Let’s do it – The One Year Life-Changing Challenge

November 22nd, 2012

Hello everybody. Change is in the air…. can you smell it?

I have been on a journey for the last 80 something days and it is due to come to an end soon. But I want to set out on another adventure and I want as many as you to come with me. Let me explain in today’s episode called:

Let’s do it – The One Year Life-Changing Challenge

This year has been crazy and a part of me has just survived through it. I have been riding the wave of circumstance and even though the waves were big, what has happened this year has been both awesome and sad (separate events), still I was simply riding. What would happen when the waves stopped?

In fact a lot of things in my life that I had previously done to make traction in my life were being forgotten about or left to the side. This could be seen in my devotion to reading the bible.

I wasn’t doing much of it, not enough to call myself an apostle and sit at the high seats at the synagogue. Now obviously it was a hard time in my life as I turned to crime, drugs, rock n roll, and even fake hair extensions. But here is the thing, none of what I said in the last two sentences was true. I was growing close to God as I was going through one of the biggest faith journeys of my life.

Now hold on, I am not saying don’t read your bible as you don’t need it to have a relationship with God; but when it comes down to it you don’t. God loves you regardless whether you read the bible or not. But it helps so much in so many ways when you do.

I have read the bible from cover to cover 4 times and have been reading it for over 10 years. It is amazing how much of it helped me during my time of challenge even when I wasn’t reading it that day or week or on occasion month. We all go through seasons and what often kept me in that season is simply guilt. I felt guilty that I didn’t read it, didn’t put God first and didn’t love Him, so I chose not to do it again the next day. How stupid is that? But if I took away the guilt then I am free to choose and I choose life.

So 82 days ago I said stuff this “feeling bad I didn’t read it again” feeling, I am just going to do it and get an overload. So I started the bible in 90 days. It is crazy quick. I finished Genesis by day 4, Psalms took over a week. The distribution is a little funny as on the first day of Psalms I had 24 to read, but on day 6 I had 28 to read including Psalm 119. I did a lot of listening to the audio reading and usually a chapter was 3-5 mins, a Psalm 1-3 mins; but Psalm 119 took 19 whole minutes. It was awesome.

So I am so glad 82 days ago I said – Stuff it – Let’s do it, and I am. So come the first of January I want to do it all again but embark on a one year adventure as we read the whole bible in a year. We are going to do the One Year Bible that is available on “you version” on your smart phone for free, also I will be posting the year’s plan on this blog so you can read in a paper bible if you have heard of them. In fact you can buy this bible from most Christian bookshops with this plan integrated in it. The One Year Bible is the most popular one-year reading plan ever. It gives you a bit of Old testament, a bit of New, a bit of a Psalm and a Proverb everyday. This makes it much easier especially when you get to the building instructions to the tabernacle you can read on and hear what Jesus is up to as well as get inspired by a Psalm and get some wisdom as well.

More details will come but for now, will you join me and my friends (I am telling everybody I know to join with me) and read the bible in a year. If you have never done it before then 2013 is your year. If you have done it many times then why don’t you join with others around the world who are giving it a go. Now if you have never read the bible in your life then this will be one interesting ride that I hope you come on. I am sure there will be plenty of reasons not to but Stuff it – Let’s do it.

Have Fun.

Dan

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Conversations in Kids Ministry

November 1st, 2012

Hello everyone.

Wow!!!! Two blogs in two weeks. What is this world coming to???

Well today’s blog has a video so it is cheating a bit. This episode, as well as the video is called:

Conversations in Kids Ministry

Hi

As you would recall a few months back we had an episode on waiting on creativity. Well this performance below was what we waited for and we are so glad we did.

We tried to do something new and completely out of our comfort zones. I don’t know why but Kidshaper is always the place where we are challenged to take it to the next level. That means you should register and come next year. It is such a great few days and Sam Luce will be there which I am so very excited for. Anyway back to the performance.

