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West Valley leaders approve LGBT non-discrimination ordinance

WEST VALLEY CITY (Deseret News June 3, 2010) — The West Valley City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday night that will protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from discrimination on housing or employment in the city.

West Valley becomes the fifth Utah municipality to implement ordinances to protect residents from housing or employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

West Valley leaders’ action follows those of officials in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Park City and most recently Logan in extending the statewide Utah Antidiscrimination Act to include protections for the LGBT community in their areas.

As the City Council meeting opened the floor for residents to speak, again and again they voiced their support for the ordinance.

“I’m a property owner,” said Stacia Ireland, a West Valley resident. “I don’t have to worry about being kicked out of my apartment. I’m retired. I don’t have to worry about my job being threatened. But I know there are people out there who do have these concerns.”

The “grass-roots feel” of support for the ordinance was something Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah, noted about each municipality that has passed such laws.

“Within each of these cities, each of these counties, residents have stood up and said, ‘You know, this is important to me, to my community, and I want to see this happen in my community,’ ” Balken said.

Equality Utah is a nonprofit group that created the “Ten in 2010” initiative to have 10 cities in Utah pass ordinances that protect LGBT people at work and at home.

In addition to the five municipalities with antidiscrimination ordinances in place, Balken has talked to officials in eight other cities and counties about doing something similar. Leaders in Taylorsville, Summit County, Moab, Granite County, Torrey, Cedar City, Ogden and Weber County all have expressed interest in such ordinances, she said.

Whether the 2011 state legislative session includes a statewide law that mirrors these city ordinances and add to the Utah Antidiscrimination Act remains up in the air.

In the 2010 session, lawmakers on both sides of the argument agreed to allow the Salt Lake City ordinance to play out for a better understanding on the impact such laws have on landlords, business owners and community members. In a stalemate, both conceded in pushing forward any legislation on the issue. But in next year’s session, Salt Lake City will have had the ordinance in place for more than a year, giving lawmakers insight on how the laws are used in communities.

“There’s a lot of people in the state who want to do the right thing,” said West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, “but they often need the template of how to do that right thing, and the Salt Lake City ordinance has provided that template.”

The West Valley City ordinance passed by a 5-1 vote.

Winder, who voted in favor of the ordinance, will sign it and make its passage official at 4 p.m. June 8 at West Valley City Hall, 3600 S. Constitution Blvd.

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Is a 15-year mortgage right for you?

Anyone who is buying a home wants to own it outright or get out of debt as soon possible, and not be beholden to the bank and the whims of Wall Street.  For some people choosing a 15-year loan term over a 30-year loan term is the way to do this, especially if they can afford the higher payment.

With homes as affordable as they are in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah right now, looking at a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year term may be a better bet for you.

The median price of a home in Salt Lake County is currently running about $230,000.  On the average a 15-year term is usually 0.50% to 0.625% lower interest rate than a 30-year term, so although the payment will be more, it isn’t by any means doubled.  For instance, the 15-year payment on a $230,000 loan would be around $500 more a month than a 30-year term, however interest paid on the loan over the 15 years will be about $127,000 less and from day one you’ll be paying more principal than interest from each payment, whereas on a 30-year term you won’t start paying more towards principal than interest until your 191st payment, or 15.9 years into the loan. In fact, you don’t reach the half-way mark in paying off your home until your 24oth payment, or 20 years into the loan. With a 15-year term you will reach the half-way mark in just 8 years 8 months.

As well as saving quite a bit of money over the term of the loan with a 15-year mortgage, you also have quite a bit of equity in your house should you decide to sell it and buy another home, which equates to a big down payment on a bigger or nicer home.

You could also opt to take-out a 30-year mortgage loan and simply add the $500 more a month effectively shortening the loan term to 16 years, while still having that $500 available for emergencies should they come-up.

Whichever way you decided to go, it always makes sense to pay as much per month on all your debt, mortgage, credit card or auto loans.  In the long run you’ll save thousands in interest and have more equity in your home and automobiles when you go to sell them.

For information regarding how a 15-year term could benefit y0u, visit my calculators page on my website at http://coryure.com/calculator.i

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5 Tips to Save Money for First-Time Home Buyers

Here is some great information from Dan Steward on buying a home, whether you are a first time home buyer or this is your 10th home.

Those who missed taking advantage of the first-time buyer tax credit but who are still planning the purchase of their first home, continue to have a wealth of opportunities in today’s marketplace. A few smart steps can save first-time buyers thousands of dollars. Here is a look at some of the ways how: Read the rest of this entry »

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