Ask Val

May 16, 2011

Life at Emerald Ridge

Emerald Ridge is one of the best kept secrets in Calera, AL

*COMMUNITY POOL

*GEORGE ROY PARK ADJACENT

*COMMUNITY SIDEWALKS AND STREETLIGHTS

*PROFESSIONALLY LANDSCAPED ENTRANCES

*HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION W/ RESTRICTIONS TO PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT

At Emerald Ridge, you can enjoy a lifestyle of simplicity and convenience with all the comforts of home.  Emerald Ridge is located just minutes from I-65, Colonial Promenade Shopping Center, City Hall, banks, doctors, theaters, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum and Timberline Golf – Jerry Pate Designed Golf Course.  You can stroll to the George W. Roy Park which features playground equipment, covered picnic area, restrooms and a huge area to walk the dog or play with the kids.

Children of Emerald Ridge attend Calera Elementary School, Calera Middle School and Calera High school.

This community is brought to you exclusively by www.estructures.com

For more information, please call Anthony Arnone or Scott Lewis with Keller Williams Realty located at  750 Colonial Promenade Pkwy Ste 4000, Alabaster, AL 35007 205-605-1000 .

Emerald Ridge homes stand apart from the rest…The Difference Is In The Details

For pre-approval to purchase call Valerie Springer at 205-995-7283 x 305 or visit website at  www.vshomeloans.com for online application.  These homes qualify for 100% financing!

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

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May 12, 2011

100% Financing for Victims of Storms in Alabama

While many are suffering a great loss, there is a glimmer of hope with FHA 203(h) financing.  If this program could benefit you, please call Valerie Springer Home Mortgage Specialist, Birmingham, AL 205-995-7283×305.  This is offered to all considered in Federal Disaster area including Tuscaloosa AL, Pleasant Grove, AL, Hackleburg, AL, etc.

  1. Section 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims

FHA provides insurance to assist victims of presidential declared disasters. Individuals or families whose residences have been destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or repairs are necessary are eligible for 100% financing for the purchase of a home.

  1. Requirements
    • The Borrower’s previous residence must be located in the disaster area and destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary. The Borrower may be the owner of the property or the tenant of the damaged property who now desires to purchase a property. If the Borrower was a tenant, he or she should be shown on the rental agreement of the property that was destroyed or damaged
    • Documentation showing a permanent residence in the affected area prior to the disaster includes a valid driver’s license, a voter registration card, utility bills, etc.
    • Documentation regarding destruction of the residence may include an insurance report, an inspection report by an independent fee inspector or government agency, or conclusive photos showing destruction or damage
    • Eligible for 100% financing not including closing costs, based on 100% of the sales price
    • Closing costs and prepaid expenses must be paid by the borrower in cash, paid through premium pricing, or paid by the seller subject to the 6% limitation on seller concessions
    • Must meet standard credit qualifications
    • Up-Front MIP and Monthly/Annual MIP apply. The Up-Front MIP premium may be financed into the mortgage. The Monthly/Annual premium is paid by the borrower as part of the monthly mortgage payment
    • The Borrower must purchase a single-family detached home or an FHA Approved (or FHA Spot Approvable) condominium unit
    • Maximum debt–to-income ratio is 43% without compensating factors and can be exceeded with appropriate compensating factors
    • Maximum mortgage limits/amounts are the same for Section 203(h) as for Section 203(b)
    • The application date must be within one year of the President’s declaration of the disaster
    • Section 203(h) is used in conjunction with Section 203(b), 251, etc. (i.e., 203(b)/203(h)/251)
    • Disaster victims with Secretary-Held mortgages (low balance mortgages previously assigned to HUD due to payment default) are eligible for new FHA-insured mortgages provided the borrower was current with their forbearance agreement at the time of the disaster and all payments for the preceding 12 months were made within the month due
    • The mortgage amount may be rounded down to the nearest $1.00
  2. Underwriting and Closing Instructions
    • May be underwritten on a Direct Endorsement basis and do not require HUD prior-approval
    • Must be submitted for endorsement within 90 days of closing
    • Correspondent Funding does not participate in the FHA construction/permanent program
  3. Insuring Delinquent Loans
    • The FHA Home Ownership Center (HOC) having jurisdiction over affected areas have been granted authority on a case-by-case basis to endorse mortgages which are delinquent provided the delinquency is due to disaster related circumstance.   
  4. If you wish to apply online go to www.vshomeloans.com and fill out an application.  Someone will contact you within 24 hours.  FEMA

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

May 11, 2011

Give Or Take

Filed under: ASK VAL,Dear Val,Family — Valerie Springer @ 8:54 pm

Throughout my childhood and into my adult years I have heard the saying  “Give or Take”…I believe most would see the scales as being even but I believe there is a far deeper meaning to this quip from the past.

