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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/

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

101 Things To Do In Memphis #57: Best Detective CluedUpp

by Melissa Thompson


Did Miss Scarlet do it in the FedExForum with a knife or did Professor Plum do it in The Orpheum Theatre with a rope? Only you can determine who dun it and where they did it when CluedUpp calls on you to use your detective skills on February 23rd.

CluedUpp, the hit British outdoor detective game, is making its way to downtown Memphis and it’s pretty much a live action version of the Clue board game, starring you and your pals as the master sleuths. Don your best 1920s get up (optional) and put that Nancy Drew mindset to use to solve the mystery before time runs out!

  • When: Saturday, February 23rd (10AM-5PM)
  • Where: Downtown Memphis
  • Cost: $46/team of up to 6 adults (children play free)

It’s 1921 and the bustling industrial town of Millingham, near Memphis, has awoken on a misty morning to find one of its most feared residents has been poisoned. As the smoke lifts, the rumors spread across town as to what could have happened and who could be responsible. Rest assured this isn’t going to be straightforward. With money, crime and power come enemies from all walks of life, but who would be daring enough to do this?

The local police force needs assistance with solving this crime and you have been seconded from the Murder Squad on the recommendation of the commissioner himself!. As the complicated investigation continues, a list of suspects and witnesses emerge and it’s going to take your specialist skills to help catch the culprit!

Think you have what it takes to crack the case? Put your money where your mouth is!

To play you’ll need:

  • A team of detectives (at least 2 but up to 6 players per team)
  • Access to a Smartphone
  • A great team name
  • Awesome Sneaky Finders / 1920’s inspired fancy dress (optional, but fun!)

The average squad of detectives takes just over 2 hours to solve to the mystery, but the event can last anywhere between 1 and 4 hours. The game is completely self-guided, and clues and prizes will be awarded via their downloadable app.

Prizes will be awarded to:

  • Fastest team
  • Best fancy dress (Sneaky Finders / 1920’s inspired)
  • Best team picture
  • Best team name
  • Best little detective (kids prize)
  • Best K-9 detective (dogs prize)

Register your team here.

Learn more about CluedUpp here and follow their Facebook event page for updates.

By and photo credit: choose901.com

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

101 Things To Do In Memphis #56: Pro Football Comes to Memphis

by Melissa Thompson

The Alliance of American Football wants to fill your post-NFL season sportsball needs, and Memphis is one of the cities where they’ve established a team. The Memphis Express start their season on February 10th and have their first home game coming up at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday, February 16th. To help get you ready, here’s a look at what the AAF is, who’s involved, and what you can expect in their inaugural season.

What’s the Alliance of American Football?

The Alliance of American Football is an 8-team league:

  • Memphis Express

  • Orlando Apollos

  • Atlanta Legends

  • Salt Lake Stallions

  • Arizona Hotshots

  • San Diego Fleet

  • Birmingham Iron

  • San Antonio Commanders 

The league was founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, and several other notable football figures are involved. The AAF wants to fill a void felt by football fans following the Super Bowl and give players who just barely missed their shot at the NFL a second chance to go pro. It’s called the Alliance to signify a partnership between the fans, the players, and the game. They’ve placed an emphasis on being tech-savvy, allowing live streaming of games on a free Alliance app and integrated fantasy football options with “real rewards.” The league’s culture also prioritizes player safety and wellbeing by using state-of-the-art protective wear and providing players a bonus system, post-football career planning, counseling, and scholarship support for postsecondary education.

The AAF teams will play a 12-week season kicking-off February 9, 2019 on CBS and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.

Who are the Memphis Express?

Team President: Kosha Irby

General Manager: Will Lewis

Coach: Mike Singletary

See more of the staff roster here.

Players
The players for the Memphis Express come mostly from schools in the region. Four of them are either from Memphis or played for the University of Memphis. The Memphis Express 52-player active roster for 2019:

The Memphis Express Game Experience

The AAF will be officiated under slightly different rules and will offer a different game experience from the NFL. They’re working on an official document that covers all the rule differences. A couple of examples:

  • No kickoffs or extra points. Teams must go for two.
  • Onside kicks have been replaced by a 4th & 12.
The AAF is also aiming for shorter game times hoping to entertain fans without you having to commit your full day. Game times in San Antonio during preseason averaged 2.5 hours.
 

