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Buying or Renting - Which is Better?

by Melissa Thompson


With interest rates still relatively low but predicted to start rising, buying a house right now is less expensive than renting in many places, including Memphis, TN.  Now is a great time to lock into a rate.

Buying is often considered to be financially better than renting over the long run because your mortgage payments build equity in your home, which you will eventually own, while rent only goes toward the upkeep of your home and the wallet of your landlord.  That is just one reason buying is better than renting. Here are some others:

  • You can do what you want with your property. Making home improvements will be your choice, from the colors to paint the walls, to light fixtures, to types of floors and more. You won’t need permission from a landlord to make changes.
     
  • Tax benefits. Tax deductions are a great perk of home ownership. Homeowner Tax Benefits 2019
     
  • Stable monthly payments. Rents can go up, but with a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payments won’t change.
     
  • Forced savings.  Renting might seem less expensive, but would you save the money you don’t spend on rent?  Since your mortgage payments are building equity in your home, which you can later sell for profit, it’s like a forced savings.

Using a Rent vs. Buy Calculator you can see how buying is a better financial option right here in Memphis. For example, after 2 years the cost of homeownership (down payment, mortgage, taxes, etc.) for a $85,800 home in Memphis would be $40,187. The total cost to rent the same house for that period would be $25,683.  Renting would leave you with $14,503 in your pocket (including the money you didn’t spend on a down payment).  So, it would seem that renting would be better financially, right?  But wait…not so fast.  Let’s look at what you gain over the same 2-year period if you buy.  After 2 years, your home will have $28,418 in equity. However, if you instead rent and invest your down payment and other money you save at a 6% return rate, it will earn around $1,743 in 2 years.  So, if you look at your gross costs, equity and investment potential, it’s better for you to buy than rent if you plan to live in your home for more than 1 year and 6 months.

The bottom line is, if you’ve been thinking about buying a home in the Memphis area, don’t wait! Start investing your money in your own home vs that of a landlord today!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

101 Things To Do In Memphis #62: The Midtown Opera Festival

by Melissa Thompson


Opera Memphis’ annual MIDTOWN OPERA FESTIVAL takes place over ten days at Playhouse on the Square. The 2019 Festival will feature the regional premiere of The Falling and The Rising, a new American opera co-commissioned with the U.S. Department of Defense. The opera celebrates the stories of service men and women, and our Festival will do so as well. Add a concert by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, aerial performers, panel discussions, cabaret and cocktails, and we have the makings of an incredible seventh year in the heart of Memphis! 

04/05/2019 - 04/14/2019

Location: Playhouse on the Square map

Contact: Opera Memphis info@operamemphis.org - 901.202.4533

By and photo credit: operamemphis.org

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Our-Video-Blog

101 Things To Do In Memphis #61: 901 Popper Throwdown

by Melissa Thompson


The free, family-friendly event will feature jalapeño popper cook-offs, a jalapeño eating competition, live music, and High Cotton brews.

Sunday, March 24, 2019 (rain or shine)

Noon – 6 pm

High Cotton Brewing Co., 598 Monroe Avenue  38103

Admission: FREE
VIP: $50 (in advance)

Concessions: Food will be for sale. No coolers or outside beverages are permitted and are subject to forfeit the event entrances. Everyone buying beer will be carded.

Want to be a judge? Sign up here.  

Want to enter the eating competition? Apply here.

**The festival is Pet Friendly, but please use good judgement. Remember this is also a beer festival. We trust your dog to behave more than we trust people that are drinking. You are responsible for your dog at all times.

By and photo credit: jalapenothrowdown.com

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Our-Video-Blog

Lawn Basics: Where the Green Grass Grows

by Melissa Thompson


No green thumb? Don’t worry!  The grass CAN be greener on your side of the fence. With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start working on a thick carpet of grass for your yard. Here are some tips for growing a lawn that will have your neighbors GREEN with envy:

  1. Start by reseeding and fertilizing. If you have bare spots in your grass, taking the time to reseed now will pay off this spring.  Make sure you fertilize for optimal growth and keep the area moist until you see new growth. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, you can hire someone to do it. Here are the 5 Best Lawn Seeding Companies in Memphis, TN.
     
  2. Look for problems that will hinder growth.  Steep slopes and shady trees can potentially keep grass from growing.  You may want to consider hydroseeding in sloped regions.  And planting fescues in shady zones will help as well. What is Hydroseeding? All Of Your Questions Answered
     
  3. Patch dead areas with sod.  Re-sodding is the best bet if you have large dead areas. Sod can be installed any time of year…just make sure you water it frequently until it sets.
     