We decided to write a song all about kids ministry. We worked out that there are a lot of interesting conversations that happen when you are in kids ministry; a lot of which don’t make sense. Whether it is with an over zealous intern or a mother who thinks their child is a bit more talented that the world gives them credit for. These are the conversations that happen time and time again in our kids ministry so we decided to have some fun with them.

So with my captain oh captain Dave Wakerley at the keyboard, and modesty dividers armed with 4 changes of clothes, we set about the nerve-racking task of acting and singing this little song called “Conversations in Kids Ministry”.

Enjoy and Have Fun.

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Be there in 5

October 25th, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to another amazing episode of The Thursday Blog.

Things have been things recently. I don’t want to say busy, hectic, out of control, challenging; so instead I will say that things have just been things.  Sometimes it helps not to box everything and let it just be.

Speaking of just being, that is exactly what I will do by launching into today’s episode called:

Be there in 5

I have been trying to organise something lately and everything is on hold whilst I wait. As much as I am a cool customer I have checked my email every 1 – 3 …….minutes for the last 3 days. They said it could take up to two weeks for it to be ready but part of me thinks that 1 to 2 days is more likely and therefore I should receive a call or email any minute. Talk about disappointment.

Now here is the funny thing if I didn’t have this silly belief that I am going to be really lucky and have it ready way early, then I would be in a much better frame of mind. In fact if I told myself that it would be 3-4 weeks then when it does arrive in 2 weeks I will be ecstatic rather than worn out from waiting. It just goes to show how our expectations can change everything.

I was once hanging out with a friend of mine who had a communal work car and was supposed to be back at 12pm so someone else could use it. 12pm came and we were stuck in traffic and his phone rang. My friend apologised and then said something baffling: “I will be there in 10 mins”. Now I knew the area quite well and I knew that it was only physically possible to get back in 10 mins if it was 2am on a school night! With traffic it would be at least 15-20 mins and it turned out to be the latter. By the time my friend got back the other person was furious as they had been waiting so long. Since that day I made a decision to be clever when setting expectations.

So this is what I would do in that same situation. I would apologise and say “I am going to be 25 mins”. Now the person will be upset with me and rightly so as I am late, but he has 25 mins to calm down. Now when I get there after 20 mins, he has calmed down and I am now early!!! But in my friend’s case after 10 mins he was late for a second time and the person had another 10 mins for their rage to build.  So in both cases we were late and he was upset, but in my case I was early and it is funny how those two things cancel each other out.

There has to be reason to this method. I am sure it is not wise to say to My Princess “I am off to the cornerstore to get eggs, I will be back in 7 hours” just in case there is traffic…. whilst walking. But it is interesting to catch yourself saying things like “I will be there in 5” or “I can do that straight away” or “sure I can tame a lion, give me 30 mins”. What is it that makes us tell people what they want to hear then not deliver?

In the business world we call it “managing expectations” and I think it is something we should try more often.

Now if you will excuse me I need to check my email.

Have Fun.

Dan

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Waiting on creativity

October 5th, 2012

Hi everyone and welcome.

Well It the night before kidsfest and all through the house I was still awake waiting for Dave Wakerley to call so I can pitch him my idea for tomorrow’s performance. Yes I know this should of been worked out a while ago but I have been………………., that is it I have been. I don’t want to say busy because that is a cop out so I am just going to go with I have been. But there is one other reason why I haven’t come up with the idea until last night for a performance for hundreds of children tomorrow, and that is the title of today’s episode.

Waiting on creativity

It is tough gig trying to come up with ideas for performances sometimes. I have one goal, make the children laugh and set up the rest of the program. Seeing my job is to be entertaining there is a wide scope of things I could do. People seem to love that Charlie bit my finger video but where are I going to get a small child by the name of charlie who is teething with an english laugh. I could teach a cat to play piano but that would take days…… possibly years. Or I could tell jokes, or write a song, or dance, or dance which telling a joke about writing a song. The opportunites are endless and out of those thosands possibllites there is 990 that will not work and will fail misreabelly.

