101 Things To Do in Memphis #8: Beale Street Music Festival

Beale Street Music Fest crowdOriginally organized in the 70’s, Memphis in May is a month long festival split into four main events that kicks off with the Beale Street Music Festival. The other events are International Week, The World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest and the Sunset Symphony. All of them will be covered during our 101 Things To Do in Memphis series.

The Beale Street Music Festival is a three-day music festival that showcases a mix of big-name stars performing side by side with local musical acts. The 2014 Beale Street Music Festival is being held May 2-4, 2014 and is the 38th Anniversary of the festival. It is held in Tom Lee Park, which is a beautiful 25 acre riverfront park at the foot of historic Beale Street overlooking the Mississippi River. The festival attracts music enthusiasts from all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries. The festival typically hosts 100,000+ people for each of the first two nights of the events and usually attracts a large crowd for the big-name finales on Sunday night. Over the past decade, more than 1.1 million music fans have flocked to the festivals for its eclectic mix of contemporary rock, blues, soul and modern talent.

This year’s line-up appears to be one that won’t leave anyone disappointed:

Kid Rock – Alabama Shakes – Foster the People – Avenged Sevenfold – Pretty Lights – Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion – The String Cheese Incident – Patti LaBelle – STS9 – 311 Juicy J – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – Jerry Lee Lewis – Third Eye Blind – Seether – Bootsy Collins – Chick Corea & the Vigil – Grouplove – Fitz & the Tantrums – Blues Traveler – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Dropkick Murphys – Wolfmother – Anthrax – Twenty One Pilots – Dickey Betts & The Great Southern – Buddy Guy – Jason Isbell – MS MR – Canned Heat – Project Pat – Big Gigantic – Beats Antique – Leftover Salmon – North Mississippi Allstars – Los Rabanes – The Dandy Warhols – Tommy Castro – Lord T & Eloise – The Carolina Chocolate Drops – Eric Gales – Ana Popovic – AER – Black Stone Cherry – Black Joe Lewis – Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings – Surrender the Fall – Tony Joe White – St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Kenny Neal – Reba Russell – Memphis Dawls – Will Tucker – Blind Mississippi Morris – Brandon Bailey – Daddy Mack Blues Band – David Evans – FreeWorld – Fuzzy Jeffries – Ghost Town Blues Band – Herman Green – Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers – Kenny Brown – Leo Bud Welch – Lucky Peterson – Quinn Sullivan – Robert “Wolfman” Belfour

For ticket information or to learn more about the festival, visit their website: Beale Street Music Festival 2014


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Memphis’ Top 10 Code Violations

Memphis junkAccording to a recent blog post from the City of Memphis, here are the 10 most common property violations in Memphis & Shelby County:

1. Accumulation of Junk, Trash, and Debris

It is a violation to accumulate junk, trash and debris on residential property. This includes discarded items, auto parts, appliances, furniture, building materials, tires, paper, cardboard, plastics, dead limbs and branches. All garbage should be disposed of by placing it in the appropriate container and placing it on the curb for collection. Call solid waste to arrange for pick up.

2. Open Storage of Material and Furnishings

It is a violation to openly store on residential property any equipment, materials or furnishing that is dangerous to public health, safety or welfare or that creates an unsightly condition that would reduce property value or promote urban blight. This may include, but not limited to outdoor use of indoor furniture, or outside storage of household appliances, auto parts or building materials.

3. Parking & Storing Inoperable (Junk) Motor Vehicles

It is a violation to park, store or leave any vehicle that is rusted, wrecked, junked, partially dismantled, inoperable or abandoned upon any property for ten (10 days unless the vehicle is completely enclosed within a building.

4. Excessive Weeds, Grass, Trees and Shrubs

It is a violation to allow grass or weeds to grow over 12 inches high, or allow plants, shrubs, or trees to grow in a manner that will obstruct traffic or the visibility of motorist. This includes overgrowth to trees and vegetation that block sidewalks or hang into public streets or utility services.

5. Substandard Structures and Fences

It is a violation to neglect accessory structures, including storage sheds, garages and fences. They are to be maintained structurally sound and in good repair to serve their intended purpose. This includes damage to framing, walls, ceilings, floors, decking and roof.

6. Off Street Parking

It is a violation to park or store any vehicle on the lawn/grass of any residential property. All vehicles must park on concrete, asphalt, or other hard dustless surface approved by the city. The number of vehicles parked at a dwelling shall not exceed more than four (4) vehicles.

7. Special Use/Recreational Vehicles & Equipment

No person shall park or store any motorized vehicle or equipment such as boats, campers and trailers and no more than one (1) camping trailer or recreation vehicle per house. No parts of such parking or storage area shall be located in the front yard. It shall also be unlawful for any person to park or store any such vehicles on any residential street.

