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The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement

by Melissa Thompson

The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled 'Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the civic participation of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:

  • Homeowners have a much greater financial stake in their neighborhoods than renters. With the median national home price in 2015 at $223,900, even a 5% decline in home values will translate into a loss of more than $11,195 for a typical homeowner.
  • Because owners tend to remain in their homes longer, they add a degree of stability to their neighborhood.
  • Homeowners also reap the financial gains of any appreciation in the value of their home, so they also tend to spend more time and money maintaining their residence, which also contributes to the overall quality of the surrounding community.
  • Homeowners were found to be more politically active than renters with 77% of homeowners saying they had at some point voted in local elections compared with 52% of renters.
  • There seems to be a greater awareness of the political process among homeowners. About 38% of homeowners knew the name of their local school board representative, compared with only 20% of renters.
  • There is a higher incidence of membership in voluntary organizations and church attendance among homeowners.
  • Homeownership does create social capital and provide residents with a platform from which to connect and interact with neighbors.
  • Owning a home means owning part of a neighborhood, and a homeowner’s feelings of commitment to the home can arouse feelings of commitment to the neighborhood, which, in turn, can produce interactions with neighbors.

Bottom Line

People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. As we can see, there are also social benefits of owning your own home. Let the Melissa Thompson Team assist you in your dreams for homeownership! Learn more about buying Memphis Real Estate at 901.729.9526 or


101 Things To Do In Memphis #53: Sweet Grass Restaurant

by Melissa Thompson

With a seasonal menu and a focus on locally grown produce, the menu is never quite the same each evening at Sweet Grass, but one can always count on an artful combination of Low Country cooking combined with an overall farm-to-table Southern flair, signature cocktails & weekend brunch served in an intimate bistro.

The menu consists of small, medium, and large plates — to suit your large appetite or set up perfectly for sharing. Make sure to order the fried green tomato BLT sandwich, a Southern staple turned into an innovative and memorable treat. But their signature Badass Nachos are something truly delightful and will leave you craving them come every game day. And when it comes time for brunch, head back here for some of the best French toast you’ll ever experience.

The ambiance is upscale casual, making for an elegant meal well within any price range. An airy, open dining room has a small bar area and a very small waiting area, so you can always pop next door to Next Door, also co-owned by Chef Trimm, to wait in comfort for a table if there's no spot available at the bar. Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.

Next Door is the casual sister to Sweet Grass. The perfect place to grab a drink after work, catch the game, or have a Friday night dinner where you don’t need a reservation (in fact, they don’t take them!). Offering a local and craft beer menu and premier bourbon selections.

Reservations are offered, so call ahead to lock down your table. Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too. Call 901.278.0278 or visit the website for more delicious information!

Closed Monday
Open Tuesday to Sunday: 5.30 until
Sunday brunch: 10a - 2p

937 S Cooper St
Memphis, TN  38104


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Open House 1920 Hazelton Sunday February 19 2:00-4:00

by Melissa Thompson

Celebrate Love - Today and Every Day!

by Melissa Thompson

Just hearing or seeing the date, February 14th, conjures images of hearts and flowers in our minds. Valentine’s Day.  A “holiday” named for St. Valentine.  A day set aside each year to celebrate love.  But how did Valentine’s Day begin?  And who is St. Valentine?

Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day got its name?  While it is believed that the name came from a saint, the origins of how it became attached to a day to celebrate love are a bit of a mystery. One legend claims that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.  When the Emperor during that time decided that single men made superior soldiers than those with wives and children, he outlawed marriage for young men.  Valentine felt this was unjust, so he defied the Emperor and continued to secretly perform marriages for young lovers.  Another story contends that Valentine may have sent the first “valentine” letter while imprisoned in a Roman prison.  He allegedly fell in love with a young girl, possibly the jailer’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement.  It is said that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine”, an expression that is still used today.  While we may never know the true story about St. Valentine, the common theme throughout these stories is that he was sympathetic, heroic, and most significant…a romantic figure.

The origins of Valentine’s Day began with a pagan festival during the month of February. By the end of the 5th century, February 14th was declared Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius. It wasn’t until much later that the day became associated with love.  During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in England and France that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the date should be celebrated as a day of romance. While Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400.  The oldest known Valentine known of was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.  It is also believed that King Henry V hired a writer to compose a Valentine note to a woman he admired.

