Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Handsome Bill Holcombe, Gone But Never Forgotten!

September 26 is Mother's birthday, September 27 was her her brother's. Handsome Bill was three years her senior and always the life of the party, good or bad! :) Together they celebrated their birthday every year until he danced into heaven April of 2009.


Mom had already purchased his birthday card because she found one that fit him perfectly. She had put it in her card box and found it a few days before September 27, 2009. Tears were flowing when I got to her house and while she didn't want to throw it away, gave it to me. Of course this card ONLY fit her brother.

I put it in my card box and found it a couple days ago.

In memory of Handsome Bill Holcombe of Lonesome Dove...if you knew him, you will agree it was written for him.




Is there a BROTHER anywhere

who was more fun to grow up with

than YOU? I don't think so.

Sure, I used to tell you your jokes were stupid,

and don't even get me started about your teasing...

But there were lots more times

when you were funny and fun to be with,

times we enjoyed being GOOFY together,

times when we LAUGHED at crazy things...


You haven't lost that GREAT sense of humor,

and it still makes my day.

I still look forward to being with you,

and I can't help thinking how LUCKY I am

to have a brother who makes life FUN.


That's why, just for a minute here,

I'd like to set aside the kidding

and the funny comments

that are like breathing to us

and tell you, in all seriousness,

what a GOOD thing you are in my life

how glad I am that you're my brother--

and how much I really LOVE you.


Okay, that's enough

back to the kidding.

Can you use some help

with ALL those candles?


This would have been signed,


I love you, Linda


I know you miss him, we all do. He was a unique individual to say the least. May you find peace in knowing you will one day be reunited and never spend another birthday apart! :) Happy Birthday Uncle Bill.



My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Three Months Until Ashlee Springer's Wedding!


I finally believe we are going to get everything completed before November 7, 2011. We have been some "Busy Bees" the last couple months. Still we have a long list of items to complete but they are minor in comparison to the decisions we have made and finalized.

All wedding attire has been selected and purchased, except for mine. The wedding ceremony will be at First Baptist Church of Alabaster and the reception will be at Magnolia Springs Manor in Helena, AL immediately following.

Ashlee and I have toured every wedding venue within 100 miles. At first she thought she may like to have the wedding at Vulcan, great view and absolutely lovely grounds but "IF" it rained tents would take away the romance of the city lights under the stars.

So, lets move on over to "The Club". I have a friend who is a member and offered to sponsor us if we decided this was the place. Of course, Ashlee dreamed of having her dance on the lighted dance floor and the view is the best in Birmingham. To seat the number of guests we are expecting would require the Grand Ballroom which is superb. Service is second to none and the food is delicious but I am afraid our guests would have been disappointed at the menu our budget would have afforded. After going back and forth we decided we should check out our other options and see how far we could stretch our budget.

Our journey continued throughout Jefferson and Shelby County. Most everyone was excited and happy to accomodate but I was surprised that in this economy there were vendors who did not want to be bothered, one who increased their price greatly in less than two weeks and another who was not interested in being part of a wedding on a Monday.

I found out there are not many places in the Birmingham area who are set up to handle parties of 300 or more guests rain or shine. While rain didn't seem to be something Ashlee was worried about, I was not going to book a place without a back-up plan.

Finally, the church is booked, reception is planned all the way down to the menu. Songs have been selected and the Bride and Groom's cake have both been chosen. Now all we have to do is ad a few flowers, candles and decorations and it will be a Fairy Tale come true. Of course, I must still find something to wear! :)

Looking forward to the showers, Tea and bachelorette party (?) What?

Only "Three Months Until Ashlee Springer's Wedding!" and you can still call me, "Mother of the Bride".


My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.div>

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE MORTGAGE MARKET



Ben Bernanke left the door open and stocks have responded well when Quantative Easing 3 was mentioned. This would be a longshot unless our economy was hit by a big external shock. The Fed doesn't want to do a QE3 if it can be avoided. The biggest negative factor on our economy could the the gradual withdrawal of fiscal stimulus. Now our economy will be more on it's own to generate growth without help from Washington.


At the moment stocks are looking favorable. An opportunity for Record year profits for S&P 500 Companies, exports are continuing to grow and there are decent investment opportunities in the US Economy. Earnings of big US multi-national companies make large cap indexes a good buy as well.


Europe is in a mess! Getting this under control will be a challenge.


The question I am asked most is how are interest rates affecting the housing market? Remember, short term rates are the ones affected by fed action in general. Commercial rates are affected by supply and demand and Mortgage rates are an absolute bargain right now. The benefit of home ownership has been neglected for some while now and the people who should be purchasing homes are not. Lets all remember that homeownership is a great forced savings plan and it should not be TOXIC. The future of great real estate fortunes are being laid right now, are you taking advantage of the opportunities?


