BUFORD, GA., May 17, 2011 -- A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows homeowners age 62 and over to convert their home equity into cash. And unlike other types of home equity-based loans, monthly mortgage payments are not required. Most reverse mortgages have adjustable interest rates that vary according to market conditions. But many consumers don't realize that fixed-rate reverse mortgages are also available.
With a fixed-rate reverse mortgage, you lock in an interest rate for the entire life of the loan -- so you don't have to worry that the rate may increase. This option may be preferable to borrowers who wish to receive their reverse mortgage loan proceeds in a lump sum, and want the certainty of a stable interest rate.
For those considering a reverse mortgage, you should consider a few important questions when choosing a reverse mortgage. It's important to ask yourself not only, 'Do I need a reverse mortgage?' but also 'What are my particular needs, and which type of reverse mortgage best meets those needs?'
A fixed-rate reverse mortgage may be suited, for example, to older homeowners who would be more comfortable knowing that their interest rate will not change. They might also want to receive their proceeds as a lump sum, so they can immediately use the money to pay off any existing debts, make needed home improvements, or adapt their home to their current needs.
With all reverse mortgages, the borrower continues to own their home, and can continue to live in it as long as they want. The loan doesn't have to be repaid until they permanently leave or sell the home. However, they are still responsible for paying homeowner's insurance and property taxes, and maintaining the home in reasonable condition.
The vast majority of reverse mortgages -- approximately 90 percent -- are Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs). These are the only reverse mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
All reverse mortgages include fees and closing costs, the amount of which varies by lender. MetLife Bank was the first national lender in the industry to announce the elimination of the origination and monthly servicing fees from its fixed-rate HECM, available in all 50 states. This pricing option reduces the cost to homeowners and enables them to receive additional loan proceeds.
And although you can choose from among several different payment options to receive your proceeds, by choosing to take the loan proceeds in a lump sum at closing, you receive the lowest interest rate.
who may be considering a reverse mortgage, MetLife Bank offers free educational
materials-including a comprehensive information kit and video-without
MAY 17, 2011 -- Brack dogs live long lives. Our family has had only five dogs over much of the 53 years my wife and I have been married.
was from Bad Hersfeld, Germany, a purebred wire-haired terrier. We ventured
to a straw-thatched house to buy him. Lean, mostly-white with some tan,
we named him George, and he came to the USA to live with us, first for
a year in Iowa and then in South Georgia.
When he finally died at age seven, in 1966, we sorely missed his playful manner and easy way with our young children. His long, almost straight legs, alert eyes, and his chipper tail, made him a beautiful, photogenic wire-haired.
The next dog lived with us mainly in his puppyhood, and we never much considered him part of our family. He was a cocker spaniel, we named Clifford. He was so loggerheaded (could say dumb), when friends moving to Atlanta needed a dog, off he went.
Dog Three we named Clifford George (for the previous dogs), and called him by his initials, C.G., and Seegul. He was from Jacksonville, Fla. and we met his mother, a 13-inch beagle. But there was nothing 13 inches about C.G. Even his tail was 15 inches. Most beagles weigh in about 20 pounds, while C.G. was a full 50 pounds. His father was no regular beagle. C.G. looked like a beagle, sounded like a beagle and was clocked at chasing four-cylinder autos at 35 mph. He also loved to run rabbits in the swamp. He was so gentle, with no nervous bone in his body. He lived with us for 17 years, about 10 years in Gwinnett, dying on Oct. 20, 1984.
The day he died, slowed with age, he came to me in a hammock in the back yard in Norcross, and slowly climbed in with me. We lay there together for perhaps an hour. A couple of hours later, an across-the-street neighbor called: C.G. had strolled to her lawn, laid down and died peacefully. We still miss him so much.
Dog Four resulted in a piece of advice: never get a dog from a veterinarian. The late Dr. Jack Wall gave us Reilly, a tan feist who was about 15 pounds. But for the first few years of his life, it was as if Jack had trained Reilly to return frequently to the vet clinic. He was a cash machine for Jack. Reilly happily wandered our neighborhood, most amicable, and was with us for 18 years. Slowed in years, barely able to get around, one morning in 2003 about 2 a.m., I was awakened .as his breathing stopped, dead near our bed.
Three years later we got our present dog, which some say is a Border terrier. His back half is Jack Russell, but the front half is different. All we know is that he came from the White County shelter. He weighed 12 pounds when we got him at about eight months, but he's up to 20 pounds now five years later. We named him Hercules. He's a happy, friendly dog, much calmer than most terriers. But he guards his territory loudly. We're pleased to have him, but he can get exasperating. Saturday, he enjoyed rolling his white body in fresh asphalt!
always been a dog family. These dogs have been wonderful companions and
friends. We had cats too. Had. Enough said.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Hayes Family Dealerships with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. Mike, Tim and Ted Hayes of Lawrenceville and Gainesville with Terry Hayes of Baldwin and Stan Roberts of Toccoa invite you into their showrooms to look over their line-up of automobiles and trucks. Hayes has been in the automotive business for over 38 years, and is North Georgia's oldest family-owned dealerships. The family is the winner of the 2002 Georgia Family Business of the Year Award. Check their web sites at: www.hayeschrysler.com or www.hayeschevrolet.com or www.hayesgmcars.com.
