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Where Do I Want to Live? Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Written by Posted On Monday, 18 October 2021 00:00

Anais Nin  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Move Up While The Price Is Right

For years Maynard and Marlene Mueller had yearned to move to a more upscale neighborhood where some of their friends were living.  The price tag on the monthly note would have been $800 higher than what they were paying then on their current home.  That plan was insanely out of reach for them in 2018.  

However, in the current market the Muellers considered the deep dip in the mortgage rates combined  with the simultaneous spike in their current home value. Now they finally could make the positive pivot to the bigger, beautiful home.     They sold their current home at a top price and took the $300,000 net profit and put it down on that more upscale home.  The bigger home was listed for $200,000 more than the price Maynard and Marlene could get for their old home. Their payment on the new home was higher than they were paying at the old place, but making this transition today with the lower rates today compared to 2018 made the $300 per month bump in payment very affordable--a happy day for Maynard and Marlene. 

Should we buy a home or rent?  Using Multiple Exit Strategies

Brent and Bella had been renting an apartment in an neighborhood that seemed to be attracting more crime. When they first got married and moved into the apartment the rent was less than $900 per month but now it was over $1,000 per month.  When Brent and Bella got the news they were going to have their first baby, the apartment, they realized was too small for their growing family. How were they going to buy a bigger home with a smaller payment?  

The decision to rent vs buy? Brent and Bella didn’t think they had a choice.  They talked with a realtor who explained to them that in their city, they truly could find a bigger home in the community where they wanted to live. They could enjoy a smaller payment than they were paying in rent. With a special loan program and help from family, the Beaumont’s paid down at the closing table less than a thousand dollars.  

First Exit Strategy: The realtor pointed out, was that in the neighborhood where Brent and Bella had decided to buy, home values had traditionally increased in value over time.  That meant that 3 to 5 years down the road, they could likely sell the home and buy another home if the need arose to move. 

Second Exit Strategy: The realtor pointed out, that the property the Beaumont’s were purchasing was located in a strong rising rental market.  If the trend of rising rent rates remained steady, the Beaumont’s would also have a choice of buying a new home later  and using this property for income-producing rental income, just in case the home selling market was tougher a few years down the road when the Beaumont’s decided to move to a different home. 

Third Exit Strategy: The mortgage program they were using was a government FHA assumable loan. That meant, if the Brent and Bella could not sell their home outright in a future market and they did not want to use the property as an income-producing rental, they could allow someone to qualify with their mortgage company to take over payments or assume their mortgage instead of the future buyers having to get a new loan.  If mortgage rates were much higher in the future when the Beaumont’s decided to sell, they buyers might even pay the Beaumont’s more upfront for equity to have the privilege of qualifying and taking over the existing much lower interest rate mortgage. 

The Beaumont’s had three possible positive exit strategies on buying their first home.  They could enjoy that peaceful feeling of being free and not stuck. They used a down payment assistance program from their city. They had some gift money from parents too and bought their home with about $500 down. They moved into a much larger home than the former cramped apartment with a fixed interest rate payment a couple of hundred dollars less per month than what they had been paying rent.  A very SWEET deal for the Beaumont’s and their sweet little one on the way.

Making YOUR decision

Open a spreadsheet or use the old-fashioned yellow notepad. Draw a line vertically down the middle of the page. Write the advantages of remaining where you live on one side of the notepad.  On the other side of the page notate the disadvantages of remaining where you live.  Pull another page from your notepad or spread sheet and compare advantages and disadvantages for buying a different home.

Gather answers to these questions and you will feel better prepared to make the best decision about your home plans.

1. What would it cost to remodel your home so that it meets your needs?  

2. How much time would it take to remodel your current home?

3. How much would it cost to buy your next home?  

4. How much would your mortgage payment be? 

5. How much of your savings would you need to pay down at the closing table?

6. How close in proximity would you be to your work or your school?  How close do you need to be to an aging family member who needs occasional care?

7. What are some other important considerations to compare?

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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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