Financing to Construct and Remodel Your Home for Changing Family Needs

Written by Posted On Thursday, 25 May 2023 00:00

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”

The economy is changing, and families and individuals are modifying their living arrangements with the right financing. J.P. Morgan, CEO Jamie Dimon said recently, “brace yourself” for the economic hurricane. He was basing his prediction on the Federal Reserve’s perceived plan to continue bumping their Fed rate up multiple times this year and into the following year to try and push down inflation.   As the Fed continues to raise its rate and reduce its balance sheet of securities, the result looks like a recession in the future. 

Consumers tend to restrict the number of purchases and switch to more affordable brands in response to the rising prices caused by inflation.  Homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage historically have fared well compared to renters, because the principal and interest portion of the mortgage payment for homeowners is generally fixed and not going up and down with the Federal Reserve decisions. 

Some trends we see from the mortgage desk. 

  1. 1. Renters escaping rising rents to buy their own home or build one.
  2. 2. Retirement brings about time to downsize to a smaller home or move up to a larger home and live with other family members.
  3. 3. Parents, children, and grandchildren moving back under the same roof and buying or building, or modifying the home they need. 
  4. 4. Real Estate investors are acquiring more income-producing properties.
  5. 5. Consolidating debt by refinancing to include variable-rate home equity lines and credit card debt to enjoy one stable payment. 

Lenders are working to provide just the right loan products to meet the needs of these trends.

  1. 1. First-time homebuyer programs to assist renters to buy their first home. Many of these products offer down payment assistance to minimize the funds needed to close.
  2. 2. Cash-out refinance loans to allow borrowers to refinance their first mortgage including paying off a variable-rate home equity loan and other adjustable-rate debt like credit cards.  By including variable-rate debt like credit cards and home equity lines into one, fixed-rate mortgage, the homeowner can eliminate the rising costs of the variable-rate debt.
  3. 3. One-time closing loans that allow a borrower to lock in a mortgage rate for a year and not have to re-qualify during that time while their new house is being built. 
  4. 4. Renovation and repair loans to help families affordably finance modifications to the home to allow for changing living arrangements.  


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My phone was buzzing. When I picked it up a realtor friend was on the line.   “Jo, you know I have been selling homes for many years but this client we just have to give him some extra help.”

The realtor, a former military veteran, told of his elderly client who also was a veteran.  After his years in the military, our customer GI Jerry spent most of his life driving an 18-wheeler. He never bought a home because he stayed on the road all the time.   Now he was a widower and retired. The restless feeling, he had fought off over the years since getting out of the military really tugged at him how.   He wanted to have his own home where he could put his feet up on his own front porch.  

A few years went by, and Jerry would go look at houses for sale.  “There were some really big ones, “he said.  “There were some really pretty ones, but they didn’t feel like home.” 

One day Jerry convinced his realtor friend to take him to see a home that had been sitting on the market for several months.  The realtor advised Jerry that the old house was a waste of time. “It’s abandoned. It’s in terrible condition.  No lender is going to want to lend on that house.”  

But when Jerry stepped through the front doorway, his mind and his heart resonated with a blissful, secure feeling of being home.  He told the realtor and later told me, “No rhyme or reason—I just FELT peace when I stepped through the door.  I KNEW I can rest here. I was finally home.” 

The roadblock for Jerry was the condition of the old home.   But the realtor and our mortgage team went to work.  We helped him get a good contractor with an itemized bid on what it would cost to fix up the old place.  

We ended up getting Jerry approved for an FHA 203K renovation and repair loan so he could go ahead and close on his home and get draws from the repair escrow account gradually as the work was completed.  Within a couple of months, Jerry was able to move into his newly renovated Home Forever Sweet Home.  

If Jerry did not use the special renovation and repair loan, he would have been caught in a Catch-22 because the lender would not give him the mortgage until the structural repairs were done, but Jerry would not be able to do the repairs until he had the mortgage and owned the home.

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Jo Garner

 NMLS# 757308 (currently working with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Inc Cordova, TN  NMLS # 1788 An Equal Housing Lender)

“Whatever YOUR  personal priorities are, my job is to help you get the mortgage terms that will give you bragging rights when you talk about it and help you score on  hitting your goals .”

As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to help you get to the  benefits you want from your financing terms.  What is most important to you? I can help you find the financing terms that will help you get to what you want.   What is your comfort level on a house payment? How much are you comfortable paying down,? What type of financing do you need to get the house you want to buy or refinance?

Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds.  Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income.”

Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country.  She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases. 

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home  purchase financing.  

Jo Garner  has been in the real estate/financing business for over 25 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 25 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis.

Jo Garner also host the radio show Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe airing on News Radio AM 600 WREC and iHeart Radio with podcasts and show notes published on

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Pick up her book “Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want on and .

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