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 TACTICS TO TAKE -GETTING THE BEST TERMS ON YOUR MORTGAGE Subscribe to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes at  Call us while we’re live today April 18th, 2020 at (901) 535-9732.

 In this show we will be sharing some stories of people who had a burning desire to accomplish something in their lives but they kept stumbling over bumps in the road until they found the right solution.    Kyle Porter, Manager of Sierra Pacific Mortgage Cordova, TN will be shedding some light on what is happening nationally in the mortgage market and how it affects home loan borrowers.  I will be sharing some tips and stories of how you can use strategy to get your best deal on a mortgage.

Kyle Porter is manager of Sierra Pacific Mortgage in Cordova, TN.-where you can also find me hard at work. Kyle, you really get behind your mortgage officers and team to deliver the best service to our referring partners and clients.  Take a moment to tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what Sierra Pacific Mortgage does for our clients. (Kyle introduces himself and talks about what we do for our clients at Sierra Pacific Mortgage)

(Jo)  We are living through extraordinary times of change during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Financial markets don’t like uncertainty and neither do most people. But we each have an opportunity to grow, to learn a new skill and to place ourselves in the best position possible.

NASA Commander and astronaut Chris Hadfield, teaches his students, “The more you know, the less you fear.”    Chris Hadfield has floated out into the blackness of space and describes how he could feel heat on one side of his spacesuit from the sun and the chill of space on the other side.    He talks about every astronaut’s life on the mission depends on the ability to solve problems quickly.  He studies every system on the space ship. Then boils it down to one page. He brings home his point by saying, “You have to be able to solve any problem –in one breath.”

Even though you may not be preparing to fly a spaceship, you may want to buy a home for you and your family to enjoy. You may want to refinance or restructure your finances to free up more money each month or pay off your mortgage early.  What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage? Make your plan. Work your plan.  If the deal works for you today, let’s do it today.


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Phillip and Farrah Fenton had been married over a year and expecting their first child.  As newly- weds, they didn’t mind living cramped in a tiny house in a family member’s backyard.  But, now they had the baby to think about.   Phillip’s credit score was suffering because of some bills he had not paid and others he had racked up from his carefree college days.

In order to put himself and his family in a better position, Phillip and I talked about his plans.  He disciplined himself with the help of his wife to aggressively pay down the balances on his revolving credit card accounts to keep the owed balances under 30% usage on each of the lines of credit.  His credit score started improving.  

After adding several points to his credit score, Phillip was in a position to get a lot lower mortgage interest rate.  Bragging rights for the Fenton’s.  They bought their first home, and locked in a lower mortgage rate than they ever thought possible. Now they had more money to spend on their baby.

We are going to talk about some other strategies you can use later in this show.  But the way you can get started using this one on improving your credit scores is pull the free credit report the government allows you to get once a year from   Review it for errors and look for ways to get your revolving credit balances paid down and maintained as low as possible —using less than 30% if possible on your credit lines and making your payments on time.

Kyle Porter, you are our manager over at Sierra Pacific Mortgage in Cordova, TN. You have been in the mortgage business a long time.  What are some of the reasons people are seeing the prices on some mortgage rates higher than others?  What are some of the reasons lenders are tightening restrictions on some mortgage products? (Kyle launches into his topics- )

(Jo) You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer. You can connect with me at .  Kyle Porter, our manager at Sierra Pacific Mortgage in the Memphis area will be sharing more about what is happening in our national mortgage market and some tactics YOU can take to get the terms you want on your mortgage.  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 will be speaking at Elmwood Cemetery this summer.  For information go to or .  The Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is  sponsored by John and Jennifer Lawhon of Lawhon Landscape (901) 754-7474 the Lawhon’s can help you plan your landscaping if you have a BIG, BIG project or a smaller project or you can do the big project in phases . The Lawhons are giving away a $25 gift card to the first person with the correct trivia answer.  If you know the answer to our trivia question, call us at 901 535 WREC 901 535-9732. Garner # 166 *

Garner # 176 * 04/18/20

 (Answer) Sgt. Walter Singleton (Singleton Parkway)

Question:  There is a thoroughfare in northeast Shelby County bearing my name.  Who am I?

Hint:  I was born in Memphis and graduated from Nicholas Blackwell High School in Bartlett.
Hint:  I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1963 and rose to the rank of Sergeant.

Hint: I was killed in action in Vietnam on March 24, 1967 after performing continuous acts of bravery in evacuating my wounded fellow soldiers from an enemy kill zone.

Final Hint: I posthumously received a Combat Action Ribbon, the Medal of Honor, and the Purple Heart Medal in 1968. Who am I?

Answer: Walter Keith Singleton was a United States Marine Corps sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously by President Lyndon B. Johnson, for his actions above and beyond the call of duty in Vietnam on March 24, 1967, during the Vietnam War.  Singleton was born on December 7, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Mr. and Mrs. George P. Singleton (while his father was a U.S. Army POW in Germany in WW2). He graduated from Nicholas Blackwell High School (Bartlett High School) in Bartlett, Tennessee, in June 1963; while attending school, he ran track. He liked to hunt and fish with his father and was a member of the Future Farmers of America.

