Jan. 31, 2014

Shelby, Memphis, Arlington, Germantown Property Tax Information

I get asked alot about property taxes so I compile local taxes so people can compare options. 



Per $100 assessed value which is 25% of Appraised Value Per $100,000 = (tax rate/4)x1000

Shelby County Taxes Taxes per $100,000 Appraised Value

 $4.42  Outside Memphis $110

$4.38 Inside Memphis $1095


Germantown City Taxes

$1.93 City of Germantown $487.50


Memphis City Taxes

$3.40 Memphis City Taxes $850



Lakeland City Taxes

$.85 Lakeland City Taxes $212.50


Arlington City Taxes

$1.15 Arlington City Taxes $287.50



Everyone in Shelby county will pay shelby county taxes.

If you live in the municipality add those.

Keep in mind unincorporated areas can be incorporated into cities. Areas around cordova have been especially likely to be incorporated in recent years.







Posted in Memphis Resources
Sept. 28, 2013

East Memphis Mellow Mushroom Starts off with a Bang

Recently got an invite through Facebook contest entry (apparently you can win those) to Mellow Mushroom's East Memphis opening. It was a big event with tips benefiting Make a Wish. The location is the old AAA office a nice circular building that was one of the more notable smaller buildings in Memphis that everyone was afraid they'd tear down. 




Fortunately they've turned it into possibly the most interesting restaurant space in Memphis with a space themed mellow mushroom. 


They let you order anything you like so I started with the Spinach Salad with Bacon which is something I wouldn't normally get, but wanted to try. I had the house esperanza dressing and it was delish with a nice sweetness from the craisin and apple complimenting the dressing and greeness off the spinach. The bacon added a great earthiness and I highly recommend ordering it if you get a chance. 

Next I had the pizza. Mellow Mushroom pizza is ubiquitious and I'm sure you've tried it but if you haven't they've managed to combine a flavorfull toothsome crust with a fair bit of crunch. 



By now I needed to extend the time so I could watch Hugh Freeze go for it on fourth and two in the third quarter down 16 against Alabama on the awesome big screens behind the bar so I ordered a really cool key lime tart. 




The tart was creamy and not to firm. Very tasty and a nice finish to the evening along with the fourth and ten which cured my of any worry that Freeze would bear any resemblance to Cutcliffe who'd kick the field goal down 10 late in the fourth quarter with less than 3 yards. 


I left and went to Starbucks to do this blog post and that the game ended in a 25-0 Alabama shut out. 



Posted in restaurant reviews
Sept. 28, 2013

Interesting Real Estate Infographic

Found an interesting infographic on real estate. I noted I am one of the 2% of realtors with a legal background. Also, note how most realtors make a very modest income. 



Posted in real estate
Sept. 22, 2013

Memphis Acting Class A Thing To Do

As part of my general entrepreneurialship I was thinking of producing an info product for attorneys to give their clients based on a need I saw when I practiced extensively. Now one of the few downsides to living in Memphis is that if you want cast someone for an info product you can't get 200 viable possibilities with a post in 2 hours unlike LA. 

I thought of going to local acting school but found the first to be a bust as the proprietress just tried to cast herself which kinda went against my impressions that schools are suppose to be helpful with career services. 

I happened onto Memphis acting classes at the Memphis Indie Acting Studio after stumbling on their facebook page. It's run by Forrest Pruett, a local actor. Located off sycamore view the acting class operates 6:30 till about 10 Monday and thursday and is a very reasonably priced 15$ paid on arrival. Attendence can be between 10-40. 

At class they read for my project and Forrest offered helpful critiques. I managed to chat with some participants and found several who had gotten roles or agents through connections made at the class. Age range was also very wide with between 15 to mature adults. 

It's definitely a fun thing to do in Memphis. 

memphis acting class

June 14, 2013

Memphis Weekly Real Estate Market Review

Here is a quick recap of the happenings in the Memphis real estate scene for the past week. It certainly has been a great week with lots of positive news.

MAA Merger to Boost Memphis jobs Figures

The recent Merger between MAA and Colonial properties which sprung the Memphis Real Estate giant into one of the biggest players in the apartment rental market nationally is expected to have a trickle down effect on the local job market .  The decision to station the joint corporate headquarters of the newly merged entity will create a few direct jobs according to the company’s CEO Eric Bolton. Most of the opportunities will however be available in the lower-level management and clerical positions.

