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101 Things To Do In Memphis #41: Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

The forecast for this weekend calls for snow! The same for next weekend and the one after that! If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the holidays, grab the family and head over to the Memphis Botanic Gardens for “Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard”!

Themed lighting along Playhouse Lane and a musical light show throughout set the stage as you stroll in through "falling snow", play in the giant Snow Globe, decorate icicle ornaments, search for hidden snowflakes in the Snowflake Forest, play Mitten Toss and Tic-Tac-Snow, and plug your own design into the Giant Light Bright!

Worried about a little chill in the air…you’ll keep toasty warm around campfire pits on the patio, also perfect for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

December 15-30, 5:30-8:30 p.m. (last entry at 8 p.m.)

MBG members $7
Non-members $10
Children under 2 are free
S'mores kits, hot cocoa, and other concessions are available at additional cost.

Visit Memphis Botanic Gardens for more information!

By: Memphis Botanic Gardens

Breaking News: Fannie and Freddie formally announce 3% Down Programs

by Melissa Hayes Thompson
 

Breaking News: Fannie and Freddie formally announce 3% Down Programs | Keeping Current Matters

Yesterday, HousingWire reported that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally announced their 3% down options on home purchases. Fannie Mae’s plan will be effective December 13, 2014 while the Freddie Mac plan will be available March 23, 2015. The HW article quotes FHFA Director Mel Watt:

“The new lending guidelines released today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.”

This is great news to millions of purchasers that have been denied the opportunity to own their own home because of the almost impossible burden of saving for a 20% down payment.

Will these programs create future challenges?

Certain pundits fear that low down payment programs will create a wave of foreclosures down the road. Mr. Watt also addressed this concern:

“To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.”

We also recently addressed this issue.

Here are the direct links to the guidelines for each program:

Fannie Mae 3% Down Program

Freddie Mac 3% Down Program

Remember, as with any new program, there will be some confusion as it is unveiled. Contact a mortgage professional for a deeper understanding. Don’t have a mortgage person yet? Contact your local real estate agent for a referral.

by 

Memphis TN Home For Sale: 10042 Pleasant Ridge Road Unincorporated TN 38002

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

Welcome home to 10042 Pleasant Ridge Road situated on 4 gorgeous acres. Quality features include brick exterior, hardwood floors, tiled floors, tiled baths, decorative touches, arched doorways, columns, crown molding, walk-in closets, central vacuum, recessed lighting, built in cabinets, desks and shelves plus big window views. A romantic formal dining room with sleek sophistication is ideal for stylish dinner parties. An inviting great room lets you bring the outdoors in with a warm gas fireplace flanked in double window views.   Located off the kitchen is the delightful hearth room enhanced with tons of windows and French doors leading to the backyard this space is great for today's busy lifestyle. A soothing main level master suite is complete with double walk-in closets, a ceiling fan, plush carpeting and a luxurious bath including a separate shower, relaxing whirlpool tub plus his and hers vanities. An additional main level bedroom and a full bath are ideal for overnight guests. Upper level bedrooms are sized generously and offer unique features. Awesome bonus room is perfect for stashing the kids and kids at heart. Fabulous workshop, oversized 2 car garage, huge walk-in attic and 2 small attics offer tons of storage. Extensive decking overlooks a peaceful setting on 4 serene acres with mature trees and quality landscaping. Do not miss out on this amazing home!

Melissa Thompson has distinguished herself as a leader in the Memphis TN real estate market. Melissa assists buyers looking for Memphis real estate for sale and aggressively markets Memphis TN homes for sale.

Melissa brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Memphis TN home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Melissa Thompson will help make the most of your Memphis TN real estate experience. Give her a call today, 901-756-8900, and discover the difference she can make during your family’s next move.

101 Things To Do In Memphis #40: Germantown Holiday Parade

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

Part of the joy of the Christmas season is the Memphis Christmas parades that take place throughout the metro area. Germantown residents and visitors enjoy family-friendly special events throughout the year, including the traditional Germantown holiday parade! Celebrate with family, friends, neighbors and community this Saturday, December 13th, 2014 from 2-3 p.m. The fun and excitement of the event includes decorated floats, horses, youth groups, car clubs, marching bands and an appearance by Santa Claus himself!

