Predicting Your Future Housing Needs

What will your housing needs be in three to five years? If you can figure that out, you can watch the market, target areas and neighborhoods you might like to live in, and reap the benefits of planning ahead.

To begin the process, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What will my family look like in three to five years? Will there be a new addition (or two) to your family? Will you have kids that are grown up and about to move out? What is the possibility that an elderly relative (Mom, Dad or grandparent) will be living with you?
  • What will change regarding work and school? Will a teenager be off to college? Will you or your spouse be retired? Will someone in your household be starting a home business?
  • How will your lifestyle be different? Will you take up a hobby that you’d like to be able to reach easily (such as golf)? Do you see yourself wanting to live closer to shopping, theatre, walks in the woods, etc.? Will you eventually be traveling more often and, therefore, not be at home as much?
  • How is the neighborhood changing? Where is it heading relative to your future needs in terms of residents, noise, sense of community, local developments, etc.? Do you see yourself wanting to live in a quieter community, or a more urban center?
  • Will the type of home you need change? In three to five years, can you see yourself wanting a larger home? Smaller home? More bedrooms? Larger kitchen?
  • What are your dreams? Do you dream of living in a particular area or neighborhood? Would you love to have a big backyard with a garden someday? Do you sometimes think, “It would be great to have a wooded park with walking trails just a few minutes away.”

By looking three to five years into the future, you will be able to predict your housing needs and make plans – today – to ensure you get what you want in the future.

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist Fishers
The Tumbarello Group

Gain An Extra Hour EVERY Week!


Wasn’t it nice to have that extra hour this past Sunday?  What did you do with it?  Did you sleep in longer or did you tackle one more task on your “to do”?

As a self proclaimed “Type A” individual, some days I feel like there’s not enough time to accomplish everything I’d like “to do”.  BUT, Sunday I used my extra hour to chill out.  I really did!  I lounged with my coffee a little longer before church and my daughter’s 2pm basketball game.  We had dinner earlier then usual, we rented a movie, and I went to bed early.  It was great!

Now, back to MY “real world” and my “to do” list.  And, thoughts of how I can try and gain an extra hour each week so I can replay Sunday all over again.

I say “teeny, teeny” because I squeeze in every second of shut eye that I can – including hitting snooze for 9 minutes some days. BUT – this week I got up just five minutes earlier and it made NO difference on my sleep time but it made a huge difference in my coffee/lounge time.  If I do that 5 days a week, that’s almost a 1/2 hour freed up (to delete all the junk mail in my inbox every morning)!


mealsPrepare meals in advance.

I’ve tried this before – prepping meals on Sunday to portion out lunches and dinners for our work/school week. It actually takes A LOT of time. I don’t gain any hours that way.  However, it does help free up time during the week so I’m going to stay the course.  In addition, I’ve started ordering grocery delivery from Peapod and with their grocery delivery program you can also order FRESH ready made meal kits.  I made three slow cookers meals last week and I didn’t have to measure or chop anything!!  Then Monday, I bought a freshly prepared lasagna meal from Costco which easily fed my family of four and they loved it.  All of the above helped me gain about TWO extra hours this week.

shopShop on-line

I used to have see it, touch it, try it on, etc.  Now, it takes too long.  With free shipping offered on most items and the ability to buy near anything on line, I’ve gained more than a hour a week.  Just last week I ordered my face wash, my son’s Halloween costume, and a huge bottle of white vinegar (my odor eliminator & fabric softener of choice for our home laundry) in 5 minutes.  Easy!


mailHandle your “snail mail” ONCE

This is hard because sometimes I look at the items, put them down, and say I’ll get to this later.  NO!  Handle it immediately.  It will help you gain many minutes later.  I start sorting the mail walking slowly back from my mailbox and toss all the “junk” in the recycle container in the garage before I enter the house.  I even OPEN and toss the envelopes of items I have to open in the container as well.  I deliver bills and donation requests to our home office; place coupons in my coupon envelope in my handbag; and stack magazines on the coffee table to be read when I have more time.  Of course it’s not always this easy but the goal is to avoid handling the same piece of mail over and over to gain time later.

televisionTurn the TV off earlier

I had a bad habit of watching TV after the kids went to bed for a specific amount of time whether or not there’s was something “good” on that I wanted to watch.  Lately, even if it’s only been a half hour, if there’s nothing that I absolutely LOVE on TV or my DVR to watch, I turn off the TV and pick up a book.  I finished my new thriller in three evenings!  A few weeks ago I would have told you I had no time to read a book.  Not only did I have time – I finished the book in record time (for me)!