I remember last year at our colour womens conferrence I had an incredible idea that was going to be the next big thing but it fell flat on its face. I couldn’t hit the ground harder. And the funny thing was I thought it was salvageable so I did it again at the 2nd week of conferrence with my tweeks and it bombed even harder. The worst wsa i realised that it has bombed about 4 mins in with no hope of return. Oh the pain,

This sort of pain is one of the motivators to prepare and prepare well but sometimes there is a very good reason why we can’t do that. It is because the creativity is not there. I have to wait for it, with faith that it would come.

The best example of this was my last three years of performances at Kidshaper conference in Melboune. My first performance three years ago was one I had done before and it went fairly well so I went to the job of planning the next year straight away and I got nothing. I played around with ideas that all didn’t have legs so in the end I gave up and prayed that something would come. Then, just about the time I needed to start working on it I pitched an idea at Dave who totally ignored it and said ‘ You need to do an interpretive dance’ to which the infamous Eye of the Tiger Dance was born.

That performance the next year was out of this world. You don’t basically jump all over Steve Adams the kids pastor from Saddleback Church and not make an impact, at least just on Steve. It was one of those performances that just all worked which brings a lot of happiness but also the fear that next year we have set ourselves up to fail as we couldn’t possibly beat that performance. Well up to 3 weeks before kidshaper this year that was the case as I had no idea what I would do. Nothing was coming to me or Dave who got dragged into this. But for some reason I knew it would be ok.

So what happened? An idea came, and it was good. Very very very good. It was a complete risk, something we had never done before but it paid off beautifully. But none of it would of happened if I forced out an idea and ran with it weeks beforehand. I guess our need for faith comes in all sorts of little packages.

So tomorrow will be fun. i hope the idea flies, but even if it doesn’t I am excited for the part I get to play in the impacting of hundreds of children tomorrow.

Have Fun

Dan.

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Limited dreams

September 20th, 2012

Hello everyone!!!

Woah, what is this. Two posts in two weeks? What kind of madness is this?? It must be a lunar eclipse as it only happens once every 2.5 years!!!!

Now I deserve that taunt, but it did hurt and you should see someone about your anger issues.

Let’s get into this week’s episode:

Limited dreams

I have been watching X-Factor. With our lives, My Princess and I had decided that we couldn’t take on any more tv shows. Very similar to a conversation we might have with a direct sales person who approaches you on the street to give monthly to a charity; we said “I know it is a good tv show, but we already support a number of good tv shows and we are not able to extend that support to your tv show today”. But on a late saturday night, when My Princess was forcing me to stay awake with her while she did a few things, we watched the whole week’s repeats of X-factor that were showing back to back and we got hooked.

For those who don’t know what X-Factor is it is basically another singing contest, like The vVice, American Idol, and the 42nd Annual Texas Country Fair. The show was started by the Englishman Simon Cowell, who also started the (insert country here)’s Got Talent. That man is impressive and his shows and his record label were so successful he used to be a billionaire. That was until he created and signed “One Direction”. He is now a “freakingloadedwithcountlessamountsofcash-anaire”.

So here is the premise. Take a whole bunch of people, most of them with stories of struggle and pain, they sing their hearts out on national television and the judges pick and choose and whittle the numbers down until there are only 12 left to which the Australian public decide for the small cost of 55 cents per vote :) Side note – I hope the person who invented the concept of people voting for a small fee is earning a commision from each vote. Then he would also be a “freakingloadedwithcountlessamountsofcash-anaire”.

Now by the time we get to the top 12 these people are very very talented and they all have a dream – to make it in the music industry. They want to be the next big thing with recording contracts, sold-out tours and maybe a bus with their name on it. They want to be a success and have a career in music and be famous for what they do. They want it all, it is their dream. But there is one little problem – it is a limited dream.

