Or Do Without

Thank goodness another day went by without a confirmed case of coronavirus in our City. I dare say, we had quite the gloomy gray one with the continued rain since early this morning, but at least the storm that was to hit us, moved farther south.

I had to take a relatively long drive to meet with a client this morning, and couldn’t have been happier when I returned to my office because that non-stop rain was getting on my nerves, and most of all, the way some were driving on those roads. More than once I had to hit the brakes because of someone ahead deciding to come to a near stop because of missing their turn, and another wanting to let a pair of geese cross in front of them. I can understand stopping for foul in the Downtown, but on a major Highway during rain, I think that’s someone looking to get rear-ended.

There’s no doubt the grass will start growing, along with the trees beginning to bud, because today’s storm was definitely this year’s first Spring rain. With that said, I must remind everyone to make sure the extensions on your downspouts are attached because if they aren’t, you may be getting water in your basements. I don’t even want to think about all those I’ve been in over the years that’ve had foundation issues created from extended periods of “puddling” water at or near their footings. Most don’t realize that footings will sink if the soil holding them gets overly saturated with water.

I had only one early evening showing scheduled, but I did get out and place my public open house signs at the properties I’ll be having open this Saturday. After looking at our extended weather forecast, it appears we’re to have a warmer and partly cloudy day, which should bring out more home shoppers.

When seeing how many in our Nation are getting crazy about not having their normal creature comforts, I’d say they’re due for a reality check regarding what’s important, and what’s not, during times like these. One of my elderly clients mentioned that back during the years of the Second World War, their mantra was, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” I had to laugh when replying, “Those words sound similar to what was being said in the households of farm families.” Too funny.

I’ve been having to bite my tongue whenever hearing people complain about not being able to eat out. Until the bars and restaurants were shut-down, I never fully realized how many people made a habit of eating out every day. I guess I’m not up to speed enough with the changes in our culture, because I used to think the general public only ate out once or twice a week, but from the sounds of it, there are all the more whining over their closures, than I ever would’ve expected. One of them even said, “Well, it looks like I’m going to have to go back to cooking.”, which was my indication that she and her husband were into eating out every single night.

I received a call from one of the Downtown people asking if my business has been affected by these shut-downs, and about all I could say was, “I’ve been having a relatively normal week considering all the chaos that’s been taking place in Iowa due to the coronavirus.” I did have to clarify that we Realtors usually don’t create market conditions, but rather deal with those changes weeks and months after they happen.

The mortgage crisis of 2008 is a good example of how our market changed in a very bad way, but the real effects weren’t felt until months later, and of course the real estate market never fully recovered until many months after that crisis was deemed “over”. There are always causes and effects in real estate sales, but usually not immediate. Now say if we were pulled into a world war, that’s another story, because that would be something that would immediately affect our entire population.

I spent about an hour today working on another opinion of value for a client, so hopefully all the numbers I gave her will give her a little more clarity in what direction she should be taking with her home. It’s always funny whenever hearing sellers bristle about how low I’ve valued their homes, and then later on, listening to buyers complaining about the high prices placed on them, but no matter how hard we work, we must continue reminding ourselves that we can never make everyone happy all the time.

While driving around our City today, I was once again reminded of my near-daily gripes. The first one being, was the seeing of far too many texting while they were driving, which really upsets me when knowing how many serious and sometimes fatal accidents are caused by them. The second one, was again noticed on this sadly gray day, and that being all the many more unkempt houses and yards there are within a six or seven block radius of our Historic Downtown. There are several homes up on North Delaware that are the biggest pigpens, which makes me wonder why or City hasn’t done something about them.

I’ve also noticed how many more people are parking their cars on their front lawns, and it seems that year-over-year, they’re multiplying. Whenever seeing them, I’m reminded of a couple I sold a home to a number of years ago who mentioned how refreshing it was to see no cars parked in front yards. I questioned their statement, and discovered that many of the small towns in Southwestern Iowa, which was where they hailed from, have big problems with people parking their cars right up near their front doors, just so they wouldn’t have to walk so far. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never had any burning desire to visit that area of our State. Let’s hope they now have ordinances in place that address such forms of neighborhood blighting.

Tonight’s one-liner is: To me, redneck is a sense of self, and a chosen way of life.

Joe Chodur

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