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Welcome to My Home My

a way to empower Black

Voice Magazine, a quar-

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terly publication document-

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ing the life and times of

while providing pertinent

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formation provided within

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President Vincent Wimbish Endorsed by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers

P.O. Box 201324 Cleveland, OH 44120 All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2011 Office 1 800 966.7976

Jarmel B. Sims Writer Shemar B. Reynolds Writer Tonayia Johnson Writer

Phil Bracken / Wells Fargo Contributing Writer

African-American Trade Association

David Muraco Contributing Writer




Denzel C. Kennedy Contributing Writer Stephen J. Malone Photographer






Northeast Ohio HealthyHome




Dee Magic Publisher /Editor

Brandon D. Eslick Writer




Written by Charniece Holmes


Darnel P. Hinson Photographer

The thoughts, ideas, and concepts contained in this publication are not necessarily those of My Home My Voice, and do not represent any policy recommendations, points of view, or directional positioning of My Home My Voice. All photos, commentary, stories will not be returned unless requested and includes a self addressed and stamped envelope. Please send all submissions to: My Home My Voice P.O. Box 201324 Cleveland, OH 44120 All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2011.

Learning How To Consume Less Energy Save On Your Electric Bill Community Substainability Home Owner’s Armageddon Landscaping Voices/Families On The Brink Industry News

Saving Your Marriage

You Are What You Eat


by Andrea Cooksey


by Jarmel B. Sims




by Phil Bracken

15 Northeast Ohio HealthyHome

One Vision One Voice




RENEWABLE ENERGY Courtesy of Northeast Ohio HealthyHome

Learning How To Consume Less Energy The United States is the world’s largest consumer of energy and every year we use more energy than we did the year before. In fact, the amount of energy Americans use has doubled about every 20 years and the average home now spends $1200 per year for electricity. Half of America’s electricity currently comes from coal power plants that pollute our environment and produce a lot of greenhouse gas. We need to motivate ourselves into becoming more efficient with the way we use energy in the home, at work and in our everyday lives. Energy efficient buildings and homes will save consumers billions of dollars and as an extra benefit we will have a cleaner and safer planet. The good news is that you do not have to sacrifice comfort or change routines to get more efficient. It’s a matter of learning how to consume less energy to get the same amount of heat for a shower, light for a room and power for factories. Some experts argue that today’s best techniques could cut U.S. oil and gas use in half, and reduce our electricity use by three-fourths. There are three main ways you can save energy:

Use Machines More Productively

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power electronic equipment is standby power. That means power flowing to plugged-in appliances whether or not they are being used. Homeowners can avoid wasting power by pulling the plug on appliances when they are not in use. A Little Effort Goes A Long Way!

Upgrade to Energy Efficient Products

refrigerators are three times more efficient than those built before 1973. Laptop computers consume much less energy than desktop computers. If every American home replaced just one light with an ENERGY STAR light, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, about $700 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year which is equivalent to the emissions of about 800,000 cars. Understanding the full picture will help kickstart better energy habits sooner.

Embrace New Technologies

Supporting new energy saving technologies, alternative and renewable energy sources has significant promise in helping to reduce the amount of toxins that are by-products of energy use. Not only do they protect against harmful by-products, but using them helps to preserve many of the natural resources that we currently use as sources of energy. At the dawn of the automobile age, Henry Ford predicted that “ethyl alcohol is the fuel of the future.” Brazil was listening and expects to become energy self-sufficient this year, meeting its growing demand for fuel by increasing production of ethanol from renewable sources.

