I’d Been Cheating

It was saddening to see frost on the ground this morning, and it looks like we’re going to see a few more nights of it before it starts warming up. I dare not even look at a clump of tulips tomorrow morning, as they’ll surely be slumped over from last night’s bite. As touchy as Magnolia trees are, I’m certain by the time this cold spell is over, all their blossoms will have been burned off. Having never realized they have a scent, I’m still in disbelief from actually catching a pleasant whiff of their perfume when I was walking past one over the weekend. I’m now wondering if some are scented while others not.

I had to take a good two hours off work this morning to go and purchase a much needed piece of garden equipment, and of course when thinking it would take only an hour, it ended up being over two. Isn’t if funny how when you go to buy something that you think comes with standard components, you end up having to pay more for those extras which in years past, would’ve been built right into the price.

While waiting inside their store, I couldn’t help being drawn back to where they had baby chicks and ducks. They are the cutest little fuzzballs. Either they had more on hand than in the past years, or people weren’t buying as many as they do around Easter. Now if I had a place to put them, there’s no question I’d have a healthy dozen of each. Most people don’t realize how good chickens and ducks are at keeping our bug populations down, while mentioning again a special duck breed out of China which is used to keep their vegetable fields free of insects. I watched a video several years ago which showed how they were herded into a field and then steered up and down its rows by the person tending them. I doubt you could find a better way to keep an organic garden, bug-free. I’ve never been a fan of using herbicides and pesticides, because for me, I’m still convinced they get absorbed into the plants, and then we’re eating it.

Upon return to office, I had plenty to keep me busy with follow-up inquiries to lenders, returning emails and phone calls until the noon hour arrived. With this spurt of activity, I’m hearing even more about recently listed homes going for over asking price which is causing sellers to list theirs even higher. It’s now turning into a vicious cycle which will come to an end, as such continued price increases are not sustainable. As far as I’m concerned, it’s even worse than what our market was like prior to our real estate market crash of 2008.

The bulk of my afternoon was spent working on getting an offer written, and then presented to the seller. Yeah! Another one of my listings went under contract, but unfortunately, the person I thought was going to buy it, got beat-out by another who’d already had a bank pre-approval in hand. It’s always sad when there’s two people wanting to buy the same house, as there’s always a loser who walks away sad and/or angry. Today’s situation was just one more example of why I strongly encourage buyers to get themselves pre-approved before even thinking about setting an appointment to view a home. Getting a pre-approval doesn’t cost a dime, and they’re usually good for a six month period. As chance would have it, there’s another buyer I’m starting to work with whom I’ve almost had to force to get himself pre-approved, but after explaining our market situation, he finally understood why he needed it.

If any of you happen to know someone thinking about selling a home that has at least two bedrooms and a double garage which they’d be willing to sell under $100K, please have them give me a call, as I have a pre-approved buyer who’s ready to buy. I now wish I had a dozen homes listed like the one I have under contract which is at 1310 N. Jefferson, as I’d likely have all of them under contract in less than a week. Please put your thinking caps on and help me find a home for that young couple.

One of my colleagues called today asking my opinion regarding a home she’ll be listing next week, and was a little concerned over the price the seller was wanting to ask. After listening to her description of it, the only advice I could give, was for her to get it listed and let our market decide if it’s too high. What else can we do in our super-short inventoried market?

I’ve been noticing of late where items we’ve always found in stock, being on back-order of random items like work clothes, certain electronics, household items, and the list goes on. I can be walking down an aisle of a groceteria and see blank sections where everyday items had been. It’s almost as if there are continuous breaks in supply lines. One particular lumberyard salesperson recently told me that the reason replacement windows are taking so long to arrive, is the lack of employees in the factories building them. I’m also convinced many of those window components are coming from the Peoples Republic of China. Don’t be surprised if they’re now putting the squeeze on us.

There was an unexpected call that came in yesterday from a woman who’s involved in the music department at a large church here in our City. Since I’d known her from many years ago, we played catch-up on each other’s lives, but the real reason for her call, was to ask me if I’d be willing to play their organ on Sunday mornings. I swallowed hard and said, “Would you mind giving me a call next week so we can arrange a time to meet at your church so I can get a good look at your organ?” She agreed, so it looks like I’ll be paying a visit to the interior of a church I’ve never had the opportunity to inspect. After having a good “sleep” on it, I would probably agree to at least filling in when needed, but every Sunday may be too much since I’ve already agreed to play at St. Paul Lutheran every other Sunday. I’m also afraid the “old girl” at St. Paul will turn ugly on me after finding out I’d been cheating on her. We’ll see what next week brings.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The older I get, the more I appreciate my rural childhood, as I spent a lot of unsupervised time outdoors, which transformed into a future blessing.

Joe Chodur

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