It is believed that people began exchanging hand-made Valentine’s in America in the early 1700s.  By 1840, a woman named Esther Howland was selling the first mass- produced Valentines in America. Known as “the Mother of the Valentine”, she created elaborate cards using real lace, ribbons and colorful paper. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, and estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making it the second largest card sending holiday behind Christmas.

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8903 Lake Edge CV E – Charming Gem in Carrollwood Lakes!

by Melissa Thompson

Nestled on a private cove lot in the desirable Carrollwood Lakes subdivision sits this charming 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom traditional home. Move in ready with many quality features including an open floor plan, neutral colors, gleaming wood floors, moldings, two car garage, plus close proximity to the neighborhood lake, pool and tennis courts! The bright and airy eat in kitchen is sure to please the chef in the family featuring a tile backsplash, full complement of appliances, pantry, tons of cabinet space and cutout to the formal dining area. The spectacular great room with soaring ceiling and cozy gas log fireplace is the perfect space to entertain or just relax at days end. A luxurious main level master suite provides a soothing refuge of special conveniences and comforts with a walk in closet and high ceilings. Wash your cares away in the master bath with whirlpool tub, separate shower, and double sinks. Two generously sized bedrooms with wood floors and a shared full bathroom on the second level. Skylights illuminate the huge fourth bedroom or bonus room offering the ultimate space for a rec. room, office or mancave. Retreat to the professionally landscaped backyard with a two tiered deck, fencing and lush landscaping – truly a relaxing oasis! Elegant formal living with a relaxing ambiance awaits the lucky buyer of this home. Come visit today!

5 Design Trends to Avoid When Selling Your Home

by Melissa Thompson

When preparing your home to sell, you might want to incorporate some current popular design trends to entice buyers.  But there are also design and décor ideas that you may want to avoid for the same reason. Here are some interior design trends that are not currently popular with home buyers:

Breakfast Nooks: According to Country Living breakfast nooks are out. They are charming and cute, but not what buyers are looking for these days.  If you’re renovating your kitchen, you may want to add more cabinets and counter-top space instead.

Bamboo Floors: This once trendy flooring material is on its way out. Buyers are now looking for other options such as synthetic materials that can be easily replaced, or good old fashioned hardwood that can be refinished to their liking.

Shiplap: Shiplap has been hugely popular recently, but according to, “If you’ve ever wondered what 2016's version of tacky wood paneling would be, look no further than this trend that seems to have overtaken TV design shows." It’s challenging to remove and designers say it just doesn’t make sense to have it in some houses such as Colonial or Tudor style homes. 

Brushed Metal: Per House Beautiful, industrial looking metals are out. Shiny metals like bronze and gold are gaining popularity for adding elegance to a home.

Gray Paint: Once a favorite color choice, gray is starting to look, well, gloomy. It has been overused according to Realtor Mag and new color palettes will include warmer colors such as mocha and taupe.

Check this out for trends that are IN:

For other selling tips:

What Is a Home Warranty? Peace of Mind for Home Buyers and Sellers

by Melissa Thompson

Lots of things you buy come with a warranty in case they break down, from cars to smartphones. But what about homes? It turns out you can get a home warranty, too.

So what the heck is a home warranty, anyway? In a nutshell, it’s a policy you pay for that covers the cost of repairing many of your home appliances if they break down.

“Home warranties provide financial protection for homeowners who might be faced with unexpected problems with their appliances,” explains Shawna Bell of Landmark Home Warranty.

Many people buy a home warranty right when they close on a home, since such protections can provide some much-needed peace of mind that you won’t get hit with unexpected expenses soon after moving in. Imagine what a bummer it would be, after all, to wake up one morning to a broken boiler or leaking, malfunctioning fridge in your brand-new home. A home warranty can lessen those worries, which for many is worth every penny.

What does a home warranty cover?

Don’t mistake a home warranty for homeowners insurance, which covers your home’s structure and belongings in the event of a fire, storm, flood, or other accident. A home warranty, in comparison, will cover repairs and replacements on systems and appliances due to normal wear and tear—no calamities required.

A home warranty generally covers these items:

  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Washer and dryer
  • Kitchen appliances such as the oven, range, and garbage disposal

How much does a home warranty cost?

While home buyers are often required to get homeowners insurance along with their mortgage, home warranties are a fully optional purchase. Basic coverage starts at about $300 and goes up to $600 for more comprehensive plans, says Bell. A homeowner can add extras if needed, such as coverage for a swimming pool or an external well.

Although many companies offer home warranties to homeowners at any point, the best deals can often be snagged if purchased at the same time you buy the home.