The current trends of concern are the stability of the Middle East and major oil producers, China's cornering global markets in strategic raw materials and the US Relationship with China. Social democracies can bring revenues and commitments into balance given time.


It has been confusing the past few weeks but now we at least have a path chartered even if at times the sea will be rough. You can count on your mortgage expert to keep on top of the developments. Please contact Valerie Springer if you would like to have a credit check and possibly take advantage of the opportunities availabe right now. 205-995-7283 x 305


My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775..

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

STRANDED, A FIRST FOR ME

I suppose I have been a lucky girl since I made this far in life without being stranded on the side of the road! Last Wednesday my luck ran completely out.

I was on my way to the office to meet a client, earlier than I normally start my day. I was driving on I-65 when my oil light came on and I started to hear a ding. I was between exits and thought, hmm I better get off at the next exit and see if someone can check my oil. I was pretty sure oil was not the problem since my hubby checks my oil each and every morning without fail before he leaves for work. Nonetheless...now my temperature gauge shows the car is getting hot. Where is the heater switch, I remember Mick saying to turn the heater on when the car is running hot and it will cool off quickly, wait I can't find it and now my car is starting to slow down. Did it go dead? No the motor is running and I have the gas pedal pushed down but...oh no I better get off the road while it is still rolling before someone moves me off.

Thankfully I was able to roll off the road and here I sit in my car with every light that can possibly be lit up, lit up! It is coming a mighty downpour and the humidity is unbearable. I can feel the wind pushing on my car as trucks come flying by, this is dangerous, what on earth am I going to do???

I wanted to scream but no one would hear me, I thought about crying but it wasn't going to do any good and there was no one to give me sympathy. I took a deep breath and phoned Mick who immediately ordered a wrecker truck, in the mean time I dialed my insurance agent and yes I have roadside assistance with my policy. YAY. Now I sit and wait. It soon occured to me that once the wrecker arrived I would not have any means of transportation so I called Mother and Daddy and they agreed to come to my rescue. I told them where I was located and about 30 minutes later they arrived in convoy pulling in behind me. Shortly after, Wheeler's Wrecker Service was pulling in front of my little T-Bird.

By now I was wet with sweat and when I stepped out of the car my foot sunk into a mudslide. I got around to the passenger side of my car and started to unload my things into Mom's car, she hopped into the truck to ride with Daddy and slowly but surely my muddy stinky self was on my way to the office to start my day.

I had my car towed to Ernest McCarty Ford in Alabaster, AL. They didn't even get a chance to look at my car until the next afternoon. Surprisingly it has a safety mechanism that shuts the motor down so as to not do major damage when there is a problem. All of this and I had a pinhole in a hose which had to be ordered, meaning I would not be able to get my car until Monday evening. $68 for parts $150 for labor and all is well.

I guess eventually it will happen to everyone. I always felt bad for the stranded motorist and was glad it was not me. Having a car to drive was so nice but on Monday afternoon when I crawled into my little white Thunderbird, I breathed a sigh of relief, put it in drive and hit the road feeling cool, comfortable and very thankful! :)

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EMERALD RIDGE 100% FINANCING AVAILABLE

If you are interested in purchasing a home with 100% financing then Emerald Ridge in Calera, AL may be the answer to your prayers. If you need further information or pre-approval, please give me a call. I would be honored to help you with your financing.

These homes are beautifully built on level lots. Structures Inc. pays attention to the details. Amazing with so many extra's in these priced homes. You must see for yourself.

Please contact Valerie Springer for pre-approval and more information.

PS The community swimming pool is beautiful and so inviting on these hot summer days!
















My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.div>

Monday, July 11, 2011

NO SMOKING! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY


Today is a day of celebration for me, my family and my friends. Two years ago today was my first day without a cigarette in my quest to "kick the habit" and I have never looked back.

No small undertaking for me. I knew it was a nasty habit, not very lady-like and it smelled bad but I surely did love to smoke...It was relaxing when I was chilling out, it was a wake-up in the morning when I was tired, it was a great way to think out solutions, it was the best nerve "pill" available and on July 11, 2009, it was my time to quit smoking.

It has now been two years since I have held a cig between my lips and I am still blown away each and every time I remember "I do not smoke"! Proof that God is still performing miracles.

Yesterday after church Mick and I went to lunch with my parents, daughter and her fiance' David. Mick reminded everyone of today. My Daddy was a smoker too who quit in 1987 and Mick quit in 2007. Daddy and I both agreed we still have the urge to smoke from time to time but it no longer consumes our every thought. Occasionally something will happen to trigger the memory but it is a fleeting thought.

If you are a smoker who needs help, talk to me, I would love to share my story with you. I am so thankful for those positive influences in my life. Debbie Hutchins and Gerald Castello both were inspiring to me as I knew how they loved to smoke as much as I did. My family and friends who prayed tirelessly for me to have strength and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who held me up when I didn't think I could stand on my own.