On August 1, 1963, he and his brother Bobby Jo, enlisted together in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Memphis. Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, he completed recruit training and reported to Camp Lejune with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion in February 1964. He was promoted to private first class on March 1. In December 1966  Transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he was assigned duty as ammo-carrier with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division until November 1965 While performing this additional duties, he also received a letter of appreciation with a trophy for qualifying 100 percent of the officers-to-be. 

In December 1966, he and his unit arrived in South Vietnam from Okinawa (under service regulations, only one brother was allowed to go to Vietnam). On March 24, 1967, the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines began Operation Prairie III, Sergeant Singleton’s Company A came under intense enemy fire at the village of Phu An. He was mortally wounded after advancing from his relatively safe position in the rear to help his company’s lead platoon’s medical corpsmen evacuate numerous wounded away from the enemy kill zone. Just before Singleton was killed by enemy fire, he managed to make a single-handed assault with a machine gun on the enemy’s position and destroy it, killing eight and driving the remainder away. It was for these acts of bravery, which had saved several more of his comrades’ lives, that he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Singleton’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. George P. Singleton, were presented their son’s Medal of Honor on September 4, 1968, by the Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius during ceremonies at the Capital‘s Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C.

Bonus: Jimmy Ogle’s four distinct tours of Elmwood Cemetery scheduled on Saturday, April 25 have been postponed until Summer. For more information, call 901-774-3212 or go to

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



Current market conditions –

  • How MBS’s are playing a major role in our current changes
  • What is Forbearance and how does it effect the homeowner and the loan servicer
  • Are the changes universal or lender specific, and why?
  • Kyle uses example of a hamster wheel.  When the mortgage is available in the mortgage-backed securities market and homeowners are making regular payments to pay back their mortgages, it is like the hamster running on the wheel, keeping the wheel turning.   When the mortgage supply and pay back is continuing to flow, like the hamster on the wheel, mortgage companies can continue to keep new mortgages flowing out to borrowers who need a mortgage. 

State of Refinance –

  • Is it still a good time to refinance, why?

Our Quarantine PlayBook

  • How are we continuing to operate- as normal as possible
  • Becoming a market expert and a beacon of knowledge for our clients
  • Why we do what we do


I was reading some linkedIn posts looking for ideas that would inspire others. Right now is when we need inspiration the most and you never know who in your circle of influence needs that pat on the back for the day.

If you have a strong desire in your heart to pursue something that God placed inside of you to share with the world, go for it,

following that feeling inside and have faith without any shadow of a doubt that everything will work itself out.

Don’t allow your friends or family or co-workers’ limitations to become yours; As Jim Rohn said:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

The people you spend the most time with shape who you are;

as a result, you must surround yourself with people who can help you or push you in the direction of your dreams.

As Steve Jobs said, the dots will connect, don’t fear the possibility of failure,



  1.  What are the top tactics to take to get the best mortgage terms?
  2. Improving your credit score can position you into better price breaks for your mortgage.   Depending on the loan amount you will be borrowing, adding 100 points to your credit score can save you hundreds of dollars on your monthly mortgage payment.  That could mean you save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

I am not a licensed credit report company, but being in the mortgage business over 25 years had taught me a few things about cause and effect in getting credit scores higher.

Most everyone knows to make every payment on time.  Don’t let medical bills or student loans bills languish unpaid. Unpaid bills usually end up in collection account which holds your credit scores down.

Customers who keep the balances down under 30% of their credit limit for their revolving credit lines like credit cards, usually see their credit scores move up quickly.

Stay away from 12-months-same-as-cash.  These accounts score as maxed out credit cards and can plummet your credit scores really fast.

Tip to the Wise:  If you can’t get your credit scores any higher in time to purchase your home or refinance, you might want to try a government mortgage program like FHA, VA or USDA.  The government loan programs do not tend to penalize you as strongly for lower scores.

Call me about this.  I am happy to help you explore loan programs for the one that fits you best.

  • Put more money down to lower you mortgage note and reduce or eliminate mortgage insurance.
  • On conventional mortgage programs, if you put down at least 20% on a down payment, you can eliminate any private mortgage insurance. Since the private mortgage insurance only helps the lender and not you as the borrower, the least you pay in private mortgage insurance the better.
  • On conventional loan programs, if you only have 5% or less than 20% for a down payment, we can compare programs with monthly private mortgage insurance or we can look at a private mortgage insurance program that allows you to make one big lump sum payment and then not have to make any monthly private mortgage insurance payments
  • On the government FHA loans, if you are putting less than 10% down, your can expect to pay the monthly mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. There is also no way to get around having the FHA upfront mortgage insurance of 1.75% of the loan amount added to your loan balance.   

BUT, FHA is a great loan because it is more forgiving on the lower credit scores.  FHA only requires 3.5% down payment. FHA is an assumable loan also, even though the person buying you home one day would have to qualify with your mortgage company to have permission to assume, or take over your payments. An assumable loan with a low fixed interest rate might one day be a real advantage if you are trying to sell your home.  

