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Keeping Little Ones Safe at Home

by Melissa Thompson

The statistics for household childhood injuries are staggering.  Over 3.4 million children experience some kind of accidental injury in the home each year.  While there is no way to guarantee child safety at home, there are certainly many things you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries.  Here are some tips for childproofing your home:

 - Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries.  Keep dangerous items such as medicines, household cleaners, lighters, knives etc. locked up. Even things with “child resistant” packaging should be kept in areas that children cannot access.  Child resistant does not mean child proof.

 - Safety gates can be used to prevent falls down stairs and to keep children out of areas with possible dangers.  When installing a gate at the top of stairs, make sure that it is bolted to the wall.  Make sure you purchase gates that meet safety standards.

 - To avoid burns, install anti-scald devices on your showers and faucet heads. 

 - Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home.  It’s important to check them frequently to be sure they are working properly.  Change the batteries at least once a year.  Many people change the batteries twice a year when the time changes in the fall and spring.  Carbon monoxide alarms should be used in your home as well.

 - Corner and edge bumpers on tables and fireplace hearths will help prevent injuries if a child falls against them.

 - Children are very curious and it would be no surprise to find them trying to stick things into plug outlets.  Prevent electrical shock by placing outlet covers in outlets that you use. Make sure they fit snugly and are not easy for a child to remove. They should also be large enough that they won’t be a choking hazard should a child get one out.  If there is an outlet that you know you won’t be using, covert it with an outlet plate. 

 - Make sure that your window coverings are safe for your children.  Cordless window coverings are best, but you can also follow these tips for safety if you have window coverings with cords.

 - Large pieces of furniture and appliances can tip over and crush a child.  Make them secure by anchoring them to the floor and/or attaching them to the wall.

 - If you have a pool or spa, it is vital that you have it surrounded by a fence that is at least 4 feet tall and includes a self-closing, self-latching gate. Doors that lead out to the pool or spa should have alarms on them to indicate if someone has opened them.  A pool alarm adds another layer of protection. 

Again, while childproofing your home will not guarantee safety, it will go a long way toward protecting your children from injuries or worse.  The peace of mind you will have knowing you have done everything you can to protect your children will be well worth the effort and time put into making sure your home is as safe as possible.

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

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Maximizing-Small-Spaces

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Tips-for-Preventing-Electrical-Safety-Hazards

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

by Melissa Thompson

We recently shared that over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.7% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for 2018, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

Call at 901-756-8900 or visit my website to discover your new home!

By: KCM Crew

Open House in Cordova TN!

by Melissa Thompson

Instant Update



Join us for an Open House at 9308 CLOVERWOOD LN in Cordova, TN on Sunday from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM!

 

 

You can get more information, price, all photos and more by going to:



 



When this home is sold, it will affect YOUR home's value!

 

 

I would like to invite you to find out the new value of your home using today's technology at a website I created that will provide you with this information at:



 

http://Yourkeytomemphis.FreeHomeValues.net

 





I hope you find this helpful and, as always, I appreciate your consideration in referring any friends, family, or colleagues my way. Again, thank you for supporting me and my business endeavors and do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about anything related to real estate or your home!

 

 

Best Wishes,

 

 

 
 
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Melissa Thompson
Crye-Leike Realtors
901-729-9526
Licensed In: TN
License #: 231600
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101 Things To Do In Memphis #96: New Years Eve Gala at Graceland

by Melissa Thompson

Celebrate the ringing in of another year at The Guest House at Graceland this December. The resort has a special package available for those wishing to say farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018 in grand style along with other Graceland family and friends. The Guest House at Graceland will have plenty of live entertainment and activities going on for your enjoyment.  In addition, the resort will have its holiday décor on display to help celebrate the holiday festivities.

The Guest Room Package includes a bottle of champagne delivered to your choice of King or Queen Room, along with a Grand Buffet dinner in the Grand Ballroom on New Year’s Eve – starting at $299 per night.  Or you can just spend the evening with us and enjoy the Grand Buffet dinner and other festivities starting at $95 per person.

Reserve your tickets here.

