Central Gardens/Cooper-Young Arboretums

Central Gardens/Cooper-Young Arboretums

Guidelines define an arboretum as an area with a significant amount of woody vegetation in tree form that is cultivated for educational, scientific, or aesthetic purposes. A certified arboretum must be open to the public, the trees must be properly labeled for educational purposes, and they must be properly protected and maintained.

The Central Gardens area and soon the Cooper-Young area are proud to hold this honored designation.

In 2008 Central Gardens became only one of two Level III Accredited Arboretum in the State of Tennessee.  It is currently the only one in West Tennessee and is home to more than 90 species of trees, many are more than 80 years old.

Central Gardens is very proud to have this designation, it is  very rare because most are located in botanic gardens or parks.

Arboreta is a specialized type of botanical garden that focuses on trees and other woody plants.  Arboreta collect, grow, and display trees, shrubs, and other plants for people to study and enjoy, and ideally are open to the public for education and inspiration.  A principal goal of arboreta is to encourage and support the planting and conservation of trees for environmental and enhanced quality of life.

Central Gardens also has a tree replacement program to help reforest/retree its beautiful neighborhood.  You must be a of the CGA to request a free tree to be planted on your property, just one of the terrific perks to living in this great neighborhood.

Our thanks and continued support go out to Christine Conley, Emily Bishop, Kim Halyak, and Judi Shellabarger who have been taking classes since 2015 at the Memphis Botanic Gardens to become certified as Urban Forestry Advisors. Cooper-Young is on its way to becoming a level three certified arboretum hopefully by March 2017.  A Level 3 Arboretum – 90 different species of trees labeled. The Botanic Gardens are printing the signs to label the trees.  The map on the website and the pamphlet are taking shape.  Part-time staff or volunteers will be available for special tours once everything is in place.  We will keep you posted on the progress of the Cooper-Young Level 3 Arboretum.

Healthy Eating and Convenience

Healthy Eating and Convenience

Kroger
Most Cooper-Young residents and Midtowners are excited for the Grand Re-opening of Kroger located at 1759 Union Ave on Nov 2nd.  The store will open at 6:00am with the Ribbon Cutting scheduled for 9:00 am.
The store will contain a Corky’s BBQ, Murray’s Cheese Shop, sushi bar, juice bar, chocolate dipping station and a New York style sandwich shop just to mention of few of the new exciting features at this location.

Sweet Potato Baby Cafe
Aryen Moore-Alston is the owner of a new and exciting eatery in our area.  If you haven’t checked it out already go and see what all the buzz is about (it’s in an office building and they will buzz you in) located in the United Way Plaza building at 1005 Tillman, open Tuesday – Friday 11:30 – 2:30.

Several sweet potato dishes will be on the menu along with her signature cupcakes, sweet potato chips, sweet potato biscuits with honey butter.  Other menu such as soups, salads, sandwiches, plus entrees like miso salmon, Nonna’s ragout (a hearty beef and pasta dish are also available.

Otherlands Coffee Bar & Exotic Gifts
Located in a funky building on Cooper is known for its wonderful pastries and desserts.  You will also find some great handcrafted gifts.  The walls feature some great art pieces by local artists that would make wonderful gifts.  Loads of gift ideas throughout the building.

Stone Soup Cafe
Chef Sharron Johnson at will be happy to prepare you some great comfort food.  Offering great daily baked goods, produce and products from local growers.  Go by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you will be delighted that you did!

This is just a few of the great local eateries in our area!

Fall Maintenance

Fall Maintenance

Fall is here ya’ll and winter is on its way!

The leaves are falling and it’s a good idea to do some seasonal maintenance on your home. Here are some things to add to your fall “honey-do” list.

To help keep your winter heat cost down. Have your furnace inspected and cleaned so that the air will be healthy in your home.  By doing this in the fall your furnace will be ready to use when ole man winter hits!

Apply a fresh coat of exterior paint and caulking.   Caulking those doors and windows will help keep them from being so drafty.

Inspect your roof or have a certified roof inspector check it out. You’ll want to check for shingles that are cracked, buckling, or missing. Check for caulking that needs to be replaced, or moss or lichen, which could indicate deterioration.

Check for mold. The humidity of summer can cause mold to flourish. Check locations such as around leaky pipes or areas that don’t have good ventilation. You will want to remove the mold as soon as possible by a professional.

