Monthly Archives: March 2013

USDA Financing To Stick Around

Good news if you’ve been thinking of buying a home in the Birmingham general area…USDA no down payment financing

With two days left to spare, the government has decided not to allow a change to take effect that would have meant the removal of Calera as one of the communities eligible for no-down-payment home mortgage financing.

Congress has passed a resolution that preserves the areas where homes are eligible for USDA loans.  The bill must be signed by the President before becoming law, but that is expected to happen shortly.

USDA loans are popular with many Buyers because they can be an affordable way of purchasing a home.  The loans are available for properties in specific geographical areas designated by the government.

The decision by Congress means that the home we currently have listed in Calera will continue to be eligible for USDA’s no-down-payment financing:

Tangling With Tornadoes In Birmingham

DSC_6054 Being awakened in the middle of the night is seldom fun.

If your weather radio goes off for a Tornado Warning and then nothing seems to come of it, your first inclination may be to toss the radio in the trash.

If false alarm warnings have ever frustrated you, you missed a good chance to see ‘the other side of the story’ last night in Birmingham:

My head is still spinning after being around a bunch of very sharp scientific minds — the local chapter of the Nat’l Weather Association held its first meeting of the year last evening.

Kevin Laws, Science and Operations Officer for the National Weather Service’s local office, gave a fascinating presentation on Dual Polarization radar, a recent upgrade to the government’s Doppler radar network.

Kevin spoke about the success the NWS is having in working toward two huge goals:  Reducing the number of false alarm tornado warnings, and improving the probability of detection at the same time.  After hearing Kevin talk about the challenges involved, you realize quickly that this is a task that’s much easier said than done.

I enjoyed this meeting a lot.  If you find it interesting to learn how the NWS is trying to improve its warning and other services, this was a valuable chance to learn and appreciate what these folks are doing.

If you’re a weather geek, being part of the NWA’s local chapter is strongly recommended (you can join on line for less than $27; not a bad deal at all).

Visit the local chapter’s website for more information…


Mediterranean Dining at In-N-Out

If you enjoy Mediterranean dining, Hoover’s In-N-Out Grill—in the WalMart shopping center on Hwy 150—needs to be high on your list to visit.

I wouldn’t call the atmosphere elegant, but the food makes up for it.  We’ve visited several times and have never been disappointed.

Colleen and I stopped there for dinner Saturday evening.  She had the Chicken Kabobs, and I had the Chicken Kawerma, one of their signature dishes.  Our dinners, complete with fresh salads and an order of their wonderful Baba Ghanouj appetizer with Pita bread, set us back less than $20.

We left full, happy and satisfied.

Falafeel, lamb, and grape leaves are among In-N-Out Grill’s Mediterranean offerings, but others rave about their hamburgers.

Service has always been friendly and efficient.  Mike, the owner, seems genuinely interested in making sure that your dining experience is a good one.

You can see their menu on their website.  For orders to go, call 205-444-2014.

In-N-Out Grill is open seven days a week:  Sundays through Thursdays from 10am ’til 9pm, and Fridays and Saturdays, 10am ’til 10pm.


USDA Area Eligibility Remains Uncertain

If you want to buy a home in Birmingham’s Chelsea or Calera area using USDA no-down-payment financing, you may be wise to buy sooner, rather than later.

March 27th is the deadline by which earlier reports indicated that USDA would be dropping those areas from its list of eligibility.

But Gloria Jackson, a Lender with First Federal Mortgage in Birmingham who has spoken with USDA, says exactly what will happen by the end of the month remains unclear:

You can reach Gloria by calling 205-965-2167.  Click here for her website and e-mail link…