After the events of the past weeks, my mind has been in over-drive and I have tried to take inventory of my journey up until now.  The people who have been in my life in the past… alive or dead, those who showed up un-announced…for good or bad, those who are part of my life through no choice of my own…blessing or nightmare and those who will forever remain a part of my existence…because of a deep love or bond that is never going to be explained. 

I believe there are really ONLY two types of people, but for my blog I am going to say three types and you will understand in a moment.  The two types are as follows:

*GIVERS’

*TAKERS’

The third would be:

*TAKERS’ WHO BELIEVE (or try to convince others) THEY ARE GIVERS’

Givers’ are gracious.  They lovingly spend their time trying to help others and are always there to lend support and have a kind word for their family, friends or strangers.   The dictionary meaning says to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; to bestow; to give back; return or restore: bring back to life by the way they treat others.

Takers’ are only looking out for their best interest and how they are suited.  They have little regard for others outisde their immediate circle.  The dictionary says a taker is someone who will voluntarily take hold or possession by any means possible; to control by force or artifice; to take personal gain at the expense of others.  Existing only to see what they can gain from others.

Takers’ who believe (or try to convince others) they are Givers’ are the worst.  Deep inside they know their manipulations but believe they have convinced those around their motives are genuine.  They are not thankful nor appreciative unless it benefits them directly and then they  believe they are deserving of any gratuities they bring into their own fold; greedy.  These people have no regard for others unless they are about to be exposed.  These wreak havoc on everyone in their path but are quick to blame others for their misfortune and slow to take responsibility.

In business as well as personal life we meet all three.  Givers’ are fabulous and as a Mortgage Consultant in the Birmingham, AL  area I have been blessed with my share, thankfully.  Takers’, I have had those as well, if everything were easy we would never learn life’s lessons.  The last…I refer to another lender!  (wisdom)

Please call Valerie Springer for all home mortgages, I would be honored to help you.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

 

 

May 9, 2011

STRUCTURES, INC. ~ Remodeling Specialist

In light of all the storms in our surrounding areas I thought it would be great to feature information on home remodeling or renovations.  Birmingham is rich in experienced contractors eager not only to get your home “livable” again, but the showcase you want it to be.

If you have had damage to your home, trust your work to an industry professional who  lives in  the community which they work and who will be looking “eye to eye” with you for years to come. 

Erica Neel, Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders (GBAHB), is Remodelers Chairman.  Erica’s company is Structures, Inc. and you can reach them at 205-663-4252.  Erica has passion about her work and this evidenced in one of the articles I read in GBAHB Remodel Birmingham.  I remember when Erica was born, now she is having a baby of her own…

“The upcoming birth of my first child has made me reflect on my childhood.  I think of all the traditions that were established and where they took place.  Like many of you, I can visualize the small details of the rooms I inhabited as a child.  I can picture the butcher block formica countertops with the harvest gold appliances in my first home.  I can also remember the sunken den and how the shag carpet felt on my feet.  In my second home, I remember the beautiful oak cabinetry in the kitchen and the arched double door at the entry.  These memories are intertwined with the holidays, family gatherings, and the daily life we led in our home.

So often we forget about how important our homes are to us.  Many times we think about the maintenance or the housework we have to do to keep them up, but we must also remember that our surroundings in our home make us feel certain emotions.  We all want to live somewhere that is pleasing to us whether that be with carpeted or hardwood floors, stained or painted cabinetry, or with brick or siding on our house.  Our homes are an extension of our personality and taste and serve an integral part in our daily lives.  We need to love them.”

Spoken by a true industry professional, “I want to assure you that my industry has many qualified professionals who are able to transform your current home into a remodeled masterpiece or create a perfect custom home from scratch.  Now is the time to act.  Interest rates are at an all time low, but are steadily rising.  Labor prices are at record low levels.  We understand that in these challenging economic times, we must spend our money wisely.  That time is now.  Let’s make memories together.”

