A Happy Life

Services for Real Estate Pros with Ward County Notary Services 607851

A warm haven


Your eyes may see a hash climate that gives you shivers over your entire body but if you could see this picture through my eyes you would see nothing but a safe haven that brings about a flush of warmth and love.

When we moved to Minot North Dakota in 2003 my daughter was three years old and my son was one. I was a little uncertain about the neighborhood  being I was totally unfamiliar with the community. Housing was limited in our price range so we couldn't be too choosy but I wanted to be sure it was safe for my children.

The neighborhood was older, just off of a main traffic artery, and a little commercial. The house was at a bargain price, the exterior and interior were clean and freshly painted, and it was a nice yard for the children and dog.

Both my wife, who grew up in a neighboring town, and the Real Estate agent both assured me that it was/is a safe neighborhood so we moved ahead with the purchase.

It was a tiny two bedroom house of only 600 square feet but it grew with us and fit us just right at the time.

As we could afford to we remodeled and added another 500 square feet to the main floor as well as two egress bedrooms to the basement.

Even with the improvements, and despite the fact I was self employed (starting my own new business) we were able to pay off all debts associated with home ownership in nine years.

I've never been comfortable with debt so this made our home all the more a perfect fit for us.

The commercial aspect to our neighborhood was that just less then 100 feet away was a small Nisson dealership, across the street is a historic (but still active) baseball field, and less then a thousand feet away is The Roosevelt Park and Zoo.

The car dealer lost his dealership a couple of years in but a new owner for the facility stepped in and made a fine office complex out of the property. The owner is a horses ass but at least the property is not an abandoned eye soar as it could have become without his investment.

The historic ball park, the zoo, and the park have all brought us great joy over the years. Each of them have been fantastic neighbors. If memory serves me correctly the zoo was my daughters first employer and the ball park was my sons first employer.

Our children both learned to ride their bikes in Roosevelt Park, learned a lot about photographing nature, learned how to play tennis, and of course had lots and lots of fun there.

I have always been pretty content with what the Lord has given me and in most cases He has given me more than I have every dreamed of. This is certainly true of our home. Owning a home I can afford relieves me of a lot of stress I can't afford.

The neighborhood has been safe as promised with us having had only two instances in 18 years (two bikes stolen, one recovered). I should note that because of the ball diamond across the street we have collected more wayward baseballs that found their way to our yard then I can count. A few of those balls have dented our cars but even so, I still look forward to hearing the crack of the bat with the boys of summer returning in the spring.

For those wondering where I'm going with this story I just want to say "buy what you can afford" not the max that the bank will lend you. Home ownership can be stressful. Financial pressures destroy more families then any other pressure on a marriage. Please remember you are not doing your children a favor by spending more than you can afford... especially if it leads to a divorce. Children want a happy, secure home.

Your children would be happy in a mobile home if mom and dad are happy and in love.

This story is an entry into ActiveRain May Contest - Life is a Story by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

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Comments (34)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Bob- your posts have always shown us what a loving family man you are. I love your philosophy and agree. It's nice to see more emphasis placed on family and values rather than things. 

May 06, 2021 07:14 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Hi Kathy Streib . I had responded earlier but either it vanished or I fprgot to hit the "comment" key. My focus on family has always been strong as I've wanted to avoid my dad's pholosphy of "earn a lot of money and everything will be okay".

May 15, 2021 05:51 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

Morning Bob.

We had four kids, one adopted and the other three our own.  It all worked out

May 07, 2021 03:50 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Thank you Kathy Streib . I learned by starting my life on the other side. The example I was shown as a child was that "more is better" and there is something wrong with you if things were not your goal.

May 07, 2021 05:16 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I believe here is to much emphesis on "family planning" today James Dray . God will provide a way as long as you are sincere in being a loving provider.

May 07, 2021 05:20 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

May 08, 2021 06:31 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Thank you Kathy Streib . I was wondering why all the activity on this post. Happy Mothers Day to you.

May 09, 2021 05:48 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

What an awesome post and message it is all how you look at things and I have been trying to convince Diane of this philosophy:))Endre

May 08, 2021 10:52 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Endre Barath, Jr. I was very lucky that Carol had the attitude of family first when I met her.

May 09, 2021 05:50 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Bob. As one who has moved across state lines and across states, I admire you for having roots. To borrow from the ball field across the street from you, going, going, gone! Homerun! Enjoy your day.

