Finding the Right Nest: Navigating the Modern Home Buying Process

Embarking upon the journey of buying a home requires navigating a treacherous maze, with finding the perfect location being the most daunting challenge. Fear not, for we are here to assist you in focusing your hunt and streamlining your search. Discover the following key considerations to propel your quest towards the ideal dwelling.

The Quest for a New Nest

For first-time buyers, it is wise to set your sights upon a starter home, rather than an elusive dream abode. By opting for a home with a shorter anticipated stay (approximately three to five years), you can save your hard-earned coin and build valuable equity for future endeavors.

Beyond Bed and Bath: Embrace the Space

Gone are the days when the mere tally of bedrooms and bathrooms sufficed in gauging a home's size. Contemporary construction techniques and innovative remodels have unleashed a realm of creative possibilities, making it essential to think beyond traditional metrics. Joseph Magsaysay of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Preferred Properties in St. Louis advises home seekers to ponder the desired spaciousness of their living quarters. Consider the usable square footage, as it proves to be a superior indicator of roominess and overall comfort, outshining bedroom and bathroom counts alone.

Location: Balancing the Present and Future

While the allure of nearby coffee shops and commutability to work may be tempting, it is prudent to embrace a future-oriented mindset when evaluating potential locations. If your stay is projected to exceed five years, broaden your perspective to encompass long-term needs. Deliberate the availability and proximity of essential amenities such as schools and hospitals, which tend to gain prominence as one gracefully ages through the passage of time.

By heeding these insightful guidelines, your search for the ideal abode will be fortified with purpose and clarity. Forge ahead with determination, keeping in mind the importance of finding a home that not only suits your current needs but provides solace and fulfillment in the years to come. 

Surviving the Valley of Suck: Own the Morning

It has been seven years since my first wife, Heather, died of cancer and I coined the phrase: Valley of Suck to describe the process and journey of grief.  The suck describes how plans, dreams, visions and hopes are "sucked" out of our lives.  I haven't met a widow or widower yet who hasn't resonated in one degree or another with that phrase.

You don't get over grief.  You go through it.  And if you take time and do grief well, you reflect and learn.  Many lessons have come and I've had people ask many times how I handled it.  For one thing, I wrote a book: Life Sucks, Seek God.  I went to counseling.  I kept living.  Yep, I made mistakes...a lot of them.  I tried to be the best only parent I could be for my kids and always tried to keep moving forward.

Two steps forward. One step back.  Baby steps.

But even so, I struggled.  For the sake of my self, my soul, my family, I made the decision to take a leave of absence from ministry and pursue an income as a Realtor here in Alaska.  At the encouragement of my mentor, our team begin reading "The Miracle Morning."  It was a book I could easily have written as I had been doing almost all of the morning rituals/habits in the book before Heather died.  

And then it hit me.

During the time after Heather died, I was living off the full tank of investing in myself every morning.  The habit had so filled me and shaped me, with the spotty practicing of my morning ritual, I have been living off of nearly 25 years of my morning ritual.

I have been running on empty.

The last 45 days though, I have picked it up.  I've been on my stationary bike, listening to Our Daily Bread and audio books as I strengthen my heart, soul, mind and body.  I journal and vision and affirm.  Then on Sunday morning, at 5am as I struggled to wake with my alarm, I heard in my mind these words:

Go Get the Day.

"Own your morning and you'll own your day," writes Hal Elrod.  I sense the change, 4 wheel drive is engaged and there is traction.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).  God - the Divine, has been faithful and as I have engaged faithfully, I sense and know the pleasure and hope that God gives.  To fight with the snooze and not wake and go after the day is to say to your mind and the universe, you don't want to live - you want to give up.  NO WAY!

Go Get the Day!  There are obstacles I HAVE to face that I once thought were insurmountable but I don't believe that now.  If I listen to the siren call of the mattress and the pillow, sure, I'm done for but that is not my lot and doesn't need to be your's either.

Go Get the Day.  

There are two types of people. Those who live for the snooze and those who live for life.  Who are you?

Go Get the Day.

(click in the Free Download section and get my ebook on 5 Morning Rituals to get your day going!)

Get Up or Shut Up! 5 Morning Habits to Improve You

Making the most of my morning has always been important.  It kept me healthy for a long time and kept my chronic anxiety at bay through exercice, learning through audio books and my soul feed through prayer.  After Heather died, I really struggled with this.  The 30+ years of doing good habits got me through but I lost the habit.  I share my best habits/hacks in Life Sucks Seek God but after reading Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning, I started using the app and just completed 30 days of the Miracle Morning.

I thought about the 5 most important ones that I am doing right now.  I created in EBook in the "Free Stuff" tab at the top of the page if you want to download and share, but ultimately it comes down to one thing.  Get up or shut up.  Quit your bitchin' and get after making the change.  I'll write more but seriously, the only thing stopping you is you.  

