His Sentimental Overlays

These recent winds have been wrecking havoc on our trees again, as just today, I noticed one Pine tree having been topped-off, and another fruit tree snapped in two. I just don’t get it with these winds, and yes, we’ve always been a windy city, but not of the forces in which they’ve been of late. It seems as if there’s nothing a person can do other that wait for the next one’s resistance to be compromised.

I just read today where the People’s Republic of China was the top contributor last year to global warming, which comes as no surprise with their “yell-bent” drive to control as much of our world’s manufactured products. As I’ve said many times, it’s all due to the corporate greed of American companies who off-shored their factories to the Orient, and now we’re paying for it in more ways than one.

Just today I visited with a builder who mentioned how ridiculously high the prices of building materials have become, and what created a real jaw-drop, was when he informed me that a sheet of regular plywood now costs $100.00, and not to mention the prices of anything having to do with electrical wiring. I knew the price of lumber was going to go up, but never thinking everything else would follow suit. It would come as no surprise if the Chinese government is trying to put the squeeze on us by spiking the prices on all the crap they’re shipping to us. For years, I’ve had my fill of their inferior products.

Not long after I arrived at office, I decided to take a quick drive over to Clear Lake and do a re-shoot of the home I have listed at 404 S. 9th Street. Now that everything is greening-up, along with the seller having done some de-cluttering, I believe the photos I took, makes the home look more inviting. We’ve had three offers on it, so hopefully the next one will be a keeper.

My next appointment was to meet with clients just to visit about their housing options. I’d not seen them in a long while, so today’s visit ended up being more on the social side. I couldn’t help complimenting them on the way in which they’ve stuck to traditions when a visitor arrives, as they already had a glass of ice water waiting for me, which prompted me to give compliment, as well as talk about how our ways have changed. I can well remember times when we’d have visitors, and there’d always be fresh coffee or tea available, along with something sweet. Those were the traditions which were strictly upheld by households of past generations. Yes, we’re certainly sliding away from traditions which helped to keep us all connected.

After I left them, I drove out to see if the owner of a property I’m closing on tomorrow was home, as I was growing worried something was wrong because I’d made three calls, yet no return. Luckily I was greeted at the door and told there was a message on my office answering machine telling me he’d be at my office to sign the transfer docs early this afternoon. When driving away, I was relieved nothing bad had happened to him.

Since I was out on the south-side of town, I stopped at the “Golden Arches” and purchased a small hamburger for lunch which I doctored up again upon return to office. While pulling into my parking spot, I noticed a young man carrying a bag of eats to one of the upstairs apartments next door, so I waited until he came down and asked when he started doing Door Dash. He said he does it as time permits whenever he’s not working on his college studies. Curious me got the whole scoop on Door Dash’s business model. I’m glad there are still young ones out there who’re willing to make a few bucks on the side. Yes, his parents taught him well.

It sounds like there’s going to be another offer on 114 – 11th St. NE coming in tomorrow, and while on the phone with the buyers’ agent, I encouraged it be close to the asking price, as there’s a high mortgage balance on it which will determine what it sells for. I can’t wait for the day when I can see a bright red sold sign on that property. It’s definitely a rock-solid home which has been my “problem child” for too many months.

Once again, when looking at the posted sales this week, I was shocked to see how many of them sold for over asking price, and while visiting with a colleague this morning, we both came to the conclusion this impetuous buying spree cannot continue, and when it does come to a screeching halt, there’s going to be a whole lot of upside-down mortgages our banks will be sending out letters of pre-foreclosure in the near future.

Believe me, I do wish the best for all, but this City’s average wage doesn’t warrant such prices, and now with the costs of goods and services going up, where will they get the money to make their bloated payments? Just remember, these recent increases in assessed values on our homes, are going to be felt when next year’s tax bills arrive. Did you know that on average, a mid-priced home’s insurance premiums are now over $80.00 per month. I really wish our banks would stop pressing people to buy on the pretense of their rates being so low, as the real killers are the ever-increasing real estate taxes and homeowners insurance. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t have 20% to put down, there’s also a mortgage insurance premium to pay every month.

Ok, I’m going to stop being your chronic realist with his sentimental overlays, and share another vintage recipe which had a footnote speaking about it being a very good old favorite of their family. And by the way, good sauerkraut does a great job at keeping one’s digestive system working properly.

German Skillet Dinner

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 16 oz. can sauerkraut
  • 2/3 cup raw rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water

Add all ingredients to a large heavy skillet in the order given. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve from skillet.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others, guides our manners.

Related Property:
404 S 9th St – Clear Lake
Joe Chodur

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