Thank you all for standing by me and thank you Mick for putting up with me at my worst! :)

Valerie














My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775..

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET A HOME MORTGAGE TODAY?




The question posed to me most often is, "What does it take to get a mortgage today?" My response is, "I am so glad you asked!"



We are lending money everyday but the ease of putting a little information on a piece of paper and going to the closing table is gone. Basically, this is what I will need to be able to submit:



INCOME




* 30 days pay-stubbs


*w-2's, 1099's and Federal Tax Returns for last 2 years all schedules


*Verification of Employment with income listed from the employer


*To be able to use two job income's, you must have worked both jobs for 2 years


*To use over-time income, must have a two year history and we would average over-time


*To use commissioned income, must have a two year history and we would average commission


*If you are a w-2 employee and have a side business where you write off income, these losses could affect your w-2 income as well.


*If you are self-employed or commissioned and you write off expenses these will also be taken off your income. In other words, if you are not paying taxes on the money, we can't use it.






ASSETS



*Last 2 months bank statements all pages for each account checking and savings


*Quarterly or yearly statement on 401k, IRA's, Stocks and Bonds if you have them


*Ability to source and season any irregular deposits or large sums of money


example: Mom gives you $5k for a downpayment, we have to be able to prove Mom had the money to gift you. We would need a signed gift letter and a copy of bank statement showing the money came from Mom's account.



EMPLOYMENT



*2 year work history


*Must have been in the same LINE of work for 2 years (not necessarily consecutive, unless it is commission or self-employed)


*If self-employed will need last 2 years business license plus the ability to verify online by phone number, website, blog etc.



CREDIT




*Credit is pulled at the beginning of transaction and at the end of transaction. If you have applied for credit, significantly increased your credit card balances, opened new accounts, bought a new car etc...it will show and we will have to do letter's of explanation, maybe the loan will have to go back to underwriting due to changes in debt to income ratio and last it could keep you from being able to close on your loan at all. If your debt to income ratio was already close and you added or increased a monthly payment you may no longer qualify for financing under guidelines.



*If there are errors on your credit report you will need to furnish the documentation to have these errors removed from credit report. Just providing proof it was incorrect is no longer an option.



If you have questions or would like for me to give you a free credity analysis and pre-qualify you to purchase a home or refinance your current residence, please give me a call. Valerie Springer 205-995-7283 x 305 or visit my website http://www.vshomeloans.com/



I am always "Yours to Count On"!



My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775..

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!



I have a very special person in my life. His name is James Lawrence Barnett, I call him Daddy.


From the time I first remember, I was so proud of my Daddy. He was and still is such a gentle man and he has always cared deeply for his family. Mother, Brother and myself were always his first priority.


When Brother and I were young children, we always spent Saturday morning with Daddy. Mom worked at the post office and rarely got a Saturday off. We would get up and have breakfast, make our beds, straighten the house and Daddy would give us our allowance. Then we would head to Elmore's where we would get to shop as long as it took. Daddy never rushed us, he was always patient and he let us purchase what we wanted with our money.


We always took a two week vacation in the summer. Usually we would spend a week at the beach, then go through Atlanta and enjoy Six Flags and then on to Gatlinburg. We would stop at all of the attractions along the way, Ruby Falls, The Lost Sea, etc...The Davis family usually went with us. Daddy would not allow bumper stickers on his car, so we never got to get the "Six Flags" or "See Rock City" or "Ruby Falls" stickers so everyone would know where we had been. The Davis' on the otherhand, always got the cool stickers. (This is funny looking back but it was a big deal to us and an equally big deal for Daddy) So many great memories on these vacations but I will not bore you with these. :)


My childhood was very happy. My parents didn't argue, they loved each other and us. We laughed and enjoyed each other every single day. We ate supper together at night, we said the blessing before we ate and on weekends we would have family nights. Those usually consisted of supper at a restaurant and then a fun activity such as bowling, roller skating, movies or whatever we chose to do.


Daddy was always involved in our lives. Little League Baseball, Pee Wee Football, President of the Quarterback Club, anywhere he was needed he was there and a hard worker. He helped me sale Girl Scout Cookies and I always sold a truck load. He said, "I love you" each and every day.


Daddy was a hunter but he NEVER went into the woods on Christmas Eve, we were so afraid he would shoot Rudolph. Once again, Mom worked on Christmas Eve but Daddy would take us and go visit folks and drop off little gifts until we would meet up with Mom to start the holiday festivities.


