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101 Things To Do In Memphis #94: Memphis Zoo Lights

by Melissa Thompson

What is better than a winter wonderland? A WILD winter wonderland! SNOW is back at this year’s SunTrust Zoo Lights.

There's so much to see and do, visitors of all ages will find something to enjoy like the 90-FT LED Ferris wheel, Santa in his shop, live reindeer, thousands of LED holiday lights, the only 5,400 sq. ft outdoor ice skating rink and much more! 

Ice Rink open DAILY beginning November 18.
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
$6/per person for ice skating

What to know:
1. Avoid nightly crowds - skate during the day!
2. Regular Zoo admission applies
3. Dress warmly! It's Memphis' only outdoor, tented skating rink

Don’t miss out on a Mid-South tradition that not only brightens up the season, but is also a lot of fun. Make a night of it and build holiday memories at these unforgettable celebrations of light and holiday spirit.

Zoo visitors please note that Zoo Lights is a separate event and requires a separate ticket. 
4:00 pm Last day admission to the Zoo
5:00 pm Zoo closes*
5:30 pm Zoo Lights opens*

*Thanksgiving Day: Zoo Closed during the day. SunTrust Zoo Lights opens at 5:30 p.m.
**Christmas Eve: Zoo Closed. No SunTrust Zoo Lights.
***Christmas Day: Zoo Closed during the day. SunTrust Zoo Lights opens at 5:30 p.m.

Visit http://www.memphiszoo.org or call 333-6500 for more info.

By and photo credit: www.memphiszoo.org

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New Beginnings - Starting Traditions in Your New Home

by Melissa Thompson

If this is your first holiday in your new home, it is a perfect time to start some new traditions!  When you move, you don’t leave everything behind.  You bring your belongings and your memories and yes, your traditions.  But a fresh start in an unfamiliar house is just the inspiration you need to begin unique traditions that will make that house feel like your home.

Check out these fun ideas for creating new traditions:

  • Take and annual family photo. Choose a theme or a pose that you can recreate every year.  Label the photos with the date and create a photo book or framed collage with them.  It will be so much fun for your family to see how everyone changes through the years. Creative Family Photo Ideas
     
  • Incorporate a cultural tradition.  No matter what holiday you celebrate, you will find a cultural tradition to go with it.  Make it a family activity to research your heritage and make new discoveries about how your ancestors celebrated.  Multi-Cultural Holiday Celebrations
     
  • Gratitude. It’s not just for Thanksgiving. Sometimes we take all that we have for granted. A wonderful way to experience the holiday spirit is to express gratitude.  This can be a fun and meaningful activity for the whole family.  Go outdoors and find a branch to use to hold your “ornaments of gratitude”. Cut ornaments out of colorful paper and each day have family members write something they are grateful for on one. Then hang the ornaments on the “tree” to create a beautiful reminder of all that is right with your world!  Paper Ornament Crafts

If you are still in search of the perfect house to make your new home, contact Melissa Thompson for all your real estate needs! Happy Holidays!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Giving-Thanks-by-Giving-Back
http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Dont-Let-the-Holidays-Stress-You-Out
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Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage?

by Melissa Thompson

There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year:

  • More buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home
  • The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower
  • More low-down-payment programs have been introduced

This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced ten years ago. Let’s alleviate some of that concern.

The graph below shows the MCAI going back to the boom years of 2004-2005. The higher the graph line, the easier it was to get a mortgage.

As you can see, lending standards were much more lenient from 2004 to 2007. Though it has gradually become easier to get a mortgage since 2011, we are nowhere near the lenient standards during the boom.

The Urban Institute also publishes a Home Credit Availability Index (HCAI). According to the Institute, the HCAI:

“Measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates … it is easier to get a loan.”

Here is a graph showing their findings:


Again, today’s lending standards are nowhere near the levels of the boom years. As a matter of fact, they are more stringent than they were even before the boom.

Bottom Line

It is getting easier to gain financing for a home purchase. However, we are not seeing the irresponsible lending that caused the housing crisis.

Let’s get together and find out how much house you can afford! 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com

BY: KCM Crew

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Thanksgiving Wishes!

by Melissa Thompson

Courtesy of The Melissa Thompson Team

101 Things To Do In Memphis #93: Holiday Shopping & Markets Guide

by Melissa Thompson

The holiday season is upon us, Memphis. If you’re seeking out markets and events where you can shop for unique gifts while supporting local small businesses, craftspeople and artists, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a list of holiday markets and sales in the Memphis area.

