The Four Angles of a Street Corner

After having a superb gathering with my sisters this evening who were here in Mason City on a visit to our mother, I was reminded of the story about the “four angles of a street corner”. If anyone of you grew up in a family of more than yourself as a child, you will find that each and every one of the children have their own version of what took place during those years of growing up togeth… continue reading

Mason City can be the hub

For years and years I have said that Mason City missed the boat on being the center of the financial/commercial universe in North Iowa and Southern Minnesota. Let's think about it. We are about 2 hours by car from Des Moines, about 2 hours by car from Minneapolis, and now thanks to the Avenue of the Saints, we are about 2 ½ hours from Cedar Rapids and not to mention the far quicker drive to Du… continue reading

Stretching the Dollar

I know we have all been lectured via the media about how to save money and yet not give up some of the comforts we are accustomed. What I have noticed is the excess "stuff" in peoples lives. The non-stop buying of electronics including the TVs, the handhelds, the fitness equipment, the automatic kitchen appliances and so on. With the continued evolution of bigger and better machines, we find ourse… continue reading

Craftsmanship still survives in Mason City

I have been helping an owner with renting a downtown building.  I met one of the contractors there to do some measuring for a possible future tenant.  Curious me decided to see what was above the suspended ceiling.  Luckily there was a tall ladder there so I placed it in an area where I thought I could get some tiles up.  I crawled up the ladder and pushed up one, then two, then three and four… continue reading

Bear Traps of Short Sales

My office is involved on another infamous lender short sale. In this case, I represent the seller. When my clients called me to list their home because they were upside down on their mortgage, we talked about all the necessary things that needed to be done to get them out from under their mortgage. Well, they did all that we agreed upon and more. The home sold in less that three weeks to a cash… continue reading

It really Quacked me up

Just another confirmation that humans and animals are more closely related than we would ever want to think. Early this morning, while I was at my desk, I looked up and noticed something moving in the street. When I got up and walked to the front where the big windows are, I discovered a pair of ducks waddling across the street towards my office. I couldn't help but notice that the female was w… continue reading

Locate the Locals

What I hope is happening on Main Street Mason City along with all the other smaller cities and towns, is a re-awakening of the need for locally owned businesses. Just in this past year, I have noticed here in downtown Mason City, the number of buildings for rent and or for sale have decreased substantially. This is a very good thing for Mason City's “Centrum”. If you step back and look at a… continue reading

Is It Picture Perfect?

It has again been confirmed today... After showing a family the same home far more than just once, and months of looking at other homes, investigating and talking about all the things the buyers could do to improve and create a real home for themselves and their children, they called me today and said that they purchased another property from a different Realtor. The home I speak of, would have… continue reading

The tale of two buyers…

When yours truly entered the world of real estate sales so terribly many years ago, I found that the young buyers were filled with vision and the willingness to make something out of nearly nothing. Today we call it “sweat equity”. I find that those buyers are now becoming fewer and farther between. I ask myself, “Is it because we are becoming so terribly specialized in our abilities, or are… continue reading

Quieter and Gentler life…

I had the most wonderful opportunity to speak with one of the “powers that be” here in the city today and was most delighted to find that I am yet not alone. For nearly 45 minutes we spoke about out childhood days of growing up on a working farm with so many siblings. Early up and late to bed and yet it was all worth it. Can you imagine before the child labor laws were enacted, seeing small ch… continue reading