Happy Halloween of 2019!

Alas we’ve come to the last day of October, and there’s no question these past weeks haven’t been in the average temperature ranges for this time of year. Let’s all hope these days aren’t harbingers of what we’ll have in store for us these coming months. It actually grew colder outdoors as the day wore on compared to what it was like early this morning. Of course we can blame that wind and higher humidity on it.

I had to take another trip up to the Worth County Courthouse today and once again, the clerks couldn’t have more pleasant and helpful. As chance would have it, I happened to catch one of the clerks who helped me with a project several years ago, so I stopped and had a good chat with her. I’ll never forget her endearingly referring to certain files as being their “problem children”. Too funny! After being reminded of that when seeing her today, I’ll have to refer to any difficult transaction files as being my own “problem children”.

While checking the recent sales within our MLS, I noticed several cheapies having sold at severe discounts which pretty much indicated to me they were purchased by a rental baron or two. There are those in our midst who have their “buy” switches turned on every day of the week which makes me wonder if they’re suffering from some sort of accumulation disorder. We could refer to them as the “house hoarders”.

After hearing how quickly that new multi-million dollar hotel and convention center project is moving over in Clear Lake, and then there being a restaurant already signing on, I couldn’t help having a few dark thoughts about our City.

If what’s been happening in Clear Lake’s real estate market continues, I’d say the perception the “outsiders” will be getting of Mason City and Clear Lake will closely resemble what happened to Waterloo a number of years ago. When UNI started expanding and more commercial/residential build-outs took place, it didn’t take long for people to have a preference for Cedar Falls over Waterloo. For the longest time, Waterloo was overly-generalized as being a city you really didn’t want to call home.
If Mason City/Clear Lake becomes a repeat of what happened with Waterloo/Cedar Falls, it’ll be a very sad situation for our City in general. Oh how much I wouldn’t want to see another “tale of two cities” happening right here in North Iowa.

What I’ve also noticed, is how many more newer build-outs that are taking place on Hwy 122 over in Clear Lake. Just this week it was announced that they’ll be building a medical clinic where that Cancun Restaurant used to be. It seems every time I’m over there, there’re working on something else. And to think they’re going to be building another Kwik Star out on their west side.

We must give credit where credit is due, and wish them all the best in their expansion of housing and commerce. You can bet the new subdivision that was created after they finally got rid of all those ugly structures belonging to Andrews Concrete, will have new build-outs on drawing boards before that hotel/convention center is finished. As we all know, progress creates progress.

The one thing I’m a bit sad about regarding that new subdivision, was my thought that some day soon, there’d be a Home Depot or Lowe’s built on that site. Oh well, perhaps one of them will purchase the old Sears complex and build one there. Between the three big players in the upper Midwest, I wouldn’t consider Menard’s my first choice to go shopping for supplies. I can only imagine how much money they rake in every month because they’re pretty much the only game in town.

One of my late appointments for the day was to do a final walk-thru on a home we’re closing on tomorrow. Since it’s a larger home, it took longer to get a good look at everything, so by the time we finished, it ended up being nearly an hour long.

For sure the surrounding residents will enjoy having the buyers as their new neighbors because they are the most delightful young couple. I’m happy we finally found something that fit their wants and needs. I truthfully said to them while there, “I could easily see myself living in this home.”

I’m sure you’re all spending time being entertained by the kiddies that are arriving at your doorsteps. In years past, it was always a delight seeing them in their frightening outfits. I did mention to a clerk today how much it used to annoy me when finding high schoolers and older standing outside the door with their bags open and expecting a hand-out. I will never forget my mother once scolding a group by saying, “Aren’t you a bit old to be looking for hand-outs?” Happy Halloween of 2019!

Tonight’s one-liner is: Have you ever considered someone dressing up as you for Halloween?

Joe Chodur

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