– Palladio Home & Garden, Central Avenue (near Cooper), throughout the holiday season, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Shop for art, antiques, candles and more at this elegant Midtown collection. Palladio offers handmade Christmas decorations and winter craft and decor items.

– The ‘Tiny Shop,’ Jay Etkin Gallery (942 S. Cooper), November 9 through Mid-January, Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Small original works of art by local artists, curated by Memphis artist Mary Long.

– Junior League Merry Marketplace, Racquet Club (5111 Sanderlin Ave.), November 10th, 10 a.m – 8 p.m. and November 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door. 
Shop for handmade gifts with proceeds benefiting the mission of the Junior League, support local women and children in need). Click here for exact hours and special events.

– Crafts and Drafts, Crosstown Concourse Plaza, November 11, 10 a.m – 4 p.m.
Choose from handmade arts and crafts from more than 60 vendors, as well as a large variety of beers available for purchase. Food trucks will be on hand if you get hungry after all that shopping.

– Faith Missions Craft Fair, 3755 N. Germantown Road, November 11, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
The 10th Annual Faith Missions Craft Fair will feature a variety of vendors selling everything from hand-sewn clothing to quilts to homemade fudge.

– Deck the Halls at Bingham & Broad, 2563 Broad Avenue, November 12, noon – 4 p.m. 
Early holiday shopping, 10 percent off gifts, door prizes and merry refreshments.

– Erica Bodine Pottery’s 4th Annual Holiday Sale, Memphis Made, November 16, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Shop ceramics from this local artists, appetizers will be served and the taproom will be open with beers for purchase.

– MCA’s 67th Annual Holiday Bazaar, Rust Hall (1930 Poplar Avenue), November 17 – 18, $50 Preview Night and Party/Saturday free 
Memphis’ original artist market returns this year with a carefully curated collection of handmade gifts and fine art. The Bazaar kicks off with an Early Bird Sale & Party  Friday, Nov. 17 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.($50 — refreshments and hors d’oeuvres and first dibs on artwork) and continues Saturday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. with an open market with free admission.  

– Memphis Potters Guild Annual Holiday Show & Sale, Memphis Botanic Garden, Opening Reception November 17,  5 – 8 p.m. Shopping November 18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., November 19, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., free admission 
Local artists will sell porcelain, stoneware, earthenware, ceramics and more. The opening reception is Friday, November 17 from 5 p.m. –  8 p.m. and the market is open Saturday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Snowden Arts Bazaar, November 19, noon – 5 p.m, Snowden School
More than 50 local artists will sell their work at the Snowden Arts Bazaar. This annual event benefits the Snowden School’s art department.

– Mistletoe Village at Starry Nights, Shelby Farms ParkNovember 24-December 29 

This year, Mistletoe Village will be inside First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. Enjoy hot cocoa, gift shop, and an artisans’ shop on the porch featuring holiday gift items. 

– Memphis Arts Collective Market, 1501 Union Avenue, Nov. 24 – Dec. 24
Members of the Memphis Art Collective host a nearly month-long market every year; this year it opens on Friday, November 24 and runs through Christmas Eve, for you last-minute shoppers. Hours available here.

– Bartlett Holiday Market, Bartlett Station Municipal Center (5868 Stage Road), November 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Shop for handmade jewelry, boutique clothing and accessories, children’s items, wind chimes and more in the banquet hall of the municipal center.

– Gift: A Christmas Holiday Market, Saddle Creek (7509 Poplar Ave.), November 25 – December 24
This pop-up shop, sponsored by Modern Made Memphis and Etsy, features jewelry, bath and body, accessories, art, home décor, pet wear and local foods from more than 30 Mid-South vendors. Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sundays 12:00 p.m. – 5 p.m.

– Holiday Makers Market, 7743 Church Street, Millington. November 25, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Shop for wreaths, crafts, decorations and more at this market, hosted by the Millington Arts Council on Small Business Saturday, Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies and capture a memory at the photo booth for $10 and up.

– Tsunami Holiday Artist Market, 928 S. Cooper, November 26, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Shop for pottery, jewelry, woodwork and more. Snacks will be served and adult beverages will be available for purchase. 

– Farmers Market Christmas Craft Show, Agricenter International (7777 Walnut Grove), December 2, 8 am. – 5 p.m. 
Shop for an array of crafts from local artisans at the Agricenter while picking up fresh regional produce.

