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101 Things To Do In Memphis #42: Grilled Cheese Festival

by Melissa Thompson

Memphis’ massively successful Grilled Cheese Festival is returning for its second year with all proceeds benefiting ALIVE Memphis Rescue.

  • When: Sunday, December 11 from noon – 6 p.m.
  • Where: Hi Tone (412 N Cleveland, 38104)
  • Cost: $5/person OR donate an item to ALIVE (see their list of needs)
  • Ages: All!

The general admission ticket or donation gets you into the festival for plenty of samples and live music, and the HiTone will have two bars open, selling drinks for those 21+. If you’re interested in being a vendor, competing in the cook off, or entering in the grilled cheese eating competition, check out their list of entry forms.

ALIVE Memphis Rescue is a foster based program for homeless animals that works to save as many animals as they can from kill shelters and the streets. If you are interested in getting involved, they are always looking for families who want to foster or adopt.

Attendees will experience 24 teams of grilled cheese masters trying to win in one of five cheesy categories. Teams will compete for Most Ridiculous, Most Cheesiest, Best Tomato Soup, Fan Favorite, and Best All Around. The Fan Favorite will be decided by, of course, the fans. Each team will have a donation box at their table, and you are encouraged to give a donation to your favorite. The team with the most donations will win the award, but all of the money from each team’s donation box goes towards ALIVE Memphis Rescue.

By and photo credit: choose901.com and memphisgrilledcheese.com

 

Open House 1920 Hazelton

by Melissa Thompson

Please join us for an OPEN HOUSE Sunday, December 4 from 1:00-3:00.

Welcome home to 1920 Hazelton Drive, a breathtaking 5 bedroom home located in prestigious Germantown in the sought after Nottoway Subdivision. This home offers quality features including crown molding, neutral colors, smooth ceilings, beautiful French front doors, huge great/hearth room, gourmet kitchen with a full complement of stainless steel appliances and butler’s pantry, lovely formal dining room embellished with a dazzling chandelier, tons of built-in bookcases, and endless high-end touches! The great/hearth room offers lots of space to relax and entertain with a vaulted ceilings with wood beamed rafters, built-in bookcases, hardwood floors, and an elegant floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. The kitchen is a cook’s dream offering counter and cabinet space galore, granite countertops, breakfast bar, pantry, butler’s pantry with a wine cooler, and a full complement of high end stainless steel appliances. Host the finest of dinner parties in the spectacular dining room with an elegant chandelier. The downstairs master suite offers gleaming hardwood floors, a dramatic vaulted ceiling, an enormous walk-in closet with built-in shelving, and a spa-inspired bath with double sink granite vanities, relaxing whirlpool tub, and a divine walk-in shower. The second bedroom is also located downstairs and could be used as an elegant office space with hardwood floors, amazing built-in bookshelves, and a private bathroom. Upstairs, you will find 3 additional bedrooms with plush carpeting, and 3 bathrooms. The upstairs bonus room with bar is the perfect place to rest and relax with plush carpeting and loads of space. Enjoy your outside space year round on the screened-in porch boasting a cooling ceiling fan, cozy fireplace and blue stone floors. This incredible home features so many other high-end touches, as well as a private downstairs study with built-in desk, laundry room with cabinets and a sink, 3 car garage, cedar lined closet, huge walk-in attic, and is in the Germantown School District! List price: $789,900. 

12 Days of Tips for Buying or Selling a Home During the Holiday Season

by Melissa Thompson

On the first day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Buyers: if you’re looking to buy your first home, now is the time! Research by the National Association of Realtors shows that more than half of the home sales (52 percent) in 2017 are expected to be to first-time buyers. That means competition - and bidding wars - could become fierce in the spring for starter homes in desirable areas. There might be less inventory now, but there is also less competition and more highly motivated sellers.

On the second day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Sellers: if your home is for sale during the holiday season, feel free to decorate, but don’t go overboard.  You want your home to look it’s best while still enjoying your personal touch.  Avoid large decorations that can be overwhelming or distracting.  Remember that potential buyers want be able to envision your home as their own.

On the third day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Buyers: take advantage of less competition from other buyers during the holiday season. Less competition might mean you'll be able to negotiate a favorable price for a home you want to purchase. Homes are often priced to sell this time of year. Although there is so much going on during the holidays, it might be worth it to go house hunting if it means a better price for you!

On the fourth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Sellers: make your home feel inviting. If it’s cold outside, make it warm and cozy inside. Play soft, classical music and offer homemade holiday treats. If potential buyers are comfortable, they will spend more time in your home and will have more time to appreciate all its best features.

