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Presented by: NobleBank & Trust

Home Sweet Home: Know Your Mortgage Options


There are few who understand the local housing market better than Birmingham-area Realtors. Local experts say they are seeing a seller’s market developing in some areas. In our local community, listed homes are receiving multiple offers or are even selling the same day they are listed. If you’re considering buying, being fully prepared can provide the opportunity for you to move quickly on your dream home. When purchasing, you’ll likely need to get approved for a mortgage loan from the bank. Depending on the timeframe of the mortgage, you will be paying it back for 15, 20 or 30 years — with interest. Because mortgage loans are uniquely individual, NobleBank & Trust offers a wide range of residential loan programs tailored to fit your specific needs.

When you begin the budgeting process, estimating your monthly payments will be important. The “interest rate” is used by the loan company to calculate your monthly payments. The APR or the “annual percentage rate” informs you what your effective interest rate is after all the extra costs, such as loan origination fees, application fees and prepaid interest points are added up. This is why your APR will always be higher than the originally stated interest rate. The APR will help you compare loans, and find the best interest rate possible. While the APR doesn’t directly affect your monthly payments, lenders are required by law to disclose the annual percentage rate. When your monthly mortgage payment is calculated, there are lots of added fees and charges that add up to make your total mortgage payment.

A young couple in love in front of their new home

When working to get approved for a home loan, you need to prove that you have homeowner’s insurance lined up for the home you are purchasing. This cost, along with your real estate taxes, will often be put into an escrow account, where your monthly payment will not only include the principal and interest figures, but your insurance and taxes. To get an accurate figure of what your monthly payment will be, you’ll need to first figure out how your interest rate is calculated. The interest rate on nearly all mortgages is computed monthly, so if you divide the annual rate by 12 you’ll get the monthly interest rate.

Every mortgage is different and has its own style. We understand it can become confusing, and our mortgage officer can assist you in determining what is right for you and your family. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at NobleBank. We offer tailored advice about our loan products to fit your personal financial needs.

Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.


Noble Bank Paul Rogers Head Shot_Take it to the Bank-Paul Z. Rogers Noble Bank Logo HR

Senior EVP & Market President

NobleBank & Trust


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Are We There Yet?

Yellowleaf Creek Mill: Unique Wedding & Event Destination

Are We There Yellowleaf Wide Shot_Creek Mill Fountain pic

Photo Credit: Jake Fountain

The splash of the waterfall and rotation of the 16 foot water wheel are signs of new life from a 150 year old Chilton County landmark. Yellowleaf Creek Mill is a historic gristmill that dates back to before the Civil War. Gone are the days of producing grits and cornmeal, today the mill has experienced a modern day renaissance as one of the most picturesque and unique wedding and event venues in the Southeast.

Are We There_Yellowleaf Wedding 1Y9A4809

Photo Credit: Alyssa Rose Photography

Once called Shannon’s Mill and before that Miller’s Mill, Yellowleaf Creek Mill is believed to have been built around 1855. At one time it was the hub of the community, producing up to 4,500 pounds of cornmeal, flour and grits each day. In 2014, the mill was purchased by a Birmingham businessman with a love of the past. David Brogdon initially purchased the mill to be a centerpiece for a new 530 acre development named “The Highlands” he’s building in North Shelby County. But after the purchase, as he and a few of his colleagues sat in rocking chairs on the mill’s porch overlooking the 150 foot waterfall, its fate became clear. He recalls, “We looked at one another and I said, ‘Well, what are we gonna do?’ And they looked at me and said, ‘We can’t move this mill. It’s too old and too valuable to the community.’’ Brogdon agreed and responded laughing and shaking his head, “That’s what I thought. Now what are we going to do with a gristmill?”

Yellow Leaf Creek Mill Bridal Session, Clanton Alabama Wedding Venue

Yellow Leaf Creek Mill Bridal Session, Clanton Alabama Wedding Venue

Brogdon brought in Chris Reebals of Christopher Architects and Interiors to provide a restoration look that would utilize some new ideas of large porches and additional windows to enhance the mill’s previous glory and beyond. New siding, paint, and a fully functioning water wheel were just some of the additional improvements made. Today the mill is a perfect blend of old and new. Guests feel like they are taking a step back in time without sacrificing modern conveniences. The mill features some of the original machinery but also has state of the art equipment for meetings and events including a 3D Hi-definition projector and large retractable screen, as well as high speed internet.