– Train Show & Sale, 2425 S. Germantown Road, December 2, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
Shopping for someone who’s into trains? Check out this annual Christmas event featuring operating postwar era-style model railroads with trains from yesterday and today. Accessories and parts will also be for sale, and there will be door prizes and activities for children.

 Sowing the Seeds Holiday Artisan Sale & Open House, 2924 Walnut Grove,December 2, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Local artists, makers, and craftswomen will sell their homemade items at this one-day only shopping event that features refreshments, treats and a raffle, and benefits a nonprofit that offers mothers and families education and support services. 

– Metal Museum Holiday Open House and Shopping, 374 Metal Museum Drive, December 3, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
Shop for unique hand-made gifts in the Museum Store and enjoy hot cocoa or spiced cider and warm yourself by the fire pit. 

– Sunday Funday Art Show, High Cotton Brewery, December 3, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Celebrate the giving season at this afternoon shopping event featuring more than a dozen artists and makers.  

– Crosstown Seasonal Market, Co-Motion Studio (416 N. Cleveland), December 9, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Shop for art, jewelry, skin care items and more from local artists, artisans and craftspeople at this popup market in the Crosstown neighborhood.

– Memphis Farmer’s Market Holiday Market, GE Patterson and S. Front, December 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Shop with all your favorite market vendors, plus a few extras for the holidays.

– Memphis Maker Holiday Market, Muddy’s Midtown (585 S. Cooper), December 9, 11 a.m., 4 p.m.
Shop for handmade gifts from more than 20 vendors, plus enjoy live music and lunch from local food trucks. (Formerly the Indie Memphis Market)

– Alternative Market, 1738 Galloway, December 10, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Fair trade shopping for home decor, baskets, scarves, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, toys, fair trade coffee and chocolate, nativities and holiday decor.to benefit craftspeople and small farmers in developing countries.

– Holiday Gift and Art Market, Memphis Jewish Community Center, December 10, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., December 11, 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
Shop for holiday gifts and artwork. This year’s artists TBA.

– The Women’s Exchange, 88 Racine Street, throughout the holiday season, Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
The Women’s Exchange offers unique handmade holiday gifts, such as art, toys, clothing and baby gifts, all made by local women.

– Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, First Congo parking lot, Saturdays year-round, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cooper-Young Farmers Market switches to Winter Market hours and vendors starting November 4.  Shop for local produce and pre-made foods, Memphis Made beer, hearty winter soups, handmade jewelry, lotions and potions and much more.

By and photo credit: ilovememphisblog.com

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Giving Thanks by Giving Back

by Melissa Thompson

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to show how grateful we are by helping others in need.  Not everyone will spend the holidays in a warm home surrounded by loved ones, but those of us that will can make the season a little bit brighter by donating time, food and gifts to those less fortunate.  To make it a little easier for you to do so, here is a list of places where you can volunteer or make donations in the Memphis area:

Team Max Thanksgiving Meals - Join Team Max and serve those in need in the Memphis community.  Volunteers are needed to prepare gift baskets, pack out 1400 meals, and help to deliver meals.  Click on the links to volunteer!

Memphis Union Mission - The Union Mission has all the volunteers it needs for Thanksgiving Day, but there are many other ways you can help! Honor loved ones by donating to Union Mission and they will receive a beautiful Christmas card letting them know of your gift. You can also volunteer to serve meals throughout the season, or make donations to the donation drive.

St. Mary's Soup Kitchen - St. Mary’s Catholic Church Soup Kitchen serves the communities poor, homeless and less fortunate.  They serve more than 300 servings a day! Want to help? Click here to donate, or sign up for their Dollar a Day program and for $1 a day provide a warm meal to someone in need.  If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up here.

Mid-South Food Bank - The Mid-South Food Bank makes it super easy to help.  You can purchase the 2017 Holiday Card to send to friends and family while also helping to end hunger.  You can also participate in the Cookie Letter program. The Cookie Letter is a unique way to purchase food for the hungry while also honoring friends, family, or clients.  Click here to discover other easy ways to donate!

Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home, or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most “Return On Investment” (ROI).
     
  • While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete remodel of a kitchen are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value.

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com for all your Real Estate needs!

By: KCM Crew 

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Visit Memphis’ newest Holiday attraction! With multiple magical venues – all in the fresh air and outdoors…. featuring interactive activities, interesting lighting, music, food, drinks, families and friends….this is what the Holidays are meant to be.  

