buy the house.  

The answer for them was to somehow improve their credit score.  By paying down their credit cards to show they were using less than 30% of their revolving credit limits, their score would like increase 15 to 20 points, just enough to put them in a much better price level for their mortgage.   The higher their credit score, the lower their mortgage rate. The lower their mortgage rate, the lower the payment.  Life would be much happier enjoying that lower rate.


I am not a licensed credit repair person and I direct my clients to the credit bureaus for any final corrections or fixes.  There are no guarantees that you will get the exact results you want 100% of the time.  What I am sharing with you is based on close observation and study of the cause and effect on numerous mortgage client credit reports).

  1. Make your payments on time and do not let them get over 30 days late.
  2. If a creditor is contacting you about a collection account, pay it as soon as possible or set up a payment plan with the lowest possible payment per month with an agreement with the collection company not to report negative information about you to the bureaus.
  3. Never use more than 30% of your credit card limits. For example, if your credit limit is $10,000, you would never want your balance to go over $3,000.  Your utilization habits on revolving account activity makes up over 30% of your credit score.
  4. Stay away from 12-months-same-as-cash accounts.  Most of the time these type accounts are scored as maxed out revolving accounts. I have seen these accounts drop someone’s score more than 100 points.
  • Other changes that may be temporary but affect your ability to get your loan approved.
  •  Most government mortgage programs can make it possible for you to buy a home for less than 5% or sometimes zero down payment.   Some lenders around the nation are requiring higher down payments on loans.
  • There are a few mortgage lenders around the country who are putting tighter restrictions on borrowers who are depending on gift funds. Or borrowers with very high debt.
  • If you are running into barriers on these issues, please contact me at (901) 482-0354. Sometimes the solution is to simply try a different mortgage program. Sometimes it is something like just finding a different source of funds to close.   When a client of mine treks his way around these barriers and finds a creative path to making his dream come true, it brings so much happiness. 

REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Leah Anne Morse of All Things New has 1 to 1.5 minutes to share a real estate related money-saving or time-saving tip): If you decide to make changes to your home, think about the resale value that will be added as a result.  We had a discussion with a friend that would like to remove their older whirlpool tub and build a small closet in that space.  Would that be a benefit when ready to resale?  Or would it be more appealing to the next homeowner to have created a workout space?  All of these things need to be considered as you move through these changes.  The need for storage is usually a must for any homeowner; just consider the esthetics of the changes you make….should they be permanent or temporary?  Leah Anne Morse p.901.488.9733


Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT. During the period of social distancing, Talk Shoppe is meeting online.  Just go to and click on Upcoming Events tab.  Then click on the weblink to Talk Shoppe’s main room.   This Wednesday April 29th, 2020 Talk Shoppe  presents:  “The Master Mind Principle based on the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill”  

Thank you to Taylor Morse of Cartridge World in Collierville, TN for offering Talk Shoppe and other businesses good quality recycled ink cartridges.  It can save businesses 30% on normal printing costs.   (901) 853-3230

Talk Shoppe offers a wide platform of media channels for helping your business reach your target market segments.  If you are looking for an effective, affordable way to build your business with a supportive community  through radio, print, social media and public speaking, call me at (901) 482-0354  or email me at   Talk Shoppe’s regular meetings are free. Come equip, engage and empower your business with us!  

2. Stay Safe!  Support your local businesses and restaurants.   This past week I brought home some delicious pepper steak for our lunch from Beijing Dragon  Next we are ordering lunch from another local family-owned business Eat at Erics food truck .   What is YOUR favorite restaurant?

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




 “You may have had a setback, but you can make a comeback.” Joel Olsteen

Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why “You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”


  1. Don Lawler, videographer with   Telling your business’ story via video
  2. Dan Sater, author of The Top 20 Toxic Credit Mistakes.
  3. Eric Eurich, Kaizen award-winning business coach with Focal Point Coaching. 

Transitional Music: “Get Ready” by the Temptations; “Changes” by David Bowie; “Rolling With the Changes” REO Speedwagon.  “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive for the Talk Shoppe Business Tip For Real Estate Pros.




Crye-Leike Realtors

For buying or selling residential real estate

For West TN and North Mississippi

(901) 606-2000


(901) 488-9733


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