SEASON SCHEDULE

2/10 Memphis at Birmingham
2/16 Arizona at Memphis
2/23 Memphis at Orlando
3/2 San Diego at Memphis
3/10 Memphis at Atlanta
3/16 Memphis at Salt Lake
3/24 Birmingham at Memphis
3/30 Orlando at Memphis
4/6 Memphis San Antonio
4/13 Atlanta at Memphis

Three Memphis Express games will be televised thanks to a partnership with CW30/Local 24:

  • Saturday, March 16 at Salt Lake, 3 pm
  • Saturday, March 30 vs. Orlando, 1 pm
  • Saturday, April 6 at San Antonio, 3 pm

Get tickets at aaf.com/memphis-express and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

By and photo credit: https://choose901.com/pro-football-comes-to-memphis/

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

Celebrating Valentine’s Day - Memphis Edition

by Melissa Thompson


If you’re looking for romantic date ideas, Memphis is a great place to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  From five-star restaurants, to upscale hotels, to outdoor activities, there is something for everyone in The River City!

  • Fine Dining - Make the night special by dressing up and going to a restaurant that might not be on your go to list any other night of the year.  There are some fantastic restaurants to choose from in Memphis. Best Fine Dining in Memphis
     
  • Enjoy a Dinner Cruise - Take a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise with Memphis Riverboats!  Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, but if you don’t have time on a business day, not to worry - there will be Valentine’s cruises offered on February 15 & 16 as well.
     
  • Get Away without Going Away - Feeling extravagant? Book a Special Package at the Peabody Hotel. There are several to choose from with different amenities and price ranges.  Don’t want to spend the night? Make a reservation for one of their many Valentine’s Day dinners.
     
  • Visit Graceland - Sometimes when you live somewhere, you don’t take advantage of all the fun things to do in your home town.  Tourists come from all over the world to visit Graceland.  Spend a romantic Valentine’s Day exploring the roots of one of the most romantic singers of all time!  It’s a great way to spend time together and you can even have a nice dinner and spend the night at The Guesthouse at Graceland if you want!
     
  • Get Physical - If you are an active person, why not celebrate with an outdoor activity on Valentine’s Day?  Book a tee-time at Mirimichi Golf Course and spend the day relishing its natural beauty.  Or head out to Shelby Farms where you can go hiking or biking and have a romantic picnic.

Whatever you end up doing this Valentine’s Day, remember it’s the time spent together that matters the most!

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: westernjournal.com

101 Things To Do In Memphis #55: Valentine’s Day 2019

by Melissa Thompson


Everybody loves to hate on Valentine’s Day, but the fact of the matter is that we’ve all got somebody to love, even if it’s yourself. So, why not make it just another day to show it? Stupid cupid is making his rounds again and he’s brought sweet pairings, dinner, dancing, trivia, games, and art making and more to enjoy whether or not you’re boo’d up.

Share some laughter (and sugar!) with friends. Join City & State for cookie decorating with Sweet LaLa’s. The Crybaby Club will also be hosting a pop-up. In addition to Cookie + Crybaby, February 1 is First Friday on Broad. After you’ve picked up some Crybaby Club treats and decorated (and eaten) your sweets, travel down Broad Ave for an entire evening of shopping and festivities.

Join Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum for “Timeless Romance” and relive one of the most complex rituals of the gilded age, Courtship.

Beautiful gowns, lace, and a romantic atmosphere take you back to a time when courting rituals were strictly followed and marriage was a career move. Spend the evening with Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum as they celebrate proper courting etiquette, secret languages of love, and beautiful pieces from their collection. Refreshments will be served and APTA Members always receive free admission. $20 per admission

Grab your gal pals and celebrate your girlfriends at Pitter Potter Studio’s Galentine’s Party Night. There will be lots of fun things to paint, great food and even a “Death by Chocolate” bar. If you are feeling up to it, the project class will even teach you how to paint your very own chocolate tray! This is all included in your ticket price. Just $8 in advance or $12 at the door. Pottery and canvas priced separately.

Show yourself some love at QTA’s second annual Galentine’s Day Party! They will have yummy treats + a signature cocktail (they’re celebrating Brit’s birthday, too!), a giveaway & something for each and every one of your Valentines (most importantly, yourself)! They’ll also help you make a wishlist to pass on to *your* special someone if you’d like.  10% of sales during the Galentine’s Day Party will be donated to Choices. Choices strives to set the standard for excellence in reproductive health care in the Memphis community.

