Category Archives: Real Estate

Iron Blue Heron

Iron Blue HeronThe public open house I had at 721 N. Delaware had more visitors than I’d expected on such a glorious Sunday afternoon.  I have a “feeling” it’s going to be selling soon.  With all the homes recently sold around Mason City and North Iowa, there’s bound to be a buyer who’ll understand its real value as well as realizing the price is far below market.  I took a book with me and I didn’t even have time to read but a single page. It’s always a good thing to have prospective buyers coming and going. I really don’t like having time heavy on my hands for two hours.

Prior to going to my public open, I spent about four hours back at my on-going project.  Seems I’m getting closer to being at the crest of the hump, and when that happens, it’ll be all downhill from there.  Someone was visiting with me several days ago about how much work he’s doing on a home he recently purchased.  From the sounds of it, he’s spending more time talking about it than he’s working on it.  The improvements he’s making should have been done months ago.  I internally smile to myself when people make small projects look like elephant eating ordeals.  I’m convinced far too many people simply loose interest to where their well-intentioned projects remain unfinished eyesores.

This coming week will be another busy one for me, but I’m not complaining.  As they used to say, “You gotta make hay while the sun’s shining.”  My closing tomorrow is with one of the sweetest elderly ladies who is moving out of town.  She’s been an absolute joy to work with, and I only wish I’d been lucky enough to have know her years earlier.  There’ll be yet another one of our angels leaving Mason City, and I do hope the powers that be is replacing her after she leaves.  We have an over-supply of naughty monkeys in North Iowa who need to be counter-balanced by real-life angels.

Several days ago I promised to share in sections, a short story one of my clients dropped off for me to read and share if they seemed worthy enough. I read both of them and they’re good reads.  The name of the following first story is:  String of Prayers.

There were many old-fashioned farms circling the small Ohio town of Marion to where they seemed magically positioned on the horizon creating balance between earth and sky.  The white clapboard houses contained over-sized windows which created never-ending stares at their vast horizons of farms and fields.  One couldn’t help but notice all those giant red barns with their shiny tin roofs which appeared like mirrors being held up to the sun.  Mr. and Mrs.Thaddeus Windsom were the parents of fourteen who just happened to live on one of those picturesque farms.

Thick rows of tall white pines created a green barrier against those biting winter winds just north of the farmhouse.  There was also a buffer of ancient oaks at the southerly end of the barn which provided enough shade for the animals when summer’s blistering heat arrived.  Beyond the barnyard, lay 150 acres of tabletop flat fields.  The farmland in the region was so level that when it rained, the water was evenly dispersed across its black soil, and whenever the rains were particularly heavy, the soil turned into a thick mud, and remained that way for nearly a day.  To be contd.

Yesterday I made sure to get to my open house at 1202 – 2nd St. NE early enough so to take a few photos of the Winnebago River that’s just a stone’s throw from my listing.  I do hope you like it, because that iron blue heron looked quite real.  Don’t you think?

Industrial Rain

Industrial RainIt was surprising to find it raining off and on today.  Thank goodness I got my outside menial chores done before the intermittent light showers started.  I did a little mowing at a property and while there, I couldn’t help but notice how poorly the so-called middle to lower tier of today’s homeowners take care of their yards.  They seem to make an attempt at mowing, but they don’t keep the volunteer trees and weeds from growing where their mowers can’t get at to cut.  This leaves me to really wonder what over fifty percent of our general public do during their free days and evenings.

My public open house at 1202 – 2nd St. NE was a great success to where there were people coming and going the entire time.  Thank goodness I printed out extra information sheets because I handed out my last one to a late arrival.  Everyone was spellbound by the views it affords of the Winnebago River.  I teasingly said to one, “You’re buying this site for the views, and the home comes with it.”  She actually agreed.  I’ve admired this homesite for a great many years and know full well its future owners are going to have their own “in-town” sanctuary.

Just today I was finally able to get a sale put together that’s been bouncing around for nearly two weeks.  Thank goodness this marathon negotiation is over.  When dickering continues on for so many days, the hard feelings begin to build along with quirky little requests being taken far too personal.

As normal with every year, over a month or so ago I was asked to buy a ticket or two from the Evening Lyons Club which holds their chicken barbecue every year from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm during the Cannonball Days. I purchased a ticket at the time and remembered this morning that I had it, so around 5ish I drove over to East Park for a take out.