The parade begins at the corner of Kimbrough Road and Farmington Boulevard and ends at Germantown Athletic Club on Exeter Road. The parade is open to everyone and free of charge.

For more information, contact Natalie Ruffin at 757-7376 or
nruffin@germantown-tn.gov.  In the event of inclement weather, call 751-5669 for details on event status. The rain date is December 14 unless otherwise noted on the website

Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit quite like a festive parade so load up the kids, bring your chairs and have a great time – its fun for the whole family!

Home Prices Continue to Rise

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

 

Home Prices Continue to Rise | Keeping Current Matters

“Broad-based Slowdown for Home Prices”

That is a headline you might have seen over the past weekend. And though it is true, we must understand the story behind the headline. Case Shiller reports on the year-over-year difference in home values. Their latest report revealed that the rate of appreciation has slowed – not that prices are falling!! Here is exactly what they said:

“The 20-City Composite gained 4.9% year-over-year, compared to 5.6% in August.”

Prices are still up this month over last year’s values (4.9%) just not as much as they were last month (5.6%).

Home Prices are NOT Falling.

As a matter of fact, the latest Home Price Expectation Survey by Pulsenomics (a survey of a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists) showed that home prices will continue to appreciate for the next several years.

Home Price Expectation Survey Projected Prices | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Both first time buyers and families thinking of moving-up to their dream home can be assured that their investment in their new home makes sense.

101 Things To Do In Memphis #39: Lichterman Nature Center

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

A certified arboretum, and a nature center, Lichterman Nature Center offers many outdoor and indoor exhibits, activities, and events. The Lichterman Nature Center is one of the facilities within the Pink Palace Family of Museums featuring exhilarating new exhibits, beautiful gardens featuring native wildflowers and trees, and a tradition of excellence in environmental education set in the heart of 65 acres of lake, meadow, and forest.

Located in metropolitan Memphis, the Lichterman Nature Center promotes a sense of stewardship for the earth by increasing the visitor's appreciation and interpretation of the natural world through environmental education and understanding of native wildlife. The nature center places an emphasis on nature related education, including hands-on explorations, microscopic discoveries, a forest boardwalk three stories high, and an underwater viewing area. Enjoy a three mile walk on the nature path which is home to a wide variety of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals! Visitors can also partake in wildlife programs, plant sales, festivals and many other entertaining activities designed to expose and build connections between the participants and the natural world. Looking to plan an event? This is the perfect venue for birthday parties, weddings and receptions!

Don’t miss the upcoming Tree Giveaway, December 13th, 10 am - 12 noon. Winter is the best time to plant trees and to celebrate tree-planting season, Lichterman Nature Center is hosting a tree giveaway & family fun event.

For more information, visit the website, email nature.reservations@memphistn.gov or call 901.636.2211.

Admission
Members - FREE 
Adult - $6.00
Senior - $5.50
Child (age 3-12) - $4.50
Children under 3 - FREE

Admission to Lichterman Nature Center is free to public Tuesdays from 1:00 until closing. 

 

Photo Credit: Lichterman Nature Center

4 More Reasons to Sell Now

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

Melissa Thompson explains there are actually advantages to selling your Memphis TN home during the holidays.  January is a common month for business moves and buyers are generally motivated. Plus who can resist the holiday deco that gives a warm and cozy feeling for the potential buyers touring your home. No matter what your motivation for selling your home, don’t shy away from marketing it during the holidays. Turn your holiday decorating into a fun staging activity for marketing your home.

4 More Reasons to Sell Now

1. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply just dropped to 5.1 months, which is under the 6 months’ supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

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

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

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

2. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

3. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 23.5% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

 

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

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

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

That is what is truly important.

by 

 

9 Ways to Avoid Gobbling Up Energy on Thanksgiving

by Melissa Hayes Thompson


 

A few days before Thanksgiving

1. Install a dimmer switch for the dining room chandelier. Every time you dim a bulb’s brightness by 10%, you’ll double the bulb’s lifespan. Most CFLs don’t work with dimmers, but you can create mood lighting with incandescents and LEDs. The dimmer switch will cost you about $10.