Grab your boo or your bestie for this Valentine Truffle Tasting. Each ticket admits one participant. Ticket includes a flight of 4 Chocolate Truffles. Flavors include Nutella, Salted Caramel, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Complimentary wine available for guests 21 and up.

Sit back and enjoy the show as these Heartbreakers and Knockouts compete for your heart! Prepare to be dazzled by a stunning display of Memphis performers in burlesque, belly dance, ballet, opera, aerial, comedy, hooping, and so much more! Music from Crown Vox to open the night.

The Stax Museum will be celebrating both Black History Month and Valentine’s Day with activities and crafts that will celebrate the love and power of some of the greatest names in Black History. Family friendly so be sure to bring the kids! Free with museum admission.

Drink-N-Draw host Eric C is bringing a romantic evening of consensual drawing games with some lovely prizes for you and/or your honey(s). Bring a date or mingle with other singles at Atomic Tiki.

This night features 20 jokes about love from your favorite Memphis comics, rated by the audience! Hosted by Katrina Coleman and Richard Douglas Jones. The top two contenders and the bottom contender from the voting will return to the stage for an additional set. 21+, $5

Put your sense of taste to the test and explore 8 sparkling wines from around the world paired with 8 designer chocolates by Phillip Ashley Chocolates; BLINDFOLDED! This makes the perfect date night or outing with besties.

Celebrate the love of family this Valentine’s Day at Trolley Stop Market. Decorate cupcakes, cookies, and make valentines for loved ones. There will be face painting, prizes, and Valentine’s Day movies.

A Night of Ecstasy at Canvas of Memphis features ChampionBeatz and performances by Jai Musiq, Adubb, Iconic Keith and more.

Rec Room is hosting Memphis’ first Drunk Love Game Show. Contestants compete live in three rounds. Free to participate with the purchase of food and drink. Sign up on site or guarantee your spot by registering in advance.

J.buck and Courtney Little, along with other guest performers will deliver a show that will make anyone’s Valentine’s Day better. This is a great show to either bring your crew or your boo. Doors open at 6 pm, show starts at 7.

A night of live music featuring Goldie Dee & Friends, Dixie Dicks, Nots, and Broke Hearted Boys.

Enjoy a flight of four Valentine’s Day pastries from Primas Bakery and Boutique expertly paired with a flight of four Ghost River beers at the Ghost River Taproom. A special sushi dinner provided by Fam will be available for purchase separately.

Join Blue Suede Ballroom Dance Studio on Valentine’s Day for a seductive Rumba, Tango or Salsa 45-minute dance, timed just right for you – so you can set the mood and still make it to your dinner reservation.

Reserve your Sweetheart table for 2 and enjoy an evening of live music featuring Gerald Richardson & KemUStry Band, DJ & Dancing, PhotoBooth, Open Bar, complimentary bottle of champagne at each table and a delectable dinner buffet consisting of soups, salads, entrees, sides, and desserts.

The Valentine’s Day Paint & Sip includes instructor lead painting class, complimentary gift box with a mini bottle of wine & a gourmet cupcake!

Enjoy a little romance with your favorite Valentine aboard the Memphis Riverboats! The cruise includes 2 hours on the Mighty Mississippi, music from our House Jazz Band and a buffet consisting of Pork Tenderloin, Alfredo, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, House Salad, Rolls and Dessert. Cash bar available.

Valentine’s Day Beginner class & practice party begins at 7:15. $30 per person for both the class and the practice party, or $20 for either the class or party. No partner necessary, BYOB.

5 Course Prix Fixe Menu with multiple items to choose from. Reservations are not required but strongly suggested for your choice of Server and Seating. Beer menu available and BYOB for a corkage fee. Small wine list available by the glass or bottle. Menu TBA. Live Acoustic Music.

Celebrate the day of love by playing Romantic Comedy Movie Trivia at one of these three locations in the Memphis area on Valentine’s Day:  @ Pimentos Kitchen + Market, 6:30-8:30, @ Maciel’s Highland, 7-9, @ Memphis Made Brewing, 7-9. Guarantee your team’s spot by making a free reservation.

The “Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Experience” is an interactive event where you could possibly be dining with a murderer. Your package will include a theatrical experience, live music, poetry, comedy, and some amazing cuisine. Who Died?! Who Killed Him/Her?! Why?! If you love riddles, games, escape rooms, etc.. You will love this experience. Runs for multiple dates through February 17.

