Why Should I Consider a “New Build” Home?

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Many of you know that outside of my interest in writing and public speaking that I work full-time in the real estate business.  I love helping people find a place to call home and making that process easy for them.  One trend I have seen in my business is more people choosing the new build route over purchasing pre-owned homes.  We personally made the choice to purchase a new build in 2017 and wanted to share a few reasons why I feel buyers should consider a new build.

1.) INCENTIVES

Most new build companies offer incentives to those buying homes in their communities.  Some of those incentives are freebies such as blinds, refrigerator, washer, dryer, upgraded flooring etc. but other freebies carry a monetary value that helps lessen the amount of closing costs.  Many times these closing cost reimbursements can be tied to using the preferred lender associated with the new build company in exchange for a closing cost credit.  In most instances these credits are thousands of dollars which allows buyers to bring less money to the closing table.  Many new build companies also have hometown hero incentives for those who are in education, law enforcement, Fire or EMT services.

2.) NO BIDDING WARS

In today’s market in Dallas/Fort Worth buyers of pre-owned homes are facing multiple offer bidding wars when attempting to purchase homes in the 300k and under range.  Purchasing a pre-owned home 225k and under can be very tough as buyers are going up against cash investors in many situations and cannot compete.  I listed at home for one day in this price range and received 16 offers in 10 hours.  With new builds you do not have to worry about fighting someone else to get the home you love.  In some cases for those that are already built you can negotiate a lower price if they have sat on the market for a little while.

3.) WARRANTY

Most new build companies offer a warranty on all aspects of the home over the beginning years of the home.  Some even employ a 1,2,10 year warranty plan that covers more everyday cosmetic items for one year, HVAC and other appliances for two years and a ten year warranty on the structure and foundation.  Every builder is different so make sure to ask about their warranty program.  That being said almost every new build has a better warranty than the year long residential service contract that the sellers purchase for the buyers on a pre-owned home.

You also do not have to worry about negotiating repairs with the seller on a new build because the home goes through numerous inspections as well as allowing the buyer a final walk through to point out any flaws they notice before closing.

I want to close by encouraging you that if you are interested in new builds take a licensed Realtor ® with you to meet with the builder’s rep.  It can only help you to hire a realtor to help represent you in the transaction.  While the builders reps are typically very helpful, they still represent the builder and not the buyer.  With the service of a realtor being free for buyers, it seems to be a no-brainer to have them present at all meetings and closing.

If you have questions do not hesitate to reach out.

Darrell Halk, Realtor ®
Brokered by ERA Cornerstone Realty
972.832.1749
darrell.halk@era.com
www.nortexrealestate.com 

 

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Introvert is Not a Bad Word

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Let me first say this blog is written from the perspective of an extrovert with an extreme respect for those who are more introverted. I heard a young lady in my field give a short speech last week about how she was trying to become an extrovert and somewhere deep inside of her lived an extrovert. My heart hurt, because it was obvious somewhere down the line she must have been told that being an introvert was a bad thing or would hurt her business in some way.

I think when some people hear the word introvert they picture someone standing all alone in a corner with no friends. Some people have tended in the past to paint introversion as an identical twin with social awkwardness. These depictions could not be farther from the truth.

Introversion has no impact on your ability to be socially engaging, speak in front of people or be successful in your career. My wife is an introvert and stands in front of a class of teenagers daily and teaches them English and coaches Cheerleading. She is an animated storyteller and most people who know her casually assume she is an extrovert. I know her and I know a few things about her that make her the true definition of an introvert.

In my mind an introvert is as follows:

a.) Introverts are able to be around large groups of people and be social but when those moments are over they are completely exhausted.

b.) Introverts need to recharge and refresh alone after being in long periods of social interaction where extroverts tend to recharge by being WITH people.

c.) Introverts tend to allow a smaller group of people into their inner circle and to really know them. They are more discerning and choosy about who gets to really know them.

d.) Introverts tend to be better at soul care because they have to recharge in solitude for their sanity.

e.) Introverts help extroverts create healthier boundaries for social interaction and teach them the benefits of solitude and resting your mind and spirit.

f.) Introverts hold all types of jobs with all levels of success. Do not buy into the lie that Extraversion=Success.

g.) Introverts are typically deep thinkers.

All this to say, if you are introverted embrace it. You do not have to be extroverted to be successful. The key is not to be someone else but be the healthiest version of who you are. If we will take the time to learn from those who aren’t like us, that is the moment when the most growth can happen.

I Can’t

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Last Wednesday I did something that surprised me… I benchpressed 265 pounds.  I know what some of you may be thinking: so what, that’s not much or why are you telling us this.  It is significant because in my life benchpress was always something that I believed I would never be good at or achieve any weight that would be seen as socially acceptable for a guy my height.

