Buying a New Home: Lessons Learned...

Well, dear readers, I have recently closed on my very first home purchase. It is a lovely condominium (rehabbed) approximately 900 Square Feet, two bedrooms, one bath...and all the amenities--for the most part.

This was the most stressful thing I have ever undertaken....hands down!

And as crazy and egotistical as it may sound, I feel that I should share some "lessons learned" from this whole experience:

1). Get a good real estate agent----I have a wonderful one, Birdie Solti with MetroTech Realty here in Chicago....she was a God-send, in every respect. She answered all my questions, or found the answers to them...and she sincerely looked out for my best interests through the whole process. She wasn't sparse with her opinion about any of the properties we looked over either. I appreciate that more than she will ever know.

2). Get a Lender/Mortgage Broker in your own town---don't go for one that you cannot see and talk to on a regular (for me, at least twice a day) basis. After all, you will be the one paying "the bills"--including their commissions once it is all said and done.

3) Inspect the property from one square inch to the other....and make sure that everything is just the way you want it....or have agreed writing.

4) Get the opinions of a few close, trusted friends. I was smart enough to do this...and it proved to be invaluable--particularly my friend Mike--who was a professional interior designer at one point in his life.

5) Don't believe the "Good Faith Estimates" when it comes to closing costs....these were no where close to be accurate....the REAL costs were far more than the estimates....

The Best Ice Cream in the world!

My good friends Chris Hill and Jeff Wilcoxen started a business more than 15 months ago in the neighborhood where I currently live (and will soon be moving from) called Bobtails.

BOBTAILS is an ice cream/soda fountain/coffee shop...

All the ice creams/sorbets/sherberts are freshly made at their store.

Here's the link:

If you are ever in the Windy City, please stop by BOBTAILS....

It is the best. Tell them "their buddy Phil" sent you.

And get the MANGO SORBET...

It is to "die for."

NBA Pre-Draft Camp..what a great witness....

The Moody Bible Institute here in Chicago will be hosting the NBA's "Pre-Draft" Camp again this year at their state-of-the-art Soldheim Athletic Facility. Here's the story:

June 2, 2005

Home Court Advantage

It’s become one of the most well-known rituals in sports. Every summer, coaches and executives from all 30 NBA teams converge at Moody’s Solheim Center to scout prospects for the upcoming draft. Some of the most famous players in NBA history attend—including Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Jerry West and Isiah Thomas—as does nearly every major media outlet in the country.

Clearly, the pre-draft camp has proven to be a success for the NBA, one of the best opportunities for its teams to evaluate players who aren’t “sure things” in the draft. However, according to Don Martindell, Moody’s Athletic Administrator, the camp also benefits Moody by making good use its athletic center during the slower summer months and by generating positive publicity.

Martindell values the opportunity the camp provides for Moody staff to serve. “The NBA loves it here,” Martindell said, “and we enjoy serving them and reflecting the One who motivates our service.”

The NBA pre-draft camp will be held this week from June 7 to 10. Moody Bible Institute has hosted the camp for 14 years.
What an incredible opportunity to see the love of Christ and the grace of God in action....