Limited dreams is a funny way to describe what they want. One could say they are dreaming big and that only the sky is the limit, but in fact their dreams are extremely limited as they exist in a realm of finite possibilities. Let me explain:

We have 12 people who all can sing and sing well and they all have this dream to make it? But is there room for 12 new successful artists in the Australian music industry? Maybe but that’s really pushing it. Think about how many new artists really find success each year? The number isn’t a large one. But what about the other 12 that made it to the last round before the finals? They all have the same dream – is there room for 24? Most definitely not. What about the 50 that got to the round before, or the 140 the previous round, or the 2,000 people who auditioned. All of them share the same dream – is there a possibility that they could all make it? Not in the slightest.

Now these people are dreaming big and they don’t just want to be an Australian success but an international superstar. How many of them exist? Not that many, I am guessing less than 100. But the people who want a lifelong career in music, and to have a global impact on the world, is a much smaller group. Yet there are 12, or 24, or 50 or 140 or 2000 people from Australia who want that dream!!!

When I turned 18 I moved to Sydney to become a famous actor. I am now famous but I am still working on my acting. I thought that I would have international success, be the most famous actor in the world and have global impact. Now unfortunately no one else was given that update and I kept on not getting roles. How dare they?

Well life slowly changed and I grew up a lot and my focus changed. Now I find myself working in a bank, with a mortgage, married with two children and guess what……. I am living my dream. Yes I am not in a job that I want to do for the rest of my life, and I have dreams of doing some big things for God in the area of children’s entertainment; but my biggest dream of all is to be a loving husband, a loving father and a loving son of the Living God. If I never do anything else I have seen my most important dreams come to pass and for that I am very grateful. The best part is my dreams are not limited to opportunity, chance, luck, or contacts, but only limited by my choices – and I choose to live it everyday.

Have Fun, Dream Big.

Dan

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DIY

September 13th, 2012

Hello, I am still here.

By now I am sure our relationship has changed from a mutual understanding of giving and taking on a regular basis, to more of a low expectation understanding that you are very happy to see me when I arrive but you haven’t cooked dinner for me. All good relationships go through seasons and during this one I obviously need to eat before I pop over. I have stuck to at least every three weeks and I am hoping to get that up to more, in the same way I am hoping to exercise more. It will happen, soon, I hope.

So without further ado let’s jump into this week’s episode called:

DIY

I hate DIY – Do It Yourself jobs for one very valid and understandable reason. I have to Do it…. myself. This concept is so strange to me when it comes to things done by hands. My hands and I have a very simple relationship. They pass me things on a daily basis, instrumental for feeding and dressing myself, and offer me a suitable reaction when someone puts out their hand when I met them. But the one thing that I never thing I could use them for is to build things.

I can never get over that things are built, from scratch. I know trees are made of wood, and tables are made of wood but I can’t see how a tree turns into a table. Or how do you build a kitchen? Or a house? It is like every material in my mind exists completely separately and they cannot be combined. So when you think like that, any DIY jobs are off the table. It is not because I don’t want to do a common job, but because there is no possible way I can work out how to do it.

But recently, actually this morning I fell for the trap of a DIY job. I decided to do something that is very easy, very simple and would save me money very quickly and potentially for a long time and I didn’t have to build anything. I decided to cut my own hair.

Now I know some of you are already laughing at the stupidity of the idea but hear me out. All I do, for the last 6 years is simply shave my head and let it grow, then when it gets too long, shave my head again. I normally have a level 4 which is fairly short. It seems really easy how they just go over it with the 4 attachment and that is it. I can surely do it myself. I then saw how much the kits were. $24!!!! I normally pay $15-20 to get my head shaved, this would pay for itself the second cut. So this morning I woke up early and cut my hair.

There must be a reason the hairdressers don’t buy $24 head shavers from Kmart and I found out why. This thing didn’t cut, it pulled the hair out. It was so very painful but I have started and I had to finish. I didn’t know what to start on as the kit I bought didn’t have the normal levels so I just started with a guess. The guess was wrong and it looked bad, so I went shorter. That look bad, so I went shorter. Long story short after a comedy of errors I now have no hair. That is right I didn’t get my level 4, I got a level 0.

Why in the world did I think I could do this?????? Surely it shouldn’t be that hard but it was harder. Surely a full grown man should be able to give a simple haircut but it turns out that one can’t.

