The Meltdown

This is one of those vulnerable articles. It’s hoped that as I share about my/our weaknesses you too will be encouraged to own and accept your weaknesses, defeating any perfectionistic stride that tends to disrupt and even destroy relationships.Meltdown: think nuclear plant meltdown where the nuclear core is severely overheated and catastrophic damage results.We have a five-year-old, and very recently something happened that often happens at his age-and-stage. He had a meltdown. The process normally goes like this. Creative idea, build something, doesn’t work, frustration sets in, destroy the creation in anger. Not all the time, just occasionally. Dealing with pre-school children all the time, and having had another three children who are now adults, there’s nothing alarming in it. Besides, our five-year-old has witnessed us having meltdowns – and I can speak only for myself here.


There are all sorts of meltdowns, not just the angry ones, but also the teary ones, the anxious ones, the prideful ones, and the panicky ones.I want to share with you the kind of meltdown I’m capable of; this would happen occasionally in 2016 when I was thrust into an occupational world that I did not want any part of, but had to engage in just to support my family.I was very blessed to be offered work – two separate part-time positions – through friends, one of whom was my ex-wife, when pastoral ministry work went belly-up.Meltdowns occurred because of both jobs, but the case in point here centred around my job working with my ex-wife. These meltdowns never had anything to do with her – we, her and her husband and I, had a very good working relationship, always trying to outdo one another in what we gave.But it was the nature of the work that had me positioned like a fish out of water. I was packing chilled meals for home delivery, and so regularly my mind was doing backflips, that at times, my head was saying, ‘I cannot do this… it’s too hard… my brain is wired to work with people, one person at a time, not five or more tasks held in the mind at any one time, with noise, with pressure, with interruptions. (I need to say that since I burned out in 2005 my brain has some kind of permanent disability in managing many tasks simultaneously.) I was always fine when I got out on the road to do the deliveries, other than the times I had meltdowns. And this happened on a half dozen occasions.Here is the nature of that kind of meltdown. I would call my wife and say, panicked and in tears, ‘Darling, I cannot do this anymore… it’s too hard… my mind can’t keep up… I’m useless.’ After 10-minutes of hearing me out she would usually help me accept that I could get through the delivery run. I was usually fine after this. The inner meltdown in the presence of others manifested in an outward meltdown when it was safe with my wife.


There was nothing wrong with the delivery driving job, and in fact it taught me important skills, helped me master a new degree of patience, gave me empathy for those in that kind of work, and it showed me what I’m not good at. And it showed me how, all through my life, I’ve had the capacity for this kind of depressed meltdown that comes straight out of my wounded child state.We all have meltdowns, even those who seem to have perfect lives, and especially those who look like they’ve got their lives under control.I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had a meltdown. So, what do we do with this?We stop feeling ashamed of them whilst we do all we can to limit the kind of damage meltdown can bring.

Top 8 First Time Home Buyer Grants, Programs and Freebies

A survey by Harvard Business School found 78% of baby boomers and millennials want to buy a home. The catch? Most ‘think’ they can’t afford one.

In many cases, this may be true. But the research also discovered many can. It found many had an income, credit rating, and time on the job good enough to qualify for the many first time home buyer programs and grants I’ll mention in this article.

Note: For more details, Google all phrases in bold.

1. Federal Housing Administration Loan (F.H.A).

If you have a credit score of at least 580 you could qualify for a mortgage for as low as 3.5 percent of the price of the home.

F.H.A loans have helped more first time homeowners than any other type of loan.

2. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D).

H.U.D offers many first time owner grants and low interest loans, depending on the state, city or area you live in.

Note: For those who now live in public or government housing you may qualify to purchase the home, condo or apartment you now live in through the HUD Public Housing Homeownership Program

3. V. A (Veterans Administration) Loans.

If you’re an active duty service person or veteran you may quality for a no down payment low interest rate loan. The VA loan is the lowest cost mortgage on the market because you’re not required to pay for mortgage insurance.

4. The Good Neighbor Next Door Program.

This program for first time home buyers offers home for up to 50% off the retail price. To qualify you must be a teacher, police officer, fire fighter, or EMT. A $100 down payment is all that’s required.