He served in the National Guard for 35 years and every summer he would have to leave us for two whole weeks. On the morning he would leave, Mother would get me and Brother up early, she would play the piano and we would sing sweet love songs to Daddy while he was getting things ready for the journey. We would sing through the tears, quite an ordeal. We would be so excited when he would call home and Mother would tell us not to cry on the phone. Of course, I always cried. Then finally after a long two weeks we would get ready for his arrival back home. He always brought great gifts and it was like Christmas in summertime. I still have a few of those items in my possession. Most of all we were just so glad to have him back home.


On my wedding day, Mother, Daddy, Brother and I all spent the entire day together. I will never forget that evening when we were standing at the back of the church, before they opened the door he said "It's not too late if you are not sure?" I said, "I'm sure" he said "then lets go and gave me that wink that always melts my heart.


The day I gave birth to Ashlee. Because there were so many people in our families and friends, they held me in recovery until time for visiting hours. She was born at 5:24 pm and visiting hours was not until 7 pm Things were very different then. When Ashlee arrived I got to see her for just a few minutes, they then gave her to Mick and he took her to the nursery for her bath. He got to tell everyone it was a girl and they all got to go watch through the glass. Not Daddy...he stood by those doors until they finally pushed me through. He said "Hey Babe" took my hand and stayed with me until they got me settled in my room. Then, he went to see Ashlee.


All of my life he made me feel like I was the most important thing to him. I knew he loved Mother and Brother, but I was his girl. I was in my thirties and Daddy had some heart problems. He called me and in a panic I said, "I am on the way Daddy." He asked me to go work at Mom's post office so she could go with him??? (I worked at the post office then too) WHAT??? Daddy, must be in bad shape cause I think he said for me to go work for Mom so she could come to him. It was a knife to the heart. I always thought Daddy would be fine as long as he had me, wrong!!! :~) Time to grow up and be a big girl but how many get to their thirties thinking they are the princess and the queen?!


Daddy and I always spent special time with each other. I loved our fishing weekends just the two of us at the river. You see we are just alike, really the good and the bad! Our best fishing time was in the afternoon and evenings. We would fish those river-banks and talk about everything under the sun and moon. He would make homemade biscuits, bacon, sausage and eggs for breakfast and wake me up in time to get up, wash my hands and sit down to a breakfast feast. For supper, he would fire up the grill and we would have the best grilled steak you can imagine with all the trimmings. I am not really a fisherman so I got hung up a lot, he never cared how many times he had to cut the line or even when I lost his best lure. You see the fishing wasn't that important, it was the time we were together that mattered. He even let me drive the boat just like when I was a kid. I could go on and on but enough for now.


Lawrence Barnett is my hero and I feel so blessed to be one of two who call him Daddy. I am thankful for him and so happy that we will start Father's Day 2011 with church, then out for lunch to celebrate the most wonderful man I know. I love you Daddy.

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.

Monday, June 13, 2011

BEN BERNANKE SPOKE, AND THE MARKETS LISTENED

Last week Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's words were somewhat depressing. He said "the economy is still producing at levels well below it potential." Just a reminder that weak or negative economic news and comments normally hurt Stocks and help bonds. (Bonds and mortgage backed securities are a safe haven for investments and the more money going in the lower home loan rates go). Last week this is what we witnessed.




If you would like more information and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter, valerie.springer@nflp.com .



My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775..

Thursday, June 2, 2011

REVERSE MORTGAGE AND POWER OF ATTORNEY






I receive many calls asking if we can close a HECM Reverse Mortgage with a Power of Attorney (POA). The answer is yes but we have to establish a few things along the way.

A Power of Attorney can only be used if the homeowner is physically unable to sign the closing papers, documented by a letter from a physician or mentally incapable of signing the closing papers, documented by a letter from a physician.

The Power of Attorney has to contain specific verbiage and it must also be established that the Senior was of sound mind at the time the POA was given. Many Senior's did POA years ago and family may not be able to find the physician who was treating them at that time to get a letter of competency. If your parent has alzhiemers in 2011 AND you are trying to do a Reverse Mortgage AND POA was given in 1995 AND you cannot find the physician who was treating them at that time there is no option to do a Reverse Mortgage. In this scenario the parent is incompetent today and we cannot prove competency at the time the POA was written.

(If you having aging parents who gave you power of attorney many years ago, you may want to check into having that re-worked now, while they are of sound mind and also get a letter of competency from their physician to hold on file.)

In the past, I have referred my family and friends to Bailey & Holliman, Estate Planning Law Firm. They specialize in Elder Law, Asset Protection and Estate Planning. You may reach Steve or John at 205-663-0281, http://www.estateplan-al.com/ or john@estateplan-al.com . A couple times a month they have free seminars to explain what you need and what they can do with your specific circumstance. They also help with VA benefits for the Veteran and Spouse even if you have been told you don't qualify or have been turned down in the past.




As always, if you need a HECM Reverse Mortgage in Alabama, Valerie Springer would be honored to answer your questions and help you with your financing. 205-995-7283 x 305


My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775..