Newer energy star appliances are designed to use less electricity. As an example, an energy star dishwasher uses significantly less electricity, mainly by heating water more efficiently, which accounts for 80 percent of the energy use. An added benefit is that on average, you also use 1,000 fewer gallons of water per year. Today’s



RENEWABLE ENERGY Written by Brandn D. Eslick

Save As Much As 25% On Your Electric Bill In the average home almost 25% to 30% of electricity coming into the home goes unused and is wasted! GreenDay Energy CapacitorTM reduces the amount of power drawn from the utility by storing unused and lost energy in its capacitors caused by inductive motors in your air conditioning unit, refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps, vacuum cleaners, furnace blower motors, fans, etc. The technology applied by the GreenDay Energy CapacitorTM unit captures unused and wasted energy and supplies the stored electricity on demand, increasing the effective use of energy and lowering your utility bill! Will the unit work in any home or business? Yes, as long as you have a circuit breaker panel with breaker switches and not the old screw in type fuses. Will it affect any of my appliances? No, if anything, your appliance motors will run cooler, (heat is an enemy of a motor) increasing their lifetime by as much as 85%. How much can I expect to save per month? That depends on many factors. The size of your home, the amount of inductive motor load, and the amount you are paying per kilowatt-hour for electricity can all have an impact on your savings. However, generally speaking, users of the product have seen 6% to 25% in reduced consumption. The average savings is 15% to 20%. How long will it take for the unit to pay for itself? We guarantee a payback of 36 months or less, but again, the same factors above apply, some will see sooner (as quick as 6 months), some will see latter (36 months). On average the payback is about 1218 months.

How long will the GreenDay Energy CapacitorTM last? Our residential units are guaranteed for 12 years and our commercial units are guaranteed for 7 years: Both have a predicted lifespan of 30+ years. Additional Benefits: • Reduces EMF emissions by up to 40%! • Reduces the risk of electrical fires! • Maintenance Free! • Environmentally friendly-reduces Greenhouse effect! • Provides complete power surge protection for the entire home or office! • 100% Money Back Guarantee! If in 60 days you do not see a reduction in usage on your electric bill, you can return the unit and we will refund the entire purchase price! • Guaranteed return on investment! Energy Efficiency is a commitment worth making! Special Offer: Purchase our best selling model for your home or small business by September 31, 2010 and get 10% off the $599.00 purchase price and our 100% money back guarantee! Note: This offer applies to our residential single phase 200 amp, 240v/480v model which is appropriate for most residential and small commercial business application. GreenDay Energy CapacitorTM

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Are 3 phase units available for commercial and industrial applications? Yes! Our commercial model is available in 3 phase 100, 200 and 400 amp capacity. MY HOME MY VOICE MAGAZINE

Call Today! 1.440.283.0362 Tell them you saw it in My Home My Voice.


Naturally Cleaner, Safer, Savings GreenDay TM Home Compost Systems The best way to compost is to use a rotating drum. GreenDay’s home compost systems go a step further by incorporating a patented, double drum Autoflow® design. Materials go into the top and compost exists automatically out the end as the drum rotates.


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In the average home almost 25% to 30% of electricity coming into the home goes unused and is wasted! GreenDay Energy CapacitorTM reduces the amount of power drawn from the utility by storing unused and lost energy in its capacitors

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nPower® PEG Hand-Held Charger for electronics. The nPower® PEG is a small, lightweight device that recharges your hand-held electronic devices from the kinetic energy you generate while walking, running, or biking.


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RENEWABLE ENERGY Written by Tonayia Johnson

A Community Lifestyle of Substainability After more than half a century of focusing on economic growth as a means to improving humanity’s condition, the world has begun to realize that the same ingenuity used to create the modern conveniences and luxuries we enjoy in our daily lives and benefits of economic growth are useless if they undermine human health and our natural resources. The concept of “substainability” has taken center stage based on the growing number of health and environmental issues that now impact us and the future of our children, community and country. Our desire to have and maintain a high quality of life and enjoy the opportunities that economic development can bring, require us to place human health first and find ways that will preserve the environment for present and future generations. After all, what good are our possessions if we do not have our health or a vibrant community to live in? There are many ways to define substainability. The simplest definition is: A sustainable community is one that places human health first and can persist over generations, one that is visionary enough, flexible enough, and wise enough not to undermine human, environmental and economic health. Creating a “Community Lifestyle of Substainability” is a far-reach-