2. Plan side dishes that can cook simultaneously with the turkey. If you cook dishes at the same temperature at the same time, you’ll reduce the amount of time the oven has to be running — it’s easier for the cook and saves energy, too.

When you start cooking

3. Lower your house thermostat a few degrees. The oven will keep the house warm. You also can turn on your ceiling fan so it sucks air up, distributing heat throughout the room.

4. Use ceramic or glass pans — you can turn down the oven’s temp by up to 25 degrees and get the same results. That’s because these materials retain heat so well, they’ll continue cooking food even after being removed from the oven.

5. Use your oven’s convection feature. When heated air is circulated around the food, it reduces the required temperature and cooking time. You’ll cut your energy use by about 20%.

6. Cook in the microwave whenever possible. Ditto slow cookers. Microwaves get the job done quickly, and although slow cookers take much longer, they still use less energy than the oven. Resist the urge to peek inside your slow cooker: Each time you remove the lid, it releases heat and can add about 25 minutes of cooking time to your dish.

7. Use lids on pots to retain heat. The food you’re cooking on the stovetop will heat up faster when you use lids.

When it’s cleanup time

8. Scrape plates instead of rinsing with hot water. Unless food is really caked on there, your dishwasher should get the dishes clean without a pre-rinse. Compost your non-meat food waste. Check out these other Thanksgiving clean-up tips

9. Use your dishwasher. It saves energy and water, so only hand-wash things that aren’t dishwasher-safe. Wait until you’ve got a full load before starting the dishwasher. Be sure to stop the appliance before the heated dry cycle; just open the door and let your dishes air-dry.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Courtney Craig and HouseLogic

 

Memphis TN Real Estate For Sale: 491 N Ericson Memphis TN 38018

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

Easy main level living awaits you in this all brick ranch home tucked away in Trinity Crossing with easy access to dining, shopping and recreation. Quality features include a two car garage, hardwood floors, tiled floors, crown molding, plantation shutters, ceiling fans and soaring ceilings. Come on in the spectacular great room where you can toast your toes by the gas fireplace or slip out the French doors to the peaceful backyard. A designer kitchen with Mexican tiled floors offers ample cabinet and counter space, all appliances, breakfast bar plus a sunny dining area. The soothing master suite with picture window views, walk-in closet and a pampering master bath including a bubbly garden tub, large walk-in shower and an elongated vanity with a sink and make-up area. The secondary bedrooms are sized generously and share a lovely hall bathroom. Fantastic fenced backyard is perfect for grilling and chilling. Pack your bags and come on over we are sure you will want to stay.

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

101 Things To Do In Memphis #38: Orion Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

If you aren’t too stuffed from Thanksgiving Dinner, make sure to visit Orion Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park! Open November 21st thru December 28th, including Thanksgiving Day!

Orion Starry Nights is a Mid-South tradition. More than 1.5 million lights illuminate the night sky in the largest holiday light show and festival in the Mid-South. But Starry Nights is more than a show–it’s an experience. This year’s show features 14 new displays that celebrate some of the most iconic places in Memphis, as well as revamped versions of annual favorites.

Experience Starry Nights in a new light every night! Ride in style on an enchanted, horse-drawn carriage or hayride! Decorating your car or wearing your favorite holiday sweater offers you fun ways to earn a $5 discount on tickets on special theme nights! Grab a cup of hot chocolate while you visit Santa, do some holiday shopping with local artisans, visit the Starry Petting Zoo, and even ride a camel in Mistletoe Village. Afterward, gather around a cozy campfire and roast s’mores while you listen to carols in the village on the Starry Stage. Discounts are only valid on specific dates.

All proceeds from Orion Starry Nights benefit Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that manages and operates Shelby Farms Park + Shelby FarmsGreenline.

Purchase tickets ahead of time! You can skip the line at the main entrance (Walnut Grove) and enter through the VIP gate on Mullins Station Road. Buy Tickets Here!

Maybe you are interested in volunteering. Click here to become a part of the magic of Starry Nights.

For more information, visit the website or contact Natalie Wilson, Events Manager at nwilson@shelbyfarmspark.org or (901) 222-7267.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 79

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