For years I always told people I am not good at bench press, I am not strong in my upper body but strong in my legs or some variation of why I wasn’t good at it.  Every time I laid down under that bar, the narrative of “I can’t” blasted through my mind before I ever picked up the bar.  I heard the voice of the older players in high school basketball offseason laughing and telling me to “stop playing with kids toys” when they saw the lack of weight I had on the bar.  Fear of failure gripped me, fear of the bar dropping on my neck and a gym full of people laughing caused me to give up before I started because I wasn’t good at it.

I tell you this because this fear of failure didn’t just affect me on the weight bench but in life.  I am growing in this area, I am confronting the things that once paralyzed me.  I tell you this because I know many of you are letting “I can’t” dictate what steps you take or don’t take in life.  I have found in my instances where I thought I can’t that I actually could.  Even in the things that I still realize I can’t, I have a God who can and still does miracles every day.  I realize that faith over fear brings with it a more fulfilling life.  Does God care that I went from maxing 135 lbs. in high school to 265 lbs. today? No, he doesn’t care about my numbers but he does care when one of his children is believing the lies of Satan which cause them to sit in fear rather than stepping out to be the best and healthiest version of themselves possible. Don’t settle for the lie of I can’t, be a doer and lean on the one who can even when you can’t.

“Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders…”

 

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Darrell Halk
Realtor ®
Brokered by ERA Cornerstone Realty
972.832.1749
darrell.halk@era.com

Youth Ministry in the Facebook Age

 

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” Ignorance is bliss” was a term first coined by Thomas Gray in his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.  I may be the only one who feels this way, but as a veteran church youth worker sometimes I miss the blissful ignorance I was able to experience previous to social media.  I do not say this as a technology hater, but as a person who loves social media and has an account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even maintain my Myspace for a rainy day.  I miss the days of ignorantly believing that every one of the students in my ministry was latching on to the things they were being taught and learning to live them out.  I am such an optimist in most cases, I want to believe the best about people and believe that all of them are truly opening their heart to God.  The world of social media sometimes robs me of my optimistic dream world as students so openly and truthful share who they really are on the world wide web.

Maybe this is just me, but my heart hurts sometimes when I read the words of those I shepherd online.  It hurts so much because every part of me knows that the answers and joy that they are seeking in other places is found in allowing their head knowledge about Jesus to become a heart devotion that consumes their life.  It hurts so much because many of them sit week by week and learn more head knowledge about Jesus, but never let him completely lead their lives.  I wonder what it may have been for my youth leaders to have to sit and read the filth, doubts and soul searching I spewed from my mouth as a teenager.

None of these feelings I have come from a spirit of judgement, at least it does not feel like judgement in my heart.  Every student means the world to me, whether they realize it, or I show it poorly.  The passion of my life is helping people truly know Jesus, and I want that for every student that has ever been under my care.  My heart breaks anytime a student walks away from church.  My heart breaks anytime I see a student post things that dishonor Jesus.  My heart breaks when a student can sit through service after service at my church and still miss Jesus.  I used to be able to lie to myself and believe they were all getting it, but social media gives me a taste of reality.  A hard reality.  A reality I do not like to acknowledge.

I definitely see the great things that social media brings to my ministry.  It provides so many great tools for communicating, relationship building, and getting a window into the students world.  Maybe I am ignorant for saying this, but sometimes I wish the window was not so clear.  Satan uses it often to whisper to me of my ineffectiveness.  While many times my methods are ineffective, I know I serve a God who can change any life and that is what keeps me going.  My calling will always be to show people Jesus and hear me clear that is exactly what I want to do.  If you sometimes feel like I do cling to Jesus and your calling even when what is before you may not seem to be bearing fruit; those who you shepherd need you to keep going.

FOR MORE ABOUT DARRELL CLICK HERE

Darrell Day Reflections

* from 2011

Well as many of you already realize, yesterday was a new national holiday called Darrell day, August 31st, the day I entered the world.  This was the 34th annual Darrell day celebration and tons of rootbeer, burritos and celebrations were had by all.  I had a great day filled with things that characterize the joys that are a part of my everyday life: My girls (Tiffany, Rylie, Macee), friends, Chuy’s Mexican food, rootbeer(thanks for the rootbeer Sterling and Brittney), the students of Southmont Baptist Church and preaching.  All of these are things I love dearly, not to mention being humbled by the 250 plus people who took the time to say happy birthday to me via text and Facebook.  I feel very blessed to be  a part of the life that God has given me.

It is milestones like birthdays that cause us to reflect, and cause us to count our blessings.  As I look back over this last year of my life I realize I have experienced so many incredible blessings.  There have been ups and downs, but God has been faithful to teach me the lesson of contentment.

Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I wanted to end this post with ten photos that speak to God’s faithfulness to bless me this year.