On the fifth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Buyers: consider possible tax advantages.  If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct any points you paid upon closing, as well as property taxes and mortgage interest. Whether it is to your advantage to buy before or after year’s end depends on factors such as how many other deductions you have this year and expect to have next year.

It is best to consult with a tax professional before purchase. Even though you do not want to decide on a home purchase strictly for tax reasons, it could be to your benefit to close before the end of the year.

On the sixth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Sellers:
there will be motivated buyers this time of year. If people are house hunting during the holidays, they probably have a good reason for doing so. For example, they may be relocating for a job or investing for a tax deduction.  If they are on a deadline, they will be highly driven to find a home quickly.  It may be worth it to do the extra work involved in showing your home during the holiday season.

On the seventh day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Buyers: you may find that there are better interest rates this time of year. Generally, there is often a cyclical trend of lower interest rates during the holidays due to limited demand forcing greater competition among lenders.

On the eighth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Sellers: price your home to sell.  A home that is reasonably priced for the market will make buyers feel merry and bright.  Many real estate agents advise sellers to initially price their home to sell rather than making small price reductions over time.

On the ninth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Buyers: you may get a faster closing on your new home since all parties involved have incentive to complete the transaction before the end of the year. Lenders want to close their books; realtors want to receive their commissions and buyers and sellers want to settle into their new homes. Since all parties are motivated and there are fewer transactions taking place during this time, in many circumstances, it should be easier to put everything in place for a smooth and rapid closing.

On the tenth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Sellers: provide photos that show your home year round.  Yards and landscaping aren’t always at their best during the winter months.  Make sure that potential buyers see the beauty of your home during other times of year when the grass is greener and trees and flowers are in bloom.

On the eleventh day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Buyers: motivated sellers may mean a better deal for you. People who are selling their homes over the holidays often have a need to sell fast. If a house has already been on the market for a while, that need is even greater. It may be advantageous for you to buy at this time.  You can negotiate fairly but firmly with the sellers for a lower price and/or other concessions such as having them pay closing costs.

On the twelfth day of the holidays my realtor said to me:
Sellers: create a video tour for the web. You might get less foot traffic during the holidays due to the business of the season.  By posting a video tour, you may attract house hunters who don’t have time to actually go to your home.

 

Whether buying or selling your home contact Melissa Thompson for all your real estate needs!  We Know Memphis

7703 Candy Apple Cove - Incredible Move-In Ready 4 Bedroom Memphis Home!

by Melissa Thompson

 

Welcome home to 7703 Candy Apple Cove, an incredible, move-in ready, 2-story home situated on a quiet cove lot, you have to see to believe! Quality features include 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, fresh neutral paint throughout, gleaming wood floors, spacious great room with a cozy fireplace, lovely formal dining room, gracious 2-story foyer, smooth ceiling downstairs, eat-in kitchen with a full complement of stainless steel appliances, huge bonus room upstairs, laundry room, fenced backyard with a sparkling in-ground pool, covered patio, 2 car garage and so much more!

This amazing home is presented by Melissa Thompson - The Your Key to Memphis Team with Crye-Leike Realtors. Melissa Thompson has distinguished herself as a leader in the Memphis TN real estate market. Melissa assists buyers looking for Memphis real estate for sale and aggressively markets Memphis TN homes for sale. Melissa brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Memphis TN home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Melissa Thompson will help make the most of your Memphis TN real estate experience. Give her a call today, 901-756-8900, and discover the difference she can make during your family’s next move.

101 Things To Do In Memphis #41: Visiting Santa

by Melissa Thompson

Looking to visit Santa?  There are lots of great options in the area if your kids want to pay Santa a visit, and you want to get some photos of the event.  It’s still early, but Santa is arriving soon and I know some of you don’t want to miss out!

Alpine Village
Trinity Baptist Church, Cordova
A free Santa’s village, reservations required and begins November 19 at noon.

The Avenue at Carriage Crossing
November 19 – December 24 

  • We loved the Santa at carriage crossing! He looks real and is great with kids đź™‚
  • Carriage crossing is my favorite place. 
  • The Santa at Carriage Crossing was great last year. He had a plan for making sure we got the best picture possible of our leary 1 year old and was very patient with all the families.

Memphis Zoo Lights
November 18 – December 30 (select nights) EMM Review
$7 members, $9 non-members
90-foot, LED Ferris wheel ($5), Santa in his shop, animal encounters, free train, live reindeer, thousands of LED holiday lights, ice skating ($6), camel rides ($3 members, $4 non-members) and more

Mistletoe Village at Starry Nights
November 18 – December 27 (closed Nov. 21)
Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park
Hot chocolate, camp fire, vendors, petting zoo, camel rides, musical performances, visit with Santa.  EMM Review (of Carriage Ride). $20/car non-members, $15 members.