Join OUTMemphis for another year of fun, romance, and speed dating! Music, activities, sweets, and free HIV testing. Find your new bae on Valentines’ Day!

The Second Annual Crimson Inferno: A Valentine’s Day Experience will be a magical evening of love and romance to benefit The Second Chance Agency. The experience includes Live Entertainment, Hors D’Oeuvres, Giveaways and Cash Bar.

Once isn’t enough. Sock It To Me Burlesque presents a rematch of their annual Valentine’s show featuring Heartbreakers and Knockouts competing for your heart! Prepare to be dazzled by a stunning display of Memphis performers in burlesque, drag, belly dance, ballet, opera, aerial, comedy, hooping, and so much more! Join Twen Peeks and her sexy Ring Hunks for Fight Night, Sock It To Me Style! Keep the party going after the show with dance music from DJ Buddy!

Paradox Underground is an exclusive dining club, a sort of culinary speakeasy in Memphis that offers dining experiences of a lifetime. For just one night we transform a seemingly obscure location in the city into a unique event venue where Chef Jimmy Gentry along with his Paradox team, serve five masterfully created courses that are paired with the perfect libations, an all-around experience sure to excite all the senses.

Each event promises the chance to eat, drink, and mingle at a place where no one has dined before and may never get the chance to again.

Throw it back to the 90s with Bell Biv DeVoe, Monica, and Dru Hill in concert at the Landers Center in Southaven.

Everyone enjoys a good love story, don’t they? Join us for a tour of the cemetery and we’ll take you to the sites of those who have loved deeply…and lost. These sometimes tragic tales of love gone wrong might leave you scratching your head and laughing out loud.

Grab your girl gang, come ready to have fun, shop to support local #bossbabes & sip some great drinks at the Propcellar. All ticket sales go to help support Thistle & Bee Enterprises and all the incredible things they are doing to help support women who have survived prostitution & trafficking.

By: choose901.com

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

Home Sellers - How to Set the Right Price for Your Home

by Melissa Thompson


When you decide to sell your house it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details you need to think about.  The best thing to do is take things one step at a time. One thing that you will have to do is set a price for you home.  Deciding how much you want to ask for your home is complicated.  As the owner, the value you place on your home may be different that the value a potential buyer places on it.  You not only have a financial investment in it, but also and emotional one.  But when buyers think of value, they are thinking primarily about price.  The asking price for your property can attract buyers, or it can turn them off completely. A home that is not priced right can sit on the market for a long time, which can lead potential buyers to think there is something wrong with it.  The first step toward determining the right price for your home is to hire an experienced, professional Realtor who can use their expertise and knowledge of the market to assist you.

Working with your Realtor is crucial.  But it is also vital that you have a clear understanding of what your home is worth.  Learning about your home’s fair market value will help you evaluate the price your Realtor recommends.  Remember that you and your Realtor are a team and together you can decide on a price that will be profitable for everyone.

The first thing to do when trying to determine the right price for your home is to do some research. You can use an online  Estimating Tool  to plug in your address and find approximately how much your house is worth. They base their estimates on your home’s square footage and real estate data they have collected, such as recent home sales in your local market. But it’s important to remember that these results are very general and do not speak to your specific situation.  If the online estimate does not align with your Realtor’s advice, lean toward your Realtor’s suggested price. 

Another important aspect to consider when pricing your home is how it compares to other similar homes in the area.  Your Realtor will likely run the average sales prices of at least three Comps to assess your home’s value.  There are several factors that go into choosing “comps”. They are: age, location, square footage, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Your Realtor will look at the difference between each comp’s listing price, and the price at which it sold. Then there will be research into price reductions and why they happened, if relevant.  Meanwhile, your Realtor will also rely on their own knowledge of the local market.  When selecting comps, your Realtor will generally look for properties that sold in the previous three months, within a one-mile radius of your home. In addition, you will want to figure out what your competition is. So, your Realtor will check out properties that are currently for sale in your area to find out how your home compares to them. 

Understanding the current real estate market in your area will also have a large impact on your pricing strategy.   If you’re in a Seller's Market, that means demand from buyers is high and the number of homes on the market is low. In this market, you may be able to price your home slightly higher than market value. However, if it’s a Buyer's Market, buyers are at an advantage and you might have to price your home slightly below the market value to entice buyers. Your Realtor can help you navigate the current market in your area so that you price your home right.

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 #54: Wine for Wishes

by Melissa Thompson


Make-A-Wish Mid-South’s 9th Annual Wine for Wishes is coming up on February 8th at The Cadre Building.

