A Thread-bare Sofa and a Blaring Big Screen

Being a little early to office this morning, afforded me enough quiet time to get some much needed research done on a home I’ll be listing in the near future. In spite of this “any price goes” with some of our sellers, I do try to come up with realistic price points for them by using recent sale comparables.

Another past customer called today to ask my opinion on some major improvements she’s wanting to do on her home in Clear Lake. While on the phone with her, I pulled up eight sales comparables which would easily support the value of her home, even after spending well over $50K on new flooring, woodwork, kitchen and bath. I also went on to mention the fact that she’ll likely remain in it for a good fifteen to twenty years while enjoying the improvements she will have made. The bottom line when visiting with people about improvements, is the fact that their homes are their sanctuaries and if they feel the need for updates, then they should have it because a person’s residence is not a short-term money maker, but rather a long-term investment to be fully enjoyed.

I had a call to go out and take a look at a home on the market today, and while driving thru that neighborhood which was once considered a place for a young family to plant their roots, I was shocked when seeing so much junk around houses, yards not taken care of properly, and about fifty percent of them had some glaring maintenance issues which was being ignored. I know there’ve been more rental barons buying in that district, but it looks like even the homeowners are allowing their homes to go to pot.  For sure I wouldn’t want to be living in that district because I’d be seeing all that dysfunction on a daily basis. No thank you.

With a little time to kill, I called my dear friend whom I’ve not spoken with for weeks. It was good to find all has been well with her, and of course we had to share our thoughts regarding the recent happenings in our City. From what she said, and I know, all the many more residents of our City are calling that walkway from the Music Man Square to the mall parking lot, “The Bridge to Nowhere”, which is exactly what it is. From what she was saying, it sounds like there’s another lame-brained idea being passed around about somebody wanting to build housing along Willow Creek. I’m thinking it must be that second batch of housing that company from South Dakota wants to build along Willow Creek on 2nd St. SW. Every time I drive by their existing apartment house, I’m continually reminded of stacked shoe boxes. The next time you’re driving past it, take a good look and you’ll agree.

My afternoon appointment was to go out and look at the work in progress on a home I’ll be listing sometime in November. As I suspected, the improvements are great and the design is exceptional. Without a doubt, the new owner of that home will have no major improvements to make on it for years to come. In spite of there likely being competing properties on the market when I get it listed, there’s no doubt in my mind it’ll sell ahead of the others, and only because of its location, and after what I’ve been noticing in other districts of our City, there are fewer places to live where a person doesn’t have to look at the willful disregard of how their neighbors’ street views appear. It’s very unfortunate we have to have such mindsets in these times. Whatever happened to pride in ownership?

With our anticipated freeze tomorrow night, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a number of gardens and flower covered up while driving to work Friday morning, but on the positive side, once we get past those two or three nights of freezing, our 10 day forecast is not calling for frost, which’ll take us into the first week of November. I will be exceptionally delighted if we don’t have a cold and dark eleventh month because it has never been my favorite.

After getting an email from the secretary of St. Paul Lutheran, I made a point to run over and make sure the note I’d left on their organ was still there because on it were issues I was having with it, and most of them were regarding certain keys being off-pitch, as well as several pipes having been removed. For whatever reason, everything on that list was “magically” taken care of with the exception of the pedalboard felts in need of replacing because they make too much noise when I lift my foot off them. When I walked down to tell one of the powers that be, she was just as surprised as I was. It looks like the company they’ve hired to do maintenance on it, won’t have much to do which should save St. Paul the added expense. We’ll see what it sounds like once they’ve gone thru it the first week in November. While driving back to the office I couldn’t help wondering if the “old girl” managed to fix herself because she wants me to get back to playing her again. I practiced a little while there, and without a doubt, I was noticing a great improvement.

Late this afternoon, I had to check on an appliance issue at a rental belonging to one of my investors, and when I walked up to the front door, I could see they’d been smoking on their porch which was just fine because they knew they were not to smoke indoors, but when I walked in, I was once again reminded how many of our young families live.

Having only been in the living room, dining room and kitchen, I noticed stains on the carpet, grimy prints on the appliance handles, a thread-bare sofa and a blaring big screen TV. I made my notes for the appliance person, visited with them for only a few moments and then walked back to my car. All I could think of, was how a twenty-something young family could possibly teach their five year old much of anything when living in such an environment. Even in these times, soap and water is cheap.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur


JoeChodurbeganhisrealestatecareerin1981duringthe...read more about: Joe Chodur

View page.