 We are busy-ass-text-message-responding-social-media-obsessed-crazy-people! Our mornings can be frantic, leaving us feeling swallowed by agendas and to-do lists before we’ve even stepped out of the door. But what if we could improve productivity and overall well-being simply by implementing a few morning habits? By incorporating exercise, journaling, prayer, affirmations, and drinking water into our daily routines (just to name a few changes), we can take control of our days, feel more centered, and enhance our lives, homes, and careers.

Get In Some Exercise

While many people reserve exercise for the evening or weekends, starting our mornings with physical activity has numerous benefits beyond staying active. Exercise increases endorphins, the chemicals released in our brains that act as a natural mood booster. In addition, exercise jumpstarts our metabolism and increases circulation, giving us energy throughout the day. But the best part about adding exercise to our morning routine is that it encourages consistency, discipline, and self-motivation, traits that come in handy both in our personal and professional lives.  

You don’t need to hit the gym for an hour-long workout to reap the benefits of exercise either. Even just 10 minutes of stretching or light exercise can make a significant difference in how you feel throughout the day. You can start with simple things like push-ups, jumping jacks, or squatting. If you have more time in the mornings, you can incorporate yoga or Pilates into your routine. The point is to get your body moving and pumping. By breaking a sweat first thing in the morning, we add momentum to the day, which inevitably inspires us to tackle other challenges throughout the day.

Take on Journaling

As busy people and business people, we often spend our days in, on calls, answering emails- constantly picking away at our work and home to-do-list. It is crucial to detach from these tasks to avoid burnout. Journaling can serve as an outlet, a place where we can process our emotions and thoughts in our private world. Journaling allows us to take a step back and focus on our creative sides. Taking time to write encourages us to reflect on our goals, identifies patterns in our behavior thoughts, organizes our ideas and clears our mind. 

The benefit of this practice is that it also enhances our writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. When journaling, forget about proofreading or structure, it's your private space to express yourself and have fun doing it. You can chronicle your accomplishments and goals, express daily gratitude, document significant events that have left an impact, or even write out affirmations. Journaling is a therapy, allowing us to recharge for the demands of our daily business lives.

Pray and Meditate 

Just being can be stressful, and despite our best efforts, we're unable to know everything. We all reach moments where we feel powerless over certain situations. Incorporating prayer into our mornings can be empowering and a foundation to rely on even as we work for our life goals. It's a way we can reach out to our spirituality and calm our anxious thoughts.

Prayer and/or meditation, whether you're religious or not, offers us an opportunity to center our focus, seek guidance, and practice mindfulness. It's easy to feel consumed by the demands of our professional lives, and prayer offers a chance to remember that our strength doesn't come from our job title but rather in recognizing that there is something bigger, more significant than ourselves. Faith allows for introspection and grounding, allowing us to operate with more humility and compassion.

Create Affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that you repeatedly say to uplift and motivate yourself through daily life. At first glance, affirmations might seem irrelevant, but the power of positive thinking is well documented because one becomes what they constantly think. Affirmations are an excellent way to start this positive thinking and self-confidence. By repeating your preferred daily routine, you remind yourself that you can achieve your goals and believe in yourself.

Affirmations can range from personal confidence to business life confidence, and can also reinforce the attitude of abundance in our lives. Make use of affirmations such as "I am successful," "I am a thoughtful team player," or "I will make valuable connections and network with people today." Affirmations aren't just a good way to start your day; they are an excellent tool throughout the day if we encounter difficulty or self-doubt.

Drink water

As humans, our bodies are made of approximately 60% water. Our vital organs, including our brains, require water to function optimally. It's no surprise that we feel sluggish or unfocused when dehydrated. Majority of business people start their day with a cup of coffee or tea, however, to enhance our morning routine, we must start by hydrating our bodies before indulging in caffeine.

Water helps remove toxins from the body, enables digestion and metabolism to work correctly, and keeps our skin glowing. In addition, drinking water has been proven to increase brain function and focus. With the hustle and bustle of daily business, ensuring that we're optimally hydrated is essential.

Get Going!

Stop making excuses.  Nobody wants to hear it and you are just procrastinating and you know it!  It is time to make some changes.  Adopting these five morning habits can make a significant difference in how you feel and perform throughout the day. By creating a positive morning routine, you can enhance not only your life and career but also home. Remember, it's the small habits that add up to big changes. So, start incorporating these habits into your morning routine today. Your mind, body, and career will thank you for it.

Enhancing Life: Living Life Where You Are

I keep going.  Life, as I understand it, is lived and not something we watch go by us. It makes me wonder, if there really are two types of people…

  1. Those who live.

  2. Those who watch others live.

It seems to me, it is very easy for life to get stagnate and stale.  We can point fingers at tech and the world's advancements but there have often been people through the years who have sought fit to just watch.  Let life pass by. Blame others for things not working out. Wallowing in self-pity is something I can hear.