Memphis Experiencing High Dollar Sales According to Latest Report

Latest data by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors shows that sales in the high-end segment of the market grew considerably over the same period in the last year. Many Memphis realtors have sold out homes in the $1 million to $1.5 million value range.  The median sales price for family homes has also increased by 20% over the same period last year. In May last year, the median sales price for homes in the Memphis real estate market was $84,900 but this has since increased to $102,000 according to the figures for May this year.

Data from Chandler Reports indicate that while there has been little change in home prices in the high-end market segment, the number of sales has increased by 50%.  The growth of the average sales price over the past year was however more subdued with this figure increasing by 10% while the median sales price for residential homes increased by 17% over the same period.  Memphis Realtors believe the prospect of higher mortgage rates is luring the “fence sitters” to dive right in and lock in the low interest rates.

Downtown Memphis Apartment Properties Attract Two Out-Of-Town Buyers

The 361-Unit Fielder’s Square Apartments in Downtown Memphis have been acquired by two out-of-town companies-the Toronto based Avison Young and Alabama’s LMS Real Estate Investment Management LLC.  The two companies currently have the highly visible real estate under contract and are expected to close the sale by next month. LMS specializes in the acquisition of multi-family properties that are based in the secondary and tertiary markets while Toronto’s Avison Young has interests in full-service commercial real estate company and is one of the biggest players in North America. The two companies are expected to pump between $4 and $5 million in the Fielder’s Square Apartments after closing the sale.

Fanny Mae: 40% of Americans Say It is a Good Time to Sell

A survey by Fanny Mae in May on the consumer confidence in the real estate market indicates 40% of Americans believe it is a better time to sell, indicating a 10-point jump in consumer confidence over the last month. A similar survey carried out in April had yielded a confidence level of 30%. A survey carried out over the same period last year had yielded 16%.

Shelby County Sees a 5% Increase in Building Permits

The number of building permits issued has increased by 5% over the same period last year according to building permit data from Shelby County.  Some 105 building permits were issued in May 2013 as compared to 100 over the same period last year. The depressed growth could be due to soggy conditions which make construction difficult and the diminishing of prime plots in Memphis.


Posted in real estate
April 30, 2013

The Memphis Startup and Entrepreneur Scene

Memphis's Small Business Community is very vibrant and alive, with lots of services and fora for startups and their owners to listen and learn... or just to get that essential help they need, in order to be successful.

One thing that makes Memphis great is the great startup community here. Many cities are lacking helpful resources for small business launches. Memphis has many! Here are some organizations and links to their website.

LaunchMemphis: LaunchMemphis is a fantastic company, an extension of LaunchYourCity, which helps entrepreneurs with promising startups get their company ready to pitch to investors and to hone their competitive edge.

From their site:
'If you have a raw idea for a new startup, LaunchMemphis is where you turn before incubators and before investors.  More formally, LaunchMemphis (501c3) supports the earliest stages of entrepreneurship in Memphis with dynamic programs that are designed to help potential entrepreneurs to take the first actionable steps of starting a new business.'


One of Launch Memphis's strategic partners is "Seed Hatchery." These people are great, as are all of the Launch Memphis partners. Anyone who has a cutting-edge company idea fleshed out should go see these people.

From their website:
'Have a big idea? Then you're in the right place. Seed Hatchery is a cohort startup accelerator or seed fund, offering founders and their game-changing business concepts the 3 M's: Money, Mentors and a Marine-style bootcamp. And a bonus M: Memphis!'

Another of Launch Memphis's strategic partners is the "Wolf River Angels," a community of successful investors who are interested in helping the city grow, in part by helping the best and the brightest to succeed in their ventures.

From their web site:
'The mission of Wolf River Angels is to help grow the economic base of the region through the rapid development of high growth potential startup companies while enabling members a favorable return on their time commitment, a "Return on Involvement," and invested capital, a "Return on Investment."'

