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Trump Determines the Future of HUD

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first_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Budget HUD Trump Trump Determines the Future of HUD Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago  Print This Post March 16, 2017 2,066 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News On Wednesday, President Trump released his “America First” 2018 budget blueprint. The president plans to reduce spending in nearly every department, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and move the difference into defense spending. HUD specifically will see a $6.2 billion budget cut on 2018, a 13.2 percent decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level.When the Wall Street Journal leaked a preliminary draft of the budget blueprint, including the proposed $6 billion in cuts to HUD, MReport noted that Secretary of HUD Ben Carson emailed his staff to reassure that those numbers were not final.“Today you may have read preliminary HUD FY18 budget negotiations in national media reports. Please understand that budget negotiations currently underway are very similar to those that have occurred in previous years,” the email read. “This budget process is a lengthy, back and forth process that will continue. It’s unfortunate that preliminary numbers were published but, please take some comfort in knowing that starting numbers are rarely final numbers. Rest assured, we are working hard to support those programs that help so many Americans, focus on our core mission, and ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely and effectively.”The proposed plan will cut funding for the Community Development Block program, an estimated $3 billion. The Federal Government has spent over $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1974. Reasoning behind the cut is that the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations, and has not yielded results. Other low-priority HUD programs slated to be cut are the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, saving $1.1 billion.“The discretionary budget plan released today by President Trump aligns with Agency plans to provide rental assistance to low-income and vulnerable households and to help families achieve self-sufficiency,” said HUD Secretary Carson in a statement. “The budget also promotes fiscal responsibility at HUD by promoting better efficiencies and leveraging IT modernization. I look forward to working with the President and remain keenly focused on HUD’s mission and core values.”Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney addressed the concerns of citizens in his preface to the budget blueprint.“This 2018 Budget Blueprint will not add to the deficit. It has been crafted much the same way any American family creates its own budget while paying bills around their kitchen table; it makes hard choices,” said Mulvaney. “The President’s commitment to fiscal responsibility is historic. Not since early in President Reagan’s first term have more tax dollars been saved and more Government inefficiency and waste been targeted. Every corner of the Federal budget is scrutinized, every program tested, every penny of taxpayer money watched over.” Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Staff Writer The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Budget HUD Trump 2017-03-16 Staff Writer Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles Previous: Bankruptcy Filings on the Rise Next: OCC Expands Banking Charters to FinTechs Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Trump Determines the Future of HUD The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

