Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 15

When the Rate Goes Up

by Melissa Thompson

It’s not “if” the rate goes up but “when” the rate goes up; it could make a big difference for some buyers. Freddie Mac predicts that mortgage rates will be at 4.5% a year from now.

If buyers can afford a home with higher interest rates, it means higher payments. 

Higher payments might mean they won’t have the money to spend on other things like furniture or improvements to the home or an unrelated purchase like a new car.

When the rate moves 0.50% on a $250,000 mortgage, the payment goes up by $70.66 a month. If it moves 1.00%, the payment goes up by $143.74 per month, each and every month for the entire term of the mortgage which means paying over $50,000 more for the house.

The question facing every borrower in this situation is “How will you feel about having to pay more to live in the same house because you were not ready to commit?”

Then, there’s the borrower who is absolutely maxed out as to what they can qualify for or sometimes, it is a borrower who just refuses to pay a higher payment. When that’s the case, the buyer has to make a larger down payment. In the same example, a 0.50% increase in rate would require $14,873 more in down payment. That could make the purchase impossible or require the buyer to buy a lesser price home that will not have the same amenities.

Mortgage rates have been low for so long that some people think that is what they should be. There are some economists who believe that the economy will not be strong again until mortgage rates are in the 7% range.

Be sure to contact Melissa Thompson, Your Key to Memphis Team with Crye-Leike for all of your Real Estate needs – 901-729-9526 or [email protected]


By and photo credit: Sandra Nickel Hat Team


101 Things To Do In Memphis #33: Moon River Music Festival

by Melissa Thompson

Mark your calendars for the annual Moon River Festival in October! This year, the festival will last 2 days rather than a single day as has been the case the past two years. Additionally, rather than forcing their audience to endure the summer heat yet again, MRF has been moved to the fall for a more pleasant atmosphere. 



Hosted and curated by renowned musical act Drew Holcomb and The Neighbours, Moon River Music Festival is a musical "thank you" to the city of Memphis from its vibrant musical community. Hosted at Levitt Shell, the festival features local and national folk rock and Americana musicians, who come to honor the rich musical history of Memphis. Beverage purveyors and local food vendors serving up traditional Memphis dishes to round out the festival.

Friday - VIP Event

Includes entry to Friday Evening Cocktail Reception and Intimate In-The-Round Performance with acclaimed singer/songwriters Drew Holcomb, Lori McKenna (Little Big Town's "Girl Crush", Hunter Hayes' "I Want Crazy", Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind" and many more), Sean McConnell (Songs recorded by Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Eli Young Band, Martina McBride) and very special surprise guests at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. 

VIP's will also receive early entry into the festival grounds, access to the VIP Tent, 2 drink tickets, private cash bar, and snacks throughout both days.

Click here for FAQ and here to Buy Tickets!


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5655 Baird Drive- Beautiful East Memphis Home!

by Melissa Thompson


Welcome home to 5655 Baird Drive, an amazing, move-in ready, all on one level, 3 bedroom home you have to see to believe! Quality features include fresh neutral paint throughout, wood floors, Mexican tile, built-in desk with cabinets, cozy fireplace, detached office/studio, security system, tons of built-ins, irrigation system, and much more! Enjoy comfortable everyday living in the captivating great room flaunting a cozy brick fireplace, perfect for those cold winter nights. Open to the great room is the living room complete with built-in shelves. Cooking will be a delight in the wonderful eat-in kitchen equipped with Mexican tile floor, large pantry, and a full complement of appliances. Relax in the awesome sunroom featuring multiple skylights, Mexican tile floor, cooling ceiling fans, and French doors. You will rest easy in the large master bedroom complete with wood floors and double walk-in closets. The tiled mudroom/office is a nice addition. The beautifully landscaped backyard has an irrigation system, brick fence with a water fountain, along with a beautiful flagstone patio covered by a pergola. The detached office/studio is both heated and cooled. This great house is walking distance to the YMCA and Lichterman Nature Center. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!

National Apartment Report: September 2016

by Melissa Thompson

Where is rent increasing and decreasing the most?


