Wine for Wishes is hosted by Make-A-Wish Mid-South’s Associates Board, a group of local young professionals who support Make-A-Wish Mid-South’s mission through development centric events.  Each year, they host the wine tasting event to engage more young professionals to let them know about the work that Make-A-Wish does in and around Memphis to inspire kids and families. This year’s party at the beautiful Cadre Building includes live music, a wine pull, a silent auction, catering from Chef Kelly English’s Iris Etc. Catering, & a plethora of wines for your enjoyment.

Early bird tickets are on sale now for $50 until January 15th. Don’t forget, tickets are only available in advance and won’t be sold at the door. Get tickets here

What You’re Supporting When You Party

You may already know that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for children with critical illnesses all over the country — making their dreams to go, to meet, to be, or to have — a reality. The average cost of a wish is $8,392.98. All expenses associated with a wish are covered by Make-A-Wish, and in the Mid-South specifically, Make-A-Wish will grant more than 280 unique wishes this year.

Every wish carries transformative power. Per Make-A-Wish, a recent study has confirmed that wish experiences are more than just a nice gift, they play a key role in a child’s journey back to health. Wishes create positive emotions and hope for their future, equipping children to better fight against their critical illnesses. When you give to wishes, you’re giving to something that’s making a huge difference for kids in our community.

There are multiple ways you can help Make-A-Wish Mid-South deliver for kids:

Referrals

You can refer a child for a wish! If you know a child with a critical illness, referring them for a wish takes just a few minutes. Call the Make-A-Wish Mid-South office at 901.680.9474 or email midsouth.wish.org to start the process.

Volunteering

Make-A-Wish has five kinds of volunteers. Pretty much anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer in any of these capacities:

  1. Event volunteers: Help at various Make-A-Wish events, including the next Wine for Wishes.
  2. Wish granter: These are the volunteers that are actually meeting wish kids, hearing about their wishes and helping to craft special wish reveals for them!
  3. Translator: Help Make-A-Wish in translating materials from English to Spanish.
  4. Airport greeter: Meet wish families at the airport and escort them to their flight to be sure they’re all set. Many wish families have never flown before.
  5. Fundraising volunteer: These are people who host events, and rally groups to fundraise to grant wishes.

Donating Miles

Make-A-Wish Mid-South also needs more than 10 million air miles each year for wishes involving travel. You can donate Delta, United, American or JetBlue miles at midsouth.wish.org.

Keep up with Make-A-Wish Mid-South on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

By and photo credit: choose901.com

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

Home Closing 101

by Melissa Thompson


Congratulations!  You’ve found your dream home; the inspection has been completed and all your ducks are in a row.  Now your just one more step to get through before you are officially a homeowner.  The closing.  The name sounds ominous, but you don’t have to worry.  If you have everything in order, your home closing should go smoothly.  Here is what you should expect on your big day:

CHOOSE THE RIGHT DATE FOR YOUR CLOSING

When you are thinking about when to schedule your closing, there is a lot to think about. For example, you want to keep in mind that it might take longer than an hour, so don’t try to schedule it on a lunch break from work. Consider taking half a day off or even just a few hours at the end of the day so that you will have plenty of time and won’t feel rushed.  In addition, you will want to think about what time of month you want to close.  Many people want to close as close to the end of the month as possible to save on up-front cash because the later you close, the less interest is owed to the lender.  However, closing late in the month has its disadvantages too. Because so many people are doing it, everyone is rushed -  from escrow companies, to appraisers, to surveyors, to insurance agents and even lender. They are all pushing to get a lot of work done in a short period of time.  And when people are rushed, mistakes are made.  Also, the later in the month you close, the sooner your first full mortgage payment will be due. So, you will want to keep all that in mind when deciding on your closing date. Closing Early Has Its Advantages

DO A FINAL WALK-THROUGH

Buyers are usually allowed to do a final walk-through before closing.  This isn’t a Home Inspection. Your home inspection should already be complete by now.  But a final walk-through will allow you to be sure that the property is in good condition and that nothing has changed or been damaged since the last time you saw it.  The final walk-through is generally arranged by your Realtor to happen anywhere from one week to 24 hours prior to closing.  Check the property thoroughly and bring a checklist with you to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Buying a House? Here's Your Final Home Walk-Through Checklist

CLOSING DAY PARTICIPANTS

Not sure who will be present at your closing?  There may be several people there in addition to the home buyers:

  • The seller and their Realtor
  • A representative from the title company
  • Attorneys (yours and your lender’s, if you have one)
  • A closing agent who conducts the meeting
  • Sometimes your lender will be there, but not always

DOCUMENTS

There are lots of documents involved in the mortgage process, and sometimes they can be overwhelming.  The bulk of your closing will be reviewing and signing various documents.  You should bring any documents you have received throughout your home buying process, including proof of home owner’s insurance, a copy of your inspection reports and any other documents your lender requested during the approval process.  Also, be sure to bring a photo id and a cashier’s check or certified check for down payment and closing costs. 