So once again I retire my DIY hat. I need to accept that I can’t do many many things and I need to let those who can do them and do them well, to do it for a nominated payment. I need to accept that when I tell others they will tell me how much money I could’ve saved doing it myself and all I needed was a bunch of things I have never heard of. I need to accept me for who I am, even if I have no hair.

Have Fun.

Dan

arrgggghhh

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You don’t owe me a thing

August 25th, 2012

Hello there

I know, I know, now just accept me for who I am and that the Thursday Blog has been pushed to one every three weeks. This will change, I am hoping soon. As it stands I am extremely busy until mid September but things are getting slower.

But I have a special treat for you today………….. I am not going to write about my new house :) In fact this will be an old fashioned episode where I attempt to draw a lesson from life to share with you that will transform your very existence. Today’s episode is called:

You don’t owe me a thing

Let’s talk about church baby, let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things of fellowshipping, let’s talk about church.

I bet you weren’t expecting some “salt n pepa” to start us off but that is what you have got. We are going to talk about church and your involvement. For those un-churched readers please read on if you want but it will be mainly aimed at the churched. If that sounds boring I heard YouTube are showing some great new videos, most likely to involve cats and musical instruments.

Now, churchies. Nice that we are now alone. How did you intercessory prayer go last night? Mine went great as I spent time in the Glory of God :)

Now I have been around awhile at church and we go through some very interesting stages especially as a volunteer. There is the extra super pumped action figure stage where everything is awesome and you go to 300 services and love every second of it. I love seeing people at this stage and I try and encourage it to last for a long as possible no matter how much a part of me knows they can’t keep it up forever. It is really cool to see young leaders at this stage when they start volunteering at church during the week. The Christian inside of me is yelling “Keep on going, you can do it”; whilst the Bank Manager inside is yelling “get a part time job as well, start a savings account, pay your rent !!!”

Now this stage for most people doesn’t last forever and they then get to another stage where they calm down and get some balance back into life. This is not a bad thing in fact it is a wonderful stage where the call of God in ministry can work hand in hand with the call of God in other areas like family, finances, health and dare I say it career. I hit this stage when I realised that I wasn’t going to become the next youth pastor any time soon, so I went and got a job. From there I have been blessed with a career; which has enabled me to fulfill my dreams of being a husband and a father. At the same time I have been able to be an active part of our children’s ministry and even though there have been times of being stretched; it has never been at the sake of my family. This balance has been so wonderful and I have loved that season.

Now there is one final season that I found myself slipping into and it is a very dangerous one indeed. It is the season of being around for a long time. Now this doesn’t sound dangerous as we all know people who have been around for a long time who we all admire; but I believe to get to where they are they needed they need to pass through this valley beforehand. This is the valley of being around for a while, maybe 3-5 years, maybe 7-10 years, but it is at the point you start to feel like you have really contributed to the place. That the place would not be the same without you, that you have personally contibuted to the success of the ministry, that you deserve at least a thank you if not a little party.

Stop!

Let’s just look at that thought for a moment. At what point do you deserve a thank you for everything you have done. 5 years, 10 years, 30 years? Well I have finally come to the revelation that that the answer is never.

Psalm 84:10 “Better is one day in Your courts, than a thousand elsewhere”.

I have finally realised that my church is not lucky to have me, but I am so extremely blessed to have my church. It is an amazing privilege to be able to be a part of what God is doing and I pray that this opportunity lasts forever.

So to my church I say thank you, and that you don’t owe me a thing.

Have Fun.

Dan

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Unheard of – Part 6

August 3rd, 2012

Ok let’s finish this.

Unheard of – Part 6

Where we left was that we had made a conservative offer on a townhouse that looked absolutely perfect and was more than we could’ve hoped or dreamed for. Now I have been in the finance industry for a while now so I know how to buy a home. You make an offer, they accept to a 5 day cooling off period in which you finalise your loan and make the nesscessary pest, building and strata (body corporate) checks, and you pay a very small deposit (1/4 of a percent of the total cost of the property). At the end of the 5 days you need to pay your 10% deposit. After that you wait the standard 42 days (from when they accepted the offer) and the lawyers talk to lawyers talk to lawyers talk to my lawyers and we can move in. But in our case this was a bit harder.