Replace weatherstripping on doors. Cold air coming in means heat is going out the door which means your utility $$$ are escaping to the outside. You can find weatherstripping at your local hardware store, it’s a quick and simple fix.

Check for airflow. Areas like vents, the hood over your stove, dryer vents, baseboard heaters and room fans where cold air can seep in.

cleaning-vents

Clean and repair gutters and downspouts. Clogs in gutters and downspouts can cause the roof to leak, which can lead to a host of other problems.  Keep that water flowing on the outside of your home!

Make sure your siding is in good repair.  Here in the Cooper Young area a lot of homes have siding.  Check for curling, splitting and cracking.  Caulking and painting will help keep the winter moisture out and help prevent further damage.

Inspect your insulation, there are a lot of older homes in our area that weren’t insulated that great when built.  The most important area to check is your attic. You should have the highest concentration of insulation here. See if there are any gaps that need to be filled. Check the insulation in your walls also if you are experiencing heat issues.

Make sure both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries when you set your clocks back.  It’s smart to test them, also.  Both are especially important once your furnace is in use.

Each season brings its own challenges and wear-and-tear on your home.  Since fall is here and winter is on its way you can go into the season secure that your home is in tip-top shape!

1859 Oliver – Wonderful home with 3 Bed/2 Bath plus bonus room

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1859 Oliver – $245,000
Awesome 3 bed/2 bath w/ bonus rm upstairs. Great curb appeal & the sellers will miss this porch! Inspection has been done & house is in great shape. Large living space for entertaining friends as you walk in the front dr. Spacious kitchen w/ granite, gas cooking, built in microwave. Gate to the back yard w/ deck, lots of play space, good sun for gardening but shade on deck , parking & storage shed. These owners have  enjoyed CY’s fun event w/ many awards for Halloween & Light the Way.
Call Debbie Sowell at 901-359-6600 for an appointment
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Mortgage Financing 101: What to Expect Being a Self-Employed Buyer

Mortgage Financing 101: What to Expect Being a Self-Employed Buyer

The number of people that are self-employed has been on the rise. The IRS defines a self-employed person as a business owner or contractor that offers services to other businesses. According to the 2015 employment data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 15 million self-employed individuals in the United States.

When it comes to applying for a mortgage, or any other loan for that matter, self-employed people generally have a harder time as compared to employed persons. The house market collapse that happened in 2008 has led to tightened lending policies making it harder for self-employed persons to prove their creditworthiness.

Applying for a mortgage involves presenting a lot of documents – tax returns, income reports, licenses, etc. All of this can seem overwhelming to most people. The key to making the process of obtaining a mortgage loan easier is to plan ahead and know exactly what is required for getting a home loan.

Here are some of the documents that you need to present for a successful outcome of a mortgage loan application:

1.    Tax Return Files

Lenders will most likely ask you to show your last two years of tax return documents. For this, you will need to fill out IRS 4506-T form that grants access to lenders to your tax returns. Lenders will look at the following two tax returns files.

Schedule C — This is used by small business owners and freelancers to file taxes

Schedule E — This document is filed if you receive rental income or royalties on patent etc.

Lenders use the tax returns information to calculate ‘average monthly income’ by taking average of Adjusted Gross Income amount.

2.    Documents to Verify Income

Employed persons have it easy when it comes to obtaining a loan. Most often, they only need to provide their pay stub in order to provide proof of their income. Self-employed individuals on the other hand have to present a lot of documents to verify their income.

Consider presenting the following documents, or at least have them ready with you, when you apply for a mortgage loan application:

  • Business license and permits issued by the country, state, or county
  • Signed letter from the following agencies:
    • Enrolled Agent (EA)
    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
    • Tax Preparer
  • Letter from a client that includes your contact address, name, reasons, and date for hiring

Apart from the above, you may also be asked for other documents related to the business such as liability insurance, worker compensation insurance, or bond insurance.

3.    Profit and Loss Statement

Lenders also look at profit and loss statement of self-employed persons to find out debt-to-income ratio and other information that can help them assess credit worthiness. They will look at both front-end ratio that refers to house-loan-to-income ratio and back-end ratio that refers to ratio income to student loan, credit card debt, car loans, and others.

On a final note, self-employed individuals should be ready to expect a lot of paperwork for obtaining a mortgage loan. They must gather all the documents before applying for a loan to speed-up the loan application process. Also, it is important to focus on improving the factors that lenders will weigh heavily when assessing the application such as debt-to-income ratio, and others to improve the prospect of obtaining a loan.