You must commit to live in the home for at least 36 months.

5. Energy Efficient (or Green) Mortgage.

The energy efficient mortgage was created to help first time homeowners add energy efficient improvements to their home. These loans are insured through VA and FHA programs.

This mortgage let you build an energy efficient home without requiring you to make a larger down payment.

6. HomeReady HomePath Mortgage.

  1. Another popular program for first time home buyers. To quality you must take a short buyer education course. After you complete the course you’ll receive 3% toward closing cost for a mortgage loan. The down payment, 3%, is lower than the lowest FHA loan.

7. HUD Dollar Home Program.

After 180 days on the market, certain unsold HUD Properties are offered exclusively to local governmental entities for $1 for 10 Days. Local city of counties then offer these properties to residents to revitalize communities or neighborhoods.

8. USDA Home Loan Program.

This program focuses on homes in mostly rural areas, if you like or can tolerate country living this loan may be for you. This program guarantees 90% of the loan, which means there may be no down payment required and the loan is fixed. Sweet!

These are the top 7 programs available for first time home buyers. As always, like ocean waves government programs come and go. But as of this writing these programs is helping thousands of first time home buyers who thought they couldn’t afford a home realize their dream. Check them out… you could be next!

First Time Home Buyer Love and Other Freebies

1. No Penalties.

A first-time homebuyer can take out up to $10,000 in contributions from the Roth IRA to pay for the home without penalties. Check with your tax advisor for the latest rules.

2. Real Estate agent. This person can be your greatest fountain of information when looking for your first home. They know your local housing market, the advantages and disadvantages of specific homes. They can help you pick the right home to fit your personal and financial needs and much more. The best part? They’re free if you’re a buyer.

3. Pre-Approvals. Another amazing freebie is pre-approvals. They help save you time and energy. How? They let you know what price range you can afford, helping you and your agent know which houses you should be looking at.

4. First-time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC): The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit for first-time home buyers and is worth $750. The first-time home buyers’ tax credit must be claimed on an income tax form no later than one year after the home is purchased.

5. The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

This program was designed to let you withdraw funds from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) before retirement for the purpose of a first home purchase. The advantage of the HBP is that the withdrawal is completely TAX FREE.

The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan allows you to withdraw up to a maximum of $25,000. Be sure to consult your tax consultant for more details.

What You Can Expect From A Luxury Home

Most people define luxury majorly in terms of price but there is so much more to luxury than just the amount of money you spend. It is very hard to define luxury homes in an exact way because this is something made up of several factors. If you are looking for a posh home to buy, there are some general qualities expected within it and they are what together create the luxury that is the home. Below are some of the features that such homes tend to have in common.

Prime location

Luxury homes tend to in coveted locations like on the beach or overlooking a sea for that matter. Others are in secluded mountainous areas or atop one while others may be overlooking a beautiful city. It all depends on whether you wish to have your home in the city or the country but generally they will be prime located attracting high end buyers for that reason.

High price

Like mentioned earlier price does interpret luxury and most homes under this category will be highly priced. Different areas attract different prices but you cannot expect to pay anything lower than half a million when looking for a luxurious home to and the prices can go way up into tens of millions depending on the magnitude of the property.

Exquisite amenities

Luxury home carry the most exquisite amenities in that you can conduct your life right from your home without needing other services out of it. Most will have a gym, spa, swimming pool, Jacuzzis, arcade rooms, movie theaters and even decontamination rooms. Some luxury homes come with outrageous amenities and they are what attract the buyers because they make the property unique, self-sufficient and convenient in every sense. They are some of the factors commanding prices apart from location.

Premier quality

Luxury homes have everything selected with care from the appliances, finishes, design and even materials used for construction and décor. They are all cut above standards so you the buyer can have something to pride yourself in. Hardwoods, marbles, crystals and Venetian plasters among others are common components in the homes.

Exclusivity

High end buyers including high profile individuals and celebrities treat their homes as serene refuges hence privacy is given center stage in luxury homes. If the home is not located in a secluded land large in size, then privacy will be achieved using foliage covers, high walls and tightly gated entrances sometimes complete with guards to keep the peace.