Staged in the northwest corner of the beautiful, centrally-located Memphis Botanic Garden in East Memphis, Holiday Wonders at the Garden has something for all ages.  We offer:

  • Ample, free parking
  • Easy access and egress
  • No waiting with reserved / timed entry tickets (advance purchase through Ticketmaster strongly recommended!)
  • Economical, family-friendly ticket pricing

Click here for tickets.

Runs select evenings November 24th thru December 30th!
5:30 – 8:30 pm

Click the photos below to learn more about each event

       

By and photo credit: www.memphisbotanicgarden.com/Wonders

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Collierville TN Open Houses, Saturday and Sunday November 18 and 19!

by Melissa Thompson
 
 
511 BRANGUS CV, Collierville, TN | $649900

Open House:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

 

For more information, contact Melissa Thompson at (901) 729-9526. Visit...

 
 

 
 
12588 BRAVO RD, Collierville, TN | $659900

Open House:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 | 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

 

For more information, contact Melissa Thompson at (901) 729-9526. Visit...

 
 

 
 
1532 EXMOOR LN, Collierville, TN | $650000

Open House:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

 

For more information, contact Melissa Thompson at (901) 729-9526. Visit...

 
 

 
 
12295 CASCABEL LN, Collierville, TN | $450000

Open House:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

 

For more information, contact Melissa Thompson at (901) 729-9526. Visit...

 
 

 
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901-729-9526
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Staying Active When You Hate Exercising!

by Melissa Thompson

Do you hate exercising?  Do you want to be healthier and more fit, but the thought of going to a gym fills you with anxiety?  Well, I am here to tell you that there are numerous ways to “exercise” that you will enjoy so much, you won’t even realize you’re exercising!

Ten Fun Ways to Stay Active:

  1. Hiking.  Whether you like the solitude of hiking alone or you would rather go with family and friends, you will be surrounded by the beauty of nature and wildlife and you will walk miles before you know it.  There is no shortage of beautiful places to hike in and around Memphis!
     
  2. Walking.  If you don’t have time for a hike, go for a walk instead.  Even a fifteen-minute walk can get your heart pumping.  Walk in your neighborhood, or during your lunch break at work.  One way or another, get those steps in!
     
  3. Larping.  Live action role playing.  Ok…that sounds a little silly, I know.  But for those who enjoy doing it, it’s an adventure that not only gets your imagination going, but gets you up and moving and interacting with other people as well. Check out this LARPING GROUP in Memphis.
     
  4. Rock Climbing.  It’s one of the best back & arm workouts you can do and when you reach the top of the wall, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will set a positive tone for the rest of your day. Bridges USA,  located in Memphis offers climbing walls for individuals and groups…a great place for team bonding and for learning and practicing the sport of rock climbing.
     
  5. Geocaching. For the adventure nerd in all of us…geocaching allows us to be real-life treasure hunters and get a great work out at the same time! Check out this website  for information on geocaching events taking place in Tennessee.
     
  6. Dancing.  So many types of dance, so little time!  You can try swing dancing, Latin dancing, tap!  The options are limitless!  Try some ballroom dancing lessons at the Blue Suede Ballroom in Memphis.
     
  7. Climbing on stuff.  Sounds basic.  But you can improve your balance and coordination by climbing on things such as tree stumps, fallen trees and rocks.
     
  8. Martial Arts. Just like with dancing, there are loads of different types of martial arts.  Not only will you learn to defend yourself, but the practice of martial arts can be a stress reliever. Try karate at Wright's ATA Martial Arts or judo & jiu-jitsu at Memphis Judo & Jiu-Jitsu.
     
  9. Clean.  I’m shaking my head as I type this, because really?  Who likes cleaning.  But by thinking of it as a great way to get fit, you can kill two birds with one stone (so to speak).  Blast your favorite music at max volume and see how much you can get done during one song. Make it a challenging game and before you know it you will not only have a clean house…but you will have worked up a good sweat too!
     
  10. Play outdoor childhood games with your kids and their friends. Hide and seek, tag, red rover, kick the can.  These games will keep you moving…and probably laughing, while you enjoy quality time with your kids!

So, if “exercise” is a bad word in your book, remove it from your vocabulary and replace it with one of these fun and exciting ways to stay fit!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Dont-Let-the-Holidays-Stress-You-Out

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Becoming-a-Minimalist-Steps-for-Beginners

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Quick-Fix-Tricks-to-Make-Your-House-Sparkling-Clean

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

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