Financial Boat

It looks like Mother Nature is being kind to us with these gentle rains which are soaking, instead of rushing down our storm sewers. Since our rains began, our City has really started to green-up, which is why I’ve been recently sharing photos of blooming trees and plants with all of you. I loved taking last night’s photo of that yellow magnolia. Wouldn’t it be great if they’d discover or create a show-stopping bright orange variety?

Part of my morning was spent updating some of my listings, along with preparing for my meeting with another Realtor over at Prairie Place on 1st. Since he’d never shown them before, I insisted on giving him an informative tour of it, along with encouraging him to take as many notes as possible. I’ll be interested to hear how his showing went.

When the hour arrived, I headed over with my information sheet in hand which I first-off handed him. We were there a good 45 minutes, and in spite of him not making much of any visual comments, I’m sure he was internally “wowed” by the quality and design of those four remaining units. Before leaving, I did have a nice chat with one of the unit owners, and glad to hear all had been well with her over our last bitterly-cold winter.

Speaking of how the costs of new construction has risen, those units are now priced well below what it would take to build them today. I’m going to be on a burn to get them sold these coming months, and likely have a long-overdue public open house on them next month. I’ve got three buyers circling one of those units, but not one of them has decided to land. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a fourth player who’ll ultimately end up with it. So much for the “snoozers” in today’s market.

My next appointment was to show a rickety old two-story home which had me fully creeped-out by the time I got out of there. You may think me bat-shite crazy, but that was another one of those homes which reeked of odors and cursed atmosphere. The entire time I was within, I grew all the more tired and sad, which is usually the litmus test for me on a home containing an entity or two. The buyer was casually interested until I started pointing out some major structural defects. From here on out, I’ll be praying there’ll not be another buyer asking me for a showing. That was the first, and hopefully the last time I’ll ever step inside that house.

This week’s sale files got their final reviews and then put away, which prompted me to start working on next week’s closings. I did send a stinging email to a lender regarding the snail-paced progress on a loan they’re working on. Not five minutes after sending it, I got a call from the lending agent who proceeded to tell me it wasn’t them, but rather the buyer and selling agent who’d dropped the ball. Before hanging up, I did insist I’ll remember this transaction as well as the shameful job that buyer’s agent had done. We’ll see what happens the next time around with that particular agent’s lack of follow-thru.

The absolute highlight of my day, was having run into a past client and customer whom I’ve worked with on and off over the years. He and his wife are the most down-to-earth and genuinely good people you’d ever want to meet. I’d say it’s been at least three years since I’ve seen either one of them, but after today’s visit, we’re back up to speed with each other’s lives.

We must’ve been standing there talking for at least a half hour, and the content of our conversation mostly centered around some of the insane things the “powers that be” in our City are doing. Near-everything we talked about regarding such hair-brained ideas, we agreed were pulling our not-so-fair City farther down a financial rat hole. We had a good laugh about this new “bridge to nowhere” they’re building for 1.6 million dollars which will go down in our City’s history books as being another money-wasting folly.

I’m beginning to wonder if more people are unknowingly suffering from the “brain fog”, or living in the “now-now”, when seeing these endlessly long-term expenses our citizens are getting strapped with. But you know, it’s all part of a distinct pattern of decisions being made by non-natives. They all want to make their marks, just so they can add their glossed-over achievements to their resumes. In the old days, such people were considered “Auslanders”, who’d be filled with ideas regarding how much better things would be if we’d follow their ways of thinking. I’ve always been of the belief that if something’s not broken, you don’t fix it, along with making sure any sort of venture being first tested for self-sustainability. Back in those days, people didn’t have that many financial resources to go throwing at pie-in-the-sky ideas. Keep in mind, there are too many in power in these times who enjoy spending other peoples’ hard-earned tax dollars, as I’m certainly not a subscriber to the idea that if it’s there, then we’ll spend it.

The last subject we talked about before bidding our farewells, was our concern over who’s going to be able to fill Kevin Jacobson’s shoes, as most likely we’ll never have another numbers-wizard steering our City’s “financial boat”. We both agreed that our citizenry had better pay closer attention to those council meetings, and even more so, the publications of salaries and expenses. It won’t surprise me, if 12 months from now, there’ll be an audit being called for, and likely due to “inside” complaints. Thank goodness we still have those checks and balances of our State regulators.

Before walking away I insisted, “I’m so glad we had this chat, because there’ve been times I’ve wondered if I’m the only one seeing these glaring faults.” He laughed when adding, “Don’t worry about that because there’re all many more than us who’re coming around to a reality.” We also sadly agreed that Clear Lake’s got their shite together.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The illiterate of the future, will not be those who cannot read, but rather those who’ve lost their ability to learn.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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