Likes what she read in comment from Will Nelson of Buford
What an amazing word picture he painted! The points he made are a great message to anyone who cares about seeing positive realistic change in Gwinnett. His type of writing is refreshing and holds the attention of the reader to the end. I think many seekers of truth will thank you as I have. I believe his vision will work all over America if enough of us put it into practice. Thanks for allowing me to express my opinion of Will Nelson's amazing article.
The theme of the 18th annual Memorial Day Parade in Dacula Is "Land That I love." The parade will be held May 30 at 10 a.m. starting from the Hebron Baptist Church, proceeding down Dacula Road and ending at Dacula High.
Grand marshals of the 2011 parade will be two former Army veterans, Col. Doug Heckman of Norcross and Staff Sergeant Jeremy Wilczek of Dacula.
Marvin Atherton, parade founder, will give a speech at 9:30 a.m. from Fire Station 16 located at 195 Dacula Road and be the master of ceremonies of the parade. This parade is dedicated to all veterans and their families of all wars. For more information about the Memorial Day festivities, call 770-367-7371 or email.
Lawrenceville plans another Moonlight and Music series
The Hayes Family Chrysler Dodge Jeep Moonlight and Music Concert Series is to be held each fourth Friday of the month, from May through September. Music in the outdoor concert events will range from bluegrass and blues to rock and roll.
This year's concert series will be kicked-off with the Motown flavors of the band Rack of Spam on May 27. Following on June 24, nationally recognized recording artist Shawn Mullins will return to rock the house. Eric Culbertson will cool the summer air as he plays the blues on July 22. Influenced by traditional stalwarts such as Bill Monroe, The Country Gentlemen, and Sons of the Pioneers, the North Georgia Bluegrass Band will perform on August 26. Abbey Road Live, a Beatles tribute band, will conclude the concert series on September 23.
All Moonlight and Music concerts start at 8 p.m. on the grounds of the Historic Gwinnett Courthouse. Concerts are free to the public, although table rentals are also available. For more information on the concert series, please contact Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association at 678-226-3639 or online at www.visitlawrenceville.com.
World Turtle Day to be marked Saturday at Heritage Center
Visit the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., for Turtles and Trowels, a celebration of World Turtle Day and Archaeology Month.
World Turtle Day was created to bring attention to and respect for turtles and tortoises and to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. Of the 56 species of turtles found in the continental United States, 42 live among us here in the Southeast. In addition to live turtles, there will be special turtle crafts and activities.
also Archaeology Month in Georgia. Archaeology Month is intended to promote
preservation and stewardship of our hidden archaeological heritage. Participants
will have an opportunity to learn how to make pottery and baskets and
test their knowledge of archaeology. This program is included with admission
to the GEHC. GEHC members are admitted free. For additional information,
please visit www.gwinnettEHC.org.
librarians look for inspiration and ideas when faced with the exciting-and
daunting-task of redesigning a library or even building one from the ground
up? They could start with the Hamilton Mill branch of the Gwinnett County
Public Library in Dacula. This library and nine others featuring vibrant,
innovative designs were recently named New Landmark Libraries by Library
Stanbery-Kellam, executive director of the Gwinnett County Public Library,
says: "We are humbled to be part of this inaugural group of New Landmark
Libraries and are pleased to be able to share our, experiences, challenges
Suwanee recruiting volunteers for Park Ambassador program
The Suwanee Police Department is recruiting volunteers to staff its new Park Ambassador program. A training program for volunteers will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 31; those who are interested must sign up by Monday, May 23, by contacting Ofc. Elias Casanas at 770/904-7612.
Slated to begin in June, the program is an extension of the police department's community policing philosophy.
Police Chief Mike Jones says: "These ambassadors will be our eyes and ears in the parks. The volunteers can report any damage they may see or suspicious individuals as well as offer visitors basic information about Suwanee's parks. We envision that these volunteers, in cooperation with the police department, will ultimately enhance the safety and friendliness of Suwanee's Greenway and parks."
Identified by their bright yellow t-shirts imprinted with the Suwanee S logo, park ambassadors will not have any law enforcement powers. Rather, they will be trained to be sentinels who can assist residents and alert the police department or public works department to matters that may require their attention.
