Truly are Evil

It looks like the rain will be with us for another day which is just fine by me, as I can already see some of our City’s lawns starting to green up, and especially those that were well-raked before winter arrived. Of course the few times I was out in it today, it had to be raining all the harder. Oh how I dis-like the smell of wet wool.

My frustration with the shortage of available homes to sell is growing all the stronger whenever being given a list of homes a buyer wants to see, and if there’d be ten on their list, and after checking availability, one or two at most were still un-sold, and usually them having been so picked-over that it ends up being a waste of time for everyone involved. The dark side of real estate sales is starting to emerge, which is going to create some very hard feelings between agents and offices before it’s all over. We had similar shortages over the years, but never to such a degree.

When visiting with a young couple who’re just now beginning to look, I insisted they not get overly excited about buying because that’s when poor judgement calls are made. I’ll have to stay on top of every home getting listed in the under $100K price range because they’re ready to purchase.

With my stack of bills piling up, I took time to get them paid and dropped off at the post office before the afternoon crowd appeared. While driving there, I noticed a scrap metal dumpster in their parking lot which indicated they must be doing some major remodeling in their building. It crossed my mind they’re possibly getting rid of that boiler system along with all those radiators. I’ll never understand why all these commercial buildings are being converting to forced air, instead of simply installing high-efficiency boilers. As far as I’m concerned, the best of both worlds is to have radiating hot water heat, and then a separate centralized air conditioning system. Some years ago, I had a very large brick home listed which had just that configuration, and the owners at the time were quite pleased with its performance. Truth be told, I’ve worked more years in hot water heat than I’ve had to endure forced air.

Having a light day, I returned to my researching of past sales for four different homes I’ve already inspected, just so I’ll be prepared for my meetings with those sellers later this week and discuss valuations and pricing. I now have enough comparable sales to support my opinions of value, so let’s hope the sellers are agreeable and get them listed.

My two afternoon showings were a flop, and of no surprise to me, because the first one had some major basement floor and wall issues, and the second being in such a shambles, the buyers would have to live somewhere else for at least six months before they could even think about moving to their new home. The only positive thing about that home, is it’s rock-solid basement. Now that’s saying something about its condition.

While on the phone with a dear one today who happens to live out of State, I was informed that in their real estate market, the prices have yearly risen around $100K over the past three. Now that’s one heck of a jump in equity. I was also told that you may find someone paying $1.6 million for a home, and later finding it being scraped-off to make room for a multi-million dollar new-build. Living here in our bloated village, the thought of such a market blows me away. Where are those people getting their money?

Another huge frustration for me in this market, is finding cash-carrying investors out-competing our first-time home buyers for homes in the lower end of our market which is causing all the more pent-up demand for those looking to buy their first homes. Just today, I was supposed to show one which listed yesterday, due to my thinking it would be a good fit, but wouldn’t you know, I was alerted it’d gone under contract, and most likely having been purchased by an investor. I did mention to one of my long-term clients, it being a good time for him to sell a few of his better rentals, but of course he’d have to evict the tenants living in them. It sounds like a vicious circle doesn’t it?

If our building materials and home improvement supply prices don’t start dropping, this bottle-neck will continue, as those who’re thinking about building, aren’t financially capable of paying so much more for their custom-built dream homes. I personally wouldn’t want to be on the hook with a builder when knowing how much those material prices are spiking. I recently heard that many of the lumber suppliers are not locking-in prices until it’s on hand and on their trucks for delivery. Change orders, truly are evil.

Ok, I’m back at it with another recipe from my vintage cookbook, and since it was a drizzling-wet day, I thought the following recipe being the most appropriate to share.

Southern Egg Bread

  • 2 cups white corn meal
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted shortening or lard
  • 3 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup cold boiled rice
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Sift together the corn meal, salt and baking powder; add the eggs well beaten, then the melted shortening, milk and rice. Beat thoroughly, pour into a shallow, well-greased pan and bake an hour in a hot oven.

Once again, I dare say I’ve never knowingly eaten bread containing such ingredients, while also finding it “gluten-free”. Too funny.

Tonight’s One-liner is: If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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