Bass Pro Shops Winter Wonderland
Saturday, November 14 – December 24
Both Memphis locations
Take family pictures and receive one free 4×6 photo with Santa – and if the line is longer than 30 minutes you can get a Bass Pass so you can walk around the store and come back at your assigned time. Package options will also be available for a price. Enjoy free crafts (M-F 5-7pm, noon-5pm weekends) and free games. EMM Review

SantaBassPro

Bass Pro Shops

  • ok don’t laugh, but Bass Pro Shop was great last year. I said no when my husband suggested, but then I gave in. đź™‚ They have a really cute set up and a really nice Santa
  • Hands down… Bass Pro. He has 14 grandkids. Sweet man. Really good with those kids who are scared. He just has a gift and a heart for his job. (Tip: go on an off night. Lots of one on one time.)
  • we went to Bass last year too bc we ran out of time and it was nice! They even let us take a second photo bc the first wasnt that great đź™‚ 
  • We LOVE Bass pros santa..its free for one pic and $10 for the smallest package! And theyre set is cute and stuff for the kids to do!
  • We’ve done Bass Pro this year and last. It’s free and Santa is always very good. It gets very crowded close to Christmas though.

Oak Court Mall
November 19 – ?
Oak court mall. No wait and was great with my newborn last year.

SantaOakCourt

Oak Court Mall

Wolfchase Galleria
November 4 – December 24
Caring Santa for special needs kids November 20 from 10 – 11:30am
Breakfast with Santa December 10, 8:30-10am
I thought he was wonderful. 

Children’s Museum of Memphis
Thursday, December 17, 1-4pm
It’s that time of year and Santa Claus will be stopping by CMOM!  Come take pictures with him from 1 PM – 4 PM.  Parents, be sure to bring your own cameras to get that perfect picture!

S’mores with Santa
Memphis Botanic Garden
Sunday, December 11, 5-8pm
Become part of a new holiday tradition as Santa drops in for s’mores and snapshots at Snowy Nights! Stroll through My Big Backyard, decked out in lights and holiday decorations, with outdoor activities, snow play, and more. Bring your own camera to capture magical encounters with Santa and his wintry friends. Tickets include s’mores, hot dog bar, hot cocoa buffet, and all the interactive fun of Snowy Nights. members $12/non-members $15, reservations are required.

Breakfast with Santa
TBD
Fire Museum of Memphis
2015: Santa arrives on a fire engine! Breakfast, photos, storytime, face painting and more. Two sessions. Registration required, $10/person.

Brunch with Santa
The Majestic Grill
Saturday, December 17
Enjoy holiday movies and cartoons on the Majestic Screen. Special appearances by North Pole Elves, Mrs. Claus & the Jolly ol’ Elf himself!  Santa’s friends to be announced! Santa will visit every table.  $18 per child ages 2-10, older children and adults order from the menu.  This event is sold out.

Breakfast with Santa
Kid’s Play, Germantown
TBD
2015: Breakfast, photos and play. $16 for the first child, $12 for each additional child, and $9 per adult. Call 758-1015 to reserve your spot.

By: EastMemphisMoms.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

by Melissa Thompson

 

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
Henry Van Dyke

Did you know?:

-    The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days. Many historians believe that only five women were present at that first Thanksgiving, as many women settlers didn't survive that difficult first year in the U.S.

-    Thanksgiving didn't become a national holiday until over 200 years later! Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who actually wrote the classic song “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” convinced President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, after writing letters for 17 years campaigning for this to happen.

-    No turkey on the menu at the first Thanksgiving: Historians say that no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving! What was on the menu? Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish. They probably ate pumpkins, but no pumpkin pies. They also didn't eat mashed potatoes or cranberry relish, but they probably ate cranberries. And no, Turduckens (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) were nowhere to be found during that first Thanksgiving.

-    Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, that is, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and (lucky for us!) turned their fast into a three-day feast!


As you gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to remember all that you have to be grateful for.  

Wishing you and yours a day filled with joy. 

 

Courtesy of your Memphis TN Real Estate Expert Melissa Thompson

Winter Is Coming… 5 Reasons to Sell Now!

by Melissa Thompson

Winter Is Coming… 5 Reasons to Sell Now! | Keeping Current Matters

People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every fall; we ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year-round weather, or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait.

If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to sell now instead of in the dead of winter.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market (which is 4.5-months).

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market soon.

Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase, reaching historic levels in 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream homes within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. 