Luxury homes without doubt have so much to offer to buyers; as long as you can buy it, you can enjoy it. Some buyers actually look for homes that have interesting stories or histories behind them to give them that edge that everyone yearns for. Whatever the choice you make, you can definitely expect much more from a luxury property than a standard normal home. The choices are numerous so finding your ideal luxury home should not be too much of a task.

Buying a Home in Jupiter, FL – Is It the Right Time?

Purchasing a home, especially if it’s the first time, can be an intimidating process, so it’s not surprising that you’re trying to do it right. Of course, timing is an important part of the home buying process, but in the Jupiter real estate market, when is the right time, exactly? Unfortunately, there is no perfect time to buy a home in South Florida, but there are some clues that can help you to make the wisest decision.

How Does the Florida Real Estate Market Differ?

Jupiter, FL and the surrounding areas like Hobe Sound, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens and the Treasure Coast are known as an ideal place to buy a home, not only because of the beautiful weather and proximity of some of the best beaches in the country, but also because home buyers enjoy great features and an impressive return on investment. There are, however some considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a home in Florida.

You’ve probably already noticed a difference in the typical home buying “season.” Though the winter months may be a bit of a down time in most real estate markets, it’s a more vibrant time in Jupiter. In fact some make their home in Florida only during the cooler months. It’s also important to recognize that there are some subtle differences in the home buying process because of the coastal location. For example, insurance is a must, but it’s generally lower if you purchase a home built after 2002, so getting the mix of location, home features and timing right is important when you buy a home in Jupiter.

Is the Timing Right?

The traditional home buying seasons are spring and summer, but these aren’t the only options. In fact, you might have better luck buying your Jupiter home during the off-seasons. Sometimes peak season means that you’ll run into more completion and higher prices. In fact, there’s some wisdom in the suggestion that the best days to purchase a home are during the Christmas holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you’ll encounter many homeowners that are in a festive mood and it’s thought that only serious sellers place their homes on the market at this time.

Take a look at the local real estate listings for Jupiter, if houses have been sitting on the market for a while, it might be the time to make your move. If properties are selling quickly though, you might be in a seller’s market, which can raise prices and leave you frustrated. It’s completely acceptable to rent a Palm Beach County home while you are waiting for the right time to arise.

Whenever you begin your Jupiter home search, it’s a good idea to work with a real estate pro that is familiar with the local market. The best time to buy may vary from year to year, and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. What’s vital to consider though, is whether the timing is really right for you.

Where are Your Finances?

You may have great credit and a great job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right time to buy a home. Most lenders will want you to make a large down payment, 20% of the home’s price, in many cases. This isn’t always the case however, and some homeowners are surprised when they learn that they qualify for special programs and down payment assistance. As a first time homebuyer, special assistance may be available to you through state programs, so reaching out to a Jupiter real estate expert for advice on timing isn’t a bad idea.

Once you have your down payment situated, you’ll still need to decide if you can afford the monthly mortgage. Before you even begin home shopping, you should have a solid understanding of how much home you can really afford. Monthly mortgage payments should be a large part of your calculations, but you should also keep in mind that you’ll have maintenance costs, homeowners association fees, insurance and other costs associated with the home.

If your credit is shaky, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t qualify for a home loan. It can make the process more difficult, however. If you can devote some time to repairing your credit score, it will make buying a home easier, so waiting can work to your benefit.

Buying a Home is Highly Personal

There’s a reason why buying a home is such a momentous experience. It’s a major step! As ready as you might feel to take that step financially, you might not be ready in other ways. Where are you at in your career? Would you consider a relocation, if a better opportunity was offered? Are you considering a marriage or divorce? Are you planning to have children, or do you have children who will soon be leaving the nest? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line. There are quite a few costs associated with the purchase of a home, so the longer you can stay put in your Jupiter home, the easier the purchase will be on your pocketbook.

Getting Started with the Jupiter Home Search

If the timing is right, we’ll help you get started. It never hurts to take a look at what’s out there when you are still deciding if Jupiter home ownership is right for you.