May 09, 2021 05:11 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Thanks Wayne Martin . One reason I like "roots" is because as a child my folks dragged me from coast to coast every summer.

May 09, 2021 05:51 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Bob "RealMan" Timm good morning, Bob... what a touching and beautiful story... truly shows your love for your family and your God.

May 09, 2021 05:43 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Thank you Nina Hollander, Broker . As you know there are few things we can count on in life. It was/is important to me that Tina & Timmothy know they can always rely on me.

May 09, 2021 05:53 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fantastic post and message. You're absolutely correct. Buyers should buy homes that they can afford so that they can live a safe and calmer life.

May 09, 2021 05:50 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Calm is good Kat Palmiotti .  My dad was such a worrier and never seemed content with his family. As much as I try NOT to be like him I admitt that I worry far more then I want to.

May 09, 2021 05:55 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

What a great story! I love it! It's great to see your home through your eyes. I love this phrase: Owning a home I can afford relieves me of a lot of stress I can't afford. We have lived in the house we're in now for almost 23 years. It was our 3-5 year plan when we moved here. Our kids were almost 1 and 3 when we bought this house. Many of our neighbors and friends moved up. And that's OK for them. We stayed her and we're very comfortable. We're located in the center of the Triangle which makes getting anywhere very convenient. Our home's value has more than doubled and when we retire, we'll be debt free. we have amazing neighbors. Who knows when we'll move when we retire if we do move. For now, we're happy in the moment.

May 09, 2021 08:41 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

You sound just like us Carla Freund . Nothing is more then 10 minutes away from our home and we feel safe and secure here.

May 09, 2021 05:57 PM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

A great post and a true dose of reality for those that want a house to live in and grow the family and not to demonstrate their position in society.

May 09, 2021 01:24 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Personally I was a status seeker in my high school days Ed Silva and learned way back then that popularity is a fickle thing.

May 09, 2021 06:00 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Bob, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding month.

May 10, 2021 08:02 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Thank you Roy Kelley , I like that attitude and I'm going to try to live up to it.

May 13, 2021 06:46 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

I have lived in North Dakota and upstate New York so I am familiar with snow like that.  I read the first sentance . . . "Your eyes may see a hash climate..." and the typo reminded me of a draftsman that worked for us in Fort Drum, NY that got snowed in for a month at his remote cabin.  He said he just stayed home, had fun with his wife inside, worked on his art, and smoked a lot of pot." He told me that was one of his best years ever!

A Happy Life

May 11, 2021 03:23 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Thanks for pointing out the spelling error  Jim Paulson . It's not my strong suit for sure.

May 13, 2021 06:50 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Bob "RealMan" Timm - I started thinking about how many perks there are in living in small houses. I thought of a few, i.e., less rooms to heat or cool. I think it would make a great post for you to write about for people thinking about moving to a small house in climate like yours. I also thought about the Beatles song, "Love is All you Need,' and I thought of you. 

May 11, 2021 05:44 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

There are a lot of perks to a small home Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP . Less dusting and cleaning is a big one.

May 13, 2021 06:52 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

How inspiring!  What wonderful memories you have with that house.  And it's an important lesson for your children.

May 13, 2021 07:37 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

My kids have learned a lot of lessons from this old house, especially from the flood Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR . They learned a lot about what is really important in life.

May 13, 2021 06:56 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's really sound advice.  And how about to treat your home as a home and not a source of funds where you can keep withdrawing more cash...

May 15, 2021 04:34 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

Thats a good point Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 The shortist time I've lived in a home I've purchased is about 10 years. BTW that was the largest home I'd purchased and I paid cash for it.

May 15, 2021 05:47 PM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Wise words shared, I agree 100% and I shared the same opinion with my customers.

Good luck on your contest.

Be safe

May 23, 2021 06:21 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this post!  You have a wonderful home with many memories in a community that has filled your family with employment and enjoyment!  Good for you :)

May 25, 2021 03:50 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Perfectly said Jan Green . I've always dreamed of living in a warmer climate but when I reflect on how good Minnesota and North Dakota have been to me I rethink the situation and stay put where I've been planted.

May 25, 2021 05:45 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Thank you AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS . I used to share the "don't bite off more than you can chew" wisdom with my clients but they rarely listened. I think that is why we see some of the repos and divorces that we see in the paper.

May 26, 2021 12:34 PM