New Federal Rule Increases Payments for Homebuyers with Good Credit

Higher mortgage rates and fees are now increased for homebuyers with good credit ratings thanks to a novel governmental rule to subsidize other potential homebuyers with lower credit scores.

As part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s push toward affordable housing, the fees will affect mortgages secured in private banks across the United States. 

Homebuyers with credit scores of 680 or more owe roughly $40 more per month based on a $400,000 home loan. Those with down payments of 15- to 20 percent will also see higher fees.

Lenders and real estate agents anticipate the new rule to complicate things for homebuyers with high credit scores and those seeking to refinance.

Ian Wright, a senior loan officer at Bay Equity Home Loans said, “The changes do not make sense. Penalizing borrowers with larger down payments and credit scores will not go over well. It overcomplicates things for consumers during a process that can already feel overwhelming with the amount of paperwork, jargon, etc. Confusing the borrower is never a good thing. It will cause customer-service issues for lenders and individual loan officers when a consumer won’t understand why their interest rate and fees suddenly changed. I am all for the first-time buyer having a chance to get into the market, but it’s clear these decisions aren’t being made by folks that understand the entire mortgage process.” 

A series of Federal Reserve interest rate increases have forced the mortgage rate to over six percent, double where it was in 2022. To deflate inflation, which hit a four-decade high of nine percent in the summer of 2022, the Federal Reserve has swiftly raised rates.

Kenny Parcell, president of the National Association of Realtors, said, “In the wake of a three-percentage-point increase in mortgage rates, now is not the time to raise fees on homebuyers.”

Homeowners with dodgier credit ratings and minimal down payments will qualify for better mortgages along with discounted fees. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson said, “The fee changes will increase pricing support for purchase borrowers limited ability by income or by wealth.” She goes on to say that the changes are minimal, and the shift will guarantee market stability. 


EB Mortgage is a locally owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us or e-mail us today!  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Kitchen Remodeling Timeline

The average kitchen remodeling project can take anywhere from three to six months to finish. More significant kitchen remodels can take longer, sometimes more than a year. These estimates range in duration depending on the overall scope of the renovation. 

Kitchen remodels involve changes in plumbing, electrical wiring, new appliances, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, floor plans, and more. The overall timeline can shift contingent on the project’s overall complexity. 

Organization is vital to ensure a kitchen remodel goes smoothly and efficiently. Creating a concise, accurate budget, ordering materials and products in advance, and confirming the specifics prior to demolition is imperative. 

While planning can be tedious, the end result will yield a timely remodel. It takes roughly a month of planning with the architect, interior designer, and contractor to prepare before demolition. Materials will need to be ordered, and global shipping is still suffering delays due to Covid-19, which is one reason the project needs to be planned accordingly.

Kitchen remodels are much more complex than a typical remodel due to all of the different moving parts. Specific design features and color schemes can take time to plan, order, and install. 

Generally, kitchen remodeling timelines can be summarized as follows:

  1. Envision and set goals
  2. Create a budget
  3. Find a contractor and designer
  4. Apply for building permits
  5. Order all appliances, cabinets, tiling, etc. 
  6. Start demolition
  7. Begin rough-in plumbing and electrical
  8. Install drywall and flooring
  9. Mount cabinets, countertops, appliances, backsplash, fixtures, etc.

There are countless aspects to a kitchen remodel, and to keep the stress level down; it’s imperative to set aside the time to properly plan and gather information before setting expectations.

If you or someone you know is looking for a kitchen remodel, contact the experts at JFC Remodeling today.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Local Water Utilities Anticipate Higher Rates Due to New EPA Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed a new rule that limits the amount of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” in drinking water. PFAS are correlated to cancer, high cholesterol, birth defects, infertility, weakened childhood immunity, endocrine disruption, weight gain, and more. These man-made chemicals are found in 99.9 percent of the population’s blood. 

The EPA said, “This rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.”

The new regulations will require PFAS to be at zero parts per trillion or unitless in public water. The EPA says the changes will keep people safe and are aiming to complete regulation standards by the end of 2023. 

Patrick Berge, a city Public Works Director, said, “If the EPA imposes these new regulations, Public Works will have to figure out how to filter the PFAS out of the water and dispose of them safely. That would be an expense to the rate-payer. You can be talking anywhere from a few million to tens of millions.” 