We needed to sell our unit first (which hadn’t even had it’s first open day) so we asked for a longer settlement period (90 days) when we made our offer. The agent submitted the offer to his client and gave us a copy of the contract. At that point a chain of events happened over the next 2 months that was one of the hardest challenges of our lives.

The following happened:
We read the contract that stated we could only have 30 days to settle, no cooling off period and that this was a “Buyer Beware” Contract – that they take no responsibility for the current state of the property and do not even know if it is approved to be a livable dwelling.
The agent doesn’t hear if our offer is accepted (or not) for a number of days
We talk to our lawyer who starts liaising with the other party’s lawyers.
We find out that there are defects in the entire complex and that they are currently in a legal battle with the builder to have them fixed. No one knows the $$ amount to fix the defects, which we would be liable to pay 5% of that amount if they lost at court.
Our lawyer tries to change things on the contract to protect us. The contract is as harsh as a knife and could put the buyer into a lot of difficulty in the future. Also there are 5 different parties that have an interest in this property (meaning the previous owner owed them all money and used this property as security). This makes things very hard.
Agent calls me and tell us that there is a list of over 10 people all who want to make offers on the house but he is holding out for us but can’t hold on. No one is giving the agent updates.
My lawyer tells us that the bank (who are selling this property) can’t accept our offer until we work out the contract. Once that is done we will have to pay the 10% deposit upfront. He advises us that they are incredibly slow as every item has to be signed off by 5 people.
The agent is calling daily. The pressure is mounting for him as people are really keen to make offers, more than what we have. I am giving him the same update that we are waiting on them but the excuse is wearing fast.
Finally they agree on a 60 day contract and our offer.

We write up the cheque ready to exchange but they are not ready. It was a Friday. We wait until Monday and they aren’t ready. The lawyer is waiting on the final sign off from her client. Tuesday not ready. Wednesday the same.
The agent is getting super stressed as more and more people are calling him about this property. He is getting at least 10 extremely keen enquiries a day as it is still on the market. The pressure is intense.
Thursday and Friday come and they are still not ready and no one knows why. Finally we find out that the guy that needs to sign it off is on a weeks holiday and didn’t tell the lawyer.
Finally on the next Monday we go to exchange and my lawyer forgets our cheque!
Tuesday we exchange and start our 60 days.

Then finally things started to look up
We had an offer on our place (which had only been on the market 2 weeks) which was great and we accepted. They start a 5 day cooling off period.
We get some inside information that the defects on our new place although are large, would have a reasonable total cost and our share would be maximum $20,000. Remember the offer we made was 80 -100k under market price so this was great news.
We organised a settlement date to buy and sell at the same time.

Now here was the final challenge:

Even though the house we were moving into was completely vacant they would not let us move in early (remember these are the people with the knife-sharp contract). They would not even let us get the carpet cleaned (which needed to be done before moving in). Now the bank we were getting the loan off would not let us buy the new place a few days before we sold the old one as we would have 2 mortgages for 2 days and they saw that as a risk. Finally we ask the people who are buying our place if we could have 1 day to move out but they said no. No love for the Lee-Archer’s :(

So we needed to work out how to be out of our unit by the time it sold and work out how to move into our new place after we bought when they were both happening at the same time. After much work we found a solution:

Step 1 – Wednesday
I paid a moving company a lot of money to move us out Wednesday morning and to store our contents in their depot for two days. We would go live with my in-laws for a few days.

Step 2 – Thursday
Settlement would happen and we would have sold our old unit and bought our new house. The carpet cleaning people would do their thing that afternoon.

Step 3 – Friday
We would meet the moving company at our new house and move in.

Now steps one and two went perfectly. The moving company were amazing, I just sat back while they put everything in the truck. Thursday happened and I got the phone call that we finally did it, we had bought our new home. And then Friday morning at 7:30am I would meet the moving company and complete this 2 month mission.

