Having shown a number of homes outside Mason City these past several days, I can certainly say the upwardly moving market is not only happening here in Mason City, it’s also taking place in the larger towns surrounding us. Some may think Mason City’s market is bad, but having checked comparable prices elsewhere in the area, I’d say we should be pretty thankful we still have enough listings to be able to comparative shop without being left with two or three to choose from in those smaller markets. There’s one listing in another town which I choose not to name which is so much overly priced that either a fool would pay at or near the asking price, or there’d have to be at least a $20 – 30K price reduction before it would be considered an option for my buyer. I told the buyer, “Everywhere I look in this home I see needed upgrades.” Those upgrades weren’t just cosmetic, but structural as well. Another one I was in today reeked so much of dog feces, I wouldn’t be surprised if the previous owner wouldn’t let their dog out to go potty so it was left to do its duty on the basement floor. Even though there were no signs of it, concrete floors have a tendency to absorb and hold odors—especially when they’ve not been sealed.
I was a bit saddened while driving back to Mason City on the quicker blacktops when seeing familiar gravel roads I took to get to some of my old family’s country homes. The landscapes have certainly changed over the years to where there are no longer familiar homesites, but rather just parts of open fields. I was close enough to where one of my great uncles lived in one of those 1870’s two-story farm homes high on a hill, and was again saddened to see the current owner must have decided to tear down the old house and build a monster country estate. For the strangest reason, I don’t find many of those mini-mansions attractive at all. What is says to me when driving past is, “Look at me and the size of my home!” Those homes are mostly all for looks and lack daily functionality. It’s like seeing someone driving a Ford F-150 with all the bells and whistles to and from an office job. What’s the purpose? Their truck beds will likely never carry a load of lumber or bales of straw. Those trucks are meant to be worked rather than a status symbol. While on my way to work this morning a man driving the prettiest black Ford F-250 buzzed past me. Just getting a quick glance at him I don’t think he was dressed to be going to a job site. I can’t imagine how many more gulps of gas they take per mile than my much smaller vehicle. Willful waste will in time creates woeful want.
When driving to and from the “Hinterland”, I left my mind to wander while scanning the landscapes. I was envisioning what it must have been like before the homesteading settlers began to arrive in our area while pushing our native American Indians living in this area out. I was imagining the Indians surviving our winters without any of today’s luxuries or conveniences. From fighting off wolves, bears, and cougars, to making every attempt to keep their families from starving by going out on long hunts, and braving all our unforgiving elements. I’ve decided today, the core of relationship in family and community is survival. Next time you’re on a country drive, think about it.