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This midtown foursquare is in the Evergreen Historic District.  With 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, plus an office, there’s lots of room in this home. Downstairs you’ll find
the master bedroom/bathroom which has a huge walk-in closet, as well as a separate half bath for guests. The other 4 bedrooms, office & two full bathrooms are upstairs. This
home was completely renovated in 2012, so you get the best of old Midtown charm with the newer renovations that you’ll love!

 

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Contact: Robert Grisham – (901) 230-1255 robertgrisham@gmail.com  InCity Realty – (901) 2124-5838

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This beautiful stone and brick bungalow is right on the VECA Greenline! Original stained wood trim will give you all the character you’re wanting.
There’s a fantastic mid-town front porch (with pull down shade) and a detached storage building in the back with half of it set up for garage / storage and the other half (which is heated and cooled) could be used as an office, studio, reading room, yoga studio, craft room or whatever your heart desires! There is an updated kitchen, very nice hardwood floors and the yard is fenced.
The refrigerator stays! There is also a new water line and the radiators work!

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Contact:  InCity Realty: (901) 214-5838

Debbie Sowell – debbie@debbiesowell.com; (901) 359-6600

Claire Madison – clairemoveshomes@gmail.com; (901) 240-5568

7 Home Remodeling Trends in 2016

7 Home Remodeling Trends in 2016

Home design trends are always evolving. What’s in today might not be so popular in the future. If you are thinking about remodeling your house it will be helpful if you know about the latest home design trends.

Here we will present seven of the most popular home design trends that you should consider when remodeling a house.

 

  1. Two Tone Kitchen Cabinet

A trendy home design these days is a two-tone kitchen cabinet with the upper cabinets in a lighter color and the lower cabinets with deeper color and wood tones. This contrasting look improves the overall appeal of the kitchen.

  1. Large Tiles in Kitchens and Bathrooms

Large tiles have made a comeback in kitchens and bathrooms this year. People are installing 12 x 24 inches or even 31 x 71 inches tiles that create a stunning experience in the rooms. Indeed, large tiles look classier as compared to laminated and wood floors.

  1. Style Mash-Up

Style mash-up refers to modeling the rooms in different styles such as light wood accents, contemporary white walls and floors, textural fabrics, and a platform bed. This gives homeowners the freedom to be more creative and personalize the rooms to their exact requirements.

  1. Clever Storage Solutions

A trendy remodeling design for 2016 is creating clever storage solutions that maximize space in the kitchen. The aim is to make it easier to reach pans and pots, and save time when preparing meals. People are opting for smart corner drawers that are cut on a diagonal thereby eliminating wasted space at the corners.

  1. Remodeling for Greater Safety

Another home remodeling trend is making the home safer for the residents. These include eliminating slipping hazards due to slippery surface or transitions between rooms, and replacing stairs with more open designs that maximize mobility for older people.

  1. Dedicated Dining Room

Homeowners today are remodeling the house to create formal dining room to entertain the guests. They are pouring attention to these rooms and making them more lavish, roomy and more decorative.

  1. Digitally Connected House

Smartphone, internet, and other digital gadgets have transformed the way we live today. An increasing number of homeowners are upgrading their homes by installing high tech gadgets such as lights and blinds that can be controlled using apps. They now offer voice activated door control systems and even TV lifts that hide the HDTV when not in use. You can look forward to more high tech advances in the future!

When you are ready to remodel a house, you should make sure to consult with a professional and expert interior design expert. Another good idea would be to start collecting inspiring and trendy home design photos, samples, and ideas. Just make sure to know about the costs of the remodeling project before making any commitments as this will help you avoid any inconvenience later on.

 

Protecting your Home While You’re On Vacation: The Do’s and Don’ts to Vacation Proofing your Home

Protecting your Home While You’re On Vacation: The Do’s and Don’ts to Vacation Proofing your Home

Going on a vacation can help you create unforgettable memories that you can relive with pleasure later in life. However, nothing spoils a holiday more quickly than returning from the trip abroad to find that something has gone seriously wrong at home.

Apartments and houses that are left empty when going on a vacation are a tempting target for criminals. Other than that, natural forces such as lightening or a heavy storm can do heavy damage to your belongings when you leave things in the open without taking proper precautions.

That’s why it is imperative that you take proper actions to ensure that you don’t get a shock when you return home from a vacation. Here we will highlight some of the do’s and don’ts that can help you to keep your home safe when spending a holiday abroad.