This mission has been the most challenging yet rewarding season we have been through as a family. It was test after test, trial after trial; and we have had to put our faith into action and live like we truly believed that God was on our side and that He wants to bless us. It brought us closer as a family and more importantly closer to God who guided us every step of the way. 7:30am Friday morning would be the end of an amazing journey. Only something strange happened…

3:30am I wake up in pain.
4am I go to the Emergency Department at our local hospital
4:30am I am admitted to hospital
12:30pm I have emergency surgery to remove my appendix.

The timing was totally and utterly Unheard of!

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Unheard of – Part 5

July 13th, 2012

Hi again.

It is like the walk of shame when you’re late to work the night after the office party. The question going through my mind is “do I even come into work today, I have missed so much, everyone will snicker”. Well luckily I have always loved snickers over mars so I walk in proud, with my head held high because unlike the person in the office who partied too hard the night before, I have been riding the waves of circumstance on an adventure of a lifetime. Let’s get back to the story that is:

Unheard of – Part 5

So the cliffhanger I left you on was that we had a property we were looking at that fell through, but in the meantime we had invested our time, money and effort in putting our own place on the market. That weekend when we decided not to go for the unit we wanted I sent a few online enquires on my phone and didn’t think much of it. It was Easter and one of my sister’s and her family were visiting and we had a lovely time watching our girls play and spending time as a family. We said goodbye on Easter Monday and on Tuesday I went back to work. I got an email at lunch time from one of the enquires saying that the place (a townhouse) was open for inspection by appointment. It recently got turned in at auction and it had just gone on the market that day. I was already booked to inspect a unit in that area with My Princess that night so feeling cheeky I asked if we could see it that night. To my surprise the agent agreed.

So we turned up to this little private viewing and found 10 other parties who were also viewing it. There were two townhouses joined by one common wall and they were huge. The first one we looked at was great but it had some flaws. They had installed awful ceiling fans that were falling apart and made the room feel cramped. Not a major job to get rid of them but still pricey. But the major flaw was the deck/patio was raised a good 70cm from the plants and tree strip all down the side of it. This is such a poor design and very dangerous for children and even adults who aren’t paying attention. This would be a major landscaping job to fix. In saying all that this one had an offer on it already (even though today was the first day on the market). So this place wasn’t for us even though the sheer size of it was so amazing.

Then the agent showed us the other townhouse that was exactly identical but when we walked in our jaws dropped. No ceiling fans and you wouldn’t believe it – the deck/patio was completely level….and it even had it’s own private entry. This was perfect for us, but it was in high demand. This property was a seized asset, repossessed by the bank and put on the market to sell. To get a townhouse this size and condition in the area was up to about 80k over our budget. We could never fathom getting a place like this, it wasn’t on the cards, it only existed in our dreams. You know that I dreamed of being in a townhouse, with direct access to the street. This was only attached to the townhouse in front and it was 40% bigger than another one we had previously wanted. And we could afford it….. if they accepted our offer.

We spoke to the agent that night, he told us that he had three people going to submit offers that night and he would choose the best one and go with them. We needed to play this very carefully.

Now I know nothing about investing, or how to get the best price but I do know this. Last time (in our current unit) we only got a chance to make one offer so we offered a decent price and we got it. It was still 10k under the asking price but we got it. We didn’t try to go too low like everyone tells you to, if we did we could of missed out. So we thought about it and it felt right to offer the same price that I had wanted to offer on the last place. It was 10k under the asking price, bringing it down to 15k under our budget and roughly 60-100k under the true value of the property. We made the offer and then waited. We had no idea why the price was so low, we knew that a mortgagee sale was generally cheaper than normal but not 100k cheaper. A few days after we made the offer we found out exactly why it was so cheap and entered the fight of our lives.

To be continued yet again…

Have Fun.

Dan

P.S. Life is still pretty hectic until the end of August but I will try to get this out more than once a fortnight.

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Unheard of – Part 4

June 22nd, 2012

Ok, where were we.