“The warranty plans offered at the time of the real estate transaction typically offer the most comprehensive coverage and price points, so that’s why it’s the ideal time to lock it in,” Bell says. At the end of the first year, you usually have the option to renew your plan or bail.

Benefits for home buyers and sellers:

A home warranty benefits home buyers by providing reassurance that they can move in without worrying about shelling out even more for surprise repairs.

A home warranty can also benefit home sellers (if they don’t have it already), since it can cover these elements during the listing period; some companies even offer free seller’s coverage during this time with the hopes that the buyer will decide to continue the coverage. Oftentimes, home sellers will offer to pay for the first year of a buyer’s home warranty to entice buyers to bite.

But not everyone thinks home warranties are worth the cost. Typically they aren’t necessary with new homes, since most of the appliances are already covered under manufacturers’ warranties. But in general, the older your home, the greater the odds are that something’s bound to break, and the wiser it is to get a home warranty. Best of all? Many companies don’t differentiate between newer and older homes in terms of cost, making a warranty an especially cost-effective option if you are purchasing an older home.

What to do if something breaks

If something covered under your home warranty breaks, you just call your provider and it will connect you with a qualified contractor in your area. One thing to remember is that a home warranty does not mean you’re off scot-free; typically you’ll have to pay for a service call or a certain amount of the bill up to your deductible first.

While not everyone will think a home warranty is worth it, it is a good idea for people who lean toward the “better safe than sorry” approach when buying a home.


Learn more about buying or selling Memphis Real Estate at 901.729.9526 or


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Open House at 1115 Cordova Club Drive, Saturday, February 11 from 2:00-4:00!

by Melissa Thompson

Come join us for an Open House at 1115 Cordova Club Drive, Cordova, TN 38018 this Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 2:00 - 4:00! This amazing home offers an open floor plan, gleaming wood floors, gracious two-story foyer, neutral colors throughout, cozy fireplace, 4 bedrooms plus bonus room, 3 full bathrooms, open grand middle hallway with soaring two-story open area, laundry room, 2 car garage, and so much more! Make this home yours!

101 Things To Do In Memphis #52: Half Pints for Half Pints

by Melissa Thompson

Drink Memphis Made beer. Eat Midtown food. Bid on cool stuff from local businesses. And the best part? It all benefits Cooper-Young’s Peabody Elementary PTA to support the arts and technology at our favorite neighborhood school!

Wait — there’s more. It’s all happening inside one of Cooper-Young’s favorite haunts — Memphis Made Brewing Company’s Tap Room!

Your ticket will get you Memphis Made brews and food from Central BBQ, Sweetgrass, Mulan, Aldo’s and Celtic Crossing. Silent auction items from local businesses. Music by DJ Zac Ives of Goner Records.

Check out our Facebook Event Page to see the latest silent auction items.



Get your tickets now. Just click this Eventbrite link to order!

This is an age 21 and up event. 

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5315 Spruce View Way- Breathtaking Lakeland Estate!

by Melissa Thompson

Welcome home to 5315 Spruce View Way, an incredible 4 bedroom home situated on a nice corner lot in the Evergreen Hills Subdivision in Lakeland, that you will have to see to believe. This spacious home offers impressive formal rooms, plus comfortable everyday living spaces. Quality features include gleaming hardwood floors, arched doorways, huge bonus room, smooth ceilings, plantation shutters, granite, stainless steel appliances, laundry room, master suite, fenced yard with covered patio and so much more! Enjoy comfortable everyday living in the captivating great room flaunting an overlook, TV niche and a cozy fireplace, perfect for those cold winter nights. Host the finest dinner parties in the romantic dining room embellished with a dazzling chandelier. Cooking will be a delight in this incredible eat-in kitchen equipped with desirable granite countertops, pantry, tile backsplash, and a full complement of stainless steel appliances including double ovens, microwave, dishwasher, and a cook-top. Located off the kitchen, the cozy hearth room is the perfect place to gather with family and friends. You will rest easy in your very own downstairs master retreat with a private spa-inspired bathroom featuring a whirlpool tub, double vanity sinks, and a divine walk-in shower. This home also boasts 3 additional spacious bedrooms that share 2 full size baths. Play, party or entertain in the large playroom upstairs. The additional 10x10 bonus room makes a great play area or office space. Relax outside in the fenced backyard featuring a delightful covered patio, perfect for cookouts and parties! This amazing home also offers a 2 car garage, attic, and a security system. Lakeland schools make this a home not to miss!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 517