Letters From Around The World No. 4

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first_imgBY HENRY BENDER Hey Gang,Queen Victoria has her eye out for old Blackbeard. No BS! We’re under pirate alert! Captain Connery issued the warning after we departed Sri Lanka. Right now, we’re two degrees north of the equator, 68 degrees east of the Prime Meridian, heading southwest toward the Seychelles. Seas are calm, so Her Majesty’s zipping along at 21 knots. Flying fish are everywhere, and the sun’s beaming. Ninety degrees Fahrenheit, poolside! There isn’t a cloud in the sky. If we’re not captured or sunk, we’ll arrive in Port Victoria in a couple days.For a few nights, though, as we transit this sector of the Indian Ocean, the outside promenade on Deck 3 will be shut down, and Queen Victoria’s external lighting will be reduced to running lights and several deck lights. Guests in staterooms with balconies have been told to keep balcony lights off. And, curtains closed.  Yesterday, an exercise ran us through what to do in case we’re attacked. Of course, being a Brit and a master of understatement, Captain Connery didn’t say “attacked.” He said, “In the event of pirate activity.”It wasn’t much of a drill. Guests only had to return to their staterooms. Those in rooms with balconies and portholes sat in their hallway away from cabin doors. Guests with inside cabins enjoyed the luxury of being in their rooms.  A loud speaker summoned firefighters and security personnel to the outside promenade. Perhaps they were handed broomsticks and kitchen knives. I don’t know. Queen Victoria doesn’t carry firearms — so I’m told.In Aberdeen, Hong Kong, people still live on their boats.Passengers were jittery. Bits of bluster. False bravado. Empty threats. All the stuff that disguises fear floated down our hallway.“Bring ’em on, I was trained in hand to hand combat.”“Damn if I’m going to Somalia!”“I’ll jump ship.”Truth be told, no one knows how they’ll react.Karen asked if I was scared. “Heck no!” I lied. Then I tried being funny. “This is nothing compared to that crocodile cruise you had us on. Remember?”Mates, I was a basket case on that outing.Stubby the crocodile is tempted with a piece of meat.Queen Victoria was berthed in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, when dear wifey got an itch to do something wild. Another city highlight tour wasn’t going to cut it for her. So, we ended up on the Adelaide River, 40 miles outside Darwin.Now mind you, the Adelaide is one of eight croc-infested rivers flowing through Australia’s Top End. Over 1,600 crocs swim in its waters. And yours truly suffers croc phobia. No lie! Remember Peter Pan? Well, the croc chasing Captain Hook scared the bejesus out of me. I was only five. Of course, Karen wasn’t aware of this. But then again, why would she? Twenty years of marriage, we’ve never seen Peter Pan together. Or, encountered crocs — until now. Anyhow, I was a Nervous Nellie. Whole ride out on the bus I kept mumbling: “Crocodile rocking is something shocking.” You recall that lyric, don’t you? It’s from Elton John’s hit single — Crocodile Rock. Karen thought I was trying to be funny. I wasn’t. I was reciting the line to keep from going bonkers. You know — a mantra.Out on the river I got worse. First, our guide, Captain Nigel, gave a spiel about lifejackets. “Whatever you do,” he said, “don’t put on a life vest if we sink. Crocs love orange. Just swim like hell for shore.”Swim like hell for shore? My heart bounced into overdrive. My best stroke is the doggie paddle.Then, five minutes later, a croc arrived for a meet and greet. I nearly brought up breakfast! This creature could’ve swallowed me whole. It was one of those Crocodile Dundee monsters. We were about a quarter mile down river.“Meet Stubby,” said Captain Nigel. “He’s a salty. A croc bit off part of his foot. They’re very territorial.”“Wonder how big the other beast was,” I whispered to Karen. I was turning into jelly. The croc lunges out of the water for his meal.Just so you know, two types of crocs make Australia their home: saltwater and freshwater. Salties feature broad snouts; they can grow to six meters—that’s 21 feet.  Freshies, on the other hand, their snouts are tapered and they can grow to four meters or 14 feet. Both can live in salt and fresh water.“Freshies, they’ll bite you,” said Capt. Nigel. “But only if you step on them. They’re quite timid. It’s the salties you have to watch out for. Like Stubby here. They’re aggressive and can crush a pig’s head in a single bite.”Talk about being a Nervous Nellie. I could barely watch as Captain Nigel’s assistant, a young Sheila named Donna, extended a pole and dangled a handful of chicken before Stubby’s eyes. At first, Mr. Stubby wasn’t too interested. Perhaps he was crotchety. Captain Nigel said a salty can live 70 years, and Stubby was pushing sixty. Anyway, he just swam by. But after a lap around our pontoon boat, the old boy couldn’t resist the swaying bait.First his snout, then his head, then half his body rose from the muddy river — an easy feat since a croc’s tail is pure muscle. Opening his mouth, he revealed a jagged set of pearly whites. Then swoosh. He disappeared. So did the chicken. Everyone applauded. Except me. I was trembling inside and out. Karen though didn’t notice. She was too caught up in the spectacle. It wasn’t until maybe forty minutes later that she overheard me mumbling “Crocodile rocking is something shocking.” I was on the edge of the seat, my hands clenched, head bowed, staring at my feet.“Stop it, would you,” she said, elbowing my ribs. “You’re embarrassing.”It wasn’t until we were on the bus, halfway back to Darwin, that I confessed my secret. But still, that didn’t get me any sympathy. Karen still thought I was loony. But hey, crocodiles scare me! Always have; always will. Panoramic views of Hong Kong’s soaring skyline unfold from Victoria Peak.Anyhow, sitting outside our cabin, Karen began imagining “What if” scenarios. What if we’re captured? What if they torture us? What if they kill you?I mean, she was terrifying me!So, finally, I slipped on a macho face and said, “Babe, quit worrying! People don’t take trips; trips take people. There isn’t squat we can do.”  