The Dirtier they Become

Oh if it wasn’t one heck of a “rodeo” day with all the phone calls, drop-ins, and out of office appointments. Of course this bitter cold was causing nearly every task to be more cumbersome. Oh well, we’ve made our choices to live here, and live we must.

Before heading to office early this morning, I stopped to get a fill-up at a gas station, and just standing out there those few moments to start fueling, and then putting the hose back and getting a receipt generated, I was feeling a icy chill entering every bone. I can always tell when it’s really cold when finding how much longer it takes for the inside of my vehicle to warm after leaving home. Yes, it was a bitterly cold one before sunrise.

One of the phone calls that came in this morning, was from the agent representing the buyer on 326 – 1st St. NW, who proceeded to inform me that his buyers were going to accept my seller’s counter-offer, which created another January sale for my office. No matter what anyone has to say about that home, I’ll continue to insist there’ll not be that much money to be spent in getting it up and running, because all the big ticket improvements have already been made. It’ll be a good long-term investment for sure.

As much as I tried to stay focused on getting my taxes worked on, the interruptions continued which really wasn’t a bother because business comes first and foremost. A number of those messages were regarding the setting up of inspections on homes already sold, and appointments to show listings that haven’t. Another call that came in was a cancellation of a scheduled mid-afternoon showing, which was moved to Thursday which was just fine by me.

Not to my surprise, I received just after the Noon hour ended, an offer on 1307 N. Hampshire which I’ve only had listed less than two weeks. It all looked good except for the amount offered, so after the agent left, I placed a call to my seller and went over its terms and conditions. After a short visit, my seller decided to counter-offer on it, and wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t a half hour later when the selling agent called to say the buyer was going to accept it. With that said, we ended up getting another office listing sold today.

Considering the seller being a senior and the condition of today’s weather, I drove to the seller’s new residence to get all the documents signed. Since we’ve known each other for a number of years, I didn’t have to give a line-by-line explanation of what was contained in the offer, but rather only go over its key points. While thanking me profusely, I interjected and said, “Don’t thank me until you have your proceeds check in hand.”, and only because there are always those appraisals and inspections which could possibly sour a deal. I will remain confident it’ll pass both of them with flying colors.

I had a nice chat with a colleague today regarding our current market conditions which are leaning in the direction of this year being one where the Realtors will be begging sellers to list their homes, and only because of the shortage of inventory. I’ve been very thankful for the listings I’ve already listed and sold these recent weeks, and it looks like there’ll be three more getting listed in the near future, and one of them possibly tomorrow morning.

There’ve been a number of calls coming in from prospective tenants looking for homes to rent, and all I could do was refer them to another agency that manages a bank of homes and apartments, because we have absolutely nothing for rent at this time. I have a suspicion some of those existing tenants living at “The River”, are now realizing their housing costs are too high. When I first heard how high those rents were going to be, I suspected there’d be a much higher turn-over rate, and I believe that’s exactly what’s beginning to happen. For many years, I’ve told landlords to keep their rents noticeably below what the market is at, just so their tenants would stay longer because the more in and outs you get with a unit, the more money that’s going to be lost with a least a month’s vacancy, clean-up, and time consumed with appointments to show. I know many of the rental barons believe that if they can get those higher rents, then they’re going to charge those amounts, but they don’t realize how much shorter periods they’ll be staying and paying.

Getting back to what I spoke about yesterday regarding our “Golden Mile” on the west side of our City, I remembered being in a Downtown meeting some years ago where one of the “Main Street” people from Des Moines mentioned how unusual it was to see our Mason City’s Visitors Center, far out on our west side, within the “Golden Mile” zone. I couldn’t have agreed with him more because when hearing they were going to locate to that address from the Downtown, I thought it more than odd because tourists could care less about shopping at the same corporate stores they’d find all over the Midwest. For sure they could’ve found an empty storefront in our Downtown which would be more conducive to serving the needs of our tourists. Like I’ve said many times, “A prophet is never a prophet in his own land.”, and after seeing the many mistakes that’ve been made by people who’re relatively recent transplants, I’d say my words are more than true.

Last evening I prepared a small spice jar filled with my freshly-ground hot peppers, just so they’d be ready to gift to one of my customers who said he’d like to try them. He said his favorite use of such, is to sprinkle a little on eggs when frying them, which I’ve done many times in the past, because it gives them the perfect little “kick”.

Do stay warm and safe during these bitter days, and be sure to change your furnace filters often, because the more they run, the dirtier they become.

Tonight’s One-liner is: When you can’t compete on cost, compete on quality.

Related Property:
326 1st St. NW Mason City
Joe Chodur

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