WHERE WERE WE, WHERE WERE WE!!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN AWAY FOR 3 WEEKS AND YOU START WITH WHERE WERE WE!!!!

Well yes.

Oh, ok go on then.

Before I do I will let you know that my unexplained absence has a very good explanation but for the context of the story it can’t be revealed right now…but I will give you a teaser by saying that I ended up in a place that I never thought I would. No it was not Mexico.

This sounds fantastic. How about you go to the title and get on with it.

I don’t mind if I do.

Unheard of – Part 4

Where I left you was a family who had been blessed by God and bought a unit which was perfect for their small family but the father of the family (that’s me) had a hunch it was time to move on to bigger and better things. He found a place that was bigger and better but he wasn’t in a position to buy plus his Princess didn’t feel right about the place so he let it go. Knowing that his Princess is very rarely wrong when she has a gut feeling about something he knew this was the right choice. It disappeared off the market.

So I was still looking out there for places to buy but there was none like this place. They were all units, mostly with stairs or elevators, all with crazy high maintenance bills and not that much more space. Most of them were only 100 square metres which is a lot more than our 68 square meters we had but was still not a huge space. Plus all of them didn’t have the option of being able to access without stairs or lifts which would make life so much easier for My Princess with our Little Princess and our Little Beauty that had just joined us. But one day a few weeks before Easter something amazing happened. Another property in the same building as the one we let go which was just like the other one came on the market. I forwarded the email to My Princess to see what she thought about this one and to my surprise she loved it!!! The really funny thing was that we didn’t realise until a few hours later that it was the same one as before, just now vacated.

But the fact of the matter was we were in a better position to pursue this so we went after it. The next day I jumped on the phone and started calling real estate agents to see about the chances of selling our unit so we could buy this one. The process sounded simple, we buy this new place and negotiate a 3 month settlement and in that time we sell our one then move into there. There was no one living in there so we could have a week to move all our stuff in before selling ours and it would all work out great. From our talks with the agent (of the place we wanted to buy) the seller would be happy to negotiate such terms if we agreed on a price. So we set about trying to sell our unit.

We saw three agents to sell our house. The first one told us he charged the lowest fees (which he did) and would give us $3000 worth of internet advertising. WOW!!! The second one charged the most and we had to pay $2000 in advertising but it did include a lot of it, not just internet. Finally the last guy, that we were nearly not going to meet because we were sold on the first guy; we ended up seeing and we are so glad we did. He didn’t talk about what freebees he would give us but he talked about the local area, the current market, his recent sales in the area, the upcoming trends, his existing database etc. The guy was a whizz and filled us with so much confidence that we chose him, even though he valued our unit at a much lower price that the other two. We told him we want to sell, for the right price but also quick enough to buy this other place.

We inspected the unit we wanted to buy and we took a lot of photos. For some reason we are not super super excited about it but it doesn’t make sense. It ticks every box and more. It is big (140 sqm), it has direct entry from the street (which is rare but extremely valuable to us) and it has all the bells and whisles like a nice kitchen, internal laundry etc. So it is a no brainer that we need to buy this unit. But when I started talking to the agent about the price he become very unreasonable. They wanted a little too much over our budget and wouldn’t even talk. He said they already had offers but they want the asking price (which is $9k over our max max budget). I said I would be in touch.

So we were at a crossroads. Do I make an offer at our max and see what happens? I wrote the email of offer but at the last minute I decided to wait. Our first open home was due soon and I wanted to wait until we got an indication of what price we could get. So we left it to chance hoping that no one else would buy it. In the meantime we took my Princess’ parents to check it out and everything changed. Due to their wisdom they pointed out some obvious security risks that the apartment had and it looked like we needed to spend another $10 -$15k fixing that and adding storage (because there was none) totally blowing our budget to bits. Suddenly the place and my dream of upgrading was once again was out of reach.

But only 3 days later our world got turned completely upside down as we faced the toughest challenge we have ever had as a family.

More next week.

Have Fun

Dan.

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