And I know I’ve done it.

But I wasn’t built to sit still.  If you are a bit like me, there are dreams and plans you are thinking about.  For me, taking action is key. Acting on my ideas has opened up more doors than ever before, and now I can create the life that I envision for myself. Whether it's traveling, learning a new skill, or building something extraordinary - if it's worth doing, then it needs to get done by me.

As I write, I realize my words may sound a bit odd coming from a pastor of nearly 30 years, and they may sound weird coming from a Realtor as well…I mean, what is the point of this blog after all?  And that is what I think I am coming to figure out more and more as I create video content and take on the second part of life.

Through the years, I have been more transparent than maybe I have been especially since Heather died.  There were people who I looked up to who guided me and friends I could count on then.  That all changed when Heather died.  

There were no mentors for being a widower.  I was betrayed by some of my closest friends.  My chronic anxiety took over and ran my life and caused hypertension.  

I am looking with new eyes on my life.  I am examining the second half of life with a new partner in Lauren and our family has grown.  I need new rules, new boundaries, and new guides and I need to become one myself.  I need to step into it and be both learner and mentor.

This past summer, Ron Geisler helped coach me through the changes in my life and what I was facing, what our family is facing, and what many are facing.  I had to really get to the button of what made a difference.  Now I’m not saying I’ve got it down, I still am making a mess out of too much, but I’m not giving up.  What Ron helped me with is my three focuses:

  1. Stay in Love with Jesus.

  2. Be a Kick-a$$ husband (and dad)

  3. Help people enhance life and home

So, I’m thinking that this blog and my content is going to be focused on sharing and guiding about enhancing life.  And it starts here:


For the past few days, I know my anxiety has gotten the better of me. It has played havoc on my heart rate and kept my mind running too fast. I have to own that and make sure my to-do list is done.  I can’t put off the chores but I can schedule them out.  I have to be sure I am walking to get my heart stronger.  

And you: Just out of curiosity, what is your crap that you aren’t dealing with that is causing you to get screwed up and things get out of hand? Work or home doesn’t matter - you are you and no when else is you and the people in your circle have to put up with you so what have you let get out of hand?  You can live or watch others live but if your only watching then you got no one to blame but yourself.

Here are four questions to get you off of your butt and moving to enhance life:

  1. What has to get done now?

  2. What should get done this week?

  3. What could get done this week?

  4. What can wait?

Live life where you are.  You can’t get where you want to be till you know where you are now.

Start enhancing your life, your home and our world!

How to Buy Your Home: Start with Your Dream

This is the first post in a series on buying your home.  I've lived all over the US and lived in some hole in the wall apartments and quite a few houses but were they home? That is something you have to decide to do with where you live: make it home.

When buying a home, it is always a daunting challenge, whether as a first-time buyer, or not. Most people just settle for the first place that falls in their budget, even without checking for better options in a bid to skip as much of the hassle as possible. Before finalizing a purchase, there are somethings to take into consideration, here we will be providing some tips and points to consider before buying, during the buying process and as well as after moving into the new home.

Start with Your Dream

Everyone has what they look out for when they want to buy a home, generally speaking, the desire for a spacious home, with kitchen, bathtrooms, large bedrooms, basements, dining rooms, porches, entertainment spaces, garages, master suites are the most common amongst people. To many, a large property is more than an inch of the yardstick to measure success. When it comes to owning property, Americans are at the top of the list of people that chase this desire with a passion. A good property is definitely a slice of the American dream. Before buying a property, the question of, "is this a home or a house," should come to play. What is the difference?

The major difference between them is that a house is a structure, it is a building in which a person lives. And when there is nobody in it? It is still just a house; a building. A home, in my mind is so much more. Yes, it refers to a building but is more of a place that a person considers a safe place, that belongs to them. A home can be a house, but a house is not always home. A home can be a trailer or a tent or even a boat.

The house you buy must be one that you and members of your family can live comfortably in, it should be one that caters to individual needs, the features of the house depend on personal requirements, in terms of neighborhood, security, ventilation and even in cases where family members have special needs and care. Also determining long term goals are important, does home ownership fit in those plans? Narrowing these down will definitely steer you down the right path. 

Important Points to Note:

  • Before you start, put your purchasing power into consideration, what kind of home you can afford, what type of payment plan will be employed, and how much financing you can get.

  • What does the actual home buying process entail, funding, making offers, home inspections, and closing the deal.

  • Maintenance costs are also a major point to take into consideration.

  • If you are working on a tight budget, look for houses whose full potentials are yet to be utilized. Even if you can’t afford to restructure the front corridor yet, it would be worth it to live in it, when it meets other requirements, in terms of say neighborhood and location, rather than turning away because of physical irregularities

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