ing approach and ongoing process. As a community if we are going to reverse the negative impact that our modern lifestyles have on human health, the damage we’ve done to the environment and build a vibrant healthy community and local economy we have to educate, support and enable each other to do their part wherever we can. As individuals and as a community we need to: • Preserve and protect human health by embracing preventive health care initiatives and by supporting manufacturers of products and local services that offer healthier and environmentally friendly alternatives. • Make smart informed purchasing decisions and drive change through consumer demand for healthier and environmentally friendly products. • Support local business and meet local needs by using local resources. • Repair our environment and reduce our environmental impacts by embracing new technologies for energy and water. • Add occupant health initiatives into green building techniques that cut energy, pollution and operating costs. • Local companies need to embrace a new spirit of collaboration. They should look to promote healthy lifestyles, educational awareness and share knowledge even if it requires taking time and money to

create. Imagine being able to shop for products without having to worry about the health impact of ingredients. Imagine if more then the 3% of the $2.3 trillion we spent on health care in the US was focused on prevention instead of treatment. Imagine the environmental and economic results if every household, grocery stores, office buildings, industries, schools, restaurants and public operations all curbed resource use by an easy 20%. Imagine if as a whole community we promoted living healthy lifestyles with a green conscience to cut the impact we have on the environment through waste reduction, recycling and pollution prevention. When households, businesses and local governments implement efficiency improvements and practice preventive healthcare they free up money for other purposes which stimulates the local economy and creates jobs. While it is impossible and impractical for any one person to do everything all of us can do something. Creating a health conscious, energy efficient community and strong local economy that offers opportunity and enhances the quality of life starts in your own home!


9 Russell Simmons, Co-Founder & Chairman, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Co-Founder and CEO, Lynn Richardson, Chief of Operations

EDITORIAL Unfortunately, during these present economic times, many families are one paycheck from being homeless. Today, it is not uncommon for families that in recent past have not had problems making their monthly house payments now find themselves facing possible foreclosure. Most times families are faced with losing their homes for lack of knowledge and understanding about options that are available to assist them in saving their homes. Many families do not understand that it is okay to communicate with the lender; in fact, the challenge most lenders are faced with is the lack of response. Many families go into foreclosure when possible workout options are available, but they never become aware of those options. Lastly, it is also not uncommon for these families to pay fees in access of $3000 for services that are FREE. The Coleman Family of Houston, Texas became delinquent on their home mortgage due to a loss of income and medical issues. They struggled to catch-up but could not quite make it because of the loss of income. Like so many families, the possibility of facing foreclosure of their home was a scary position to be in. After making several failed attempts to obtain a modification by submitting requested documents to the lender on their own, they became very frustrated. Out of desperation they consid-



ARMAGEDDON by Andrea Cooksey

ered paying funds they really did not have to organizations that were promising quick results but instead heard about a local organization that could assist them for Free. Andrea Cooksey, Branch Manager of the local affiliate of NIDHCA a HUD Approved Organization assisted the Coleman’s to save their home from foreclosures. Mrs. Cooksey and her staff worked with the Coleman’s in preparing a budget to docu-

ment their income and provide support documents to the lender for loan modification consideration. Those seem like simple steps but the average homeowner is intimidated when speaking with the lenders representatives. The lenders have also had to ramp up to adequately train representatives to handle to massive request for assistance since President Obama signed the Making Affordable Bill. Confused homeowners


and untrained lenders created a great need for counselors. Texas is a non-judicial state which means time is of the essence foreclosure can and will occur very quickly if not handle properly. The Coleman family received a trail modification they are, one of the success stories that justify the need for neighborhood counseling services being available to communities.


CURB VALUE Written by Charniece Holmes

Courtesy of Lowe’s Home Improvements

Proper Landscape Planning Pays

A home and its landscaping are a reflection of the people who live there. How often do you notice two homes side by side, one proudly displaying a well-planned, attractive and well-maintained landscape, while the other appears to be hodgepodge of overgrown trees and bushes. It’s easy to see that this lack of landscaping and maintenance combine to make the yard a distraction to both the house and the neighborhood.