Nearly Half of U.S. Renters, Even Rural, Are Cost-Burdened by Housing

Price is the most important factor for those seeking a home, whether they’re looking to buy or rent, yet affordable housing remains increasingly difficult to find. According to recently released analysis, nearly half of renters are cost-burdened.

Recently, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University used the most recent American Community Survey data available to paint a picture of housing costs around the country. The JCHS reports that 49.3% of renters in 2014 — totaling 21.3 million people — were cost-burdened, meaning that at least 30% of their income went to rent and utilities. Nearly a quarter of renters, 22%, were severely cost burdened, spending at least 50% of their income on housing costs.

Still, housing costs continue to increase. ABODO’s data shows that over the past month, those increases were mainly felt in Miami and Bakersfield, CA, which both saw their rent rise 9% since August. A one-bedroom in Miami now goes for $1,739 (up from $1,599), and in Bakersfield it’s $725 ($669).

Two other California cities also saw some of the country’s largest rent hikes for September, with Fresno up 6% and San Diego up a gentler 2%. Philadelphia rent jumped 7%, from $1,291 in August to $1,379 in September. Detroit, Minneapolis, Memphis, and St. Louis also saw higher rents for September leases.

Although three California cities saw rent hikes, several of the state’s large metro areas also enjoyed some of the largest rent decreases, with average San Jose rent dropping from $2,790 to $2,455 — a 12% difference. Los Angeles also dropped 8%, Long Beach 7%, and San Francisco 6%.

Seattle takes the lead, however, for the nation’s largest rent decrease, down 13% from $2,170 to $1,890. Boston and Charlotte saw 7% decreases, and Chicago, Baltimore, and Lexington were close behind with 6%.

Nationwide, the average rent for a one-bedroom in August was $932. In September, that crept up to $940. It’s a small difference, but it shows that even though large metro areas saw more significant rent decreases than increases last month, the nationwide trend is still upward — meaning rural communities and smaller cities could be bearing the burden.

JCHS reports that 41% of rural renters are cost-burdened, especially in rural counties adjacent to coastal metro hubs, where property values are higher and residential land is limited.

For example, the small city of Kingston, NY, just two hours north of New York City, is home to roughly 24,000. Among renters, 67.3% are cost burdened, paying about $1,000 monthly for housing on an average household income of $27,900. In Kingston — ranked by JCHS as the nation’s #1 most-burdened metro- or micropolitan area — 39% of renters are spending at least half of their income on housing.

Compared to 2010, when just over 30% of rural renters nationwide were cost burdened, these numbers are staggering.

Although homeowners feel the squeeze as well, it’s generally to a lesser extent, and the number of cost-burdened homeowners is growing more slowly. In 2010, about 18% of homeowners were cost-burdened, creeping up to about 22% by 2014.

Rent prices have increased by 3% in Memphis, TN from August to September 2016. This ranks Memphis as the #8 city in the entire U.S. to have seen the biggest rise.

Now is the right time to buy a home because rent prices are increasing.

Be sure to contact Melissa Thompson, Your Key to Memphis Team with Crye-Leike for all of your Real Estate needs - 901-729-9526 or [email protected]


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Do a Little Sprucing Up with Fall Décor!

by Melissa Thompson

The start of fall exhibits cooler temperatures for most us, even if we aren’t feeling it quite yet around here; it also marks the change in home décor and outside curb appeal. Many are doing a fall cleaning inside and setting out the Halloween and fall decorations for Thanksgiving to welcome the change of season.  A few tips to spruce up with fall décor would be:

  • Groom the lawn- cutting comes to an end but unfortunately lawn maintenance doesn’t end. We still need to try and rid any brown spots and rake up large piles of falling foliage. Leaves look nice and set the perfect ambiance for this time of year however too many can look cluttered.
  • Add fall flowers to your garden- as our spring flowers fade and die off we can still keep our gardens lively and vibrant by planting fall flowers (e.g. mums, heleniums and fall crocus’) in bold fall colors.
  • Make the front door and porch a highlight- add a fall wreath, pumpkins, stack of hay, potted flowers, seasonal outdoor rug all add pizazz to the front of the house for everyone seeing it.
  • Add in lighting- as the sunny days are growing shorter we need to make our homes shine at night. Add some outdoor lights to your home to shine on walkways and brighten up entryways with lanterns, lights in the lawn, or spotlights.
  • Be symmetrical- if at all possible create a symmetrical design with your fall decorations in the front of your home; this will make the entrance to your home look grand and inviting. Add in a scarecrow too; this is perfect for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • Create your own planter- carve out a pumpkin and create your own planter with it or use an old wagon! This will give the outside look both creativeness and take up less space if that is a concern.
  • Sitting areas- we love to be outside in the summer but the chill in the fall air is even more inviting; create a welcoming outdoor sitting area with benches, tables and rocking chairs that are rustic, comfy, and charming. The cushions on these can be fall colored or patterned to fit the season even more.
  • Bring out the rustic look- rustic everything is all the rage right now, try out a few rustic signs with fall colors (e.g.- welcome, harvest, fall).

Looking for more, try Pinterest they have everything you’re looking for and then some. Let’s ring in the hopefully soon to be cooler weather and say hello to fall! 


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Ready to Make an Offer? 4 Tips for Success

by Melissa Thompson

Ready to Make an Offer? 4 Tips for Success | Keeping Current Matters

So you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Freddie Mac covered 4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective.Here are the 4 Tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it's not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ really should take place before you start your home search process.

As we’ve mentioned before, getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.”

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes for sale is currently at a 4.7-month supply. This is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream home.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:

“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.” 

Consider ways of making your offer stand out! Many buyers write a personal letter to the seller letting them know how much they would love to be the new homeowners. Your agent will be able to help you figure out if there are any other ways your offer could stand above the rest.

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

“It's likely that you'll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you'll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.  

Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home. If the inspection uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can typically re-negotiate the terms or cancel the contract.”

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in their market on your side is your best bet to make sure the process goes smoothly. Happy House Hunting!



101 Things To Do In Memphis #32: Paint a Piece

by Melissa Thompson

You don’t have to be an artist and guests of all ages are welcome at this paint your own pottery studio! Paint a Piece, Memphis’ Most Popular Creative Studio, offers pottery painting, canvas painting, silver clay, and glass fusing.  

How it works… Pottery Painting: pick your piece, choose from a huge selection of unfinished bisque. Then you paint whatever design you want on it!  If you're not naturally that artistic, they have an idea book you can look at for inspiration, as well as stencils, stamps, stickers, plus over 60 paint colors!  So you can really get creative if the mood strikes. After you paint your masterpiece, you leave it at the store to be glazed and fired in the kiln.  It takes a couple days, then it’s your to take home and share!  Join in on Canvas Painting by choosing a canvas and following step-by-step instructions. How easy is that! Maybe you are interested in making your own jewelry? Silver Clay lets you choose your piece of silver and then they fire, tumble and polish your silver in the studio.  You can pick up your pieces in about 5 days! And last, but certainly not least, Glass Fusing, the process of manipulating pieces of glass to bend and form into shapes. Pick your base, create a design, frame it, fill it and design it. Paint a Piece will fire your piece and you’ll have a truly unique design.

If you are looking for a creative place for your next event, Paint a Piece offers a great space for birthday parties, girl’s night out and other special events. They offer unique events each month and specials during the holidays, plus they will even come to you! Paint a Piece has been doing field trips for the past 16 years to area schools and daycares.  

Visit for more info or contact them directly at 901.754.0884 or [email protected].

It is a great way to spend time with kids or friends and create something special for yourself or someone you love.


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Fixing Up the House, End of Summer Style!

by Melissa Thompson

Fall is heading our way and quick! Every time the seasons change there always seem to be something around the house that needs fixing, cleaning, or redoing. We always find projects that need tending to.

Below is a list of things most of us typically do when welcoming in the fall weather.

