There has been a growing trend of young to middle aged buyers that seem to have a greater than normal desire to live in an area of Mason City that has larger yards that afford more privacy. Last year a middle aged couple who re-located to Arizona told me that their highest priority was to purchase a home that had at least a half acre of land but a one acre parcel would be preferred. They later informed me that they were out bid several times on offers they made on homes that fit their criteria. They did end up purchasing a condo for the time being until what they wanted would come on the market. There have been homes this year in Mason City that needed more than the normal updating which sold quickly and fetched more than what would have been expected. They all had larger yards. I showed a home today that I have listed which offers a larger than normal yard and is on the edge of the city. It already has an accepted offer on it but the owners still want it shown until the financing is approved. I still get calls on it. I had a very well built home on the east side of the city that needed updates but had a half acre lot. It sold in record time. These are just a few examples of how trends are set. I believe without resign that people who are in the public eye eight hours a day really do want their down time without having to deal with whats going on next door which is likely 15 feet away. People do need that distance from others so that they can not only relax without peeking neighbors but also spend quality time with their families. I smile whenever I think of my spicy grandmother who moved off the farm into a quaint little home in one of the more sought after neighborhoods of Mason City. When she would have visits from her children with their mischievous and quite vocal children, she wouldn’t hesitate to say, “Lower your voices, the neighbors may be listening.” And yes, the neighbors were watching and listening. Some years later, one of the neighbors said to me, I always knew who the Chodur children were because they had the same manners as their parents. Thank goodness my grandmother never heard the nosey neighbor say that. Distancing ourselves from others is a great way to rediscover ourselves. Why pay retreats? Our retreats should be our homes.