8. Commercial Vehicles and Equipment

It is a violation to park, stand or store any commercial truck exceeding 8,000 pounds in weight or truck tractor on a residential property or a residential street. Contact Shelby County Code for further information or complaints.

9. Abandoned and Derelict Structures

It is a violation for any property owner to refuse to properly secure any structure he or she owns to prevent loitering of vagrants or criminal activity. This includes but is not limited to any vacant house, building or structure where the doors and windows are broken or open to causal entry.

10. General Service & Repair Shops

It is a violation to own or operate a commercial business in a district zoned residential without proper permits. Certain commercial establishments are strictly prohibited in residential zoned areas. This includes any for profit general repair services, such as automotive, equipment or appliance repair shop. Contact Shelby County Code for further information or complaints.

Is your property in violation of any of these items? If so, now is the time to get them corrected.  Need help getting it done? Give me a call for some references!

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101 Things to Do In Memphis #7: Southern Hot Wing Festival

SHWF logoOrganized in 2003 by Memphian Paul Gagliano, the Southern Hot Wing Festival was founded to create a fun local event that would raise money to benefit a great local charity, The Ronald McDonald House. Supported by numerous dedicated local sponsors, contributors, team participants, bands, and volunteers, this event continues to grow and expand in its size and reach into the generous pockets of Mid-Southerners. Now in its 12th year, it has officially become an annual Memphis tradition. In fact, $23,000 was donated to the Ronald McDonald House in 2013 from the festival.

The fun and excitement of the event include a wing-cooking contest, wing eating contest, live bands, silent auction, kids corner, and much more! The event is open to the general public is held annually on the 3rd Saturday in April, though this year the festival is being held on April 26th. The rain date is generally the following Sunday, unless otherwise noted on the website. In 2012, the annual event moved from South Main to Jefferson Davis Park, now called the Mississippi River Park, on Riverside Drive. Participants can enter a team in the contests, volunteer to help, or just show up to enjoy the food, music and fun!

SHWF chicken

As in years past the event will again pack the street with the sweet smell of hot wings, terrific music and entertainment, which the whole family can enjoy. So whether you are an aficionado looking to savor some of the best wings around town or you are looking to compete for a shot to show off your best wings… this is the right event for you!

The festival runs from 11 am to 8 pm. The full line-up can be found on their website: Southern Hot Wing Festival


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Our current Memphis Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is changing to a new MLS system called Paragon. The property searches that we set up for clients will not transfer to the new system. If you are currently receiving email updates on current homes in the market and wish to continue to do so (or if you’d like to start receiving them), please let me know your search criteria and I will set you up in our new system. You will not be able receive emails with the new system unless you ask to be set up.

MT MLS Changes

Please just email me at Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com with your search criteria (price range, beds, baths, area, etc) and I will quickly get you put into the new system.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience this causes!

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Memphis Real Estate Market Report – April 2014

Click Here to view a printable copy of our April 2014 – Memphis Real Estate Market Report.

The Memphis and Shelby County area were up 6% in March with 1,189 sales recorded for the month compared to 1,127 recorded last March. Average sales prices were up 6% to $140,107 compared to $132,680 last March. Bank sales continue to decline which is awesome.

If you look at my report with the price band – the numbers show the overall market is a normal sellers market at 5.65 – balanced is 6 months of inventory. My zip code report shows you the areas of moderate appreciation and the months of inventory. Again, if I did not show your zip code just call, email or text me and I will be glad to send it to you.

If you are interested in selling your home or are interested in buying a home, please feel free to contact me at 901-230-2610 or 901-756-8900. You can email me at Melissa@YourKeytoMemphis.com.

Be sure to visit www.YourKeytoMemphis.com for all of your real estate needs.


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Memphis Real Estate Market Report – March 2014

Click Here view a printable copy of our March 2014 – Memphis Real Estate Market Report.

If you are interested in selling your home or are interested in buying a home, please feel free to contact me at 901-230-2610 or 901-756-8900. You can email me at Melissa@YourKeytoMemphis.com.

Be sure to visit www.YourKeytoMemphis.com for all of your real estate needs.

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #6: Golf & Games Family Park

Golf and Games puttSince 1966, Golf & Games Family Park has been a place where kids of all ages have gathered for hours of family fun. With a motto of Forty Acres of Fun, there is a wide array of activities available at Golf & Games Family Park.

Golf & Games Family Park offers 54 holes of miniature golf on three separate courses. The courses are landscaped with beautiful flower, plants and trees. A waterfall even winds its way through all three courses with wooden bridges traveling over the waterways. For a little more competition, Golf & Games regularly holds regular Tuesday night tournaments with cash prizes.

The two-level, 6,000 square foot Lasertron arena is the largest in the Mid-South. Players can travel up and down ramps, hide behind pillars and arches for protection. There is also an observation booth for those who just want to watch the action.

If you like Go Karts, you are going to love the SuperTrack! It is the longest, fastest, and largest go kart track in the Memphis area and offers single and twin seat go-karts. Because the Super Track is designed for older racers, there is a FunTrack option for races between 44”-54” tall. It has all the fun and safety of the SuperTrack expect the carts run on a smaller engine.

The batting range offers nine batting cages with computerized automatic pitching machines that pitch slow-pitch softballs, fast-pitch softballs, and baseballs at speeds from 40 mph to 70 mph.

Golf and Games Sky TrailWith a virtual roller coaster and video games galore, kids and kids at heart will love the arcade. Air hockey, Skeeball, video racing, and crane games are just the beginning! And don’t forget to collect your tickets to redeem them for prizes.

The driving range features flags at a variety of distances so that golfers may practice various clubs from one location. With both a putting green area and a chipping green area golfers may work specifically on a part of your game that many ranges can’t offer.

In addition to go-karts, ranges, and miniature golf, Golf & Games Family Park has a selection of kiddie rides for young children and bumper boats for older kids and adults. They also offer several different birthday party packages.

Golf & Games Family Park is located at 5484 Summer Avenue, Memphis, TN 38134. Check out their website for more information on all the fun they have to offer. http://www.golfandgamesmemphis.com/


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Rent Vs Buy: The Answer May Surprise You

Rent or buyTrulia recently released their Rent vs. Buy Report. The report explains that homeownership remains cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metro areas by an average of 38%!

The other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Even though prices increased sharply in many markets over the past year, low mortgage rates have kept homeownership from becoming more expensive than renting.
  • Some markets might tip in favor of renting this year as prices continue to rise faster than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due both to the strengthening economy and Fed tapering.
  • Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.

Buying a home now makes sense. You can lock in a mortgage payment before home prices and mortgage rates rise as experts expect they will. If you rent, your housing expense will only continue to increase.

If you are ready to buy, call me today at 901-756-8900!

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101 Things To Do in Memphis #5: Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival

Africa in April dancersHeld annually in historic Robert Church Park, the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival is on of the larger cultural festivals in the Memphis area. The festival is now in it’s 28th year. Each year the focus of the festival is a different African country. The honored country for 2014 is Burkina Faso, which is located in West Africa. It is home to more than 15.75 million people and is about 106,000 square miles in size.

This year’s festival is being held April 16-20 and visitors can expect to experience a variety of cultural components including:

The Africa in April festival is never short on food vendors. You will have the opportunity to experience new foods that come from the honored country or other African regions. Or if you prefer more familiar tastes, you can enjoy southern favorites like fried catfish and barbecue.

One of the most beloved facets of the festival is the entertainment. Watch as African dancers and musicians perform and delight the crowds. On Friday morning of the festival, there will also be a diversity parade.

There is no need to go overseas to buy authentic African wares as the Africa in April festival features many vendors who are selling authentic African goods including art, clothing, home goods, and even health and beauty products.

While the vendors, entertainment, and food will be available throughout the duration of the festival, here is the schedule of events:

  • Africa in April shoppingWednesday, April 16, 2014: International Entrepreneur’s Day – African International Business & Economic Trade Luncheon held at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis from 11:30 am – 1 pm.
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014: International Vendors/Marketplace Set-Up Day held at Robert R. Church Park from 11 am until 5 pm.
  • Friday, April 18, 2014: Children & Senior Citizen’s Day held on Beale Street at Robert R. Church Park. There is an International Diversity Parade at 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 19, 2014: Family Health/Wellness, Community Day and Blues Showcase held at Robert R. Church Park.
  • Sunday, April 20, 2014: International African-American Music Day – A Jazz, Gospel, and Reggae Festival held at Robert R. Church Park


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Calling All Artists!

South Main MosaicSouth Main – Memphis’ first official arts district – is a mosaic of originals.  To celebrate this unique district’s originality, The Downtown Memphis Commission is seeking design proposals for South Main Mosaic, a new public art program in the historic arts district. Selected artists will design, fabricate and install artwork for display from October 3, 2014 through October 2015. This effort is designed to generate high-quality, temporary public art that will add visual interest and vibrancy to the neighborhood.

Eligible mediums include, but are not limited to, sculpture, artistic lighting, murals, vacant storefront enhancements, video, and new media work. Artwork that is interactive, kinetic, or interpretive of the history of the district or site is encouraged. Proposed artwork should be suitable for outdoor display and have a life expectancy of at least 18 months. Existing artwork is also eligible for consideration.

The deadline for project submissions is April 25, 2014 by 4 pm and is open to all artists (at least 18 years old) residing within 250 miles of Memphis, TN.

To learn more about this contest and to get an application, click here.

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