  4. Look into xeriscaping. No matter what climate you living, xeriscaping is the best way to weatherproof your lawn.  This low maintenance, low cost method of landscaping will keep your lawn looking beautiful during all the seasons! Xeriscape Landscaping: Meaning, and How it Can Save You Money

Once you have your lawn looking fabulous, you can create a fun outdoor living space to enjoy with your friends and family.  And when you’re ready to sell your home, the first impression potential buyers get from your curb appeal will have them waiting in line to see your house! 

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: twitter.com


The 46th Annual Silky O’Sullivan Beale Street St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 12pm on historic Beale Street! Wear your green and bring the family for the city’s largest parade with bands, cars, dancers, floats and more! 

This event is free and open to the public.  Attendees must stay behind the barricades.  Presented by the Beale Street Merchants Association.

When you’re looking for a great place for excellent food, live music and great fun Silky O’Sullivans is your place. Stop in after the parade! It is like St. Patrick’s Day all year round. Located at 183 Beale St. in Memphis, TN with live entertainment and an excellent menu – the kitchen is always open.

By and photo credit: bealestreet.com

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Our-Video-Blog

Brighten Up Your Home with Color

by Melissa Thompson


It’s been a long, dreary winter and chances are you are ready to add a little color to your life. One great way to do this to embellish your home with some happy hues.  Here are some easy ways to add color to your home without breaking the bank:

  • THROW PILLOWS

Throw pillows make fantastic accent pieces for rooms that are otherwise neutral in color.Another thing that is great about them is that you can purchase washable covers for pillow inserts that can be switched out based on the season.Red and green for Christmas, pink for Valentine’s Day, kelly green for St. Patrick’s Day, pastels for Easter…this list goes on and on.

  • PLANTS

There are many reasons that adding live plants to your home décor is a good idea, not the least of which is the natural beauty it brings to any room.In addition, they purify the air, giving your home a clean, fresh feel.There are so many plants to choose from in a variety of colors, including low maintenance plants for those without a green thumb. Forgiving Houseplants

  • CURTAINS

Add a touch of sophistication to any room with some vibrantly colored curtains. Use solids or simple patterns so that the focus is on the pop of color they provide.

  • ACCENT WALL       

You’ll be amazed by how much one colorful wall can make a room shine! Perhaps your favorite hue is a little too bold to be used on every wall in the room; but it might be just the right shade for an accent wall.Just be sure that the surrounding walls are painted in a neutral or a shade that compliments the accent wall. 16 Living Rooms with Accent Walls

  • LAMPS

You can find them in all shapes and sizes, so why not utilize lamps to add pops of color to a room?Look for bases in accent colors that provide a vivid contrast to neutral shades and furniture.

  • TILE BACKSPLASH

Does your kitchen feel a little “blah”?Brighten it up with a beautiful glass tile backsplash.And if you really want to bring a new lightness to the room, paint your cabinets white to make that tile backsplash really stand out. Kitchen Update: Add a Glass Tile Backsplash

  • AREA RUGS

It’s super easy to add color to a room with throw rugs.Stick to solid colors or simple patterns so that they aren’t too busy.Be sure to choose colors that complement the tones in your furnishings and accent pieces.

  • FRONT DOOR

While it’s common to paint the outside of your front door to accentuate the exterior of your home, it might not have occurred to you that you can do the same with the inside of the door.Make a cheerful statement in your entryway with a colorful front door!

Adding color to your home does not have to be expensive and will add a cheerful aesthetic that will have you feeling happy at home!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

101 Things To Do In Memphis #59: Time Warp Drive-In Season 6

by Melissa Thompson


The Time Warp Drive-In is making a comeback and it’s giving us adventure with a dash of sci-fi, a sprinkle of action, and a sprig of just about everything in between.

For six consecutive seasons, Black Lodge, Malco Theatres, Guerilla Monster Films, & Holtermonster have curated a selection of films that’ll have you reminiscing on the good times. Each night has a theme with movies to match, so pile in the car, pack some snacks, and prepare for some cinema magic.