Maintenance With the proper evaluation and fore-thought, landscaping maintenance can be easily suited to any individual’s time and interest. For example, a naturalistic setting is normally low in required maintenance, as compared to a forma setting; which requires greater attention. Resale Value Well-planned landscaping will not only increase the aesthetic value of your home, but will also pay its own way in the

long run. Studies have proven that good landscaping increases the value of your home from 10 to 15 percent. Plant Replacement: Be sure to check a plant’s bloom time and planting information before planting. The Landscaping Plan The ideas below should help you recognize some of these objectives. Functional Needs Begin by listing functional needs of your family, such as an entertainment patio or deck


areas, children’s play areas, vegetable garden, service area, frills, work area, fountains, ponds, structures and open lawn areas. Themes Think about the outdoor living area you want to create, whether it is formal, tropical, oriental or rustic . Scan magazines and collect pictures of landscapes that you like, visit botanical gardens or simply drive through tastefully landscaped neighborhoods. Views This is your opportunity to either enhance on existing view or structure with an eye-appealing setting or block out an eyesore. Budget Establish a comfortable budget for you home landscaping project. An extensive landscaping plan can be costly; it may be best to phase in the installation over several seasons.

CURRENT EVENTS Courtesy of Advertisers


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NID-HCA is one of twenty three HUD National Intermediary Housing Counseling Agencies and has a twenty plus year history of housing outreach, education and advocacy on behalf of African American and minority communities throughout the country. We help build our communities through outreach efforts, education and the creation of partnerships, uniting counseling, business and community groups.

Counseling/Education Services Offered: organizations, community and faith based organizations; local, state and federal governments; and public and private industry stakeholders.

Homebuyer education Pre-purchase counseling Rental counseling Delinquency/Default/Loss Mitigation counseling Reverse Mortgage Counseling Post Purchase education and counseling Community Development (FBO) education and counseling

FREE Assistance Is NowASSISTANCE Available ForISHomeowners With FOR FREE NOW AVAILABLE Mortgage Problems


NIDHousing HOUSING COUNSELING AGENCY IS OFFERING HOUSING AND LEGAL for NID Counseling Agency is offering FREE FREE housing and legal counseling COUNSELING FOR HOMEOWNERS HAVING DIFFICULTY REFINANCING homeowners having difficulty refinancing and/or maintaining their monthly mortgage payments.AND/OR MAINTAINING THEIR MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.

WWW.NIDONLINE.ORG WWW.MAKINGYOURHOMEAFFORDABLE.ORG Foreclosure Prevention Helpline 877-964-3422 Foreclosure Prevention HelpLine 877-964-3422 Jacqueline Carlisle Executive Director NID-HCA

National Office: Watergate Towers 2200 Powell St., Ste 530, Emeryville, CA 94608,

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VOICES Courtesy of Black Families

“I was able to keep my home. When I came to them I was paying a $1,400 a month mortgage loan at 6.000%.” Dear My Home My Voice, I am writing this letter to express my joy and thanks to NID, for the outstanding job that they did for me and the amazing blessing they have given me. Thanks to NID, I was able to keep my home. When I came to them I was paying a $1,400 a month mortgage loan at 6.000%. I was also four months behind on my payments. I tried to go to another home loan modification company, but after six months of getting nowhere a friend sent me to NID., and in two months my home loan was dropped down to paying $880 a month at a 2.000% APR. All I could do was thank God for his guidance and blessings. I also thank God for the Staff at NID They truly save lives. Kennard M. Simms Chicago, IL 60637 Dear NID and Ms. Webber,

