Charlie Sell (center) of Bangor was awarded a plaque for winning his 100th career match in a meet held Saturday. After his pin at 152 last night during the Slaters' 51-23 win over NDGP, Sell's career record at Bangor stands at 101-18. Sell, who is also an outstanding cross country runner, will atend Lehigh next year. Pictured to Sell's right is Scott Heckman who is the career leader at Bangor with 143 wins and is only other Slater to go over the century mark in career wins. (More photos tomorrow) (Another photo below) Sbtt Photo Julie Poliskiewicz.
Bangor's Shavaughn Morris, goes above the rim to score on a lay-up during the Slaters' 48-44 win over Pen Argyl in a hard-fought game by both teams played at Pen Argyl Tuesday night. (More photos tomorrow) (More photos below) PHOTO GALLERY Sbtt Photo Larry Cory
Pen Argyl's Chris Muller (2) drive by the Slaters' Mike Martino during Bangor's 48-44 win over Pen Argyl in a hard-fought game by both teams played at Pen Argyl Tuesday night (More photos tomorrow) (More photos below) PHOTO GALLERY Sbtt Photo Larry Coryy
Galen Happel (maroon) of Bangor won the night's opening match with a pin in 1:54 at 138 during the Slaters' 51-23 win over NDGP (More photos tomorrow) (Another photo below) Sbtt Photo Julie Poliskiewicz.
Bangor's Dylan Benton (23) gets a shot off over the outstretched arm of a defender during Bangor's 48-44 win over Pen Argyl in a hard-fought game by both teams played at Pen Argyl Tuesday night (More photos tomorrow) PHOTO GALLERY Sbtt Photo Larry Coryy
Busting first-time homebuyer myths
(BPT) - When buying a first home, most people are making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. Without home buying experience, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.
“Buying a first home can be exciting and stressful for most young buyers, especially the financing process,” says Clete Thompson, vice president at imortgage, a division of loanDepot LLC. “There’s a lot of paperwork, many choices, and sometimes budgets don’t stretch very far. Our licensed loan officers specialize in helping first-time buyers navigate the home finance process, which can be stressful if you’re not working with a seasoned professional.”
To help first-time buyers, the experts at imortgage are uncovering prevalent myths about financing a home purchase:
Myth: It takes a 20 percent down payment to buy a home.
Reality: Required down payment amounts vary by type of loan and they are on average much smaller than people think. Last year, the median down payment for all first-time buyers was 6 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. One reason is that many first-time buyers use FHA loans, which require down payments as low as 3 to 3.5 percent. VA loans require nothing down for qualified veterans or active military personnel. If you want to take out a conventional loan, many lenders do require 20 percent down, but you can lower that percentage with private mortgage insurance. There are also hundreds of down payment assistance programs that eliminate or reduce down payment requirements for qualified borrowers.
Myth: If you owe a lot of student loan debt, there is no way you can get a mortgage.
Reality: Don’t assume that having a lot of student loan debt automatically disqualifies you from getting a mortgage. The key factor is not necessarily the size of your loan obligation, but the amount of your total monthly debt payments compared to your monthly income. This is called DTI. imortgage, for example, has approved thousands of loans to first-time buyers whose monthly student loan payments were as high as $300, and many more could qualify by increasing their monthly income.
Myth: If your credit score is low, you should not even try to get a mortgage.
Reality: Millions of potential buyers assume they will not be approved for a mortgage even though many could qualify, according to a national survey commissioned by loanDepot LLC. Today, median FICO scores for mortgages to buy a home are 683 for FHA loans and 754 for conventional loans. But hundreds of thousands of buyers with scores lower than those are getting mortgages if they have good income and low levels of debt.
Myth: Buying a home isn’t a good investment.
Reality: Real estate, like other assets, rises and falls based on supply and demand. Over the past two years, home values in most markets have been rising. While all real estate is local, if you bought a home in March 2012, by August 2014 the national median home price as measured by Case-Shiller had risen 29.6 percent.