After what I experienced this afternoon, I’m not so sure I’m going to buy a ticket next year.  Since I couldn’t get into the “drive-thru”, I had to find a place to park about a block away and walk there.  No problem.  When I went to the take out line, I discovered there were no baked beans or coleslaw.  I said to the lady holding a ladle full of slimy and sticky macaroni salad, “Where’s the coleslaw and baked beans?”  She quickly snapped back at me and said, “We’re out! Do you want macaroni?”  When the guy handed me their styrofoam container I said, “I don’t think I’ll be doing this next year.”  Listening to the comments from the people ahead of me, I don’t think they were the least bit satisfied as well.

I fully understand that many of these events being held are for charities, but my gripe is they shouldn’t be offering something they can’t deliver.  I’d rather have just given the guy $9.00 that day and called it good to go.  I guess I’m too old fashioned when it comes to serving guests to where they should always be given the best food and the best service. That’s what makes memories along with them looking forward to next year.

On my way back from Clear Lake this afternoon, I spied a not so often seen occurrence.  I noticed it raining heavily in the distance, so I pulled off and took the above photo.  I thought it was a good shot of “industrial” rain.  I’m now ready to go warm up my Cannonball chicken without the promised coleslaw and baked beans. Bon Appetite!

They’re Swinging

SEA_5621Without question, this work week of mine has been quite the roller-coaster ride in my attempts to keep everything balanced to where everyone remained on the same page.

While driving away from a meeting with some of my Realtor colleagues, I’ve decided many have interesting perceptions of themselves as well as those around them.  Even in my profession, there are those who believe they can get everyone to agree if they’re the ones being the most intense.   Fortunately, those tactics don’t work with me. It doesn’t matter if someone is trying to soft sell or hard sell me, because if I don’t believe in, or like something, my opinions cannot be changed, so I just remain seated and listen until they’re finished with their diatribes.  What’s unfortunate for many is that oft times they believe silence is an acknowledgement.

The times when people ask my opinion on something, I’ll soulfully give it with no strings or future values attached.  Long ago I learned how easy it is for clients and customers to become unhappy with me because they received my opinion that was contrary to what they were expecting.  I believe in being professional by sharing my thoughts when asked real estate related questions. That’s what professionals are supposed to do, give sound and selfless advice–right?  As long as I continue to remember that my customers come before me first and foremost, I’ll continue sleep soundly every night.

I’m hosting a public open house tomorrow from 1 – 3 pm at 1202 – 2nd St. NE here in Mason City.  It’s truly a rare find being tucked away by itself where owners can enjoy nature without being pestered by loud neighbors and barking dogs.  The views of the Winnebago River from the dining area are breathtaking.  It’s an in-town homestead made for memories.  It’ll be one open house I’ll certainly enjoy hosting.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow and stay a while.

One of my long time clients stopped by today with a copy of several very short stories she wrote in her younger years.  After she left, I took a few minutes to scan their subjects and characters.  I’m going to take the time to read them in their entirety, and if they’re as well written as they’ve appeared, I’ll possibly be including several paragraphs in my daily writings of them. For several days there’ll be a “to be continued” line after they’ve been inserted. I believe our younger generation should like them because they’re mid-century.

This afternoon while working in my office, I happened to look outside and see a vehicle parked which had one of those sure-to-be-noticed metal thingies hanging from its underside.  The first time I noticed one of them on road some years ago, I was appalled.  From that time on, I’ve been seeing all the more which causes me to question what’s really going on in the minds of those men/women who dangle such stuff out in the public’s eye.

I took the above photo of that disgusting thingie as a reminder to everyone to NEVER hang from your vehicle’s underside such vulgar, obscene, smutty, indecent, insulting, and downright crude objects.  Thank goodness I’ve never entered into conversation with the males or females who possess such, but be assured, I really work at not being forced to drive behind a car or truck when they’re swaying with every bump and dip in the road.  Thank goodness for corners and four lanes.

The Andy Griffith Show

DSC_4067-EditMy morning started a bit earlier with my continued work on several files that are supposed to close next week, along with getting sales numbers together for a closing that will be taking place the week after next.  Yes, performing the job of a Realtor is not only dealing with the “nows”, but also diligently working on transactions that are going to be coming to close in the foreseeable future.

Of course I also wasted some precious time while waiting for someone to arrive as promised today, but then had to chalk the appointment off as a “no show”.  In this age of every form of cellular phones, there’s absolutely no reason for someone to at least be courteous enough to call and cancel.

Some time in the near future, there are going to be several agents who are going to get scolded for their lack of respect of others as well as not following instructions.  Just speaking about protocol to another today, I felt myself being pulled into a conversation that evolved into nothing more than that person being “dismissive” towards me. For some, respect is not contained in their vocabularies. So I guess if there are those who choose to hear what they want to hear, and then become passive aggressive when hearing what they don’t want to hear, then we’ve got problems.  Oh well, life goes on after we’ve had our says and sent down.