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reverse Mortgage Helps Seniors Stay In Their Home

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) also known as a Reverse Mortgage allows senior citizens to payoff debt, do home repairs and continue to live in their homes through the "Golden" years. It can be a source of extra income when in home care is desired or your home needs to be remodeled to allow for wheelchair accessibility.

If you live in Alabama and have questions about a HECM Reverse Mortgage, please call me. I would be happy to speak with you to see if this type loan would be a benefit for you.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WHAT IS YOUR INTEREST RATE TODAY? EASY QUESTION, RIGHT?

It always amazes me when my phone rings and on the other end their is a voice who says, "What is your current interest rate?" Through the years I have had many different answers, but today I answer that question with several questions of my own.


  • What is your middle credit score?

  • What is your debt to income ratio?

  • What is your loan to value?

  • How much money do you have is your accounts?

  • What type of loan product are you interested in?


  • What type of loan transaction will this be?

The list c0uld go on and on. If you do not know the answer to the above questions, then how can I quote you a rate?


There are so many details that go into truthfully quoting an interest rate that without the full picture, shoppers are wasting their time. The same could be said for those that ask for a GFE without giving all of the details. The Good Faith Estimate is full of "estimates" and the bottom line may look better from one lender but the truth is, it is only as good as the person estimating. Some will estimate low to secure the deal and worry about the explanations of increase later and some will estimate higher so there are no questions.


What determines my rate?


Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) move the market. This market moves much as the Stock Market. Generally mortgage bonds are a safer investment than stocks and if stocks are worse, usually MBS is better therefore as money goes in, rates come down. In reverse, if the stock market is thriving usually money is coming out of MBS and as it goes down, rates go up.


Emotion drives these markets in both directions based on consumer and investor emotions.


When the FED changes interest rates, what does this mean for me?


The Federal Reserve influences short term rates aka Fed Funds Rate. Example of short term rates are Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) where rates change monthly. The Federal Reserve Board meets every six weeks and this always causes speculation.


Remember, when short term rates drop, we can usually look for long term rates (fixed mortgage rates) to go higher creating potential for inflation.


Do different loan programs and products have different interest rates?


Sure they do, otherwise every loan would be identical and no need for different programs. Conventional, FHA and VA loans can all have very different rates on the same 30 year fixed product. FHA and VA loans are insured by the Federal Government. Conventional loans are insured by Private Mortgage Insurance companies (PMI) if loan amount is over 80% loan to value.


Most investors view government backing as less of a risk so FHA and VA financing usually have a lower interest rate. Once again rate may be lower with FHA but overall it takes a skilled loan officer to compare the two and give you the long run benefits of each based on your individual needs.


Why did my friend get a better rate than I did? Did I get ripped off?


Mortgage interest rates are based on risk based pricing. This allows pricing adjustments to par pricing for, credit scores, loan to value, type of property, occupancy and mortgage type, loan product etc...


This allows the investor who lends money for mortgages to receive a higher interest rate for taking additional risk lending to less than perfect borrowers.


If your rate is higher or lower than your friend, it is probably because your overall picture was better or worse. Also keeping in mind rates could be lower today than they were yesterday so timing could have made a difference. To effectively compare, you must know what you are doing and that takes years of practice. Stick with the expert, integrity and honesty will shine through and the whole process will be much easier.


Yours to Count On,


Valerie Springer


My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.>

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SHE SAID YES, TO THE DRESS!!!



Shopping for the "dress" was so much fun! As usual, Ashlee Springer and I have totally different opinions on what we like. She tried on hundreds of wedding gowns in all different styles. Each outing turned into a mini party with my Mother in attendance and Ashlee's BFF Amber.


We went to several locations and thought we had found the perfect gown for her at The White Room in Cahaba Heights. In fact we had the dress and the veil picked out but had another appointment at Bella Couture at Mt. Laurel, and we did not want to cancel on them last minute.


We had such a great experience at Bella Couture and there, I was able to sit and watch Ashlee walk out the dressing room door and get the full affect at first glance. She stood on a raised platform in front of three full lenth mirrors and turned in every direction and angle possible. She tried different veils, jewelry, embellishments and posed for many photos. While we were sitting and enjoying the fashion show Ash was getting tired, terrible thunderstorms were brewing and I knew by the look she was nearly ready to call it day. The next time the dressing room door opened, "She took our breath away!" (I cannot talk about the dress or show photos of her in any of them before the ceremony) We ALL knew this was the one, and "SHE SAID YES, TO THE DRESS"!!!


While I was settling the bill, the weather became worse and we wound up going into the dressing room and sitting for a long time waiting for the storms to pass. They gave Ash a box of chocolates as a gift and we enjoyed her candy and bottled water as a snack. While Mick and Daddy didn't think we used wisdom with our appointments and being holed up in Mt. Laurel, it was a day we will never forget...For many reasons.