  • Moving items from our backyards like lawn furniture, kids’ toys, outside accessories to the shed or garage.
  • Cleaning out the garage of any unused or extra items and reorganizing the contents staying.
  • Create a more organized space in the garage (or even other areas of the house, like the attic) with plastic bins that are labeled.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  • Check the outside lights in your front yards (especially if they are on a timer- to be sure everything works and is prepared for the many adjustments that come with earlier darkness).
  • Have your bi-annually HVAC unit maintenance taken care of, to ensure your unit is in proper working condition when the weather changes, including replacing air filters.
  • Cleaning flowerbeds now will be so helpful next spring. Many of our lovely summer flowers are no longer blooming when the wonderful weather of summer waves goodbye. Taking the time to remove the dying bulbs and applying new mulch will keep the still thriving fall flowers like mums, goldenrod and helianthus looking delightful and eye-catching. Adding in fall flowers to your flowerbed will add bursts of fall colors.
  • Repair any cracks to your paved driveway, this will prevent winter weather from eroding the surface; creating an expensive fix down the line.
  • Clean out the gutters (this should be done seasonally if possible) to keep out unwanted leaks or gutters falling at bay.
  • Trim low hanging trees near your home or gutters to reduce possible damage.

De-cluttering and maintaining the beauty of our homes is a mission we all strive for, especially those of us who are selling our homes. Now let’s get some of those projects off the to-do list!

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A Dust-Free Home

by Melissa Thompson

Having a dust-free home isn’t difficult, but it takes a serious commitment and a housekeeping strategy that addresses the dust and its causes. Whether your motive is cleanliness or to eliminate the cause of some allergies and asthma symptoms, it will be worth it.10043513-250.jpg

  • Try to dust your home at least twice a week. Dust the tallest items and work your way down. Dust picture frames, blinds, baseboards and anything that stands out from the wall.
  • Feather dusters can spread more dust than they collect compared to microfiber cloths that attracts dust because they have an electrostatic charge.
  • Filters on heating and air-conditioning systems should be changed often not only to remove dust from the air but to increase the efficiency of the units themselves. Special HEPA filters can improve the overall indoor air quality.
  • Frequently changing the bag or emptying the container in your vacuum is helpful in eliminating dust.
  • Vacuum the floors at least once a week. Vacuum under furniture and periodically, move appliances to clean behind and underneath. Use the proper attachments to vacuum upholstered furniture and under cushions.
  • Eliminate dust magnets like carpet, heavy drapes and upholstered furniture. Consider hard surface flooring like wood or tile instead of carpet.
  • Keep windows closed to keep dust out.
  • Clean your pillows and drapes.
  • Damp mopping and dusting with plain water helps hold the dust and is environmentally friendly.
  • A humidifier can eliminate static electricity which holds dust.
  • Air purifiers circulate air and capture dust and other pollutants.


101 Things To Do In Memphis #31: Restaurant Iris

by Melissa Thompson

If you are looking for the perfect setting for a romantic date-night, special occasion, or private party, plus an exquisite meal, Restaurant Iris is just the spot! A charming French-Creole restaurant, Restaurant Iris has taken the Memphis dining scene by storm. Among its many accolades, Restaurant Iris has received a four-star review from the Commercial Appeal and was voted “Best Fine Dining” and “Best Date Night” in the publication’s “Memphis Most” Reader’s Poll, and was voted Memphis’ “Best Restaurant”, “Best Chef” and “Best Service” four years in a row by Memphis Magazine. In 2014, Restaurant Iris was also voted one of “OpenTable Diner’s Choice Most Romantic Restaurants in America.”

Chef Kelly English’s steadfast approach to contemporary southern cuisine, deeply rooted in his Louisiana upbringing and heavily influenced by his travels around the globe, has earned him one of the most recognized culinary names in the South. One is sure to reap the benefits of Chef English’s rich culinary background and his endless creativity and passion for food in each dish featuring local and seasonal ingredients.

Restaurant Iris is located at 2146 Monroe Avenue in historic Overton Square of midtown Memphis. A classic Southern rowhouse that has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant. Private rooms are also available, or maybe you want the whole restaurant to yourself… Restaurant Iris can accommodate.

Visit their website for more information and be sure to make your reservations as early as possible, 901.590.2828, they are known to book up at least 2 weeks in advance! We invite you to experience one of the city’s most popular restaurants, “Restaurant Iris, simplicity at its most elegant.” 

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 15