Well, it was either my false bravado or John Steinbeck’s line from Travels with Charley that made an impression. Because Karen sighed, then smiled, and once again all was well.Anyhow, pirates or no pirates, mates, this trip’s been a whirlwind. And before I sign off, let me bring you up-to-date. After New Zealand—that’s where I last left off — Queen Victoria sailed for Sydney, Australia. Yes, we arrived safely. Of course, we toured Sydney’s opera house, who wouldn’t? It’s famous. We also boozed it up in the Fortune of War, Sydney’s oldest pub. A chalkboard sign reading, I can’t walk on water, but I can stagger on beer lured us in.  We even made it over to Manly Beach, a surfers’ haven, where we hung out with Mark and Julie Preece, owners of Manly Longboard Company. They were gearing up for the VISSLA Surf Pro championships.A stop in Sydney, Australia, includes a tour of the famous Opera House.In Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, dear Karen realized a life-long dream—she held a koala bear. A soft gray-haired tyke with big round eyes named Connor. A day later in the Whitsunday Islands, a Maori Wrasse stared me down while I realized my dream of scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. Over on exotic Bali, we paid our tribute to the Hindu god, Vishnu. A giant 80-foot statue of the god, riding atop a mythological bird, called Garuda, can be seen for miles across the countryside. In the southernmost part of the island, we visited one of the most sacred temples of the Balinese people—the Uluwatu Cliff Temple. Believe me, the heat and humidity almost did us in climbing up the hundred plus steps.Then in Nam, we had the Mekong River experience. Did you know the Mekong originates in Tibet and flows through five countries before reaching Vietnam? I didn’t. A motorboat ran us out of My Tho to the island of Thoi Son. There we transferred to tiny sampans and paddled through a maze of narrow waterways. Afterwards we dined on Elephant Ear fish.Yes, we did get to Da Nang and Non Nuoc Beach. We rode across Dragon Bridge and even had pedicabs whisk us through the crowded downtown streets. Queen Victoria even stopped in Nha Trang, one of Vietnam’s most popular resorts — the food there was awesome!Karen Bender, the author’s wife, takes a ride in a pedicab in Vietnam.As you’d probably guess, Hong Kong’s magical. But the world of Suzy Wong is gone. Skyscrapers are the new norm. We rode Hong Kong’s Star Ferry around Victoria Harbor; shopped in Stanley Market, and had a sampan ride over in Aberdeen. A guided tour helped us reach Victoria Peak. And, of course, we witnessed Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights. We couldn’t miss that. Every evening from 8 to 8:10, a kaleidoscope of colors decorates the sky. Singapore didn’t disappoint either. A trishaw sped us by Bugis Street Market, then through Little India, before we ended up at the famous Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel. Sometimes called the Writers Bar— Somerset Maughan and other scribes drank here — this is where the first Singapore Sling was served. Bartender Ngiam Tong Boom — you gotta love that name — gets all the honors.He came up with the concoction in 1915. Believe me, sitting there, drinking Tiger beer, and Singapore Slings, while listening to Dean Martin sing “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime,” made an afternoon we’ll never forget. And Port Kelang, on Malaysia’s west coast, we’ll always remember this place, too. That’s for sure. On nearby Carey Island, we rubbed shoulders with descendants of the Mah Meri people; their ancestors date back over 3,000 years. I even took part in a mock wedding ceremony staged inside the Mah Meri Cultural Village. No kidding. I was father of the groom. Not an enviable position, when it’s discovered your son isn’t a virgin. Ha! I had to pay daughter-in-law’s parents 21 water buffalo!A statue in Bali depicts the Hindu god Vishnu riding a mythological bird.Three days after that experience, we called on Sri Lanka; you know, that pear-shaped island off the southern tip of India. For about three hours, Karen and I toured Colombo, the capital city, by bus. We stuck our heads in Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, you name it. What’s fascinating, all the street names are in three different languages — Sinhalese, Tamil, and English. Which I guess isn’t too surprising — Colombo’s situated at the crossroads of the ancient spice routes.Well, as I said to you earlier, we’re bound for the Seychelles. It’s not really a long run — about 830 nautical miles. But it is dangerous. Our captain has made that clear. So, please cross your fingers for us. Karen and I don’t want “pirate activity” stopping Queen Victoria from sailing her last leg. Or, for that matter, stopping me from writing my final letter! Mates, I’ll be in touch soon — if all goes well.Karen Bender holds a koala bear named Connor at a sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia.Sampans ply the back waterways off the Mekong River in Vietnam.The Sydney Harbor Bridge, which you can climb for $300.      Editor’s note: Henry Bender, of Ocean City, is a retired Ocean City High School English teacher turned full-time writer and global traveler. His seashore-themed book, “Stirring the Dust,” is a compilation of his articles and columns that appeared in newspapers and other publications. Accompanied by his wife, Karen, he is writing a first-hand account of his around-the-world cruise aboard the Queen Victoria for MediaWize/OCNJDaily.com. This is the fourth of five articles. Inside a Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photos courtesy of Henry Bender)last_img read more