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.57% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.  

That is what is truly important.

If you are considering putting your home up for sale, visit our website, call 901-729-9526  or email Melissa@yourkeytomemphis.com to get started!

 

You Can Never Have TMI about PMI

by Melissa Thompson

You Can Never Have TMI about PMI | Keeping Current Matters

When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment below 20%, you can never have Too Much Information (TMI) about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It's a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you've built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.” 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 6%, while repeat buyers put down 14% (no doubt aided by the sale of their home). This just goes to show that for a large number of buyers last year, PMI did not stop them from buying their dream homes.

Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI:

You Can Never Have TMI about PMI | Keeping Current Matters

The larger the down payment you can make, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but Freddie Mac urges you to remember:

“It's no doubt an added cost, but it's enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

Bottom Line

If you have questions about if you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, meet with The Melissa Thompson Team for help explaining the market’s conditions and making the best decision for you and your family. 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com

 

 

Open House in Germantown at 1920 Hazelton Drive!

by Melissa Thompson

Come join us for our Open House, this Sunday, November 20 from 2:00 - 4:00 at this luxury home located at 1920 Hazelton Drive, Germantown, TN 38138!

Welcome home to 1920 Hazelton Drive, a breathtaking 5 bedroom home located in prestigious Germantown in the sought after Nottoway Subdivision. This home offers quality features including crown molding, neutral colors, smooth ceilings, beautiful French front doors, granite galore, cedar closet, 3 car garage, irrigation system, 2 floor to ceiling stone fireplaces, huge hearth room, gourmet kitchen with a full complement of stainless steel appliances and butler’s pantry with a wine cooler, lovely dining room with a dazzling chandelier, tons of built-in bookcases, and endless high-end touches!

2323 Duntreath Road - Spectacular Germantown Home on 2 Acres!

by Melissa Thompson

Welcome home to 2323 Duntreath Road, an amazing Germantown home situated on 2 acres that you will have to see to believe! Built for entertaining, this spacious home offers an open floor plan with impressive formal rooms, plus comfortable everyday living spaces. Quality features include gleaming hardwood floors, neutral colors, fireplace, crown molding, 5 bedrooms plus a bonus room, smooth ceilings, granite galore, 3 storage rooms, sparkling in-ground saltwater Gunite pool, 4 car garage, and so much more! Enjoy comfortable everyday living in the captivating great room flaunting a cozy gas log fireplace, perfect for those cold winter nights. Cooking will be a delight in this incredible eat-in kitchen with cabinet and counter space galore, built-in wine rack, desirable granite counter-tops, tile back-splash, built-in desk, durable tile floors, island/breakfast bar with cabinets, large pantry, full complement of appliances including double convection ovens, microwave, dishwasher, double sinks, gas cook-top, ice-maker, and a built-in refrigerator and freezer. In addition, this kitchen offers a sunny breakfast area, which is the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee! Family and friends will enjoy gathering in the splendid sun room located off the kitchen and great room illuminated with tons of natural light beaming in through the arched windows, and a nice dry bar with tile back-splash, compact stainless steel refrigerator, wine cooler and cabinets with interior lighting. Host the finest dinner parties in the romantic dining room embellished with a dazzling chandelier. Enjoy working from home in this wonderful office enhanced with built-in bookshelves with cabinets. You will rest easy in your downstairs master retreat featuring his and hers walk-in closets, hardwood floors, sitting area, smooth tray ceiling with recessed lighting, and a cooling ceiling fan. The spa-inspired luxury master bathroom boasts an elongated dual sink marble vanity with all new soft close cabinets, heated floors, towel warmer, additional built-in cabinets with TV niche, relaxing new bubble tub with hand held spray, and a divine walk-in shower with complete tile surround, double shower heads with 3 body sprays and one hand held spray, and a frameless shower door. This home offers one additional bedroom downstairs with hardwood flooring and three more bedrooms upstairs with new plush carpeting. Upstairs you will find the fabulous bonus room offering a great space for recreational fun with a great wet bar. Relax outside in the incredible backyard with beautiful landscaping, sparkling in-ground, Gunite, saltwater pool with a diving board and water features along with a nice covered patio, perfect for cookouts and parties! This amazing home also offers a convenient half bath accessible to the backyard, laundry room with a chute, cabinets, sink, and ironing board, and not to mention it is in the Germantown Municipal School District!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 23

Contact Information

Photo of Melissa Thompson Real Estate
Melissa Thompson
Crye-Leike Realtors
6525 N Quail Hollow Road
Memphis TN 38120
(901) 729-9526
(901) 756-8900
Fax: (901) 435-0620