Schedule:

  • Saturday, March 16th – Back to the Future: The Complete Journey
  • Back to the Future 1,2, and 3
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Weird Science
  • Jumanji
  • Hook
  • Small Soldiers
  • Heavy Metal
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Paprika
  • Odd Anthology Weird Animated Short Films
  • Howard the Duck
  • Mac and Me
  • Showgirls
  • Samurai Cop
  • They Saved Hitler’s Brain
  • Flash Gordon
  • Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan
  • Masters of the Universe
  • Terminator 2
  • Tank Girl
  • Scream
  • Ghostbusters
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Moster Squad
  • Clue
  • Clash of the Titans
  • Jason & The Argonauts
  • Elf
  • Scrooged
  • Holiday Short Films Meltdown
     
  • Saturday, April 20th – Don’t Your Forget About Me: The Teen Film Universe of John Hughes
     
  • Saturday, May 18th –  Dreams and Magic Forever: The 1990’s Fantasy Film
     
  • Saturday, June 22nd – Strange Vibes: A Mind-Melting World of Disturbed Animation
     
  • Saturday, July 20th – Return of the Worst Movies Ever: Studies In Deliciously Awful Cinema
     
  • Saturday, August 17th – Futurecool: The Campy, Outrageous Charm of the 1980’s Space Operas
     
  • Saturday, September 21st – Women in Arms!
     
  • Saturday, October 19th – Shocktober 6
     
  • Saturday, November 9th – Monsters, Gods, And Mortals: The Genius of FX Master Ray Harryhausen
     
  • Saturday, December 14th – Strange Christmas 6
  • Where: Summer Drive-In (5310 Summer Ave)
  • When: Dusk to Dawn
  • Cost: $10/person, Free/kids 10 and under

Follow Time-Warp on their Facebook page for updates.

By and photo credit: Choose901.com

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Our-Video-Blog

Germantown Launches Mobile App

by Melissa Thompson

The City of Germantown is excited to announce the launch of Germantown on the Go, a new mobile app that provides users with the ability to conveniently report issues straight from your phone, find information about community events and sign up receive urgent alerts, such as road closures.

Features of the app include being able to create service requests for a variety of issues such as potholes, missed residential garbage or recycling, dead animal removal, property maintenance issues and much more. From there, users can view their current service request and check the status.

In addition, residents of the city of Germantown will also be able to pay their water bills and property tax all from their mobile devices. As for marketing purposes, Germantown on the Go provides real time access to the City’s various social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Members of the City’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen even have their own spot on the app which allows users to connect with them via email.

Germantown on the Go is available for both Apple and Android devices. Residents are encouraged to download the app and try out its features. There is an “App Issue/Suggestions” option on the Report an Issue feature. This feedback will be used to update and improve the app as needed. The goal of the app is to provide residents with a source for the latest and most accurate City news and information for all your on-the-go needs. For more information, contact Jessica Comas at JComas@Germantown-TN.gov.

By and photo credit: https://www.germantown-tn.gov/Home/Components/News/News/5782/30

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Our-Video-Blog

Unmarried but Buying a Home Together - What You Should Know

by Melissa Thompson


A couple doesn’t have to be joined in matrimony to buy a home together, but it’s important to understand that you are still making a huge commitment.  And being unmarried does present some challenges for home buyers.  So, before you begin your home search, here are some important things for you to consider:

SHARING FINANCIAL INFORMATION

If you’re going to buy a home together, then you need to be transparent with each other regarding your finances.  You don’t want to meet with a lender only to be blindsided by something that your partner didn’t share with you.  So, it’s vital that you review all of your financial history with your partner, including your Credit Score, income, and any debts that are tied to your name.  By doing this, you will not only be able to determine if you both have good credit, but you will also get an idea of how much house you can afford together.

HOW YOU’RE GOING TO SPLIT EXPENSES

You might already be living together, in which case you may have a system in place for who pays what living expenses.  But things can be more complicated with a mortgage in the picture.  You need to discuss this before you start the home buying process.  The first thing you need to figure out is how you’re going to split the down payment and closing costs when you buy a home together.  And if you will be living together for the first time, it would be smart to discuss how you will split the monthly bills including your mortgage, utilities, and home maintenance. What if there is need for a costly, emergency repair?  You may want to consider opening a joint bank account that exists only to cover home expenses.  It’s also a good idea to meet with a real estate attorney so you can get everything in writing and have a legally binding contract just in case things don’t work out down the road. Property Agreements for Unmarried Couples

EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT OWNERSHIP OPTIONS

You are buying a home together and splitting the expenses, but who’s name is going to be on the title?  This is something that requires serious thought because it can have a significant impact on your future.   There are three options to choose from:

     - Joint Tendency - Property is owned equally and if something happens to one owner, the second owner automatically inherits the other’s stake and becomes sole owner of the property.