I asked someone later today who has worked with me for many years, if I really give the impression of being overly-demanding.  Since this person never minces words, the only response was, “No, you’re not.  You are just one who has always wanted things done, and done right.”  Those words were much needed after hearing some of those off the cuff comments about me which I considered un-true. I did mention to my long-time colleague how much more people in our work world side-step facts along with any form of confrontation–especially when a mistake has been made.  All the more people in our society are growing to where they’d rather have their head’s shaved rather than bring themselves to take ownership of failings.

Please be sure to stop by my public open house tomorrow which is located at 2040 Hunters Ridge Drive.  It’s a much larger than it looks townhouse that offers all the bells and whistles, and certainly for much less than if you’d be looking go out and have one similar to it built considering today’s costs of construction.  I know we need rain, but I’ll be hoping it won’t during the two hours I’m there from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

The above photo is the gift I received from one of my sellers yesterday.  It’s a keeper!  I was instantly carried me back to much quieter and simpler times.  The Andy Griffith Show was one of our family’s favorites when I was young.  My mother especially liked watching it.  I’m glad they’re still playing the re-runs of those great many episodes.

Enough of More

Enough of More-1Looks like the heat and wind is back at it again after just one partial day of reprieve.  I’ve been empathizing with several of my sellers who’re getting themselves moved out of their homes in this heat before their closings take place later this week.  All I can remind people is to take it slow and keep ahead of their fluid intake.

Without appearing to be dodging the outdoors, I spent most of my day working on files in my office.  I can say I’ve got pretty much everything under control after last Friday and Saturday’s real estate blitz.  I’m not so sure we’ll be seeing the market slow down any time soon.  The buyers had better get themselves situated in their new homes before there’s another interest rate hike.

I’m been having some not so pleasant thoughts again about big charities that seem to bombard us on a daily basis via emails and mailings.  Some of them even make personal phone calls.  Ugh!   Today someone mentioned some letters he’d received from a charity that his father had donated to while he was alive, along with money he’d freely chosen to give as a bequeath out of his estate after he died.  He was angry as well as confused after receiving letters from that charity asking for more financial information regarding his father’s estate.  Wow!  As if a handsome gift of money wasn’t enough!

After having that conversation with him, a memory returned of an estate I was familiar with about five years ago.  Pretty much all that sweet little gentleman had left was his modest house with a hefty mortgage on it.  One of his relatives took me aside and told me she believed he was nearly sucked dry of money funds by all the written pleas from countless charities.  I said to her at the time, “What really makes me angry is that those fundraisers who work for many of those charities get huge percentages of their takes and are likely spending most of their time on a Florida beachfront sipping margaritas.”

Having seen firsthand what willful waste takes place with those funds given to charitable organizations, I’ve developed a mindset to give freely, but make near certain those funds are being used as they were intended.  I’m afraid the more these stories get out regarding those bogus charity drives, there’ll be all more reasons our general public will have to justify their own selfishness.  Selfless no-strings-attached giving is good, but one must always get plenty of first-hand knowledge before opening a checkbook.

I posted an alert today that I’m having a public open house this coming Saturday at 2040 Hunter’s Ridge Drive.  I’m still a bit puzzled why it hasn’t sold. We just recently had a major price reduction on it to where it’s certainly competitively priced.  Click on this link and be sure to make a note to yourselves and stop by Saturday between 1:00 – 3:00.

2040 Hunter’s Ridge Drive Mason City

I now leave you with my last thought.  “For many of those consumed by greed, there’s never enough of more.”  Unfortunately, their numbers are growing exponentially.

Dark Memories

Dark MemoriesMy day started a bit earlier than normal for a Saturday after having scheduled an appointment yesterday to show a property about a half hour’s drive from here at 8:00 am. this morning.  In knowing I had much to do before I headed out, I made sure to get myself to the office early enough so to get those duties taken care of before I left.

For me, driving in the country always helps to bring everything back into perspective.  In spite of all the highs and lows of my daily life, I’m reminded the earth has always been there to take care of us.  Now just think for a moment where we would be if we didn’t have the basics.  Mother Earth has provided for the humans since before the time we all fell out of the trees and started on our evolutionary journeys.  Many in our modern world consider the earth a commodity that’s there to be exploited.  The oceans are growing ever more depleted of life to where I’m afraid we’re on a crash collision course of extinction with much of our marine life which has kept our oceans’ food chain in balance for thousands of years.