Located on the campus of Memphis's largest research university, The University of Memphis, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation helps the university's students start companies, with many services directly available, without the students having to leave the main campus.
From their web site:

'The CEI offers the following services:
• Idea development
• Customized technical assistance
• Skills training
• Mentoring
• Networking support
• Legal advice
• Financial guidance
• Personalized feedback on business plans'

Also well-known in the local startup 'scene' is Emerge Memphis, located in South Downtown, an area that exemplifies innovation and renewal.

From their web site:
'EmergeMemphis provides services and support for fast growing start-up businesses, emerging growth firms, and small businesses whose success may be significant to the growth of the local economic base. We select clients with the fundamentals necessary for long-term growth and success.'

April 25, 2013

Great Examples of homes on reclaimed land

Beaumont Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand

Beaumont Quarter is a remarkable development with innovative homes set on a site once used as a gas works. Located at the base of an escarpment, with a view over the Waitemata Harbour, it is close to Auckland Central, across the road from Victoria Park and very near a main motorway.

Tucked away behind the old, brick, main gasworks building is a beautifully designed environment. It is visually exciting. All buildings balance, materials link and tie, natural light floods the area. The space has narrow tree-lined streets that evoke a sense of neighbourhood. Pedestrians have priority over motor vehicles. Houses in Beaumont Quarter are traditional terrace houses of various sizes that have been re-interpreted in a modernist way. Some houses are two storeys with courtyards; others scale the cliff at the back of the site and are suspended over the neighbourhood. All have light, space and privacy. Care was taken to balance the built and open spaces.

Beaumont Quarter in Auckland, New Zealand

Beaumont Quarter in Auckland, New Zealand

An Oasis in the City

There is a European feel to Beaumont Quarter. A close network of paths and small grassed and paved squares create a spacious feel. Streets are tree lined and well-lit at night with discreet, low-level lighting.

The sites' gas-works history is evident everywhere. The original gas-works building still stands and edges the complex on the front road. It is a beautiful, characteristic icon, housing offices and a cookery school. The old pump-house hosts the swimming pool, sauna and gym. An historic building, it has large sash windows, exposed-brick interior walls and a vaulted ceiling.

Bricks from demolished gas-works buildings have been incorporated into the Beaumont Quarter houses. Parts of the gas-works foundations remain and edge gardens and divide areas. Huge circular brick pipes create niches and plants nestle in crevices. The old and the new blend smoothly and pleasingly.

A Stunning House

15 Brickfield Way is a central terrace house. It reflects the priority of its designers to incorporate natural light and privacy. The house fills with sun all day, warming it in winter. In summer the glass end-wall reaching from ground floor to top of second floor opens and catches cooling breezes. The format of the house is like an English two-up and two-down but with glorious natural light and soaring space. The second bedroom has a mezzanine that overlooks the living room below. It faces out through the glass wall to high bamboo plantings and similar buildings beyond. The living room has walls that are perfect for hanging large paintings. The front bedroom has an enclosed balcony, large enough for chairs, table and plants. A slatted, wood screen provided security and privacy. There is a spacious kitchen with concealed appliances and room for a large dining table and chairs.

This house has two charming courtyards. Like traditional terrace houses it has a back and front yard. Both yards have concrete squares and gravel. They are ideal places for containers and pot plants. Number 15 has rows of New Zealand native trees at the front and at the back there is a lush collection of citrus trees, Bougainvillea and hanging baskets with herbs and tomatoes.

A Boardwalk Home

This home is one of a sky-high terrace which rises above Beaumont Quarter. The Boardwalk nestles into an escarpment and rocky outcrops can be seen through the back windows and at ground level. Next to the entrance are glimpses of fern encrusted rocks. The home is very large having three floors and each with glass walls. The views from all floors are spectacular.

This home is dramatic because of its size but also the sense of space generated by the homes closeness to the sky and the huge windows that look out over the city and harbour. This house has an enormous deck, big enough to accommodate the largest barbeque. The cityscape from the deck is un-interrupted making it a perfect spot for entertaining.

Another House in a Different Space

This is an amazing home. Called the Edgeland residence, it sits on the shores of the Colorado River, USA. Designed by Bercy Chen Studio, it is a relatively small house and the style is sustainable.