TOP TEN HIGHLIGHTS OF MY 33RD YEAR (No Particular Order)

1.) The Birth of my daughter Macee- We were told that it was a great possibility that we could not have any other children, but on January 13,2011, this beautiful little girl entered the world.

2.) God opened the door for one of the greatest dreams of my life to be fulfilled when my first book “No One Really Knows” was published by Lucid Books in February 2011. www.norkbook.com

3.) Southmont Youth Group- I have seen God do amazing things in the lives of these kids this year and I feel so blessed to be their youth pastor and call them my kids.

4.) Met one of my childhood heroes and got to sit down and hang out with him for 30 minutes: Spud Webb5.) Got asked by my friend, former Major League Baseball All-Star, Glenn Wilson, to co-author his biography with him.

6.) Got to watch my daughter Rylie cheer at Upward basketball games

7.) Splurged on the most expensive meal of my life on an awesome date with my wife Tiffany to Pappas Borthers Steakhouse for our anniversary.  We try to go to really nice restaurants in Dallas twice a year for her birthday and our anniversary.

8.) Got the opportunity to join the program staff of Camp 220 and speak at both weeks as a Team Bible Study Leader.  I love this ministry and I am glad I get to be a part of the behind the scenes of all that God is doing. www.twotwenty.org

9.) Got to coach Rylie’s softball team

10.) Saw the Texas Rangers go to the World Series and the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Championship.  Okay, this does not directly involve me, but it brought me lots of joy to see both of these events happen.

*Honorable Mention: Launched one of the worst webshows in the history of YouTube- Darandumb Moments: http://www.youtube.com/user/durkel777

Suicide in Sports

The news of former Cy Young award winner Mike Flanagan’s death by suicide is still fresh on my mind as the story was released today. He becomes another on the list of athletes from my childhood years who has taken his own life over the last five years. I will post a list at the bottom of this message of those players.

From all reports Flanagan took his life due to being upset about financial concerns.It breaks my heart to see so many who see death as the only option to rid them of their pain. If only we could go back and tell them that there was hope. If only we could go back and tell them that they were loved by their families, friends and fans.

If you are reading this and feel life is hitting nothing but deadends please talk to someone. Seek out help from a trained counselor or local pastor. There is hope, God has placed you here on Earth for a purpose. Jesus came and died to set the captives free and he came that we might have a full and abundant life. He loves you, and His love for you never wavers or changes, no matter how many times you fail.

I have helped a family walk through suicide in the past and I know how tough it can be on families. Pray for the families of those listed below, especially the Flanagan’s as this is so fresh.

Suicides

NBA
Mel Turpin 2010

NFL
Dave Duerson 2011
Kenny McKinley 2010
Shane Dronett 2009
Andre Waters 2006

MLB
Keith Drumright 2010
Brian Powell 2009
Mike Flanagan 2011
Hideki Irabu 2011

National Suicide Hotline 1(800)273-TALK

5 Reasons Why I Love Chuy’s-Denton

Not hard to believe for people that know me that I am here talking about mexican food, but I had to share my new affection for Chuy’s.  So far I have made two trips to this fine establishment since it’s opening on August 2nd.

1.) They Allow Bald Men to Live Their Dream of Having Hair

One “Dare” led to me wearing this wig to my first visit to Chuy’s on their opening day.  The hostess could not bear to look at me without giggling.  I realized this day the extent of discrimination against guys with flowing black hair.

2.) Queso Compuesto


This plus chips= Heaven in a bowl

3.) More Tasty Sauces than Should be Allowed in a Single Restaurant


Boom Boom Sauce, Deluxe Tomatillo, Tomatillo, Jalapeno Cool Ranch, Queso, Salsa… Need I go on?

4.) Tasty Chimichangas and Burritos= 5 Star Restaurant

* Best Chimichanga I have ever had, and I have had quite a few in my time.

5.) They built their Denton location right down the road from my work.

With this restaurant being so close to my church job, I am sure it is going to bad news for the pocket book and the waist line.

All this said…If you have not ever given Chuy’s a chance, stop being dumb.

Asking the Right Question

In the last few weeks I have had more than one person approach me about feeling a lack of passion or dryness in their pursuit of Christ. Many seem to associate Christ with feelings of shame and guilt, so they want to avoid Him all together. So many of us have become so accustomed to living a legalistic, rule based Christianity that when our performance fails we cannot escape the guilt of our failures. Many of the thoughts below came from what God has helped me learn in my journey, what God taught me this Summer in studying to teach Bible Studies for Camp 220, and hearing others teach this summer.

First thing I need to remind you, IF you belong to God, meaning you have a relationship with Him, then Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This verse has meant so much to me, because it promises that in the midst of our failures God in his grace and mercy forgets our trespasses against Him. It is almost as if God is telling us I do not condemn you, QUIT CONDEMNING YOURSELF. Quit living a powerless Christianity swallowed up with guilt. When God looks at you as a Christian, he does not see your failures; He sees Christ’s righteousness that has covered you.

