My First Home By Shashank Shekhar Review

Cover picture of My First Home by Shashank Shekhar.

Are you dreaming of owning your own home? Would you like to avoid the pitfalls of buying a home? Before you do anything else read My First Home: A step-by-step guide to achieving the ultimate American dream by Shashank Shekhar with Richa Sarin.

Reading this book could save you a lot of time and trouble.

The author walks you through the process of buying a home from being sure you are ready to buy a home, finding a Home Buying Team, and getting Pre-Approved, all the way to living in your house and making it a home.

There is a lot of good advice in this book. The author recommends getting out of debt, and saving up for a deposit, before you do anything else. That does make it lots easier.

Chapters include information on how to start looking for a house, knowing what kind of home you want, some things to look out for, getting a mortgage, home inspections and appraisals, how to hold titles, and tips on saving money on utilities.

The book is well written and easy to understand without making you feel like he is talking down to you. I like that.

You can buy a copy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


 First time home buying is a special occasion in everyone’s life. But because of the complexities around it, most people approach it with a mix of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. I wrote this book with the sole purpose of making the process easier and more predictable.

This book first helps you in deciding whether you are ready to buy or not and then gives a step-by-step instruction on what you can expect along the process should you decide to buy. The book takes it a step further and even advises you on steps you can take to remain a happy homeowner.

Few things have greater impact on net worth than owning a home. In a comparison of renters versus homeowners, the Federal Reserve Board of Consumer Finance found that the average net worth of renters was just $4,000 compared to homeowners at $184,400.

Homeowners create positive environments for families. Children of homeowners are 59% more likely to become homeowners. Their children are also 25% more likely to graduate from high school and 116% more likely to graduate from college. (Source – Rossi and Weber National Survey of Families.)

There can be no other benefit that can beat the emotional satisfaction of home ownership. Whether it’s having the nicest lawn on the block, or having your own backyard and garage or being able to color the walls the way you want, it is so much more fun than renting.

Remaining in one neighborhood for several years lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

A home often symbolizes family, rest and security — it’s not just four walls and a room. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking and a personal milestone.

Just a few simple steps before you write that purchase offer can turn your fortune and have other would-be buyers wondering – what are they doing that I’m not?

After all, even though we pretend to look logical, most of our decisions are based on emotions.

Establishing a good credit history has never been as important as it is today. It’s not just that you’ll need good credit to get decent rates when you’re ready to buy a home or a car. Your credit history can determine whether you get a good job, a decent apartment or reasonable rates on insurance. It’s a classic Catch-22: You’ve got to have credit to get credit. So where do you start?

To get the best credit score, you need a mix of different credit types including revolving accounts (credit cards, lines of credit) and installment accounts (auto loans, personal loans, mortgages).

About the Author:

Promo pic of Author Shashank Shekhar.

Shashank Shekhar is the founder and CEO of Arcus Lending, which has grown over 1000% in the last three years by helping thousands of families secure better financing for their homes. He is a well-known writer and blogger in his field, and has been featured in Yahoo! News, FOX, The Washington Post,, Huffington Post and several other media outlets for his expertise.

Shekhar is the best-selling author of  First Time Home Buying 101, Real Estate Unleashed, and the much anticipated My First Home: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving the Ultimate American Dream. He is the host of the TV and radio show, “Mortgage Matters,” and was interviewed by Emmy Award-winning director Nick Nanton on his TV show.

His awards include: “Top 40 Under 40′′ most influential mortgage professionals in the country for 2012, 2013 and 2014 by National Mortgage Professional Magazine; “Hot 100′′ movers and shakers in the country by Mortgage Professional America (MPA) for 2014, 2015, 2016; “Top 200 loan officers in the country” (ranked by production volume) by Origination News – 2014, 2015, 2016; “Top 25 most connected mortgage professionals in the country” in 2011 and 2014 by National Mortgage Professional Magazine; Scotsman Guide Top Originators – 2015, 2016; Nominated for “Entrepreneur of the Year” award at Silicon Valley Awards, 2013.

Shashank has an MBA in marketing, and before founding Arcus Lending, worked for GE Money in mid-level management and worked for a start-up mortgage origination company as Director of Product Management.  He credits the success of Arcus Lending to legendary customer service and an unrelenting focus on education. Shashank lives and breathes the mantra “We are in the customer service and education business; we just happen to do mortgages.”