Myth: The mortgage-interest tax deduction is going away.
Reality: Though the deduction has its critics, most observers believe it is unlikely that Congress will eliminate the mortgage interest deduction any time soon. Many states also allow homeowners to write off the interest they pay on their mortgages from their state income taxes. Check with your accountant or CPA on if you can qualify for this type of tax deduction.
Myth: I’m about to get married and the wedding is so expensive I won’t be able to buy a home.
Reality: According to TheKnot, the average wedding has 138 guests who typically give a gift valued at $100 each. That’s $13,800 in spatulas, baking pans and other things. If every guest contributed to a Down Payment Fund, you could have enough saved for a down payment on a $276,000 home in San Diego.
“These are just a few of the myths about home buying that surface frequently in our conversations with first-time buyers,” says Thompson. “I always advise potential buyers, especially first- time buyers, to get in touch with one of our local imortgage loan officers if they’re interested in straight answers to specific questions about financing a home. We are here to help.
An artist is this month attempting to trigger contagious yawning in New York's Times Square.
Sebastian Errazuriz has created a video, entitled A Pause in the City That Never Sleeps, consisting of a continuous yawn on loop.
It is being on Times Square's electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight each night in January.
The yawning character - actually Chilean-born, London-raised, New York-based Mr Errazuriz himself - appears on multiple screens between billboards and advertisements.
The artist hopes that, as yawns are contagious, the masses of people looking up at the screens will inadvertently feel inclined to stop and yawn.
He said "It's a little scary as an artist to present a project that is this simple... At times the simplest projects are the hardest to do."
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, "The beauty of Sebastian Errazuriz's piece is its attempt to induce a contagious moment of calm and pause at the otherwise bustling crossroads of Times Square.
"We will see how the largest digital display of yawns in history will affect the city that never sleeps."
The project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts
Messinger Street Bridge (Viaduct)
The west bound lane of the Messinger Street Bridge (Viaduct) between First Street (Rte 191) and Murray Street in Bangor has been closed.
After a recent inspection it was determined that the westbound lane of the bridge needs to be closed and detoured due to in-creased deterioration to the bridge.
Eastbound traffic will not be affected.
This restriction will be in effect until construction of the new bridge, estimated to begin in late 2015.
Motorists will have two detour options:
Pen Argyl Academic Wall of Fame Nominations
It is time for the Pen Argyl High School Alumni Association to select the 2015 Inductees to the Academic Wall of Fame.
This honor is bestowed on a select number of graduates or past district educators each year who have distinguished themselves through community service, academic accomplishments, as well as, advancements in their chosen profession. The creation of this distinction was to set an example of what is possible for all present and future Pen Argyl students!
This honor is different from the PAHS Athletic Hall of Fame where chosen Alumni are honored for their athletic contributions while at Pen Argyl High School.
Anyone can nominate a PAHS graduate for the Academic Wall of Fame honor. Our Academic Wall of Fame Inductees have made a meaningful contribution to the world around them, and the Pen Argyl Alumni Association is proud to bestow this honor. To nominate a graduate, please contact Jim or Heather Hunter at 610-863-9443 or send an e-mail to email@example.com The deadline for nominations is February 20, 2015.
Slate Belt Works Together
Ask The Doc........
A Gift To Make You SMILE
by Dr. Gary Williams, DMD
What do you get for that special someone for Christmas? What is it that you would really like to have? It needs to be something, fun! Something that makes you SMILE!
I know, why not invest in your very own…SMILE! Straighter, whiter teeth. That’s what most people list as a desire for their appearance. Well, we can give you the smile that you’ve always wanted. We have a comfortable, invisible, easy way to align your teeth and whiten them. Call and ask about Invisalign.
It’s the gift you really owe to yourself. garywilliamsdmd.com. 610-863-8988.
Slate Belt Senior Center