(This was before the April 27 tornadoes)


My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.div>

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CAP N GOWN 1980's STYLE

May 27, 1980, was the day I could not wait to arrive...my high school graduation.

While it seemed school dragged for the most part my senior year flew by so quickly. Finally, the class of 1980 ruled the school. We won the spirit stick at every pep rally, our football team was fabulous and as a class we became one.

Once we got back from Christmas holidays it was a blur. The junior/senior prom at Boutwell Auditorium, senior skip day, voting on our senior song, practicing graduation walk and praying it would not rain so we could graduate on the THS football field. Our right of passage.

I remember vividly being lined up from the gym down past the lunch room. Girls were required to wear white dresses and the boys white collared shirts underneath our white Cap's and Gown's. While this moment finally arrived I was trying to record every second in my mind to replay for a lifetime. While lined up waiting to start our walk we all started to sing, Pink Floyd, "We don't need no education..." To this day every time I hear that song it puts a smile on my lips.

Our senior song was "We May Never Pass This Way Again" and while we voted on it, through the years the meaning has grown deeper. When I hear this song it puts a song in my heart. (I even have it on my iPOD :))

After our names were called and our hats tossed into the air, it was a mad dash to the beach to spend one more summer vacation together with our classmates and enjoy life as it would be no more.

To all of the graduating seniors I hope you will enjoy these last few days together, think about your choices, know a decision made in haste can change your life forever and have a wonderful time enjoying life.

To the Class of THS 1980, I wish we could do it again!!!

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@nflp.com or call 205-995-7283 x 305.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It Is All About Branding.... Who Will Help You?

My Social Media has been a mess for the past couple years, but today I proudly boast my connections. :)

While I have known this was something I should have completed long ago I decided I would do it myself and save some money...If there is anything you should hire a professional to do, it is your internet business.

There are many "free" sites and you get what you pay for. I had lots of templates and NONE of them matched. The one thing I have learned is the end result is worth the $$$'s.

There are many "quick" fixes on the World Wide Web, but unless you have enough knowledge to know what you need, you should choose the trusted local company who is more interested in you being happy than they are in making a dollar.

Check out my business page on FB, Valerie Springer, Network Funding and be sure to "like" while you are there. Then check out my website www.vshomeloans.com . I was also instructed to buy some more domain names and they are pointed to all of my sitesso I will be easier to find.
Need help? Of course you do. Please call Rhonda Brantley or Tracey Cole with The Social Media Place 2.0 for all your needs. They have packages for all budgets, they can build a blog, website or whatever you require. Call today, you will be glad you did.

BTW...by linking to FEMA on my blog, taught by Rhonda and Tracey, I have received three tornado disaster clients this week who found me on the internet!

Thank you ladies for a job well done, I LOVE it.

If you need pre-approval to purchase a home or refinance the home you have please call Valerie Springer 205-995-7283 x 305

A WEDDING IN OUR FUTURE

I guess it has been about 6 weeks since Ashlee showed up at our house frantically ringing the doorbell...Mick and I just returned from the grocer and we were in the kitchen unloading, putting up and making muffins for the week. Suddenly the doorbell went crazy and Emme and I took off to the front door.

While I was unlocking the door I could see it was Ashlee and David. Not sure why they were at this door or without a key but as I opened the door she came bouncing in with sparkles in her eyes and on her left finger. Oh my goodness, could it be? Is this the man I have been praying for all of these years? Did her prince charming finally decide to show himself? Is this the man she will spend the rest of her life with and live happily ever after? YES, this was the movie and we are the stars.


The beauty of her face paired with the song in her heart made this one of the most beautiful and memorable days in my life. One of those "grand slam" moments when nothing or no one else in the world has a clue of the emotion you feel inside.


The day started off like every other Sunday. We had all gone to church and then out to lunch with my extended family. David had managed to get alone with Mick while Ashlee and I were running errands. He asked Mick for permission to marry Ashlee and of course Mick blessed the union with a big hearty yes. Later in the day when Mick and I ended back up together Mick told me of the conversation. Neither of us knew he was going to ask her that day.


Once they shared the news with us, Ashlee asked me to call Honey and Wormie (my parents) and ask them to come to our house. They agreed without questions. Mother was so excited and happy for Ashlee as you can tell by her tearful congratulation. Daddy said he suspected the reason for the invitation.

So, Ashlee has a beautiful Asscher cut diamond in a Tiffany style setting. A fiance' who is head over heals in love with her and a great support system. The wedding is set for Monday, November 7, 2011, a day which will now be shared by four generations. Stay tuned, more to come...

Announcing the engagement of Ashlee Springer to David McLaughlin



My name is Valerie Springer, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IT'S ALL ABOUT BRANDING, WHO WILL HELP YOU?