Like Beaumont Quarter, is built on a "brown field site". It is an ultra-modern building inspired by North American "pit houses" The home sits in a 7 ft. deep excavation site. Earth is used to hold warmth and insulate the space all year round. The home shape is compact yet exudes a sense of size. There are two pavilions with steeply angled roofs each enclosed with reflective glass. An open walkway cuts through the central living space allowing views into the living and sleeping rooms. This walkway encourages an awareness of nature.

From the road the house is barely visible. The grass planted roofs add camouflage. The garden is planted with free-growing natives. The contrast of the natural elements and the refined glass is captivating.

The Edgeland - Designed by Bercy Chen Studio

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

Guest poster Geoff Jackson writes for Vufold, a leading designer and supplier of folding sliding doors, known as bifold doors. A lot of contributions can be found from Geoff surrounding the subject of home design and architecture.

Posted in real estate
April 23, 2013

Memphis Surging Real Estate Infographic

Memphis Homes Infographic

Posted in real estate
March 5, 2013

5 Home Interior Features That Attract Buyers

5 Home Interior Features That Attract Buyers

There are certain things that most people are looking for in a home. They want the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms for their family, for one thing, and they want a property that looks relatively nice and new inside and out. So in terms of cosmetic upgrades, you can usually spend a little money on updates that will make your home a lot more attractive to the average buyer. However, there are also a few major renovations that are bound to make your house more appealing to the majority of prospective buyers. You just want to make sure you spend your remodeling budget in the right ways to ensure not only return on investment, but also a quick sale. Here are just a few interior features that you might want to install or at least upgrade before you put your house on the market.

  1. Master bath. The en suite master bath is something that has become so commonplace that homes without one are at an automatic disadvantage. Whether you have one already or you have to carve it out of a bedroom, though, it needs to be both functional and modern in order to interest savvy buyers scouting for the home of their dreams. If you can outfit the space with a separate shower and bath, a double sink, a water closet, and materials like stone and wood, you'll definitely up the appeal of your home. But just replacing ugly and outdated linoleum and fixtures is a good start.
  2. Gourmet kitchen. It can certainly be expensive to build out a kitchen complete with a large island, dine-in options, and stainless steel appliances, not to mention all of the modern amenities and high-end materials home buyers expect these days. But chances are good that your expenditure in this area will pay off, not only in your asking price, but in the number of interested buyers clamoring for your property - and potentially starting a bidding war in the process.
  3. Walk-in closet. This is something that most homeowners don't realize they really want until they see it in your home. While you don't need to include this spacious amenity in every room, adding a walk-in to the master bedroom could just provide that extra nudge a potential buyer needs to put in a bid.
  4. Central air. There are certain areas where central air is expected, namely in major metropolitan areas of the southern states. But including it in any home, regardless of the climate, is bound to attract more buyers than homes that don't offer it.
  5. Solar panels. The greenies seem to be taking over the world lately, and although some homeowners might not be keen on the look of solar panels on the roof, or the maintenance they require, odds are good that they'll appreciate the money they can save on monthly utility bills thanks to the alternative energy that these panels provide. If you're not sure, just take a look at listings on popular real estate and MLS sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Movoto, for example. You'll discover that properties that offer alternative energy options are not only worth more than similar listings, but they tend to get snapped up more quickly, as well.
Posted in real estate
Feb. 26, 2013

efax is a bad negotiator

Apparently, cancelling efax is a great way to get a discount! I wish I had tried sooner while I still needed it and didn't have a free number through my broker. 

Kyle W.: David, as we'd like to keep your business, I can offer you a discount and also waive your subscription fee for 2 months. After the free period, pay just $12.95 per month. This plan includes 130 inbound pages monthly and extra pages are just 15 cents each. There is no contract and you may cancel anytime. Shall I switch you to this savings plan?
david sandy: no I'm good
Kyle W.: OK, before I close your account, we now have an annual plan that will let you keep your eFax service for just 14 cents a day. You make one annual payment of just $50 and pay nothing more unless you exceed 30 pages per month. Extra pages are just 15 cents. This deal won't be available once your account is closed. Can I switch you to this savings plan which lets you keep your fax number for just 14 cents a day?
david sandy: no still want to cancel