By and photo credit: https://guesthousegraceland.com/new-years-eve-offers/

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Home in Gated Cordova Club Subdivision! 7516 Crystal Lake Drive

by Melissa Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome home to 7516 Crystal Lake Drive, an amazing home located in the Cordova Club Subdivision, 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, gas log fireplace, crown molding, 4 bedrooms, smooth ceilings, updated fixtures, surround sound, desirable granite countertops, laundry room with cabinets, 2 car garage, and so much more! Cooking will be a delight in the incredible updated eat-in kitchen with cabinet and counter space galore, desirable granite countertops, gleaming hardwood floors, island breakfast bar with pendant lighting, pantry, and a full complement of appliances. The sunny breakfast area is the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee! Enjoy comfortable everyday living in the captivating great room flaunting a cozy gas log fireplace, perfect for those cold winter nights. Host the finest dinner parties in the lovely dining room embellished with a dazzling chandelier. You will rest easy in your romantic downstairs master retreat with a walk-in closet and a spa-inspired luxury master bathroom boasting an elongated dual sink vanity, durable tile floor, relaxing whirlpool tub and a divine walk-in shower. This home offers three additional bedrooms upstairs. Relax outside in the delightful fenced backyard with a nice covered patio, perfect for cookouts and parties! Enjoy the security of the Gated Cordova Club Subdivision featuring a sparkling lake! Don’t miss out on this one of a kind home! Call The Melissa Thompson - Your Key to Memphis Real Estate Team with any questions or to schedule a private showing (901) 729-9443.

Look No Further! 9308 Cloverwood Lane

by Melissa Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome home to 9308 Cloverwood Lane, an amazing Cordova home 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 gorgeous wood floors, neutral colors, romantic fireplace, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, smooth ceilings, updated fixtures, arched doorways, granite, security system, laundry room with cabinets, pull down and walk-in attic, 2 car garage, and so much more! As you walk through the front door you are welcomed into the gracious entry hall leading to the kitchen and dining room. Cooking will be a delight in the incredible kitchen equipped with desirable granite countertops, breakfast bar, pantry, and a full complement of stainless steel appliances. Enjoy comfortable everyday living in the captivating great room open to the kitchen, flaunting a cozy, romantic gas log fireplace, perfect for those cold winter nights! Host the finest dinner parties in the lovely dining room embellished with a dazzling chandelier. You will rest easy in your downstairs master retreat enhanced with a large walk-in closet, and a spa-inspired luxury bathroom featuring an elongated dual sink vanity with a make-up area, durable tile floor, relaxing whirlpool tub and a divine walk-through shower. This home offers three additional bedrooms upstairs. The fourth bedroom would make a wonderful bonus room and comes complete with speakers. Relax outside in the delightful backyard featuring a nice covered patio with speakers, and ceiling fan. It is perfect for cookouts and parties! The roof is only 3 years old and has wildlife protection. Do not miss out on this incredible home! Call The Melissa Thompson - Your Key to Memphis Real Estate Team with any questions or to schedule a private showing (901) 729-9443.

Selling Your House at Christmas

by Melissa Thompson

The idea of putting your home on the market during the holiday season may seem overwhelming at first, but it turns out there are several good reasons to do so. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your house sold before the end of the year!

 - If people are looking for a home during the holiday season, chances are they are serious buyers.

 - Serious buyers have fewer properties to look at during this time of year, which means less competition and more money for you!

 - Since the number of listings will increase dramatically in January, that means more competition and less money for you.

 - Who doesn’t love a home delightfully decorated for the holidays?  Homes show better when festively dressed up!

 - Buyers may have more time to look at houses during their holiday breaks.

 - Some people want to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

 - If you sell now, it may provide an opportunity for you to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Staging Your House for the Holidays     

If you would like to talk more about selling your home, give me a call at 901-756-8900 or visit my website to discover your new home!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/New-Beginnings-Starting-Traditions-in-Your-New-Home

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

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Packing-101-Getting-Ready-for-a-Move

Housing and the Senate Tax Plan: What Now?

by Melissa Thompson

Members of the real estate industry are responding to the passage of the Senate tax plan, which chiefly includes a 20 percent corporate tax rate—down from 35 percent—and reduced rates for families and individuals over the next seven years. The development follows the House passage of its own plan in November.

Both bills challenge homeownership, industry members say. The bills extend the capital gains exclusion eligibility requirement that home sellers reside in the home from two of the last five years to five of the last eight. (The House plan, however, includes an income phaseout provision.) Both also raise the standard deduction, which has the potential to render the mortgage interest deduction (MID) useless.

“If eligibility rules for excluding the sale of a home from capital gains taxes are changed from requiring living in your home for two of the past five years to five of the past eight, selling the median U.S. home after four years of ownership would mean $2,363 in taxes, from $0 currently,” according to Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow. An analysis recently released by Zillow reveals homeowners in high-priced markets would bear the brunt of costs from the lengthened tenure.

The MID itself is addressed in both plans, as well. The House plan caps the MID for new loans at $500,000 (and only for primary residences), whereas the Senate plan retains the current cap of $1 million.

Additionally, both bills cap local and state property tax deductions at $10,000.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the industry’s largest organization, homeownership incentives are jeopardized in the Senate plan.