My Social Media has been a mess for the past couple years but today I proudly boast my connections. :)

While I have known this was something I should have completed long ago I decided I would do it myself and save some money...If there is anything you should hire a professional to do, it is your internet business.

There are many "free" sites and you get what you pay for. I had lots of templates and NONE of them matched. The one thing I have learned is the end result is worth the $$$'s.

There are many "quick" fixes on the World Wide Web, but unless you have enough knowledge to know what you need, you should choose the trusted local company who is more interested in you being happy than they are in making a dollar.

Check out my business page on FB, Valerie Springer, Network Funding and be sure to "like" while you are there. Then check out my website www.vshomeloans.com . I was also instructed to buy some more domain names and they are pointed to all of my sitesso I will be easier to find.

Need help? Of course you do. Please call Rhonda Brantley or Tracey Cole with The Social Media Place 2.0 for all your needs. They have packages for all budgets, they can build a blog, website or whatever you require. Call today, you will be glad you did.

BTW...by linking to FEMA on my blog, taught by Rhonda and Tracey, I have received three tornado disaster clients this week who found me on the internet!

Thank you ladies for a job well done, I LOVE it.

If you need pre-approval to purchase a home or refinance the home you have please call Valerie Springer 205-995-7283 x 305

My name is Valerie Springer, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama.

Pride Sometimes Prevents Us.......

Pride often prevents us from asking for help from those closest to us. Why? Because we’re embarrassed/humiliated & don’t want our friends to know what’s happened. The foolishness of pride is that it pretends to be self-reliant. Pride's the Great Pretender-The truth is friends need each other. How is it we enjoy helping our friends but won’t let them enjoy helping us? Ask!
Bob Beaudine
My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@benchmark.us or call 205-314-4775.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Emerald Ridge

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

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






*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.

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

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

Yours to Count On,
Valerie Springer

Thursday, 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 205-995-7283x305.  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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Give Or Take

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


 


 

Monday, 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


 

Friday, May 6, 2011

USDA Repair Program

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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

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

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Life Goes On"

April 21, 2011 is a day that will forever be a day of heartache and surprise.  We received an unexpected call that my mother-in-law, Ruth Springer, had stopped breathing.



It was the call we all hope to miss but on this day it was coming for us.  In a mad dash we flew out of the office and headed to the retirement home she had recently moved into.  I was driving and my sister-in-law Lynn was my passenger.  We made calls to the other brother's and sister's while en-route and were all gathered within 30 minutes or so to have that final moment with the earthly body we have loved so deeply through the years.


For those of you who do not know there were eight children in my husband's family.    Let me remember for a bit...


When Mick and I were dating, the first time he took me to meet his family, they were all there.  I was amazed when I walked into the family room to find a whole "congregation" of people sitting there looking at me!  :)  While I believe at some point I had known there were a whole bunch of Springers it had most certainly slipped my mind.  Mick made me a list by age of his siblings and I practiced to make sure I could call them by name next time we met.


I have many stories of the first few months being around Mick's siblings but I will share those on another occasion. 


One of the first things I remember was how sweet and gracious Ruth Springer, the matriarch of the family was to me.  I could not imagine that many people living in the same house and there was never anything out of place, ever.  She kept a spotless house that could have stood the white glove test at any time. 


She made everything seem easy and effortless.  In a house of ten there was laundry, cleaning, cooking and gardening to be completed daily but these were the activities that made her happy and she radiated joy and contentment.


No matter how much I brag you will never come close to imagining the delicious food she could whip up in her kitchen.  Country cooking at its finest with a touch of love in every spoonful.  Holiday's were grand and special but the week-night meals were just as scrumptous.


Nothing was too much trouble for Ruth.  I remember her getting up at midnight and making us hamburgers because we were all at her house and hungry.  More times than I could count. 


I remember when I didn't feel good she would make me biscuits because I thought I might be able to keep them down.  I remember the Christmas when Ashlee was born and we came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve...we couldn't go to her house that evening but she sent  dishes of all the food home to me so I wouldn't miss out on the tradition.  I remember when my sweet grandmother was so sick and Ruth would make her chicken and dumplins...Cora would eat them when she wouldn't eat a bite of anything else.  Ruth would make them for her often because she knew it made a difference for someone else.  I remember the times she  cooked breakfast for Papa just to cheer him up.  I remember the meals she made for my family in times of heartache.


I remember how her grandchildren loved to go to her house.  All night movies, dress up parties, karaoke and all of the candy and junk food a child could wish for be it homemade or store bought.  She would stay up as long as the kids wanted too and then make the best pallets in the floor with all of her homemade quilts.  The next morning they would wake to the smell of "Mimi's" homemade biscuits and the finest breakfast this side of the Mason Dixon Line.  She was just like a grandmother should be letting them do everything their parents would not allow (eating junk, staying up all night, being loud, watching Pretty Woman LOL etc).  It was all fun fun fun at Mimi's.


