A Pole-vault Up

It was a bit of a crisp morning out, but that was just fine by me because it’s always nice to have a cool morning followed by a warming day, and when each one passes, I keep wondering when the rains are going to return. Someone said right after the first of this year that a hot and dry summer was predicted, and when the rain continued for months, I believed such a prediction to be completely off the mark, but now it looks like we’re having a late version of a hot and dry summer.

My first little job this morning was to get some boxes of things delivered to a dear friend who agreed to take them. I called first, and luckily I was able to get them right over to her home instead of having them bouncing around in the back end of of my vehicle. When showing her a few things out of those boxes, I believe she’ll put them to good use. After getting them unloaded, I told her there’ll be more in time where those came from. Yes, I’m getting on a burn to rid myself of un-necessary “stuff” I’ve been hanging onto for far too long.

I was shot down again this afternoon on an offer I had on the Raven Acreage which makes this the fourth one we’ve had on it, and still unable to come together on price. It seems all the more owners of real estate here in North Iowa are believing theirs is worth even more than what our recent bloated sales have shown. I’m now wondering what our winter is going to be like as far as sales, and if they don’t have a vaccine created for this China-virus, we’re likely going to be seeing a long dry spell of sales during the coming cold months, and then we’ll see how many of my competitors are going to be weathering it due to a number of them being far more top-heavy with advertising expenses and salaried staff.

One of my conversations today was with another colleague who also mentioned how slow things have been, but also shared some concerning news that the percentages of FHA insured loans which are now behind on payments, are greater than they’ve been since in the 1970’s. If that be the case, then we are headed for another run of foreclosures far worse than we had back in 2008, so hang onto your hats because it looks like we’re going for a ride.

Please don’t think me wishing everyone would stop buying and selling homes because I’m not, but rather hoping that many of our young first-time buyers will stop jumping up so high in prices for their first homes. How many times have we heard people say, “They want now what has taken us decades to work for.”, yet they will not heed warnings from those who truly want the best for them.

I remember some years ago having sold a home to a young man who had a “helicopter mom” watching his every move, and when I did finally sell him something, I got my ears chewed over her believing I talked him into paying too much for it. I knew at the time it was a good fit along with a place where he could build equity. Not too many years later, he sold that home thru another Realtor for over double what he paid for it, and then that agent went on to sell him an exceptionally expensive home which I still can’t believe his mother didn’t put on the brakes of buying it. That transaction wasn’t a normal “step-up”, but rather a “pole-vault up”. I sure wouldn’t want to be making his monstrous monthly mortgage payments, but again, that was his choice. Right?

Another concern I’ve been having of late, are the businesses in North Iowa which are still suffering financially from this pandemic, and even though they’ve received some help from the State and Federal Government, there’s still going to be that “What if”, because getting caught up on payrolls and operating expenses, isn’t as easy as it looks. Even in good times, when a given company has a bad year or two, they’re usually either selling out or declaring bankruptcy. I don’t even want to think about all the toxic corporate debt out there that’ll be readying itself for its day of reckoning.

I had a second showing this afternoon of a condo that’s listed with another agent, and after they’d seen it for the second time, I’d say they’re nearing the threshold of making an offer on it. As far as I’m concerned, it’ll make a good fit for them because their children are gone now and ready to stop worrying about maintenance, lawn care and snow removal. It’s in quiet location which is even more appealing to them.

What we’re very much needing in our City, are some modestly priced twin homes which would sell in the $185K – $210K range because the ones that are getting built now, are too far out of reach for those looking to down-size as well as be rid of the snow removal and lawn care. I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon due to our area’s cost of materials and labor.

We still have four units remaining over at Prairie Place on 1st, and hopefully I can get the remainder of them sold before the year’s end. This pandemic has slowed their sales because of the rightful fears of our elderly, but I’m still moving forward with getting them sold. I continue to be convinced we’ll be seeing more people coming out of the metro areas and especially the elderly because they just don’t want to be dealing with all the chaos that’s been happening in their areas. Yes, they offer opportunities for those with careers, but what’s there for retirees we can’t offer?

One of the things I want to get done at my office tomorrow, is to have that stained glass window installed in the transom above the front door. I’d already seen it in my mind’s eye, and if it looks as good as I’m expecting, it’ll be a head-turning conversation piece.

Tonight’s one-liner is: The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessings previously secured.

Joe Chodur

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