Ben Harris, a Utility District General Manager, said, “It will cost millions,” and that it would be difficult to follow.

The EPA stated that the alterations are crucial to ensure the safety of individuals from PFAS. The agency intends to achieve the final regulation by the conclusion of this year.


Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

Security Cameras for Business

Surveillance cameras are becoming increasingly popular across the world today. Businesses such as gas stations, restaurants, retail, offices, storage rentals, convenience stores, etc., and even parks and traffic intersections are installing security cameras at a high rate.

While an increasing number of businesses opt to implement robust security systems, theft and vandalism are on the rise. Worldwide, more than 25 million commercial security cameras are installed. It is suspected that over 67 percent of security incidents could have been prevented if video surveillance had been present. 

Installing cameras to help protect your business is an easy way to save time and money and can reassure employees and owners. Below are some benefits of installing security cameras on your company’s premises: 

  • Deter potential trespassers, thieves, and vandals.
  • Ensure client, guest, customer, and employee safety.
  • Protect business assets.
  • Lower legal liability.
  • Improve workforce productivity.
  • Ease stress.
  • Certify compliance.
  • Avoid employee theft.
  • Reduce security costs.
  • Oversee client purchases.

When installing security cameras on your property, it is important to follow these guidelines: 

  • Confirm the lighting is adequate.
  • Ensure there are no blind spots.
  • Use only outdoor/indoor cameras where appropriate.
  • Cover all hidden entrances.
  • Backup data on a hard drive or cloud storage.
  • Conceal all wiring (avoid using WiFi.) 

If you plan on using a video surveillance system for your business, find a qualified installation specialist, such as State Electric Company, to ensure there are no loopholes for hackers or vandals. 


State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

Naturally Battling Ticks on the Homefront

Ahhh, the summer air is upon us…which means ticks are already on their way to invading our yards. Walking leisurely through the deep woods shouldn’t be a gamble of whether you’ll contract Lyme Disease or another tick-borne illness when you emerge from the forest. Unfortunately, this can be the case for not just us but our pets as well. 

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Powassan encephalitis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis are a few diseases transmitted by ticks. While various illnesses can be contracted from ticks, the risk of developing an infection is based on a few factors, including the type of tick and duration it was attached. 

Unfortunately, many people opt for a chemical toxicant to deter ticks, many of which are the topic of research to determine their environmental effects. While these substances are meant to kill mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other parasites, they are also detrimental to human health. A growing number of people experience side effects from these toxic chemicals, such as nausea, vomiting, hypotension, encephalopathy, seizure, coma, bradycardia, brain cell death, behavioral changes, lethargy, and anaphylaxis, to name a few.

Thankfully, there are some alternative – safe – ways to rid yourself, your family, and your pets of ticks. Read on to discover ways to deter ticks using simple and safe products that won’t harm you but will ensure the ticks feast elsewhere.

Essential Oils
Some essential oils have been proven to kill ticks on contact. Companies such as Wondercide promote their products as safe and effective for tick prevention for humans and pets. 

Cedar Chips
Most people now that moths do not gather where cedar is placed, as the smell is a deterrent. Ticks are similarly unattracted to cedar. Cedarcide offers a product touting cedar granules meant to be spread across the yard. 

Mow the Grass
Trimming your lawn is important, as ticks prefer to climb and travel through long grass. Make sure all leaf litter or brush is cleaned up as well. 

Tick Tubes

Many of us don’t think about how ticks get around besides using their legs, but mice are huge carriers of ticks. A safe way to kill ticks – not mice – is by using these tick tubes, which Harvard Researchers developed at the School of Public Health.

While many of these products are non-toxic, they require more upkeep and reapplication than traditional bug sprays. Keep the environment – and your health – in mind when using toxic pesticides. 


Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for your prepping and survival needs. We are your trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you need it later. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Government Construction Contracts

Construction firms highly covet commercial government contracts, as public spending on construction projects exceeds hundreds of billions of dollars yearly, making them a lucrative opportunity. While most construction firms rely on government contracts as their sole source of revenue, others bid on various public and private jobs.