Zephaniah 3:12-19 is a beautiful picture of the joy that God finds in who we are. God sees someone worth singing over, he has taken away his judgments over you, he fights for you and he is near to you. God says you are so worth all Jesus did.

So first we must see ourselves in the way that God sees us, but second we must ask the right questions about how to get back the passion and zeal that seems absent. Many times we begin with the question how can I pray more, how can I read the Bible more, or what can I DO to draw closer to God? I believe this is the wrong question to begin our thought process.

1.) The question is not how much am I doing to draw close to Him, it is how much am I letting Him do in me?

Does he have my whole heart?

What things in my life steal my affection for Him?

Am I living out Philippians 3:7 that everything compared to Christ seems like dung, poop, or rubbish? It is not an obedience problem as much as it is a love problem. When Jesus has all of our affections no one has to tell us to pray, or read our Bible, we just desire to do it. The prayer is not God help me increase my Bible study time, but help increase my love for you, help remove the things that steal my affections from you… Come and have my whole heart.

Many of us are like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2, we are checking off all the duties of a Christian, but we have lost our passion and love for him in the midst of doing things for Him. The question must come what am I letting him do in me?

Have I surrendered my spiritual gifts and passions to be used by him? These gifts are not accidents, but are intended to be used by him for his church. Some of the most excited students in my youth ministry right now are those who have realized their spiritual gifts, asked God to take those gifts and use them and seen God begin to work in them and through them. It is in giving God complete control that our passion and desire to be in word and pray increases.

2.) The next question we must ask is by whose power am I living in? 1 Corinthians 4:20 says the kingdom of God is not in Word but in power. Paul tells the people if he comes he will not judge their closeness to God by what they say, but by the power which they live by.

What are you living in that takes God’s power to complete? Are you living by his power or living in what is comfortable and manageable for you? The reason most Christians never move forward in their walk with Christ is they spend their whole life walking in and praying for things they can accomplish without God.

What are you letting him do in you? Have you been just a follower in words or are you living each breath, each step by his power?

3.) How big is your view of God? What God is able to do in and through us is relative to what we believe he is able to do. So many Christians spend so much time arguing what God can’t or doesn’t do anymore. I am persuaded that if we worship a small God who has a list of things he can’t do and we have a holy spirit who is mute and serves as just a glorified conscience then we limit what God is able to do in us and through us. Check out Mark 9, part of our drawing into a powerful life changing relationship with Christ is admitting the areas of unbelief and saying God help me believe in the depth of your power.

Is your God manageable, understandable and full of things he can’t do or doesn’t do anymore or is he the powerful God of the Bible? Part of letting him do what he wants in us is having an accurate view of Him.

4.) Lastly, we will all spend time in the desert or times of dryness; it is how we navigate through that time that tells if we fully belong to Him. It was in Jesus’ time in the desert (Matt 4) that he was tempted, he responds by clinging to Scripture. In dryness we must cling to the Word, not as a duty but because we need it.

What are you allowing God to do in you?

Calvinism: Idea that is changing our world?

Time magazine has just labeled Calvinism as one of the top ten ideas that is changing the context of our world.  I too have noticed that so many ministers are going back to this doctrine that was embraced by so many of the early reformers like John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine and more recent leaders such as Al Moehler, John Piper. Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler and Francis Schaeffer.

Thought it was interesting that Time picked up on this shift happening in Christendom.  Check it out!!
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1884779_1884782_1884760,00.html?imw=Y

A New Me

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I have never been much for the idea of New Years resolutions because rarely do I end up keeping them.  So I am hesitant to call these New Years resolutions, but I had made a few promises to myself and Tiffany about things that I want to do now that I have finally finished seminary.  These are things I have thought about for a long time and have already begun working on since my graduation on December 14.  For so long Seminary has taken a lot of my spare time that normally would be filled with recreation and hobbies.  My desires  not for just 2008, but for the rest of my life here on Earth are:

1.) Memorize more Scripture

2.) Read more for enjoyment

3.) Eat Better

4.) Make working out a part of my life

5.) Do more spontaneous and romantic things for Tiffany

6.) Start collecting autographs again

7.) Attend more events that my students are involved in

Some of these may seem trivial and some if you know me may make you laugh, but I have never felt so free and driven in my entire life. I am already working hard at 2,3,4 and 6 and plan to get on the others starting today.

Small Victories

– I have not had a Soda in 6 days

– I have not had fast food in 6 days

– I have already completed a book this year

– I joined 24 Hour Fitness on December 27 and have been working out hard

– I have been watching my calories and writing down everything I eat since Dec 27

– I have already lost 4 pounds

More updates will come as I go, please help hold me accountable