Families On The Brink

Monologues with Black Americans

“The negotiating that was done on my behalf was very helpful, with a result that has put me in a position to be able to keep my home.” I am writing you this letter to say thank you for your assistance with getting my mortgage lowered. The negotiating that was done on my behalf was very helpful, with a result that has

put me in a position to be able to keep my home. Life doesn’t always allow a new opportunity to make changes that are significant and contractual. This is a very good thing that you are doing for the community, and without any kind of deception like other organizations out there. Before I came to you two years ago, I was seeking help from an “organization”. It sounded like a really good chance to reduce my mortgage, but the level of the inconsistent follow up by them caused a



CitiMortgage Strategic Markets Team is proud to support the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and participate during its National Convention. Citi is an institution connecting over 1,000 cities, 160 countries and millions of people, we are your global bank; we are Citi.

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VOICES Courtesy of Black Families

lot of harm. I have told other people about you, and how your program has helped me. Thanks again, and I am wishing you many more success stories. Carl McKenzie Lansing, IL 6043

“Not only did they answer the questions, they did it with compassion and understanding and they treated me with respect.” On Behalf of my agent, I want to thank the organization of NID, especially Mrs. Webber and Mrs. Chaney for making a bad situation better. Losing my home was not a great time in my life. I was also going thru a divorce at the time, so going to the agency gave me a new direction and hope. I had questions and they answered every last one of them. Not only did they answer the questions, they did it with compassion and understanding and they treated me with respect. I recommend my friends to go to them. I thank God for them. Ms. Lucy Abernathy To: Dawn-Webber and

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank these three strong, caring women for helping me to make my dad and a seemingly hopeless situation, turn into a “Live happily-everafter” situation.”

If you’ve got a story about saving or losing your home please share it with us. Send all submissions to My Home My Voice P.O. Box 201324, Cleveland, OH 44120 1 800 966.7976

Associates They say that this is the year for women. Well, I certainly agree with “They”, whoever they are. I would like to take this opportunity to thank these three strong, caring women for helping me to make my dad and a seemingly hopeless situation, turn into a “Live happily-everafter” situation. When I came to Mrs. Webber, she immediately put my troubled mind at ease. Even though she had a heavy workload, she and her staff, Ms. Kerby and Ms. Chaney worked with me and helped put my situation in remission. Thank you ladies and God bless all three of you. Lovingly, Hanna Dukes



National Association of Real Estate Brokers

INDUSTRY NEWS Written by Annemarie du LeBohn

Home Ownership Still Works Tustin, California - Today’s real estate media headlines paint a dark picture for anyone wishing to fulfill the American Dream of buying their own home. But with more focus, attaining that goal is brighter than one might imagine. After all, today’s challenge in buying a home is not with finding inventory, or getting a great interest rate or finding a reasonably priced home. Rather the challenge is in educating oneself on the process and partnering with the right people who know how to make the dream come true. Case in point, recently 55-year old Mr. Moore from Columbus, Ohio was forced to move because the Columbus Airport Authority bought his rental property to expand the airport. Thankfully, he had enough foresight to know this was his opportunity to buy a home, making him a first-time homeowner – a life-long dream. Especially since he was receiving relocation money to move. His biggest challenge – not knowing the best way to proceed. He had lived in the same rental unit for more than 10 years, and


he had a limited, fixed income due to a disability. Plus his car was paid off, and he didn’t own a credit card. Basically, he was debt free. Usually that’s a great position to be in… unless you want to buy a home during a tight lending market. No credit means you can’t qualify for a loan. His worries stopped after he acquired the real estate services of Mr. Henry Hargrave Jr. (Hank) of Premier Select Homes to be his buyer’s agent. To solve the credit issue, Hank knew a lender that would carry a mortgage if Mr. Moore could provide a solid payment history. So he provided proof of paying rent, insurance and utilities on time for 12 consecutive months. To sweeten the deal, Mr. Moore would use the relocation fee as his down payment. The only challenge left was finding a suitable home. Again, that’s where Hank solved the problem. With a solid pulse on the market, he knew which property inventory in the neighborhood fit Mr. Moore’s criteria. That insight gave Hank great negotiating power for he knew which REOs would be most flexible in their sales price.