Sandra Cathy is new development officer for Rainbow Village
Sandra Walker Cathy is the new development officer at Rainbow Village. She previously worked in Gwinnett with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce as director of government and community relations. She most recently was with the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
Her primary focus will be to lead the charge in Rainbow Village's recently announced $6 million capital campaign enabling the construction of a new all-inclusive village to support homeless families with children in Duluth. The capital campaign, which went public on April 15, has already generated $3.4 million in support which calculates to 57 percent of the projected construction costs. In addition to championing the fundraising efforts for the capital campaign, Ms. Cathy's duties will include overseeing marketing initiatives, grant and foundation relations, annual giving, partnership development and community relations.
The comic strip Pogo, created by Walt Kelly, ran in daily newspapers from 1948 to 1973. The strip was set in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp and was populated by animals talking in a fractured Southern dialect.
Over the years Pogo often referred to Georgia and to several of the state's locales, such as Waycross, Fort Mudge and Ware County. In one story line, involving cold war themes, the swamp characters used the state as a counterpoint to the Soviet Republic of Georgia. Overall, Pogo provided the American newspaper-reading public with a humorously stereotyped view of Southern life, complete with folksy sayings, strange food (such as chicken foot perloo), corncob-smoking females, and images of chivalrous southern manhood. For the animals of the Okefenokee, the Confederacy still existed, with Jefferson Davis as its president and Richmond, Va., its national capital.
For all its superficial identification with Georgia and the South, Pogo was a comic strip written by a northerner for a national audience. In the 1950s it was the most popular daily strip in America, primarily because of its blend of slapstick humor and engaging characters. It was unique for its occasional forays into political satire. Pogo's most famous target in the 1950s was an odious wildcat named Simple J. Malarkey, who had the unmistakable face of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. Kelly was one of the few cartoonists of the era willing to satirize McCarthy and his bullying tactics.
In the spirit of cold-war liberalism, however, Kelly also lampooned the ideas and policies of communism by introducing into the strip a pig with Nikita Khrushchev's face and a goat with Fidel Castro's. Over the years Pogo also critiqued such controversial issues as the South's resistance to desegregation and the turmoil surrounding the Vietnam War (1964-73). Editors would occasionally censor such topics, either by altering the strip's artwork or by dropping certain political sequences altogether. Some editors simply began to run Pogo on the editorial page.
The comic strip's popularity and satirical relevance began to fade during the 1960s. Some critics have contended that the middle-of-the-road liberalism of the previous decade, which had challenged McCarthyism and communism simultaneously, now appeared to be out of step with the complex problems of the decade.
died in 1973, Pogo was continued for a while by Kelly's children,
Carolyn and Pete. The cartoon is still being reprinted in books. That
the strip's Okefenokee characters live on and are still fondly remembered
is perhaps most visible each year in Waycross, which sponsors Pogofest,
complete with arts and crafts, street dancing, and visits by well-known
cartoonists. The celebration is a fitting commemoration of Pogo
and its relationship with Georgia.
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Ice cream social: 7 p.m., today, Norcross Community Center. Norcross Neighbors hosts, and is seeking board member nominations.
State of County Address: 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Gwinnett Civic Center Ballroom. Hear Charlotte Nash, newly-elected chair of the Gwinnett Commission, give her views on where the county stands and her outlook for the balance of the year. Hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and the Council for Quality Growth. To register, contact Rachel Jeffers at 770-232-8816.
Greening Neighborhoods is the topic at 7 p.m. Thursday at Berkmar High School for the meeting of The Sierra Club. Rob Aaron will be the speaker to show how people can save money by conserving natural resources. For more information, send email or call 404-513-4069.
Gwinnett Golden Games: Continuing through May 20. For a list of the places and times, click here.
(NEW) Graduation, Gwinnett Drug and DUI Court: 7 p.m., May 20, Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Congressman Rob Woodall will be the speaker for the court's 20th ceremony since it was founded in 2005. A total of 28 are to graduate from the program.
(NEW) Health and Fitness Fair, at Duluth Town Green: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 21. Participate in such features as nutritional analysis, massages, self-defense demonstrations, vision screening, and other items. A Kid's Zone will be available.
Norcross Open Car Show: 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., May 21, downtown Norcross. Mingle among the restored automobiles, and check out vendors, including a bake sale and silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Kristi Memorial Scholarship Fund and local charities. Info: email@example.com.
International Dinner and Wine-Tasting: 6 p.m., May 21, Christ Episcopal Church, Norcross. The event is a fundraiser for Norcross Cooperative Ministries and Rainbow Village. Congregation members will prepare recipes from around the world, and 28 wines will be available for tasting. Cost is $25 per adult.
Memorial Day Parade: 10 a.m., May 30, downtown Dacula. Parade
begins at Hebron Baptist Church and proceeds down Dacula Road and ends
at Dacula High School. Col. Doug Heckman
(NEW) Memorial Day Ceremony at Fallen Heroes Memorial: 1 p.m., May 30, Gwinnett County Courthouse. For more information, call 770-822-7180.
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