Martino hits out over Bale fee

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first_imgBarcelona coach Gerardo Martino is critical of the record-breaking transfer fee Real Madrid are reportedly poised to spend on Gareth Bale. Madrid look set to smash the £80million they paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 to bring Bale to the Bernabeu, with reports suggesting the transfer could cost around £93million. Martino, who took charge of Primera Division champions Barcelona this summer, believes those figures for the 24-year-old Wales international show a “lack of respect” bearing in mind the global financial situation. “He’s a very good player, but the numbers seem to me almost a lack of respect for the world in general,” said the Argentinian when asked his thoughts on the subject at a pre-match press conference ahead of Barca’s trip to Malaga on Sunday. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

City, county agree on fire aid

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first_img“There has to be mutual benefit to both jurisdictions,” Lockhart said. “That’s not the case on the east side. Their level of service is high enough.” La Habra Heights resident George Edwardz, who has pushed for an east side station on Harbor Boulevard, said he is disappointed the agreement doesn’t cover his area of town. “We’ll have to be self-sufficient, and we’ll have to provide a station on that side,” Edwardz said. Bates and fire Chief John Nielsen are now preparing answers to 21 questions about a fire station on Harbor Boulevard. The questions include the cost of a new dormitory and its maintenance, earthquake issues and noise. The agreement also requires two joint training sessions of the city and county firefighters to be held every year. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA HABRA HEIGHTS – Quicker fire department responses to the west side of this city and nearby unincorporated areas are expected under an automatic aid agreement reached by the city and Los Angeles County. The memorandum of understanding went into effect Sept. 1. “It should really give peace of mind to our residents to know that they not only have our first-class fire and paramedic service, but also have as backup Los Angeles when it’s needed,” City Manager Ron Bates said. Under the agreement, county fire trucks would go to the west side of La Habra Heights, while city firefighters would go to unincorporated areas between the city and La Habra. The county has about 30 of these agreements with other cities, including Santa Fe Springs. “They improve service for both agencies,” said Gary Lockhart, chief deputy for the county Fire Department. “Because (city) boundaries are so irregular, if you have a station closer, we can share resources.” Even with automatic aid, trucks from the department with jurisdiction still will show up, Lockhart said. Not included in the agreement is the east side of La Habra Heights. Lockhart said the east side wasn’t included because city trucks can get there in good time, and there wouldn’t have been enough reciprocity from the county with the additional area. last_img read more

Marco Estrada’s MLB journey from Mexico to Oakland

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first_imgOAKLAND — This whole baseball thing wasn’t exactly Marco Estrada’s cup of tea.Estrada immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of five along with his mother, Mariza. Not too long after arriving in Southern California, she immediately encouraged him to try out the sport.It was ultimately the right decision as Estrada has carved out a nice career over 12 big league seasons that includes an All-Star selection in 2016. But Estrada hated baseball so much at first that he almost quit. …last_img read more

Ray Ratto: Sharks learn series won’t be simple; what else is new?

