Lonely Spirits

In spite of our being behind in the average snowfall we normally receive over winter, I just hope we don’t get dumped on this weekend. Wouldn’t it be better if we got smaller amounts more often, instead of six to twelve inches all at once? When I arrived home this evening, the smell of moisture was in the air, so be prepared.

My early morning appointment to do a preview of a home that’ll be coming on the market, didn’t take long since it’s not that big and pretty much a standard floor plan. The neighborhood it’s located in, happens to be one I’m very familiar with, and nearly never having problems selling in its district. I pointed out some “to do’s” that’ll be needing attention before I list it, and relieved to hear the owner is more than willing to get those things done beforehand. I’d much rather have good first impressions instead of having to go back and re-take photos after they’ve too-much later done their cleaning and fixing.

When I returned to office, I didn’t have much time to dally before I had to be at another mid-morning appointment over in Hancock County which I figured would take about 45 minutes to get there. It was a pleasant drive in our countryside, but I sure wouldn’t want to be making that trip back and forth on a daily basis because I’ve always figured a 20 to 25 minute drive to work, being my personal maximum.

My client was waiting for me when I arrived, and before getting down to business, we had a nice chat about the happenings in his area of North Iowa. I wasn’t surprised to hear their real estate market has been on a burn as well, and especially acreages. I mentioned a call I received earlier this week on an acreage that was just listed for a hefty price, and when calling the agent to schedule a showing, it didn’t surprise me to hear it was already under contract. These acreage prices are getting a bit ridiculous as far as I’m concerned because most of those buyers haven’t even a clue regarding what they’re plugging themselves into. I know of two recent sales to “city-slickers” who’ll be on a crash course of learning how to comfortably survive on their acreages. I’d say in about a two year time frame, those two homesteads will be looking like a scene out of “Green Acres”. I’ll continue wishing them all the privacy-for-a-price they’ve been seeking.

On my way back, I stopped at Fareway in Clear Lake to grab a few items, and when checking on the prices of a few things, I was surprised to find some of them being higher than what they are in Mason City’s store. I know their ad-flyers are for both stores, but never realized they price their non-sale items differently. Perhaps they believe the residents of Clear Lake are more wealthy and can afford to pay more. They’re not the only ones pricing higher for the same brands in Clear Lake.

I decided to drive past the old “Lady Bug” restaurant while I was there, and delighted to find it completely gone to where you’d never think it even existed. In spite of having lost that listing to one of my competitors, I’m not a bit sorry about being nixed because that place gave me the willies from the get-go. It was originally an old two-story house which had umpteen additions added to it which ended up as a maze of rooms leading into other rooms. I knew that old house must’ve had a basement, but there was no access to it which also creeped me out. Heaven only knows what must’ve been found down there once they started scraping off all those layers. That was another North Iowa property begging to return to the earth, yet it’s kinda creepy/cool knowing it was located across the street from their cemetery, and possibly being visited on occasion by lonely spirits. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s now where it belongs, and that being, gone.

The last I’d heard, the previous owner of it is now living in New Zealand with her new male-friend. Now that’s what I call the makings of a drastic change in scenery. I’m now wondering is she still owns her other restaurant in a nearby State which she sold on contract before landing in Clear Lake. There’s no doubt she had a good business plan with a strong following, but if I were her, I would’ve never taken on a daunting conversion of that rickety old site into a seasonal restaurant. Like I said, too many little rooms leading haphazardly into more little rooms.

When I returned to the City, I busied myself with follow-up phone calls to several of my colleagues, and when thinking I was finished, a text came in from an appraiser asking for more documentation on that home I took numerous photos of several days ago. I knew that was gonna be his next request. It seems in these times, and without thinking, all the more are extorting time and talents of others for their own gain. I would be totally embarrassed about it all, but not them. I don’t even want to speak about all the hours of my time I’d been milked by buyers and even sellers this past year who’d gone “solo”, and not getting even a “Thank you” or “I’m sorry”. Should you dare ask, they’ll certainly leave you to believe the world revolves around their needs and wants. Really?

Not to my surprise, my agent Brandon Neve’s new listing which hit our market this past Sunday, is already under contract. After walking thru it, I figured it would sell because there’s absolutely nothing needing to be done to it other than moving in. I figured it would be a young person who’d be purchasing it, and that’s just what happened. If you have time, give it drive-by for a look at the color of its siding. I personally think the seller made a great choice. I asked what made him choose that color, and the reply was, “He was wanting something different.”. I’d say that was a good choice of “different”.

Since I’m scheduled to play over at St. Paul Lutheran next Sunday, I had about 20 minutes to kill before closing shop, so I sat down at my piano and ran thru one of the hymns I’m not familiar with, and of course I’ve got some real practicing to do because it happens to be in the key of D-flat Major which has five flats. Hopefully, I’ll git-er-done.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Conquer, but never triumphantly.

Joe Chodur

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