Public construction contracts are governed by lengthy laws, which vary based on the agency. However, there are some consistencies between requirements that all agencies abide by. Read on to learn more about bidding on government construction contracts. 

Construction Bonds
Contractors often need to guarantee bids, construction work, and payments to subcontractors or suppliers by government agencies. Moreover, the terms of the bid should be obeyed. Typically, three parties are involved: the obligee, the principal, and the surety. The three most common types of bonds required on construction projects are bid, performance, and payment. 

Pre-Bid Site Visit
To allow contractors to better understand the project at hand, owners will often allow site visits. Often, contractors can ask questions regarding the bid or network with relevant contractors. Sometimes, these meetings are mandatory, and failing to attend will result in bidding ineligibility.

Competitive Bidding
Budgets are top-of-mind for most public construction projects, and most often, contractors can bid on projects after an architect completes the full plans. Prior to the bid date, projects must be advertised in one way or another. The lowest responsive, responsible, and eligible bidder will be given the job. 

Special Programs
Women, minorities, and small-business owners should have an equal opportunity to bid on projects, so a number of state, local, and federal agencies have created programs to ensure they are awarded accordingly.

Davis-Bacon Act of 1931
This federal law forces contractors to be paid local wages based on earnings paid to the various classes of laborers working on other local construction projects. Varying from state to state, wages will differ based on location. 


At Construction Bonding Specialists, we work with new and experienced contractors to find the most satisfactory bond solutions. As a distinct surety-bond-only agency with decades of bonding experience, we work to discover surety solutions for all types of cases ranging from ordinary to challenging. Call us at 248-349-6227 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Google Introduces Experimental AI-Powered Bard 

Google recently opened access to Bard, an experimental generative AI to bring experiences to individuals, companies, and neighborhoods. Google touts Bard as a way to improve productivity, satisfy curiosity, and bring ideas to the forefront. Bard can help people reach goals, explain quantum physics, or summarize articles. 

Research Large Language Models (LLMs) can learn from a wide range of data to output information. Bard, an LLM, uses Google as a database to predict responses to questions. Creativity is factored in to make it less predictable and stale. LLMs are known to give momentum to human efficiency, imagination, and curiosity. 

Bard will offer several options of responses at first to get a good feel for the user’s starting point. It helps the user to discover more relevant search results based on their query. 

Bard’s rival is a Microsoft-backed OpenAI called ChatGPT, which one study has found to “Outperform physicians in high-quality, empathetic answers to patient questions.” 

ChatGPT has even been studied for use in neurosurgery, based on medical and surgical implementation, clinical decision-making, and administrative assistance. 

Though Google’s Bard is a fresh addition to the LLM realm, some privacy concerns have caused countries such as Italy to ban the app, subsequently lifting the ban later. Apprehension for LLMs is rooted in their ability to create fake news articles or untrue social media posts. 

Bard is savvy in various genres, from music to organic chemistry, and beyond. The usefulness of LLMs is practically endless. Used properly, Bard is a valuable means to gain knowledge and understanding for humans across the planet. 


Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Traditional Advertising is Making a Comeback

Digital marketing has dominated the marketing field for more than a decade as potential customers shift their focus from physical media to an online presence. With this shift, television, radio, newspaper, and other previously-relied-on traditional advertising methods have needed to pivot in different directions.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) service companies anticipate the biggest move to traditional advertising at 10.2 percent, while B2C product companies guesstimate they will see five percent growth. Those companies that rely on the internet to provide 100 percent of their sales are switching gears and aiming to increase traditional advertising spending by almost 12 percent through the next year. 

Recent evidence suggests a change is underway. Some factors behind this include: 

Becoming Numb: Many consumers view digital advertising as clutter and do not engage like they used to. For example, frustration from having to watch an ad before a video is fueling the shift back to traditional media.

Tried-and-True: The top most trusted advertising formats are traditional, which include print, television, direct mail, and radio. 

Devouring Cookies: Third-party cookies used to track website visitors are being phased out by both Google and Apple. As a result, more than 20 percent of companies seeking advertisement rely on traditional methods.

Podcast Growth: Similar to traditional radio, podcasts use an on-demand approach with over 100 million monthly listeners who trust their hosts and follow their endorsements. 