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

205-995-7283 x 305

 

May 6, 2011

USDA Repair Program

Filed under: Alabama Tornadoes April 2011,ASK VAL,Realtor,USDA Rural Development — Valerie Springer @ 2:57 pm

Good Morning Realtors!!!

If you have a listing in an area that qualifies for a USDA Rural Develoopment Loan, which was damaged during the storm, I may be able to help with a new option.

I have a program that may allow for purchase and repairs depending on the severity of the damage.  If you find yourself in this position please let me know and I will be happy to get the information and submit for approval.

You can reach me at 205-995-7283 x 305 or valerie.springer@nflp.com or visit my website at www.vshomeloans.com

I would be honored to help.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

May 2, 2011

DO YOU LOVE ME? TEND MY SHEEP John 21:15-19

Filed under: Alabama Tornadoes April 2011,ASK VAL,Family — Valerie Springer @ 2:19 am

This one I have thought about since Wednesday April 27, 2011.  “Sweet Home Alabama” was ravaged by tornadoes and I am forever changed. 

Thursday morning I woke to a heavy heart and wondered what could I do?  I called my friend Rhonda Brantley  and before we had spoken for 10 minutes there was a plan.  Not one she thought about or one I had thought of but two minds playing off each other knowing we must do something.  You see, Rhonda’s daughter Kate was in a dorm at University of Alabama.  We knew Kate was physically fine but she was hungry and those words to a “Momma” are heartbreaking.  If Kate was hungry so were others.

Rhonda called Merry Margaret and before you know it we had donations coming from Joe’s Italian, Chuys, and P F Chang’s.  A few phone calls and a post to facebook and we had individuals calling in with monetary donations from different states.  We posted a place where we would meet to gather and load our vehicles.  Strangers were showing up with chips, pop-tarts, water, honey buns, peanut butter crackers, fruit and gatorade.  Others bought hot dogs, Tazikis, Chic-fil-a and  about 300 Quizno sandwiches.  We purchased cookies, plates, wet wipes, forks, napkins, pudding, jello, apples and more water.

 

Together Rhonda, Merry Margaret and I loaded up in the Denali with all other space packed to the ceiling.  We were followed by Michelle Gill and Louis who were in a truck filled to capacity headed to T-Town to feed about 500!  (yes in a matter of about 3 hours, by the grace of God had great food to make a difference for some hungry college students)   We had heard over and over how we were never going to get into Tuscaloosa but we knew beyond a doubt if we had to walk it in this food would get to those in need.

The Lord has a way of walking before us and lighting our path and he didn’t let us down this time.  We got off at the Cottondale exit to buy  200 more hamburgers and roast beef sandwiches.  Unfortunately we could not get in the door and at that moment started to realize this was the first area folks from Tuscaloosa could get too that had food and power.  These two young men (college students) pulled into the spot beside us while we were re-grouping in parking lot.   Since we didn’t have a GPS signal, internet or cell signal we needed someone who knew their way around and could get us to the Rec center on campus.  The guys said they would take us but they needed to get something to eat…we had lots of food and when we said P F Chang’s they graciously said for us to follow them.  Jonathan from Charlotte, NC and Arturo from Miami, FL  offically our angels.  I have tried to find them on FB but so far unsuccessfully.  I HAVE FOUND THEM!  🙂

We had not traveled very far when we were introduced to destruction.  First, tears streamed down my cheeks and then I became very nauseated.  I thought I was going to need Merry Margaret to pull over so I could throw up.  This feeling never left. 

Our two angels brought us into the back side of the rec center and we were greeted by students eager to help us unload.  Thankful for food and water and  wishing to share with others.  We spent about an hour here and Kate encouraged us to move on to harder hit areas.

 

We re-loaded and headed for 15th street.  We were able to get to a command post and the police officers suggested we take food to the Rosedale and Alberta City areas.   We made our way back down 15th street and this was when I first felt like we were in a war zone.

 It was almost like an out-of-body experience.  I was there but it seemed as if I were really just watching this unfold without really being physically present.   We followed the Crime Lab  bus and even though we knew what it was didn’t say a word.

After loading the cars again with food and drink we headed to Alberta City.  The police officers would stop us but once they knew we had food let us enter areas that were off limits.  (again, a way made by the Lord)  They would tell us to be careful and we would proceed.

The sights we had seen up until this point were terrible but there are no words to describe Alberta City.   I saw things I have never experienced, looked people in the face who literally had nothing, saw families walking out with everything they had in their arms and danger looming all around us.  You could smell freshly cut wood, gas, a burnt scent and finally death.