“The tax incentives to own a home are baked into the overall value of homes in every state and territory across the country,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall in a statement. “When those incentives are nullified in the way this bill provides, our estimates show that home values stand to fall by an average of more than 10 percent, and even greater in high-cost areas. REALTORS® support tax cuts when done in a fiscally responsible way; while there are some winners in this legislation, millions of middle-class homeowners would see very limited benefits, and many will even see a tax increase. In exchange for that, they’ll also see much or all of their home equity evaporate as $1.5 trillion is added to the national debt and piled onto the backs of their children and grandchildren. That’s a poor foot to put forward, but this isn’t the end of the road. REALTORS® will continue to advocate for homeownership and hope members of the House and Senate will listen to the concerns of America’s 75 million homeowners as the tax reform discussion continues.”

“It’s time for homeowners to pay attention,” concurred Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com®, in a statement. “While the House and Senate still need to agree to a single version of the tax plan, they are already aligned on provisions that take away homeownership incentives for the majority of owners, which we expect to reduce home sales and prices in markets across the country.”

Housing in general—but notably in several states—will suffer, Hale said.

“Homeowners in California, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland will be hit hard by the combination of changes in the proposal, which will lead to lower prices and sales in these housing markets,” said Hale. “High housing costs in California made it the state with the third-highest average mortgage interest deduction, behind Hawaii and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, the elimination of the state income tax deduction for individuals will affect taxpayers in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Virginia, each of which saw 35 percent or more of tax payers take advantage of this provision. Lower-priced housing markets will also eventually be impacted, as these provisions are not indexed by inflation; thus, the few remaining tax benefits for homeownership will be eroded over time.”

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) expressed its own concerns about the Senate plan in a statement.

“We are disappointed that the Senate voted to pass a tax hike bill on California homeowners,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “If the goal of this bill is to help middle-class Americans keep more of their hard-earned money, this proposal fails miserably. We thank California Senators Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.] and Kamala Harris [D-Calif.] for opposing this legislation that attacks homeownership by significantly reducing incentives for people to buy homes. California already has a severe housing affordability crisis, and this bill will make it that much harder for Californians looking to attain the American Dream.”

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) countered that the Senate plan “represents a step in the right direction” in an NAHB Now update. The NAHB opposes the House plan in part because it applies the MID only to primary residences, and imposes an income phaseout on the capital gains exclusion.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), meanwhile, applauded the Senate for considering mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) in its deliberations.

“I want to personally thank Majority Leader [Mitch] McConnell, [Senate Finance Committee] Chairman [Orrin] Hatch [R-Utah], Senator [Mike] Rounds [R-S.D.], [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman [Mike] Crapo [R-Idaho], and Senator [David] Perdue [R-Ga.] for working with us and commend them for their efforts on this important issue,” said MBA CEO and President David H. Stevens in a statement. “Because of the Rounds Amendment, this package will protect the ability of most Americans to obtain safe, decent shelter and affordable home mortgage credit without disruption. Had this language not been included, the change in tax accounting for MSRs would have had a devastating impact on the flow of capital that supports a robust and competitive real estate finance market, both single- and commercial/multifamily. We thank the Senate for its leadership on this issue.”

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the affordability crisis will escalate under the Senate plan. Diane Yentel, CEO and president of the NLIHC, issued the following statement:

“The Senate tax plan not only fails to make any new investments to address the nation’s growing scarcity of affordable rental homes for America’s poorest families, but it would lead to deep funding cuts to existing affordable housing programs, threatening to worsen the severity of an affordable housing crisis that impacts every state and community.”

The differences between the House and Senate plans remain to be settled. Lawmakers are aiming to present a reconciled plan to President Trump by Christmas.

By and photo credit: http://rismedia.com/2017/12/04/housing-senate-tax-plan-what-now/#close

101 Things To Do In Memphis #95: Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park

by Melissa Thompson
Starry Nights is the largest holiday light show and festival in the Mid-South.  It's also the longest running celebration at Shelby Farms Park. The magic of the holidays is brought to life through the drive-through display of twinkling holiday light displays, cozy campfires and visits with Santa.  Each year, over 100,000 visitors cruise through the lights of Starry Nights making it an annual tradition for families.  Now in its 9th consecutive year, Starry Nights is the Conservancy’s largest fundraiser.  Since 2009, Starry Nights has been enjoyed by more than 900,000 visitors!