Do Unplug Electronic Items

Remember to unplug electronic items when going on a holiday. Power surges and lightning may toast your electronic items that are plugged in. Even if you have electronic surge protectors installed, it is suggested to unplug the devices to be on the safe side. 

Don’t Leave Your Valuables in the Open

Avoid leaving the valuables such as jewelry items out in the open. Consider putting them in a safe place in a locker.  A good quality safe box will not only protect your valuable from being stolen  but also avoid them from being melted in the event of a house fire.

Do Set Interior Light on Timers

Consider setting your interior lights on timers to give an impression that you are home. A number of high tech apps allow you to control your home’s lighting from your Smartphone. You can buy a light timer from your local hardware store. 

Don’t Publicize your Vacation

You should not chatter about your exotic vacation abroad on social media posts. The best time to do this is after you come back from the vacation. Posting information about your trip abroad is like tipping off criminals about their next target. 

Do Inform the Post Office to Hold Mail

When going on a vacation, you should inform your local post office to hold all your mail. You can fill out a request at the post office, or complete an online form by visiting Holdmail.usps.com.

Don’t Close the Blinds when on a Vacation

Don’t close the blind when going on a vacation. This will tempt criminal to enter the room and get down to business in complete privacy. When you leave the blinds open it will increase the chances that would be criminals will avoid entering the house. 

As you prepare to jet off to a memorable holiday in a foreign land, it is easy get caught up in all the planning and packaging needed for the trip. But this should not make you forget to secure your most valuable belongings at home. By keeping in mind the simple tips presented above, you can leave your home with peace of mind knowing that your valuables will be protected when you are on vacation.

5 Common Mistakes when Buying a Home

5 Common Mistakes when Buying a Home

Are you thinking of purchasing a home for the first time? Looking for a home can be exhausting and exciting at the same time. For some the process may seem a bit daunting as well since there are so many things to look at during the home purchasing journey. 

A lot of people make mistakes when buying a house and any oversight in buying a house can continue to haunt you for the rest of your life. You should arm yourself with the advice that follows to avoid committing costly mistakes and shop for the perfect house with confidence.

  1. Buying Homes Made of Unusual Materials
  2. You shouldn’t buy a house that isn’t made using mortar and brick. Buying homes made of timber, cob, wattle, and daub may appear nice but they are not recommended materials for use in a house, especially in urban settings. You should stick to homes made of standard materials when it comes for buying a house that will be used as a primary place of residence. 

  3. Not Negotiating Properly
  4. Every homebuyer wants a home at the lowest price possible. The best method to achieve this is through negotiations. Know that most sellers advertise the house a bit above the market price. You should research about the market price of properties in the area, similar to the one you want to purchase. 

    Also, avoid low-balling during the buying process. Low-balling simply refers to making an unrealistically low bid for the house, which is far lower than the market price. This will only waste time both for you and the seller.

  5. Impulsive House Buying
  6. When it comes to real estate, there is no such thing as love at first sight. You should look at no less than seven properties before signing any contract. It’s easy to fall in love with a beautifully designed house, and forget all the faults that can be revealed with closer inspection. But this oversight can  be costly for you in the long run.

    Instead of jumping on the first or second house you see, it’s much better to look for different houses and closely examine them for defects and faults. This will ensure that you don’t feel any remorse or post-purchase regret when buying the house.

  7. Not Paying for a Professional Inspection
  8. A number of first home buyers make the mistake of buying a home without getting it inspected by a professional. They think that they are saving money and time by not having a professional house inspection. However, this can prove costly for you. Without a thorough inspection of the house by an expert, you won’t be able to know about pest and mold infestations, structural problems, and other things that can prove to be expensive to fix. 

  9. Buying a ‘Short Sale’ or ‘Real Estate Owned’
  10. Many buyers don’t know about the real estate buzzwords marketers use to sell foreclosed houses such as ‘short sale’ and ‘real estate owned’ (REO). Some brokers use these terms to lure first time buyers and making them think that they are buying the property at a bargain, when in fact they are overpaying for the property. Moreover, foreclosed properties may come with titles that are encumbered with liens and judgments that you may have to pay to close the deal.

By keeping in mind the above tips, you can avoid making costly mistakes when buying a house. Note that you must weigh in different options when buying a house. Also, you can drastically reduce the risk of making mistakes by working with a professional realtor.