I was emotionally drained and so thankful I was part of this journey.  I now have a new kind of bond with Rhonda, Merry Margaret, Kate, Michelle and Louis, we have walked through this terrible valley together.  We were not hurt, did not have damage to our belongings or home and all of our family and friends were safe and accounted for.  We did not see or pull bodies from the wreckage and still…best I could tell, none of us were able to function on Friday beyond existence.

 I knew I would blog about my experiences but just not sure when my mind could wrap around what my eyes witnessed.  Today in church it all came together when our teaching was on John 21:15-19 Jesus asked Simon Peter three times, “do you love me?” and three times Simon Peter said yes.  Jesus replied, “feed my lambs, tend my sheep and feed my sheep” after each question. 

As Christians we may have hurt someone or been hurt ourselves, but there is nothing we can do the Lord will not forgive.  Even if He has to reassure us “three” times.  We can still be His hands and feet and work for His glory.

Thank you Lord for keeping your hand of protection over my family and friends.  I pray for those affected by the storms and ask for them strength to endure.  I am so thankful I was allowed to be a messenger for you on Thursday.  Still listening for Your voice showing me the next step.  Believing for miracles.

DO YOU LOVE ME?  TEND MY SHEEP   John 21:15-19 

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

205-995-7283 x 305

www.vshomeloans.com

April 6, 2011

USDA Rural Development Loans ~ 100% Financing

I have some great news to share with everyone.  Effective this week, Network Funding Mortgage Bank will be able to internally underwrite USDA Rural Development Loans, 100% financing, in house!!!

This means our rural development loans will receive the same great attention and turn times as other Network Funding  LP other loan products. 

Rural Development and HECM Reverse Mortgage were previously brokered out.  I have been advised Reverse Mortgage will soon be in house as well.

If you are in the market for a USDA Rural Development loan with 100% financing or a HECM Reverse Mortgage loan in Birmingham, AL then Valerie Springer is your gal.  205-995-7283 x 305

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

April 4, 2011

Three Major Credit Reporting Bureaus

When applying for a mortgage whether it be for purchase or refinance a tri-merge credit report is pulled for an evaluation of the clients current and past credit history.

The three bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Depending on the creditor they many report to one or all bureaus.  Credit scores can vary between agencies so to qualify for financing I will work off your middle credit score to determine your rate.

It is a great idea to get a credit analysis at least once a year.  In doing so you can keep on top of your credit report and quickly take care of any discrepancies.

The bureau information is as follows:

Experian Consumer Relations, 888-397-3742,  P O Box 2002, Allen, TX  75013  www.experian.com

Equifax Consumer Relations, 800-685-1111, P O Box 740241, Atlanta, GA  30374-0193 www.equifax.com

TransUnion Consumer Relations, 800-888-4213, P O Box 1000, Chester, PA  19022 www.transunion.com

The above addresses would be where disputes are mailed to the individual bureau.  I suggest dispute be sent certified mail return receipt requested.  Credit bureau has 30 days to investigate and then derogatory is either confirmed or removed.

If you need a free credit analysis in the Birmingham, AL area, please contact Valerie Springer .  I would be honored to help you with your financing needs.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

March 31, 2011

Thunderstorm Warning Safety

Filed under: ASK VAL,Dear Val — Valerie Springer @ 6:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

 

Thunderstorm Safety

Spring is the time to start thinking about weather safety.  Spring can bring severe thunderstorms and tornados. Knowing what to do in the event of a weather emergency can be crucial.

* Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates.  Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.

*Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.

*If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed.  Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

*If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.  If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.

*Avoid electrical equipment and telephones.  Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.

*Shutter windows and close outside doors securely.  Keep away from windows.

*Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.

*If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park.  Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.  Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

*If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.  Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

 

Know the Difference

Severe Thunderstorm Watch– Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area.  Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning– Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

Thunderstorm fact:

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at

least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour.  Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes.  Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Visit our website to learn more,

www.alredcross.org

If you are in need of residential financing the Birmingham AL area Valerie Springer is your gal.

Valerie Springer

205-995-7283 x 305

March 29, 2011

Purchase and Refinance Approved w/ Credit to 600

Effective March 28, 2011  Network Funding Mortgage Bank now offers FHA Refinance  and Purchase with credit scores down to 600 in many instances.

Not all 600 scores will qualify, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the score.  For further information please contact Valerie Springer .

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

205-995-7283 x 305

 

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