In the end, Mr. Moore bought a bank-owned/REO property for $24,000 with a county auditor tax value of $62,400 and a fixed rate of 5.25%, making his monthly PITI mortgage payment $217, almost 50% less than his previous rental fee. Even better, Hank convinced Mr. Moore to make his monthly mortgage payment equal to his previous rent ($425). By doing that, the house would be paid off in 5 years. This was a perfect, life-altering opportunity to create security and build wealth for Mr. Moore, and for those in a similar situation, there are many take-away points to remember: First, get educated, reduce your debt, save money and be patient. Good things happen to those who wait for the right opportunity. Second, work with real estate professionals who understands the market conditions and who network with other professionals in their field. Lastly, have the foresight to know this is a great time to buy real estate and to build wealth.


SOCIAL COMMENTARY Courtesy of My Home My Voice Staff

Real Estate Economist Courtesy of Dr. LaVaughn Henry, PHd Realtist Economist


Saving Your Marriage Make sure that you do not rush to things and try out these easy remedies that might actually help you save your marriage. Try To Live Separate for A Few Weeks Separation can save a marriage but only if you do it right. The philosophy behind this is that human beings tend to take things that belong to them for granted. So plan a business trip or make up an excuse to get away from your loved ones for a while. When you are away, do not completely ignore your husband or wife. Call them once in a while and before disconnecting, say the magic word ‘I love you’. When you are back home, bring them back something unique and special from your trip. And make sure to tell them that you did miss them when you were away. Fire Up Your Love Life Go to the book store near you and buy a copy of Kamasutra. It does not matter if you read it or not. Invest in some quality CDs that illustrate the art of lovemaking. You can always pick up a thing or two watching them. Try roleplaying. This is a great way to explore your wildest fantasies. Try to get that secret out. Believe it or not your lover will have at-least one fetish or wild fantasy that he or she is afraid to disclose to you fearing rejection. Firstly reveal your fantasies and then ask your lover to do the same. This is a great way to ensure that both of you get to know each other and your likings better. The more you know each other the better you can pleasure each other in bed.

NATIONAL FORECAST “The first decade of the new millennium has not been kind to African-American homeowners. After reaching a peak in homeownership rates of 49.7 percent in the second quarter of 2004, the current level of 44.8 percent is the lowest seen since the second quarter of 1998. This compares to a rate of 74.2 percent for white non-Hispanics, and 46.8 percent for Hispanics. The Great Recession was especially harsh on African-Americans as many lost their piece of the American Dream due to high rates of unemployment, subprime lending, and poor credit management. However, as we enter a recovery stage in the economy, AfricanAmericans will continue to work to regain employment and rebuild their balance sheets. In this period of historically low interest rates and increased home affordability, homeownership and wealth-building should continue to be primary goals of African-American households.”



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HEALTH Courtesy of Northeast Ohio HealthyHome

Do you know what ingredients are in the food you serve your family?

You Are What You Eat! How much do you really know about the water and food you buy and serve to your family? Often overlooked by the average consumer but of critical importance is the impact that modern science has on our food supply.

Research has raised serious concerns about the safety of chemicals used in food packaging and by-product chemical contaminants from the packaging processes, product recalls confirm this concern. Additives, preservatives, artificial coloring, foods derived from genetically modified

seeds or genes, milk or meat from animals pumped up with hormones or antibiotics and chemical residues from pesticides impact our health and the nutritional value of our food. Global experts directly relate the emergence of chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity to our food supply. In fact, The National Cancer Institute estimates that at least 35% of all cancers have a nutritional connection and when lifestyle factors are included, the associated risk becomes much stronger and might be as high as 85%.



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HEALTH Courtesy of Northeast Ohio HealthyHome

Heinen’s Commitment to Healthier Living Heinen’s is a family-owned grocery store chain consisting of 17 stores in the Northeast Ohio area. Their vision is to be “the” premier food store by offering the freshest, highest quality foods with world-class customer service.