Yellowleaf Creek Mill features a large covered porch that overlooks Yellowleaf Creek. There’s a bridal suite and a fully functioning, top of the line Viking kitchen. But of course the best seat in the house just may be along the wrap around porch that overlooks the iconic water wheel and breathtaking waterfall. Yellowleaf Creek Mill is available for weddings, receptions, reunions, corporate retreats, church retreats, showers and parties. Enchanting, historic, inspiring, an event at Yellowleaf Creek Mill is sure to be picture perfect and memorable. For more information visit To book an event or learn more about the mill call 205-280-0903 or email

Are We There Yellowleaf kitchen
Just a short ride from Birmingham, Yellowleaf Creek Mill offers a unique blend of beauty and history perfect for weddings, retreats and reunions. Learn more about this Southeast destination on Facebook and at


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The Joys & Financial Challenges of Parenthood

As our children travel the long and never-dull road from infancy to adulthood, we nurture them, worry about them, scold them, and love them. Most of all, we try to protect them. We want them to grow up in a stable world, one in which they are physically safe, emotionally nurtured, and financially secure. Still, meeting expenses can be a challenge. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that the average nationwide cost of raising one child in a two-parent family from cradle to college entrance at age 18 ranges from $176,550 to $407,820 depending on income. (Source: Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013, released August 2014) Then, when they turn 18, add in college expenses, and your financial outlay can get even worse. Between raising them and educating them and making sure they get a good, strong start in life, one thing is obvious when it comes to children–they are a major responsibility. Fortunately, as long as we remain alive and healthy, we manage to somehow meet these expenses. It’s part of what parenthood is all about.

Have you taken steps to protect them? What would happen to them if something happened to you? No, it’s not the kind of question we like to dwell on. But these matters are important. This is why many financial professionals recommend that, above and beyond the day-to-day efforts to provide for their children, parents should take specific steps to help protect their financial well-being.

Review your life insurance coverage. Life insurance is an effective way to protect your family from the uncertainty of premature death. It can help assure that a preselected amount of money will be on hand to replace your income and help your family members–your children and your spouse–maintain their standard of living. With life insurance, you can select an amount that will help your family meet living expenses, pay the mortgage, and even provide a college fund for your children. Best of all, life insurance proceeds are generally not taxable as income. Keep in mind, though, that the cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. As with most financial decisions, there are expenses associated with the purchase of life insurance.

Consider purchasing disability income insurance. If you become disabled and unable to work, disability income insurance can pay benefits–a specific percentage of your income–so you can continue meeting your financial obligations until you are back on your feet.

Start building a college fund now. College costs may seem daunting (and they are expected to continue increasing), but you have about 18 years before your newborn will be a college freshman. By starting today, you can help your children become debt-free college grads. The secret is to save a little each month, take advantage of compound interest, and have a sum waiting for you when your child is ready for college. But keep saving for your own retirement, too. Many well-intentioned parents put their own retirement savings on hold while they save for their children’s college education. But if you do so, you’re potentially sacrificing your own financial well-being. Finally, enjoy watching your children grow up. And remember, just as they are important to you, you are important to them. Make sure they’re protected financially.

Vision Financial Group-Bill Dowell, Vision Financial Group

Bill Dowell is a Registered Representative of ProEquities, Inc., A Registered Broker-Dealer, Member FINRA & SIPC. Vision Financial Group, Inc. is independent of ProEquities, Inc. Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2015


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Are You Willing?

Proverbs 10:19, “Where there is an excess of words, there is a multitude of sin.”

I believe that sometimes we feel like the more words we use when we pray, and the longer the prayer, the more God will listen. This is not true. For me personally, three words prayed to God were the beginning of Big Oak Ranch.

One day, my dad took me to meet the owner of a 120 acre farm that is now Big Oak Boys’ Ranch. The owner was quite clear that he did not want the Ranch on his property and gave me 48 hours to raise $45,000. He thought that was going to be out of reach.  But because of God using two good friends who believed in my vision of what the Ranch could be, we were able to purchase the land within his time frame. That was the spring of 1974.  I was 23 years old. All I had to my name was my car, my clothes and some used furniture. Right before making the land purchase, I sat in my car in the driveway of that land owner’s home and simply said, “Lord, I’m willing.”

Since that time, and to this very day, I have embarrassed God more than I have pleased Him. But thankfully, he does not keep a check and balance system where our good deeds must out number our bad ones. It really boils down to those three words, “Lord I’m willing.”

This Christmas season and all year long, I encourage you to talk to God- let Him know you are willing and watch Him work.



bringing out the winner John Croyle headshot 2015-John Croyle
Executive Director, Big Oak Ranch
Author, Who You Are/ Defying the Circumstances that Define Us, Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child, The Two Minute Drill to Manhood and Raising a Princess

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