I miss her roast, lemon-ade and biscuits the most.  I miss going into her house in Pelham, starving, only to open the oven door and find a feast.  I miss Sunday afternoons playing in the backyard and shopping.  I miss everyone being happy and enjoying each other's company.  I miss hiding Easter eggs and trying my best to leave her an egg in her flower garden, she would surely complain a few months later when she was working her beds.  I miss hiding odd things in the Christmas tree to see how long it would take her to find them.  I miss Halloween and her caramel apples and the special bags of candy she would make for everyone.  I miss her doting on Mick and needing the reassurance that just because he married me didn't mean he forgot about her.  I miss my mother-in-law, the one I had before the life of hard-knocks set in.


She was a very special lady and I feel honored to have had her for my mother-in-law for 30 years.  I am even more appreciative that not only did she give life to my sweet husband but she influenced his disposition greatly.  I am thankful for her and all the blessings she has given to me.


As I sit here and watch the leaves blowing in the wind, the sun shining brightly  and reminiscing of days gone by, I am reminded to share your heart with loved ones every single day. 


On April 21, 2011 Ruth Springer passed away and as much as it hurts...Life Goes On.


In Memory,


Val


 


 

Wednesday, 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

Monday, 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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thunderstorm Warning Safety

 

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

Tuesday, 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


 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tropical Smoothie Cafe' Meets Catering Needs in Greater Birmingham Alabama Area

My friends Gordon and Julie Saunders have recently opened a Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Hwy 150 across from the Galleria in Hoover, AL.



I must confess, I missed the "smoothie" boat a few years ago and until Gordon and Julie had their Grand Opening, I had never enjoyed this great treat.


   I ordered my paradise and took a seat to take in all that was available.  Finally, taking turns, Julie and Gordon were able to come over and chat with me for a few moments and educate me on what all was offered.  I learned this was not only a  place to visit on bright and sunny days but also on days when you may not be feeling your best!  Who doesn't enjoy that tropical feeling, even when it dreary?



 


If you will look closely you will see Julie and Gordon peeping through in the back!


I was also amazed that they had the ability to cater and make food trays for your outings, events and those moments when you just need to help someone out because of illness or death.  They provide a variety of options and their service is second to none.  What a great service to be able to call ahead, go by and get your order with a smile and no more worries.


I hope you will all go by Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Hwy 150 in Hoover, AL and please say hello to Gordon and Julie.  Tell them you read about this on my blog.  Who knows, maybe I will see you there!  Enjoy yourselves, life is too short.



www.vshomeloans.com



Yours to Count On,

Valerie

205-995-7283 x 305

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy 50th Birthday Mick & Rick

On January 30, 1961, in Lawrenceburg, TN, my mother-in-law received two bouncing bundles of joy.  My husband Mick was born 4 minutes ahead of his identical twin Rick.  Ruth, (mother-in-law) was surprised and shocked after Mick was born and the doctor proudly proclaimed, "there is another one"!  Their heartbeats were together so there was no indication she would have multiple births.


Mick and Rick were added to already robust family of five.  Parents Walter and Ruth Springer, already had been graced with three little girls, Vickie, Lynn and Debbie.  Before the family was completed, Randy, Christy and Keith came along rounding out with 4 boys and 4 girls.  A household of ten.


I started to date Mick in 1979, I was 17 years old.  While somewhere along the way I had heard they had a really large family it had escaped me.  I knew about Rick and Randy and somewhere in the back of my mind felt sure there was a sister but was blown away when Mick took me to meet his family and they were ALL there in the family room.  WOW!!!


They were all  very nice and while Mick ran through introductions I remember thinking, "How will I ever learn everyone's name?".  I wrote them all down in chronological order that evening when we left, and I practiced!  By the next weekend I new everyone's name and the fun started.


I have always believed birthday's are special and everyone should celebrate, regardless of age.  When you celebrate with twins it is double the fun!  I have been to lots of parties but Mick and Rick always seem to have the best.  (Maybe because I plan them???) LOL



Fast forward to January 30, 2011...Mick and Rick celebrated their 50th birthday with a crowd of family and friends.  The food was excellent and we had DJ Fuzzy in charge of the music.  It was certainly an opportunity to dance the night away and we did. 



Thanks to everyone who helped to celebrate a very momentous occasion.  It was a fabulous evening and our bodies were certainly sore the next morning.  Dancing is great excercise and it is so much fun!


I have always felt blessed to have Mick as my sweet husband, he is one in a million.  In 1979, I would never have been able to imagine us celebrating a 50th birthday.  Looking back, it has been an amazing journey and I am so thankful to have been on the ride!