     - Tendency in Common - Each partner owns a pre-determined percentage of the property. Should something happen to one or the other, the ownership interest would go to whomever is specified in a living will, will, or trust. If none of those are in place, the interest in the property would go to the next of kin and not to the significant other. Living Will vs Living Trust

     - Sole Owner - For some couples it might make more sense for one person to have full ownership of the home even though you are splitting expenses. For example, if one person has poor credit and won’t qualify for a mortgage loan, then the person getting the loan would be the sole owner of the home.

Determining ownership should not be taken lightly.  It’s probably the most important decision you will make when buying a home with someone you aren’t married to.  Keep in mind that if you are splitting the costs of the home, but you aren’t on the title, you probably won’t be able to enjoy the tax perks of being a home owner.

LOOK FORWARD

Whether you are married or not, everyone should think about where you see yourself in 3 to 5 years.  There is a lot to consider.  Do you have job stability?  Is it possible you will need to move soon?  Do you want to start a family?  These are just a few questions to ask yourself before taking on the commitment of home ownership.  It’s crucial that you have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner about your future before you start your home search!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: bankrate.com

101 Things To Do In Memphis #58: Grind City Coffee Expo

by Melissa Thompson


From beer to burgers, and wings to margaritas, Memphis has a range of events that showcase the best local takes on our favorite food and drinks. Now, with the announcement of the inaugural Grind City Coffee Expo, the city’s coffee community is about to have its day in the sun.

Grind City Coffee Expo is set for Saturday, March 9th, at Memphis College of Art. The event is centered on celebrating the Bluff City’s burgeoning coffee scene and will feature samples and demos by local roasters and shops. Proceeds will benefit Protect Our Aquifer.

Organizers Daniel Lynn and Rachel Williams are not in the coffee business but are avid fans who say they’ve been hooked by the consistently outstanding experiences they’ve had, and have taken note of the growth in quality coffee options in Memphis.

“My love for coffee has evolved over the last couple of years starting with the first time I tasted Dr. Bean’s Cold Brew at Bedrock Eats & Sweets,” said Daniel. “I immediately reached out to them to find out more about it, and there I went. Off into the coffee ether.”

His curiosity about processes led him to build more relationships within the Memphis Coffee Community. Daniel says his goal with GCCE is to share his enthusiasm and connect more Memphians to the great roasters and shops the city has to offer.

“Over the past 2 to 3 years, the coffee culture in this city has grown exponentially with the addition of amazing roasters & shops,” said Daniel. “The people behind these great additions are amazing and so passionate about what they do, that I want to make sure they have their spotlight in the city.”

Daniel says his inspiration for creating an event came from attending The Science of Beer at the Pink Palace last year.

“It hit me. Let’s do this, but with coffee. From there, I took a look around the country and saw that there were a fair amount of events out there centered around coffee, and thought, why not Memphis. I reached out to a few roasters in town to judge interest, and they were all very into it. Shortly after that, I met Rachel, and everything clicked. We started figuring out what we would need to do logistically to make this happen, and here we are.”

Grind City Coffee Expo will feature 8 different coffee roasters and shops from Memphis. Vendors will explain their process from roasting beans to their preferred method of brewing their coffee. Expo attendees will be able to taste samples from each vendor’s chosen brewing method and decide for themselves what they prefer. Whether it’s a traditional pour over or through a Chemex, from espresso to cold brew, the various methods will be demoed at designated tables throughout the Expo.

GCCE is designed to be approachable and informative. “The goal is to provide the guest with the opportunity to discover which method they like the best and then learn how to brew it themselves at home,” said Lynn. “Coffee enthusiasts will also be able to “nerd out” with the extremely knowledgeable coffee professionals while enjoying the very best Memphis has to offer in the way of coffee. This will be the first time this many badass coffee professionals will be in the same place at the same time in the city of Memphis. It’s a coffee enthusiast’s dream.”

Daniel Lynn is a native Memphian who says he grew up all over the city. He graduated from the University of Memphis in 2007 with a degree in Recording Technology. He’s currently a sound engineer/studio manager for Music+Arts Studio, as well as the label manager for Archer & Blue Barrel Records. “I wear many hats. Music is my #1 passion,” said Daniel.

Dr. Bean’s Coffee & Tea Emporium, Vice & Virtue, Comeback Coffee, and The Avenue are confirmed for Grind City Coffee Expo. More vendors will be announced as the event approaches. Early Bird tickets will go on sale Friday, Jan. 18th. Stay up-to-date on Grind City Coffee Expo news by following on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

By: https://choose901.com/save-the-date-grind-city-coffee-expo/

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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 130

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