Shashank sits on the board of Give India, a non-profit that works for fundraising for Indian charities. He is a homeowner in Saratoga, CA with his wife Smita and two daughters, Anishka and Anya. When he is not busy growing his company, he can be seen skydiving from 15,000 feet or learning biohacking techniques.

I received a free book to review.

Magnetic Screen Door From IGotTech

Package cover of Magnetic Screen Door.This Magnetic Screen Door from IGotTech is a great way to keep bugs out of the house or a room where there is no regular screen door.

We live in a double wide trailer and the back door does not have a screen on it. Which is why I thought this would be a great product for us. That door NEEDS a screen. Especially since mosquitoes seem to lay in wait for us on the porch. In large gangs.

Every time the door is opened some of them managed to get in the house. And that door also has a doggie door in it that occasionally gets stuck and lets the bugs in.

I was worried that the magnets might get stuck to the door since it is metal…but that has not happened…except when the top sagged (which was my fault).

I did NOT follow the directions for installing the screen.  They even have a neat video on YouTube showing you how to install it. I know you’re wondering WHY I didn’t follow directions.

The reason is that I wasn’t sure the screen would work there and if it didn’t I wanted to be able to move it easy. So what I did was tack the screen up.

It actually worked really good except for allowing the middle of the top to sag…which means the screen won’t close. I had to fix that a couple of times.

Top of the Magnetic Screen Door.The screen is slightly too long for the door too. It doesn’t look bad enough that I want to take it down though. I don’t really care how it looks…as long as it keeps the skeeters out! And it does.

Bottom of the Magnetic Screen Door.I may have left a bit too much of it dragging on the floor too.

Now that I know it works and that the dogs are ok with it I’m going to take it down and follow the directions for installing it more permanently.

It is made of heavy mesh and has magnets all the way up. It is very sturdy and well made.

In case there is still some question in your mind…I like this screen door. It works.

Now we just need one for all the other doors.

IGotTech also offers a money back guarantee.

For more information or to check out their other products you can find IGotTech on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Abandoned Is An Ugly Word

Merriam-Webster definition:


aban·doned adjective \ə-ˈban-dənd\

: left without needed protection or care

: left by the owner

: no longer held or thought of : given up

Full Definition of ABANDONED:

1: wholly free from restraint

2: given up : forsaken


Ugly it is.

Picture of an abandoned room.

And sad too.

Picture of an abandoned and starving dog.

It doesn’t really matter what you are talking about…rooms, buildings, animals, or children. Marriages and families…hopes and dreams.

It is sad to see something abandoned.

It is particularly bad when it is a living thing though. Especially pets and children. They are so trusting and just do not understand why they have been discarded like old clothes or trash.

They may not realize it but the people doing the abandoning are damaging themselves just as much. It will come back to haunt them eventually. Especially if they abandoned their families.

That seems to be happening more and more these days too. I guess folks think that once they are divorced the kids are no longer their problem.


Abandoned dreams are sad too. Especially those where people think they are too old. People in their 90s are going back to school and getting college degrees. People in their 70s and 80s are entering marathons and doing lots of other things you would think that only young folks could do.

It is never too late for a dream. It might have to be modified a bit…after all it is unlikely that a 50 year old (or older) is going to win a gold medal in the Olympics (at least not for something that requires great physical ability) but there might be other ways to make a dream of being an athlete come true.

Don’t just give up.

And please don’t abandon any living thing. Except of course for toxic people…they may deserve it. Maybe.

photo credit: pellesten via photopin cc

photo credit: AmazonCARES via photopin cc

Summer Is Busy

When it isn’t Lazy. Which in my case it mostly is. So far anyway.

I have managed to go several entire days without turning on the computer at all. A few years ago that would have been completely impossible for me to do without jittering and jiving and driving the family nuts.

I was addicted to the computer. The bulletin boards, the games, and then the social sites…and blogs!

This summer I seem to be just taking things easy computer wise.

So what has been going on?

Other than lazing around the house and reading…I have done a bit of weeding in the yard. My hummingbird vines are starting to come up and I had to pull the weeds and grass up because otherwise my husband will use the weed-eater and  the flowers will be gone along with the weeds.