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first_imgYou almost certainly watched the Battle of Winterfell rather than Avalanche-Sharks 2 because, well, most of your chums and chumettes at work would be talking about it a lot more readily than the second game of this dysrhythmic series.You did the right thing. Besides, there are going to be lots more games in this series. Sunday night pretty well guaranteed that.Colorado’s 4-3 victory in Game 2 of this series at Le Centre du SAP was essentially as head coach Jared Bednar would have wanted it in …last_img read more

More answers on Geocaching Classic app retirement

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first_imgGeocachers have asked some important questions since we announced that we’ll retire the Geocaching Classic app on March 23, 2017. We’d like to address a few topics that are coming up most often.Some users aren’t sure exactly what the retirement message means.Beginning March 23, the Geocaching Classic app will no longer connect to the Geocaching API. This means the Classic app won’t be able to pull in new geocaching data. The bottom line is the  Classic app won’t be of much use to most geocachers. However, you will still be able to open the app and access data that was added to the app prior to March 23. For example, you will be able to view your offline lists and waypoints. We can’t predict for how long you’ll be able to open the app and access old data. At some point in the future, an update to your phone’s operating system will likely cause the app to completely stop working. So it’s important to migrate your data as soon as possible.It is important to remember that if you log out of the Classic app after March 23, you won’t be able to log back in. Since the Classic app won’t be connected to the Geocaching API, the app won’t be able to verify your Geocaching login credentials.Is there any easy way to move waypoints, offline lists, etc. from my Geocaching Classic app to the Geocaching® app?Unfortunately, there is no easy way to move this data between apps. However, our team is working on a possible solution. When it is available, we will update this blog post with more details.(Edit: In his spare time, a Geocaching HQ staffer has created a tool to export lists and waypoints from an iTunes backup of your device. This tool is available for both Mac and Windows. The tool is unofficial and not formally supported by Geocaching HQ. Please see this forum post for more information. Unfortunately, we do not expect to have a solution for Android users.)The Geocaching® app doesn’t work on my iPhone 4.Like any software developer, we cannot support all operating systems indefinitely. Currently, we make sure the Geocaching® app works on iOS 9 and higher. That means it works on the iPhone 4s and newer devices.Why can’t you just let the Geocaching Classic app continue unsupported until it breaks?We stopped offering the Classic app for sale nearly a year ago. We couldn’t fix any bugs once the app was removed from the stores. As a result, the Classic app is becoming buggy. The bugs would only increase until a time when the app just stops working. We don’t want it to come to a point where we have a dying product for which we cannot offer support.The Geocaching® app doesn’t have the feature that I like in the Geocaching Classic app.The good news is the Geocaching® app has a lot of features that some folks just aren’t aware of yet. For instance, you can search for trackables by code, add waypoints to a cache listing, save lists offline, display corrected coordinates, search for caches with filters, and view actual lat/lon coordinates for a cache or waypoint.We’ll implement a couple of other important features into the Geocaching® app prior to March 23: drafts (field notes) and additional log types. We recently added Needs Maintenance and Needs Archived functionality, and owner logs are coming soon.The Geocaching® app is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It is built to serve a wide range of geocachers — from the person who just wanted to give geocaching a try to people who have already found thousands of caches. The app introduces new players to the game in ways no other app can. It also contains features that appeal to the advanced player. But no matter how many features we build into the app, it may not work for everyone in the geocaching community.That’s where Geocaching HQ’s API program comes in. Made possible by the support of premium memberships, the API program gives third-party developers (such as Project-GC, GSAK and Cachly) the opportunity to work with HQ on a full suite of integrated products and services for the community. Some of our authorized developers may offer the features you’re looking for. Read this Help Center article to learn more.Some people simply prefer to use the Geocaching Classic app.We get it. For a lot of you, the Classic app might be the only tool you’ve used to go caching. It has served the community well since 2008. However, a number of reasons led to the decision to retire the app.At this time last year, we supported five apps (Geocaching® for iPhone, Geocaching® for Android, Geocaching Classic for iPhone, Geocaching Classic for Android, Geocaching Classic for Windows Phone). As a small company, we realized we simply couldn’t keep maintaining that many apps. With only the Geocaching® app for iPhone and Android to support going forward, we can have a sharp focus on adding new functionality.The Classic app was built in 2008 on code that no longer supports the dynamic functionality geocachers want and need. To give one example, your geocaching lists are synced between the website and the Geocaching® app. That functionality was not possible with the Classic app. The Geocaching® app’s more sustainable technology enables us to consider many more improvements that the Classic app could not accommodate.We’re going to keep working to improve the Geocaching® app long after March 23. We’ll keep you updated as we add new features, and we want you to keep telling us what you want to see in the Geocaching® app by completing this survey.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedInside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 3): Geocaching® app & retirement of Classic appMay 10, 2018In “Community”The Classic app is retiringFebruary 2, 2017In “News”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 1): Nate Irish on the Geocaching apps and Geocaching.comMay 10, 2018In “Community”last_img read more

All About Energy Efficient Mortgages

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first_img RELATED ARTICLES Transforming Stimulus-Funded Weatherization into a National IndustryGreen Building Appraisal and Financing Issues A relatively new home financing option — the energy efficient mortgage — can let home buyers qualify for larger loans than they might otherwise, while improving their homes with environmentally friendly, cost-cutting upgrades that can reduce energy bills.An energy efficient mortgage (EEM) is a great way to help a family improve their home and save money while doing good for the environment, and securing one is a lot simpler than you might think. You need a HERS ReportSince the money from a green mortgage is intended to be used to improve the energy efficiency of a home, most EEM mortgages are used for air sealing and insulation improvements. In some cases, an EEM can also be used for other types of retrofit work, including the installation of replacement windows, a new HVAC system, or chimney repairs. An EEM can be used for energy-generation equipment (for example, a rooftop solar array), although this type of work is usually prohibitively expensive considering the federally mandated cap on EEM size.Most of the time, if you obtain an EEM, you cannot choose which upgrades to invest in. After talking with your lender, you will be visited by an energy rater who will examine your home and present you with a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) report. This report analyses the energy performance of your home and makes suggestions for improvements based on considerations such as climate, existing insulation levels, and the performance of the existing heating and cooling systems. This report costs about $500, though this amount is often either paid by the lender or rolled into the cost of the mortgage.The HERS report includes a wealth of information about your home, its energy performance before and after suggested upgrades, the cost of those upgrades, and the energy savings expected from each of them. You can use these figures to help guide your decisions about how large an EEM you want and which projects you want to undertake.You will have about 90 to 180 days after the loan closes to contact professionals to perform the improvements you have chosen to undertake. Finally, an inspection is done to verify that the improvements have been made properly, and the money from the EEM is paid to the borrower.For more information on EEMs, see FHA: Energy Efficient Mortgages and Energy Star: Energy Efficient Mortgages. Why should I pay for improvements with an EEM?There are two primary benefits to using an EEM to make your home more energy efficient. First, while the EEM is technically distinct from your main mortgage payment, it is rolled into the same bill when you pay it: that is, you will still only have to pay one bill every month for your mortgage payment. If you finance the upgrades some other way, you’ll have to make two payments every month, reducing your payment flexibility.Second, an EEM retains the tax characteristics of your mortgage — in other words, the interest payments on the green mortgage are tax-deductible. This reduces your tax burden for the year compared to paying for the improvements some other way.Often, EEMs are taken out by homeowners who are facing high energy costs in their current home but do not wish to move. Refinancing your home while including an EEM can allow for more and higher quality upgrades than the homeowner would otherwise be able to undertake, without a significant out-of-pocket cost or a significant increase in the mortgage payment. Why should I worry about energy efficient improvements at all?In most homes, between 50% and 70% of the energy costs of a home go to heating and cooling. The most common types of energy retrofit work are air sealing improvements and insulation improvements. According to NAIMA (the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association) over 60% of United States homes lack adequate insulation. Many of the changes that an EEM is likely to pay for are not particularly intrusive or expensive, but pay dividends in energy savings.center_img How can I get an EEM?The vast majority of mortgage lenders offer EEMs through secondary mortgage markets like Fannie Mae and federally insured programs like the FHA. As you should when securing any mortgage, talk to several lenders to find your options and decide which EEM is best for you and your energy-improvement goals.Qualification is rarely a concern. If you qualify for a normal mortgage, you usually qualify for an EEM instantly – though this does not automatically roll the green mortgage into your normal mortgage. The only requirement for that is that the improvements you make to the home are cost effective. For example, if a new HVAC system and ductwork will cost $4,000 to install, then over the life of the system the improvements should be projected to save over $4,000 in energy costs. How many types of EEMs are there?Most mortgage lenders will offer three different kinds of energy efficient mortgages (known colloquially as “green mortgages”):Conventional EEM. This type of mortgage is offered by lenders who sell their mortgage loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and allows you to borrow an additional 15% over the appraised value of your home to make the improvements.Federal Housing Administration EEM. This type of mortgage only allows you to borrow an additional amount equal to at least $4,000 and up to either 5% of your home’s value or $8,000, whichever is less. While the mortgage is smaller than a conventional EEM, this route lets you take advantage of Federal Housing Administration financing options.Veteran’s Association EEM. This type of mortgage is similar to an EEM from the FHA, but is only available for past and present military personnel. It grants an additional $6,000 on your mortgage regardless of your home’s value. Brentt Taylor writes for Mortgage Loan, owned by Mortgageloan Directories and Information LLC. The site provides information, tools and up-to-date news about mortgage and financial-related matters.last_img read more