I’m on my soapbox of sorts because the people I was showing this morning really “get it”, and are determined to continue making changes in their lives to where they’ll be back to the real basics.  As you all know, the basics are food, water, and shelter.  Everything else concerning human needs is superfluous.  Just think about it.  How many people are there whom you know who would freely accept being placed in an 1850′s style village where there’s no gas, electric, running water, or sewage disposal systems, and still manage to happily survive?

About a half hour of our conversation was spent talking about the need for our children to be given a much broader education on the basics of sustaining life.  We also spoke about why so many of the plants and animals that we are eating have so many trace chemicals in them.  I looked at the both of them and said, “As far as I’m concerned the driving force behind this is greed.  They continue to search for ways to make plants and animals grow bigger and faster so they are just one nose ahead of their competitors.”  We all agreed.  Without question, the exploitation of Mother Earth is money driven, and until we as consumers take a stand, they’ll continue to do it and create a downward spirally vacuum of life for generations to come.

One of my dear friends sent me a note several days ago regarding a movie he recently watched.  I found it, so I watched it last night.  It was yet another real eye-opener for me. I’ll have to thank him for recommending it.  The name of it is “The Russian Woodpecker”.  My public open house today at 2831 – 4th St. NW was a great success in spite of the blistering high temperatures and wind.  There were several buyers showing some good interest.  If you missed the viewing, please don’t hesitate to give me a call and I’ll open it up for you.

Since I had some free time later this afternoon, I went to an out-of-town church’s service.  It was OK, but there was someone there that I hadn’t seen for a number of years whom I’d pretty much “written off” and “sent down” after out last encounter.  She’s related to me, but distantly, and glad for it.  I believe she noticed me which is likely why her and husband made a quick exit.  She’s a classic example of a person who’s kept her head buried in the sand while being in denial of “real world” happenings.  I really wished I’d not gone to that church because seeing her triggered some dark memories with me. And the creepy craziest of things, is that I even remembered her birthday.  Should I send her a card?

1601 S. Winnebago St.

1601 S. Winnebago St-1From early morning, it seemed as though I was running in high gear since before I even reached the front door of my office.  The early days of the week were quieter, but these last days have been full speed ahead.

We all were hoping for far more rain than we received today.  I’m not sure what direction our summer is headed, but if we don’t get more moisture, we’re going to have some pretty water-starved flowers and vegetables.  I can’t believe how quickly the soil has dried.  This afternoon while walking a small portion of a field, I noticed an interesting rock, so I picked it up so to examine it.  Wow!  It was almost too hot to hold from the heat it had absorbed from the sun.  It caused me to think I was walking on scorched earth. The stone was interesting enough to where I decided to keep it and add it to my little collection of odd looking rocks.

Just before I left for my late morning appointment, I happened to notice a youngish woman across the street walking down the sidewalk with a cell phone glued to her ear.  I was forced to look twice because of my disbelief of what I had noticed.  Oh Mercy!  That woman must’ve wanted every man either driving by, or walking past, to see the beyond skin-tight leotard-looking long-legged stretch pants she had on.  To make matters worse, she was wearing a rather revealing sleeveless top that only came down to her waist.  She left nothing for one’s imagination. That spectacle brought back to mind the time I was walking in a desert and happened up camel tracks.  After confirming what I thought I saw, I shook my head and walked away with another confirmation that we are indeed living in the generation of “look at me”.

I’m beginning to wonder when the general public is going to stop riding this wave of sensationalism.  Facebook, along with all the other social medias continue to fuel this craze.  Every time I see where someone has snapped a “selfie” and posts it all over the internet, I think, “Do you really have so little self respect that you have to degrade yourself to such levels and share it with millions?”  Seems far too many are doing anything they can to get noticed–even if it’s in a bad light.

Part of my day was spent listing an acreage just outside Lake Mills. It’s located at 1601 S. Winnebago Street and is a one-owner over-sized 4 bedroom ranch that’s had some good updates including a Fieldstone kitchen.  What I found the most appealing about it was the fact that all four bedrooms, laundry room and half bath are on the main floor.  The basement has a rec room, a office/den, and a shower room.  There’s an over-sized storage building at the rear which could be a place to raise chickens or a few goats.  There are some very nice hardwood trees on the site which help to give the site more of a country ambiance.  I’ll make a great home for a young couple with children.  The above photo is one of the exterior shots.  Click on the following link to view more.

1601 S. Winnebago Street

Please be sure to make a note of my public open house tomorrow that’s located at 2831 – 4th St. NW here in Mason City.  It is definitely the pride of the Sunrise Ridge area, and if you’re up for a short drive, take a road trip to my new listing at 1601 S. Winnebago St. in Lake Mills.  And by the way, it’s only a very short distance from Rice Lake.

2831 – 4th St. NW Mason City