• Substituting unsaturated fats for saturated and trans fats can reduce your unhealthy cholesterol by up to 10 percent.

Heinen’s offers a wide range of organic products. Heinen’s has over 96 organic produce items, though some are seasonal. In the grocery, frozen and dairy departments there are over 700 organic items. Heinen’s meat department provides organic beef and chicken, and hormone and antibiotic free meats. Heinen’s Own Beef is Certified Humane, Raised and Handled.

• A weight loss of 5 to 7 percent obtained by reduced fat intake can lower your risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60 percent.

Along with a wide variety of organic and natural products Heinen’s is also dedicated to help people who have special dietary needs. They offer the largest selection of gluten free products in the Northeast Ohio area and have wellness consultants to give tours of the store and help in selection of foods. Heinen’s also carries a wide range of vitamins and supplements

For more information please go to or visit your local Heinen’s.

The Healthy Appetite Program, a Recipe for Healthier Living! To help you and your family benefit from healthy food choices, Heinen’s and Cleveland Clinic have partnered to create the Healthy Appetite program. Simply look for the Healthy Appetite / Go Foods label on Heinen’s prepared foods and on grocery items Scientific evidence linking eating habits to increased risk of certain diseases and conditions proves “you are what you eat.” • One-third of cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes such as eating a diet rich in plant-based foods. • Fiber from fruits, vegetables, cereals and whole grains is associated with lower rates of obesity, heart disease, certain cancers, and metabolic syndrome. • Every 10-gram increase in dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease by 27 percent. MY HOME MY VOICE MAGAZINE



One Vision One Voice

Phil Bracken, EVP Industry Relations – Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

First, let me begin with the appropriate disclaimer: The thoughts, ideas, and concepts contained in this article are NOT those of Wells Fargo, and do not represent any policy recommendations, points of view, or directional positioning of Wells Fargo. These views are simply my own – drawn from 36 years in this business and from a series of discussions, interviews, and brainstorming sessions with industry related experts. I will elaborate further as I go. Homeowners have lost more than $7 Trillion of single family real estate value since 2007. Economists estimate we’re not yet at the peak of the foreclosure crisis. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in Conservatorship and based on new recommendations, could become extinct. There is a seismic shift of credit tightening on us and likely more to come. There’s a new “Regulatory Sheriff” in Washington called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ready to unleash more than 350 new rules


about (among other things) how mortgage products are delivered to the consumer. There are new increased capital requirements coming for banks and financial services companies. There are fundamental challenges popping up in numerous areas about the value proposition of Homeownership. Unemployment is around 9%. Consumer Confidence is not good. I could go on and on – but you get the point. We’re in the middle of a housing mess resulting from a whole series of lousy events and actions that need to be corrected and repaired. But correction and repair is not easy. I compare it to trying to change the tires on a moving vehicle. In your life, you’ve probably already experienced some seismic events, so let me ask you to ponder this question: When you look back on this current “seismic event”, what will you say you did to help America out of this mess? The Housing Recovery Coalition At the end of 2008, I

approached a group of leaders in the “Housing Space” to form a “coalition” of interested and concerned groups with the purpose of analyzing issues and making recommendations to help America engineer past this crisis. We called it – the Housing Recovery Coalition. The coalition is made up of the three Diverse Segment Real Estate Groups – NAREB ,AREAA, and NAHREP. It also included the National League of Cities, the US Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Homebuilders, the National Urban League-Policy Institute, and the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks. The mission – is to protect the advancement of sustainable homeownership to the underserved and multi-cultural markets. To do so, the coalition (which we have affectionately dubbed the “HRC”) feels very passionate about protecting the best parts of the housing and financial system we’ve enjoyed over the past 40 years, to deliver sustainable homeownership to their constituents to