My Buff Orpington hens with chicks.

I also have some new chicks this year. A couple of the hens went broody so I ordered some fertile eggs online. The eggs  hatched out 5 chicks…which the hens seem to be sharing.  I’m hoping that at least one of them will be a rooster. If so I’ll have fertile eggs next year without having to buy them.

One of the chicks got outside the fence and was eaten by a dog. So we got some netting and attached it all the way around the bottom of the fence. They will be too big to get out in a couple more weeks which is a good thing because they are able to hop up on top of things now and they might manage to get over the netting.

Holes in the chicken yard for transplanting trees.We have also been working on getting the chickens some shade in their yard. It has a bit of shade in the morning but by about 10am the shade is gone and the area is in full sun till around 7 pm. The poor chickies are getting hot!

We are going to transplant a plum tree that is growing too close to the fence. Plum tree growing too close to a fence.And an offshoot of a Fig Tree. I didn’t know that Fig trees made roots off branches growing on the ground but my mom says they do…and that we can just dig up one of those and move it. I hope she is right because those trees make some really deep cool shade as well as having delicious figs.

Fig tree in my back yard.Small figs on my fig tree.The Fig tree has lots of small figs on it. There will be bunches of them to pick this year. I need to figure out what to do with all of them. I know you can preserve them…just not sure how.

Any of you guys have a recipe for fig preserves? or know anything about them?

Other than that I’m not doing much…just watching the dogs watch the chicks, reading some good books, ignoring the housework, visiting with family, and trying to stay cool.

How is your summer going so far?

Family And Fences

Today is the first day I have been home in several days.

We have had to help my husbands Dad with his yard work. He is 86 and starting to slow down a bit.

And his riding lawn mower had to be put in the shop. So his yard work got behind.

My husband cut a tree down and piled the wood up while I did some weeding.

My father-law got his mower back yesterday and did a bit of mowing too. As long as he is on the riding mower he is ok but walking up and down the hill there isn’t something he should be doing at all.

He takes tiny little steps out there and it always looks as if he is about to fall. If he ever does fall and break something that will be the end of him most likely. At least the beginning of the end.

Today we are home but have been outside working on a fence for my chicken run. I want to let the chickens have the run of the whole yard but there are too many dogs around. So we need to put fence up to keep the dogs out.

Tomorrow we go back to my father-laws to do weed-whacking and maybe dig up some stumps.

After that I should be home for a bit to catch up on my blogging and housework.  The dust is getting pretty thick around here.

Want to come help?


It Is Good To Be Home Again

Me and my husband had to take a trip up to Michigan again. We rented a car from Enterprise for the trip as my car is almost 20 years old now and about to fall apart.

The car was a Chrysler 200 and it was a really nice car. It took some getting used to though as it is a bit bigger than my little Toyota.

We left on Wednesday and got more than halfway before we stopped for the night. We stayed at a Hampton Inn again this trip. It was not quite as nice as the one we stayed in before. Read my review of the Hampton Inn in Roseville, MI for more info.

The one were in before was almost brand new. This one was older but was very clean and the folks there were extremly helpful and all very polite. The breakfast was good too.

We went the rest of the way up to Livonia, MI on Thursday and stayed at another Hampton Inn off Haggerty Road. It was very nice too and the breakfast was ok.

The traffic was horrendous. I think all city people must be at least slightly insane.  The ones who drive anyway. You have to be a bit nuts to keep putting up with all that traffic.

Of course I don’t like driving at the best of times. Even here in the country I would rather not and in heavy traffic I like it even less. I’m amazed we came through there without getting into an accident.

We came back on Friday. This time we drove straight through and got home about midnight.

And of course my stepkids are mad at us because we didn’t drive on up to Flint and visit them. They were going to have the grandkids there but not till late in the afternoon on Friday. We had to have the car back by noon Saturday or we would have to pay exta.

We don’t have extra. We spent a lot more money than we should have on the trip as it was. And my chickens would have run out  of food too.

I think there was a lack of communication there between my hubby and the kids as to planning. If they had talked more we might have changed things around before we left. Too late now.

I’m glad to be home anyway. I will get back to my regularly scheduled blogging and tweeting and facebooking over the next few days.

I have to clean up the mess the dogs made of the house first!



%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.