To the Brim with Fear

I was glad to see the rain arrive, and hopefully we’ll get more over the night. The stories that’ve been coming out of the mouths of people living in the Dakotas and the Western States regarding the fires and the drought, is very troubling because I know for sure there’ll be an effect on our food-chain, as well as increased prices for commodities and building materials. All we can do, is prepare for the worst and hope for the best in these troubling times.

My early morning was filled with desk work, along with taking some time to go and help a client move an old General Electric refrigerator in a garage. In spite of having a two-wheeled mover, and the both of us having eaten our Wheaties this morning, it was very much a challenge, and mostly due to its weight. After a good workout at getting it loaded, un-loaded and then placed where he wanted it, I had to be a little wicked by saying, “You can tell this baby wasn’t make in China.” Oh well, I was glad to assist, and for sure he wouldn’t have been able to handle that old girl himself. They sure don’t make them like they used to, and especially when knowing back in those days, there was no such thing as planned obsolescence.

As Noon was approaching, I decided to change my clothes and continue on with my landscaping project. Just after getting a good start at it, the rain arrived, so I putzed around indoors until the clouds cleared. It was a good afternoon spent, and especially when afforded some much-needed solitude while working.

When I arrived back at office, I changed my clothes, and then went thru today’s mail. One of the letters was a thank you note from one of my sellers who just this week received the proceeds check in the mail from the closing we had on one of her mother’s rentals. After giving it a good read, I considered her words the highlight of my day, because I knew she meant every word of it. What I appreciated the most about it, was her taking the time to set herself down and pen a short letter of thanks. I’ll have to send her an email on Monday thanking her for those kind words. It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion her mother having done a very good job at raising such a kind and caring person.

There was a late appointment to show homes this afternoon, and without question, both of them were priced far higher than I would’ve ever expected, and especially considering the structural issues they have. It’s making me wonder if some of the agents just throw numbers out there, just to get their sellers thinking they’re going to cut fat hogs. Upon entering the most jaw-dropping one, I could already “smell” it was going to be a waste of time. For the strangest of reasons, the moment I enter a home, I can smell if it’s not been cleaned.

I know my buyers are getting frustrated over the fact they can’t find a home they like in their price range, in spite of my insisting there’ll be one coming on the market. Their list of “wants” is not that great, but there’s a need for a larger yard where a motor home can be parked. Each and every day I watch the new listing coming on, and when I see a possibility, I give them a call. Of course, sometimes they’re calling me on one before I’ve seen it posted, which is all thanks to our online real estate platforms.

I peeked at the news a little today, and wasn’t very happy to read where they’re planning on building another ethanol and/or bio-diesel factory near Mason City next year. When they said it would be on a 155 acre site, I thought, “Wow! That’s going to be a monster.”  I fully understand the need to get away from fossil fuels, but I’m still of the belief that solar is the cleanest way to clean up our planet. The ethanol factory just south of our City, can be quite noisy when the wind is in the wrong direction. What I thought the most interesting about that article which has now been published twice, is the fact that they’ve not said exactly where they’re planning to build it. I sure wouldn’t want that in my backyard.

While driving down S. Carolina towards 15th St. SE, I was reminded that our City workers had better get all the many hanging tree branches cut which are blocking a person’s view of stop signs. I have no idea why our City has been without a bona-fide arborist for so many years, and especially when knowing we’ve got so many public parks within our borders, along with the thousands of trees in need of trimming which are planted at curbsides. I had to laugh yesterday when a client mentioned some neighbor of his having called the police on him because he was trimming a tree at his curbside. I’ve heard of such happenings before, which I think is a bit too harsh because most people would be doing the City a favor by keeping the canopies raised on the trees growing on “city” property. Oh well, there always has to be a neighbor or two who likes to get their underwear in a bundle, just to create all the more un-necessary dramas. Some say it’s all a dark plot to get everyone filled to the brim with fear, just so they can be more easily controlled. What do you think?

While at a groceteria today, I ran into another Realtor, so we chewed the fat a little over our current real estate market conditions, and what we both agreed upon, was the fact that the acreages in North Iowa are now bringing insane prices. Yes, the cost of building has sky-rocketed, but to see buyers paying well over a quarter million dollars for rickety old farmhouses that’ve been lip-glossed over, leaves me wondering, “What’s next?” Unfortunately all those buyers weren’t able to see what I did before they were prepped for re-sale. I’m still wondering how they managed to camouflage a structurally sagging wall. Oh well, it’s only money, or is it?

Tonight’s One-liner is: You prove your worth with your actions, not your mouth.

Joe Chodur

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