Finance . My Home My Voice support the mission. In addition….some of the ideas coming from the HRC might just create jobs too! You all know it – we’re in a housing crisis – and much of this crisis won’t fix itself. It requires bold intervention. Some of that bold intervention might have to come in the form of new, innovative products – or temporary modifications to existing products in order to meet the mission of the HRC and to accelerate the pace of recovery. Cities need help. Realtors and Realtists need help. Lenders need help. Consumers need help. The Homeowners of America need help. Frankly – America needs help! So, my 36 years in this business and my discussions with Industry Leaders – many of them the leaders of the Members of the HRC - have resulted in some innovative ideas and products that might help fix this mess. Again – I remind you, these are NOT Wells Fargo’s recommendations – if these are decent ideas… then they’re mine! If they’re crazy – then blame my friend Julius Cartwright – he’s the one who put me up to writing this! How about some “New Music”……maybe these products would help improve the “tune” of Housing in America. 1. FHA203B (N-O-O) – This is an old dormant FHA pro-

gram for investors that could be brought back to life rather quickly. It’s the traditional FHA Mortgage Program (203B) that most of you are familiar with…only this would be expanded to allow loans to “Non Occupant Owners” (Investors). It would work like this: After a decent “First Look Program” for potential Owner Occupants, make these mortgages available once again to Investors to absorb the inventory and get the foreclosed and for sale real estate rented and back on the tax rolls. Requires about 15% downpayment, Investors limited to less than 10 properties, fixed rate 30 year financing – and the loans are assumable! But here’s the catch – how about as a bridge to homeownership – we require the investor to sell the property to an owner occupant within 5 years or lose the assumable feature? As with all these programs – these would be fully documented mortgages. The fraud difficulties that plagued the program in the past could be mitigated substantially with the existing fraud tools that were not available in the late 1970”s and early 1980’s when this program flourished. 2. FHA 203K N-O-O - this is an existing FHA program that allows home rehabilitation costs to be built into the mortgage. But – it currently is available only to Owner Occupants. Once again, FHA could make this program available to Non Occupant Owners (Investors) with a simple temporary adjustment to the program guidelines.

3. Lease/Purchase Mortgage – this program could be made available by FHA or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and administered by Lenders. The program would target folks with good credit – good job – just no downpayment. As an alternative to renting, Fannie or Freddie or FHA could make a program for the purchase of foreclosed property with little or no downpayment to qualified borrowers. Essentially, the borrower would be leasing the property under a three year (or so) agreement. If they made their payments on time – the Agency would allow the borrower to obtain a mortgage loan at the rate that would match the current payment on the lease. The agencies would then buy the loan at par value from the lender, and the consumer would have their own new mortgage. 4. Portable Mortgage - In some countries, the cost of housing or financing makes a portable mortgage a very attractive feature. Borrowers with a good rate and great payment history just take the loan with them property to property. 5. Shared Appreciation Mortgage – How about FHA or Fannie or Freddie create a mortgage where they allow borrowers to buy at really discounted prices provided the agencies are granted some piece of the future appreciation as a way to recover their costs? 6. The Matching Funds Mortgage – How about a lease to buy program by FHA, Fannie or Freddie where a first time homebuyer gets to “lease” the property for the first



FINANCE Continued

two years. If the “leasee” makes their payments on time every month and saves a couple thousand dollars for a downpayment – the agencies would match the downpayment. 7. The FHLB Mortgage Program – If we really want a “skin in the game” mortgage program that actually works – how about dusting off the FHLB mortgage programs (MPF and MPP). They worked great for a number of years – absent one component that is essential….the FHLBs need the authority and capability to securitize the loans and get them off their balance sheet. 8. Condo Loans – we need Temporary Relaxation of a series of restrictions on Condo’s. I could rattle off the 5 or 6 quick temporary needs, but you could probably as well.

This much is certain…we’re going to need “One Vision and One Voice” if we’re going to change the music that’s being played in the housing space in the next couple years.

There you have Eight Innovative Mortgage Ideas….but I bet you could design just as many on your own.



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