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Columnist: How will you fill in the blanks?

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

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1. I am ____________, I am ______________.

What follows the two simple words “I am” will determine what kind of life you live. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”

I get up in the a.m. and try to walk at least 45 minutes. I say things like, “I am blessed, I am healthy, I am successful, I am blessed, I am prosperous.” The power of “I AM” is working for me all day long. Whatever you say “I am” will follow you home — good or bad.

I think I am lucky, guess what — I am lucky. Proverbs 23:7 says, “That as a man thinks, so is he.” In the morning I am excited about coming to work for I know it is going to be a great day!

Friends, pay attention to what you’re thinking about every day. If you’re around me for very long if I do not have something exciting to tell you, I will tell you something I just saw or heard about. I will leave you with something good.

2. Everyone has something in their past that they need to let go of.

Yes, believe it or not, I have lost a lot of money on some deals that just went south, but you will not hear this old boy tell about them. They are history, I learned a lot from them and will not do those deals again.

Look out that big windshield and look in the small review mirror from time to time. What is lost is gone. You have lots of opportunities in front of you every day.

Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Forgetting those things which are behind I press toward …” Look to your future not your losses from the past.

3. Each morning as I have my first cup of coffee I read. A new book I just picked up is “Fresh Start, The New You Begins Today” by Joel Osteen.

If you want your days to be great, start your morning with a good book, a long walk and I promise your day will be better! You say, “But Jerry, I do not have time like you.” Some days I get a good view of the stars. I get an early start.

• • •

You want to buy a house and it is your first or third, Jerry rules still work.

1. Your total payment, no more than 25 percent of your take home pay. You will get tired of eating Alpo.

2. Do not get adjustable rate mortgage loans right now. Your rate may be 1.5 today, but in 3 years it could be 6 percent. You could get 3 percent fixed today for 15 years.

3. Look at 15 years vs 30 years. You will save a ton of money and get out of debt 15 years early. For example, 30 years at 4 percent is $478 on $100K on 15 years at 3 percent is $690. Yes, you’re paying $212 more per month but for 15 years you save $86,040.

4. If you’re paying $800, $1,000 or $1,200 in rent there are several forms of 100 percnt financing out there, and with good credit you can own a home. Interest rates are at an all-time low. Stop paying your landlord for his or her property, invest in your home.

5.Try to buy a home you will be happy in for at least five to 10 years. Do not buy to impress the Joneses or the Smiths, buy what you like and can afford.

Buying a piece of the American Dream is your first step in becoming a person that can enjoy the rewards of your hard work. You will be happy you are a homeowner. Some of the homes I sold for $59,000 years ago are now worth $175,000.

Yes they were, and still are, good investments.

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.