WHAT ARE THE DATES AND TIMES?
Open nightly through December 29, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Sunday - Thursday: 6pm-9pm | Friday + Saturday | 6pm-10pm

HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS?
$20 per car | $15 for Park Members
$50 per large van and limo 
$150 per charter bus or school bus  

WHERE CAN I GET TICKETS?
1. Save time in line and pre-purchase your tickets at the Lake’s Edge Gift Shop.
2. Purchase tickets in advance at ticketmaster.com.
3. Tickets available at the ticket booth the night of the show.

WHERE DO I ENTER THE PARK?
If you have pre-purchased your tickets, enter through Gate 10 off of Mullins Station Road.
If you need to purchase tickets, enter through the Main Gate off Farm Road.

WHEN ARE THE DISCOUNTED THEME NIGHTS?
Participants receive a $5 discount per car on tickets purchased at the gate.

November 30: Tacky Holiday Sweater Night
December 7: Decorate Your Car + Park Member Night + Movie Night
December 14: Scout Night

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER SPECIAL NIGHTS?

December 4: Run, Walk, Bike Night (closed to cars) | $5 per person
Parking will be located at the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center.
Hyde Lake Wheel House will be open for bike rentals!   
Free Starry Yoga at 7:15pm

December 8: Trivia Hike 7pm + 8pm - Take a hike around Hyde Lake and answer holiday trivia questions to win a prize!  Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 

December 11: Walkin’ + Woofin’ Night (closed to cars) | $5 per person
Sponsored by Memphis Veterinary Specialists
Hyde Lake Wheel House will be open for bike rentals!
Free Starry Yoga at 7:15

December 15: Nocturnal Nature Hike 7pm + 8pm - Enjoy a hike through Heart of the Park and learn about nocturnal animals in the Park. Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 

December 22: Holiday Story Hike 7pm + 8pm - Enjoy a walk through Heart of the Park while enjoying a holiday story. Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 

December 29: Mystery Hike 7pm + 8pm - Someone has eaten Santa's cookies.  Use clues from your guide to determine who did it.  Was it Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Santa's Elves or Frosty the Snowman? Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 
Download a Starry Nights calendar here.

By and photo credit: http://www.shelbyfarmspark.org/starry-nights

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Debunking Real Estate Myths

by Melissa Thompson

Whether you are buying or selling a home for the first time or you are a seasoned veteran of buying/selling real estate, chances are you think you have the knowledge needed to navigate the process based on what you have read or heard from friends and family. Unfortunately there are a plethora of myths circulating about buying and selling houses that have become prevalent, but just aren’t true.  The pitfall of believing everything you hear or read is that real estate myths can hurt you where it counts…in the wallet.  Here are eight common ones that can cause home buyers/sellers to make unnecessary mistakes:

  • Set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Setting your asking price too high may net you a lower price.  That’s because many shoppers and their real estate agents will not look at houses that are priced above market value. While it’s true that you can lower your price if you have not gotten offers in the first few weeks, “Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for the brokerage Redfin.
     
  • You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don’t use a real estate agent.

This is a false assumption. When a house is listed with an agent, the total sales commission is already built into the price.  If the buyer doesn’t use and agent, that just means the selling agent will get the entire commission.

  • You can save money selling your home yourself.

While it is possible to successfully sell your home on your own, there is a great deal of work that goes into it. You must know how to get the home listed online, market it to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases.  In addition, buyers will expect a significant discount, so what you might save on real estate commission may not be as much as you thought it would be.

  • The market will only go up.

Over the years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline due to the economy and then an upturn where values increase again.  But many people believe the market only goes up.  You need to be aware that prices can fall dramatically.

  • You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell.

If your kitchen and bathroom are in working order, an extensive remodel could be a mistake. Potential buyers might not like what you’ve done with the place, but they don’t want to change something that has just been renovated.  You are better off adjusting your price accordingly.

  • You’ll earn back what you spend on renovations.

Repairing things like your heating system, air conditioner or roof may help your home to sell faster, but you probably will not recoup what you spend. Per Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 cost-vs-value report, the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is adding fiberglass attic insulation. You will likely only get back 65.3% on a full kitchen renovation. And redoing your bathroom might get you 59.1%.

  • All the properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online.

Your agent must choose to let the listings show up online. Most do, but it’s a good idea to verify that yours will.

  • Open houses sell properties.

Homes rarely sell to buyers who have visited them during open houses.  Agents like to have open houses because it helps them to find additional potential customers.  If you and your agent opt not to have an open house, it probably won’t hurt the chances of selling.  On the other hand, having a broker’s open house for other agents might be worthwhile.

 

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Buying-a-Home-Can-Be-Scary-Unless-You-Know-the-Facts

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Should-I-Sell-or-Should-I-Rent

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Steps-to-Take-Before-Buying-a-Home-A-Guide-for-First-Time-Homebuyers

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 637

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