I could list many more ways to gain an hour of time each week.  Maybe that will be a Part 2 entry later.

What have you done recently to gain time?

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group

How to Keep A Gratitude Journal

If you’re like me on most days, you’re thinking ahead about what you need to do, where you need to go, and what you want to achieve.  That’s okay, of course.  We have to think ahead, plan and have goals or we wouldn’t accomplish anything.

My Gratitude Journal Circa 2011

However, I started a practice that has helped me tremendously in keeping what is most important at the top of my mind and even more so, in my subconscious.

Someone suggested I keep a “Gratitude Journal” back in 2011 and it’s something I continue to do now.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. It can transform your life and open up incredible opportunities for love, joy, and success. It shifts your perspective and helps you find the good in each and every moment. When you’re overcome with grief, sadness, disappointment, anxiety, or anger, it’s hard to see what’s going right in your life.  This is when you need gratitude the most.

Here’s a simple formula on how to keep a gratitude journal:

Pick a quiet time in the morning, afternoon or evening and reflect on what is happening in your life in that moment.

First write down three things you are grateful for.

In the beginning you most likely will be generic and write something like:
1. I’m grateful for my health.  2. I’m grateful for my family.  3.  I’m grateful for a career I love.

But, when you do this more often, you’re going to need to get more specific so as not to repeat yourself. Reflecting on all the positive things in your life in the moment you choose to write, you elaborate and it might look something more like this:

1. I’m grateful that I took time for myself yesterday to go on a bike ride. 2. I’m grateful my kids had a great first week of school and my Husband and I had a wonderful conversation last night. 3. I’m grateful my colleagues and I worked together on the presentation to our prospect and we secured their business.  

When you do this every day, you will start to dial down to specific and thoughtful aspects of your life that you are truly grateful for that you might not take the time to notice during the busy-ness of life.

Second write down three things you are grateful to receive.

This is when you put those good vibes out there, visualize and get specific about what you want.  Again, in the beginning you may be generic -because this takes LOTS of practice. You might start out saying:
1. I’m grateful to receive continued good health.  2. I’m grateful to receive my friends and family stay safe. 3. I’m grateful to receive a promotion.

As you continue to think about what you want to receive in your life, you get more and more specific. And every day is different.  You can ask for WHATEVER it is that you need to receive in your life at that moment in time:

“I’m grateful to receive a good night sleep tonight; I’m grateful to receive patience as I drive to work in rush hour traffic; I’m grateful to receive peace and forgiveness in my heart; I’m grateful to receive that tomorrow I’m going to try harder to be in the moment with whatever I’m doing; I’m grateful to receive will power to save for the vacation I really want to take with my family; I’m grateful to receive time to finish this project that’s important to me .”  

You’ll also notice there will be days in which your gratitude journal is not about YOU at all.  You will begin to write about others and what you are grateful for about them, and what you’d like to receive in relation to THEIR life, health, well-being, achievements, etc:

“I’m grateful for Jack passing his test and feeling successful; I’m grateful Pat had a fun golf trip with his friends; I’m grateful my Grandma still drives and feels independent; I’m grateful to receive a successful surgery for my friend this week; I’m grateful to receive that my neighbors sells their home and are able to retire to their dream home on the beach; I’m grateful to receive my kids teachers don’t feel too overwhelmed this week with back to school activities; I’m grateful to receive my in-laws have safe travels to Ireland.”

I could go on and on 🙂

Be Specific.

Most important to this exercise is don’t just go through the motions.  First make the conscious decision to become happier and more grateful with where you are in your life and elaborate in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful and for which you’re grateful to receive.

I promise it will change your life!

Have you ever kept a gratitude journal?  If so, how often do write in your journal?

Shawna O’Brien
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group