  • The Veteran Loans for active military and veterans is a great program for helping veterans buy homes with nothing down. 
  • USDA for qualifying properties and qualifying borrowers is also a 100% rural housing loan. 
  • If you are trying to sell your current home but want to go ahead and buy your new home, then you might want to look at a bridge loan or other temporary loan on your current home to give you the money to make the larger down payment on the house you are buying. You can pay off the temporary loan when your current home sells.   Call me and let’s look at this plan or a variation of this plan if you are contemplating doing something like this.   

Offer Accepted To Buy My Dream Home-But Can’t Sell My Current Home Right Away-Zana Zagar’s story

Zana Zagar (not her real name) received some good news and bad news all on the same day.   The good news—the sellers accepted Zana’s offer to buy the home Zana had searched long and hard to find.  The bad news?  The family selling to Zana her dream home needed to close quickly.  Zana would not have time to get her current home ready to sell before she would need to close on her new home.

Zana and I explored a number of creative tactics she could take to get her the funds she needed to make the large down payment to keep her mortgage payment low on the new home, even though she would not be able to use the equity on the sale of her current home in time to use it for the down payment on the new home.

One of the solutions for Zana was to get a departure home equity line from her bank on the equity in her current home to use for a large down payment on the new home.  With the big down payment on the new home, this would set her up for the permanently  low payment on the new home.  

Zana could go ahead and close and move into her new home and enjoy a low mortgage payment on the new house because being able to access the equity on her current home with the temporary equity line to use until she could sell her old home.

  •   Tips To the Wise When Getting A Mortgage
  •  Don’t run out and pay off all your credit cards and car loans before you consult with your mortgage loan officer.   Money available  in the bank is so much more important, in most cases, than have a low income-to-debt ratio.  I guess the logic is, if you have money in the bank you can make your payments on the other debt.  Consult with your loan officer first to determine if you should pay down debt or make a larger down payment or just show extra money left in your bank after closing for emergencies.
  • Look at your money coming in and money going out each month. What is the maximum house payment that is personally comfortable for you each month? What is the maximum down payment that is personally comfortable to pay down and still leave plenty in an emergency funds.
  • Shop around to two or three mortgage companies.  If the rates and prices are fairly close, go with the mortgage company that seems to be paying attention to your plan and what you want to get on your mortgage
  • Get preapproved from a reputable lender.  Sometimes having a prequalification letter from a local lender is better than someone out of the area.
  • When you are finding homes where you would like to make an offer to buy, let your mortgage loan officer  know the address and the sales price and anything else you know about the house.   If you are my mortgage client, and you tell me the address of the property and what price you plan to offer, I can work up some financing scenarios very specific to that property’s’ taxes and other things like a neighborhood or condominium.
  • Remember that if you are buying  a condominium, you have to qualify for the condo mortgage program with a minimum of 10% as a down payment.  Remember also, on condos, the lender has to approve the condo too.  Condos usually require a monthly association fees to keep up the place  

4th segment after 9:45 AM break: REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Michael Brooks, Sierra Pacific Mortgage national renovation and repair loan program manager. Michael  shares 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 CT currently online.  Go to click on the Upcoming Events tab and then click on the web address there to join us. This Wednesday April 22 2020 Talk Shoppe  presents:  “Skills, Knowledge, Opportunities”  Andrew Israel  Program Director of Leadership Germantown

Talk Shoppe events are free thanks to sponsors like Brett Carter of ServiceMaster by Cornerstone, restoration from fire, flood, and bio hazards.  Thank you for your community service in disinfecting our ambulances and our Shelby County TN Sheriff’s cars.   Call ServiceMaster Cornerstone at (901) 509-9750

Thank you to Nita Black, business strategist with   Nita Black can help you organize your bookkeeping and come up with a plan to monetize your business projects.   Talk Shoppe recommends Nita Black of 

2.  Stay safe- Shelter at home.   Find ways to help our community.

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




NASA Commander Chris Hadfield “The more you know, the less you fear.”

Sir Winston Churchill “ The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity.  The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”



  1. Bernice L. Ross, Texas author and real estate syndicated columnist with Inman Real Estate Radio. 
  2. Leah Anne Morse, Cartridge World of Collierville, TN 901 853-3230 
  3. Jana Cardona, Executive Director of BNI Mid-South 

Transitional Music: “Money’s Too Tight To Mention” by Simply Red; “Money Song” by the Muppets;  “Back In The High Life Again”  by Steve Winwood;  “Memphis,” by Johnny Rivers for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest



Kyle is a native Memphian that has been in mortgage banking in the Mid-South for 20+ years. Specializing in construction lending and first-time home buyers, Kyle and his team at Sierra Pacific Mortgage make it a point to treat every customer and client like they are family, making sure each one is given the hands-on attention that is needed in the mortgage process. Kyle is heavily involved in the real estate community, serving on the Affiliate Board for the Area Association of Realtors and is an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Youth Villages.


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