While experts have been suggesting traditional advertising will be extinct soon, it is, in fact, poised for major growth for the first time in over ten years. Traditional and digital marketing is the best bet for companies looking to expand their customer base. 


At Econo Print, we strive to deliver the highest-quality printed products possible. We produce top-rated goods in a timely fashion at a competitive price. Listening to our clients and helping them achieve their business goals is our top priority. We are proud of the strong roots we’ve built in the community and pride ourselves on using cutting-edge technology. Our products, commitment to service, and level of expertise exceed our clients’ expectations. Contact us today to learn how we can help launch your business to the next level.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

FDA Approves First Advanced Macular Degeneration Drug

A severe form of macular degeneration called geographic atrophy is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in adults over 50. Geographic atrophy impacts 1 million people in the United States.

While macular degeneration is typically considered an incurable eye disease, and its origins are unknown, it has been determined that genetic and environmental factors can contribute to the development of the disease. 

Clinical trials are underway at Willis Eye/Mid Atlantic Retina for Syfovre, the first and only drug to treat this advanced form of macular degeneration, geographic atrophy, which can lead to blindness. While Syfovre has been proven to slow the progression of advanced macular degeneration, it will not reverse or cure the disease. 

Dr. Sunir Garg at Willis Eye said, “It’s a big deal for us because we went from not having anything to finally having something and that is a monumental achievement in our profession. It reduces the inflammation, and the inflammation is what is causing the damage. As time goes on, we can help them [patients] better protect their vision for a longer period of time.” 

Dr. Eleonora Lad, associate professor of ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center, helped to oversee the clinical study of Syfovre. She said the new treatment is a “game changer” and “the beginning of a new treatment era for patients with geographic atrophy.” 

Macular degeneration experts such as Dr. Steven Schwartz of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute said the FDA’s approval is “very positive” for patients with unmet needs who need to preserve their vision. He said, “It’s particularly important while we continue to rapidly develop stem cell therapies that hold the promise for restoring vision already lost to this horrifying all-to-common cause of central blindness.” 

If you suffer from vision loss or need to schedule an exam to see an ophthalmologist, contact the doctors at Zen Eye Institute today.

Zen Eye Institute, formally Rohr Eye & Laser Center, has served the greater Grand Blanc area for over twenty years. Now operating under Dr. Charles Zenzen, we offer comprehensive medical and surgical eye care treating various conditions and diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes, and more. For exceptional eye care at our state-of-the-art practice, call (810) 579-0202 to make an appointment today! 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Superior Cancer Therapy via Novel Tracking Radiation Treatment 

For the first time, researchers at the University of Michigan developed a way to measure radiation during cancer treatment using precise 3D imaging. 

Medical professionals could map the radiation dose by capturing and magnifying small sound waves created by the x-ray heating body tissue. This novel approach offers a new view into data and treatments that doctors could not see before.

Hundreds of thousands of patients receive radiation in cancer treatment every year, which introduces high energy waves and x-ray particles to the body in large increments to debilitate cancer cells. A lack of precision overshadows the benefits of radiation, which also generally damages healthy surrounding cells and can increase the risk of developing new tumors. 

Xueding Wang, the Jonathan Rubin Collegiate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, professor of radiology, and corresponding author in the study published in Nature Biotechnology, and leader in the Optical Imaging Laboratory, said, “Once you start delivering radiation, the body is pretty much a black box. We don’t know exactly where the x-rays are hitting inside the body, and we don’t know how much radiation we’re delivering to the target. And each body is different, so making predictions for both aspects is tricky.” 

Real-time 3D imaging allows doctors to focus radiation on cancerous cells more accurately and minimize exposure to nearby cells. Thermal energy results from x-rays when absorbed into tissues, which causes the cells to expand, creating a sound wave. 

Standard ultrasound technology cannot pick up on these acoustic waves, which are relatively weak. Now, this new technology detects the wave with a selection of ultrasonic transducers aimed at the patient’s side. The signal is augmented and relocated into an ultrasonic device that reconstructs the image. 

Oncology clinics can then maneuver radiation doses to ensure safer and more effective care. The new therapy can also be effortlessly added to existing radiation therapy equipment without significantly altering the clinicians’ current procedures. 

RadParts, a TTG Imaging Solutions Company, is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost components and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at  877-704-3838 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: