Mortgage their Children

This wind and rain today was enough to keep nearly everyone inside, but there are always those few brave souls who defy such weather and carry on as if it’s just another normal day in North Iowa. As wacky as this weather has been this winter, I’d say if and when it does get back to normal for this time of year, people will consider it be abnormal. Many of the snowbirds are holding off their returning from Florida, or our Southwestern States just so to make sure the cold and snow is over for good.

There’ll certainly be an even shorter window of time for people to get their yards cleaned up before the grass starts growing. Just these past weeks, I’ve been appalled by the number of people living in Mason City who did absolutely no yard clean-up before winter hit. There’ll be some big messes to clean up, unless they’re so lazy that they’ll try to grind their leaves and sticks up with their lawnmowers. I was at a home today and noticed on one side of the house a large pine tree. When I looked down at the ground, there was at least a four or five inch deep layer of pine needles that hadn’t been removed for years. Now that’s what I call super-lazy. For certain, once those needles are removed, there’ll be absolutely not even a blade of grass to be found.

I did manage to get one of my client’s homes rented for him today. Most have no clue how much more time consuming it is in these times to market rentals. There’s the advertising, the showings, and some of which are scheduled but then “no shows”, and then the verifying of the information given on the applications because as we all know, some people are prone to lie. Invariably, there are always those who after they look at an opening will say, “We want it.”, and think it’s automatically theirs just because they’ve chosen it. Several years ago a young lady got really angry with me for not renting a home to her to where she promised she’d tell everyone what a horrible person I was. The sad part about it was, her income and employment history was much weaker than the person who was given the green light to rent it. It’s amazing how some can be sugar and spice, but when they don’t get what they want, they turn into wicked-mouthed monsters.

In spite of today’s rain and wind, I kept my out-of-town appointment to show a home. Thank goodness neither the buyer nor myself had any issues while driving there. I couldn’t help but mention while there, “Now if it looks good to you today, it’ll look all the better when the warm sun is shining and our winter’s dirt is washed away.” I’m pretty confident she’ll be giving me a call next week for a second look. While driving back to Mason City, I nearly got rear-ended by a young lady who wasn’t watching the road–likely because she was playing with her smart phone. As chance would have it, there was along line of cars at a railroad crossing which I noticed and stopped, but she almost didn’t notice me in enough time to the point of me bracing myself for a certain hit. Thank goodness she noticed me just in time. When our weather is bad, it’s best to keep our eyes on the road and both hands on our steering wheels.

A couple whom I sold a home to here last summer stopped to visit before I had to head off to an appointment. They moved here from the Seattle area and today announced that the home they sold last year which they considered a fixer-upper, just sold yesterday with multiple offers on it for over $900K. All I could say to them was, “I can’t even envision myself trying to service a debt like that along with keeping up on the taxes, insurance and maintenance.” One of their factors for moving here was to lower their cost of living. I did mention that this past winter has been something like I’ve not seen in decades, and not to worry about every winter being like this past one.

I do wish the powers that be in our City government would work all the harder at promoting Mason City and North Iowa in those many high cost metro areas around our Country. Who in the world would want to face retirement with such debt loads? I kiddingly said to them, “Maybe those buyers of your old home had to mortgage their children to afford it.”

My one-liner for tonight is: Being happy is far more important than anything else.

Joe Chodur

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