You will also receive many documents the day of your closing. The seller will sign documents that transfer the property ownership to you.  You will also get documents that pertain to your mortgage agreement and property ownership. 

Real estate transfer documents include:

  • A deed, which transfers the property from seller to buyer
  • A bill of sale
  • Transfer tax declarations

Mortgage loan documents include:

  • A mortgage note, which is your promise to repay the lender
  • A mortgage agreement that puts the property as collateral in case you can’t repay your loan
  • A loan application to review for accuracy
  • A loan estimate and closing disclosure

It’s vital for you to have an understanding of your closing documents prior to your closing so that you will understand what you are reading and signing.  Review them ahead of time and you will be ready to go on closing day.

Once you have reviewed and signed all the necessary documents, you will receive your keys and officially be a home owner. That’s another reason to take time off work…because now it’s time to celebrate!!

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: realtor.com

101 Things To Do In Memphis #53: 2019 International Blues Challenge

by Melissa Thompson


The International Blues Challenge represents the worldwide search for those Blues Bands and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to represent its organization at the IBC.

The IBC is judged by blues professionals from across the world who have years of experience in listening to, producing, and creating blues music. The Blues Foundation has established a set of criteria by which all acts are evaluated throughout the five days of the IBC.

Affiliated organizations are required to stage a regional preliminary IBC competition, with the winner of that event representing the organization in the International Blues Challenge held annually in Memphis, TN along historic Beale Street. While Affiliated Organizations are encouraged to follow The Blues Foundation’s structure and rules during their local challenges, each organization is free to structure its preliminary rounds as it sees fit, as long as a true challenge between multiple acts takes place resulting in a single band and/or solo/duo act being identified.

The 2019 International Blues Challenge will be held from January 22-26th. The International Showcase will open the event on January 22nd with competition rounds on January 23-26 in venues located along historic Beale Street. The International Blues Challenge will conclude with finalists performing at the Orpheum Theater on January 26th. 

By and photo credit: https://blues.org/international-blues-challenge/ and http://www.bealestreet.com/international-blues-challenge/

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Building a DIY Fire Pit in Four Easy Steps

by Melissa Thompson

 
Spending time outdoors in the winter months is not much fun if you are cold, but if you have a nice, warm fire to gather around, you can enjoy outdoor time despite the frigid temperatures. It’s fairly easy to build your own fire pit and it can be done in a short amount of time without breaking the bank. So, follow these steps and before you know it you will be toasting marshmallows around your own DIY fire pit!

  1. Go to a home improvement store and purchase your materials. Choose your large pavers first. They are not expensive and work perfectly as the ring for your fire pit. I recommend getting enough to make your fire pit deep and wide.  Depending on the size of the pavers, you will need twelve or thirteen for each level of the pit. So, if you are doing three levels, you will need 36 to 39 pavers.  You will also need smaller pavers for the floor of the fire pit, and paver sand for filling in the gaps and spaces.

    
       Photo Credit: lowes.com  

  1. When you get your materials home, choose the site for your fire pit and arrange the large pavers in a circle creating the diameter of your pit.  Then arrange two additional levels on top of the base you have created. Be sure the gaps between pavers are as small as possible. You may have to adjust them several times before you get them just right.

       
        Photo Credit: youtube.com

  1. With the smaller pavers, build the floor of your fire pit.  Make sure that they fill in the entire space.  You may have to get some that are shaped differently to make them fit.s.com


    Photo Credit: keepintitsimplecrafts.com
     
  2. Use paver sand to fill in the cracks and spaces in the floor.  Fill in the spaces and then use a broom or your hands to spread it evenly across the floor.

      
     Photo Credit: braensupply.com

Which Sand is Best for Paver Joints

Now you can build a roaring fire and enjoy your new fire pit!

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!

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