Normal foot x-ray

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first_imgAlong with questions of your medical history, your doctor may need to take x-rays of your foot to help aid in making a diagnosis to determine the cause of your foot pain. If the foot is broken it will be put into a cast. Toes that are broken are taped.Review Date:3/1/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.last_img read more

Industry Minister Welcomes Lumber Treatment Plant

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first_imgMinister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the newly opened ARC Lumber Treatment Plant, is a welcome investment that will help to further grow the country’s economy. “The launch of this facility is a clear indication of the owner’s confidence in the country and its evolving business environment. The launch of the lumber treatment plant certainly represents the kind of innovative response from businesses needed to drive our economy and country to the next stage of its development,” he said. Mr. Hylton was speaking at the official opening of the state-of-the-art facility at its Bell Road location in Kingston, on Wednesday, March 13. The Minister further noted that innovations of this type contribute to strengthening the country’s export capacity and is consistent with advancing the national export strategy, which seeks to improve the country’s export performance by advancing the competitiveness of firms and sectors, while enhancing the business and trade environment. “ARC Manufacturing, with its innovative plant, represents the next wave of value-added manufacturing that we expect will benefit directly from the implementation of the Global Logistics Hub, which will serve as a global supply chain platform to support the country’s export sector,” he said. Mr. Hylton further noted that the launch also signifies the company’s efforts to improve the competitiveness of the lumber supply sector in Jamaica. “Management’s efforts to push the company further up the value chain will inevitably position it to take advantage of export opportunities and to generate export earnings, while creating employment and increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country,” he said. The Minister praised Osmose Inc., a wood preserving company which collaborated with ARC to establish the facility, for the “strategic partnership in allowing the technology to come not simply to ARC but to Jamaica.” General Manager for Osmose Inc. in Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Javier Romero, said the facility, which is the first of its kind in Jamaica, “is the most modern and advanced plant I know in the Caribbean and the Latin-American region.”While the plant, which is fully automated, has the capacity to treat approximately 500,000 board feet (BF) of lumber per 40-hour week, Dr. Romero noted that it has the potential to treat 50 million BF per year, “allowing ARC to cover the domestic demand and also export markets.”He further noted that he is pleased that the company will be using the most environmentally friendly preservative in its treatment operations. The plant, which occupies approximately 11,000 square feet of space, is equipped with a pressure tank; four holding tanks; and a control room. It utilises a process called Pressure Treatment for its lumber and wood products. The type of treatment used is a form of micronized copper preservative, which is widely used in the construction industry in the United States.ARC is one of Jamaica’s leading manufacturers and distributors of building materials. The company locally manufactures construction wires and mesh, nails, fencing and roofing products. It also distributes lumber, cement, steel and steel products.By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporterlast_img read more