By ANEEKA SIMONIS AN EQUESTRIAN Expo and Young Farmers conference will be added to Farm World. Held at Lardner Park…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
- Why veterans end up paying more for mortgages than they should
(iStock)Veterans and servicemembers make up 20 percent of homebuyers, and in theory, they are supposed to get better deals on their mortgages thanks to VA Home Loans, which are provided by private lenders with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs guaranteeing a portion of the loan.But a new study found that too often, they end up paying more than they should.The study, which was conducted by technology company Own Up and first reported by NPR, found several reasons for this, including lenders setting higher profit margins on VA loans; a proliferation of “churning” schemes designed to increase refinancing; and the charging of high origination fees, which VA lenders are authorized to do.Own Up, which was founded by two former mortgage bankers, is geared toward helping people find better deals on mortgages. The company’s study relied on 2019 lending data showing rates from the top 20 providers of VA loans.ADVERTISEMENT“When we looked at the spread, candidly, we were quite surprised that it was as wide as it was,” said Patrick Boyaggi, Own Up’s CEO. “The best lenders and the worst lenders were so far apart from one another.”Navy Federal Credit Union, one of the country’s largest credit unions, offered the lowest rates, the study showed. New Day USA, a lender founded in 1999, had the highest.New Day told NPR in a statement that the study’s methodology was flawed because it had categorized two different types of loans in the same bucket. The company said it aimed “to assist servicemembers and veterans to receive the benefits that they so rightly deserve.”But Mike Calhoun of the Center for Responsible Lending told NPR that did not add up.“The information from this lender does not explain why their borrowers are being charged so much more than other lenders are charging their VA borrowers,” he said. [NPR] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now
- Interchange stretches the boundaries of what can be achieved
An award-winning bus interchange, which features swinging seats, an electronic LCD display and a green ‘living’ roof has been described as a potential blueprint for future public transport waiting areas.The bus interchange at the University of East Anglia (UEA), which was created in collaboration with Norfolk County Council using funding from the Local Growth Fund in a bid to boost the image of public transport, recently won The Norfolk Association of Architects, Design & Craftsmanship Award.The LSI Architects designed structure is now being seen as a blueprint for waiting areas across the university campus and further afield.The project is part of a wider initiative by Norfolk County Council designed to increase the use of public transport, which has seen more than 100 electronic displays installed at bus stops and transport interchanges across the county by transport information systems provider Nexus Alpha Low Power Systems.The county-wide scheme includes ultra-low power solar displays in hard-to-reach rural locations, as well as mains powered LCD screens with high resolution, high bright graphics, such as the one installed at the UEA.As well as providing live updates on how the buses are running, the Nexus Alpha LPS LCD display provides the UEA with the opportunity to promote university events and communicate with students through the use of videos and images.Jeremy Wiggin, Transport for Norwich Manager for Norfolk County Council who has responsibility for the county-wide scheme, says: “The University of East Anglia bus shelter stretches the possibilities of what public transport waiting areas can be.“Overall, we’re looking to increase bus usage across the county and Nexus Alpha LPS has been key to ensuring we get high quality travel information to bus users wherever they are in the county, whether through low energy solar powered displays in rural locations or larger and brighter mains powered LCD systems in high footfall areas.”Dawn Dewar, University of East Anglia transport co-ordinator, says: “The university bus shelter was a collaborative project with ideas and feedback from bus users, including students, along with creative input from the architects.“This has resulted in an attractive yet practical shelter that will provide a blueprint for future waiting areas.”Patrick McDougall, CEO of Nexus Alpha LPS, adds: “The Norfolk County Council scheme reveals what can be achieved when a holistic approach is taken to the provision of public transport.“Perhaps more so than most transport co-ordinators, those in Norfolk need to cope with a mix of hard to reach rural locations and highly developed urban areas and all the challenges that come along with that in terms of the provision of public transport.“Working closely with the council we have been able to adapt to the different needs of a whole range of communities. This latest award is a ringing endorsement of the combined efforts of both Norfolk County Council and UEA’s drive to increase public transport usage.”The University of East Anglia (UEA) bus stop was commissioned by the UEA and Norfolk County Council. LSI Architects designed the structure, which features a Nexus Alpha LPS 65in LCD display and a Bauder green roof sedum blanket.Visit http://lps.nexusalpha.com/