Start Reading The Tea Leaves

It certainly wasn’t a pleasant day with the cold and biting wind from the north, and as much as I was expecting this October to be a mirror of last year’s, it’s not even close to what it was. Oh well, at least I’m working on getting my body and soul acclimated to it a bit earlier than normal. Truth be told, it felt very much like a typical November day.

Much of my morning was spent going over the closing I have scheduled, along with getting a confirmation from the selling agent regarding the buyer having all the utilities read over before we meet tomorrow morning. I’m pretty sure I have all the bases covered, so it should end up being another soft-landing for both parties.

I’m still remaining hopeful we’re going to come together on price with the last unit I have an offer on, and since I’ve not yet heard from the seller, I’m going to stay hopeful we’ll have good news tomorrow morning. With this being a short week, Friday is already barreling down on us.

I did get a call from one of my sellers today who’s getting very nervous about not yet having an offer on his home, and the only thing I could tell him was that the price range of his home is starting to show a weakness, and likely because the mortgage interest rates are going thru the ceiling. Just today, there was another hike to where it’s now seven and a quarter percent. I would say the last time they were that high, would’ve been nearly 20 years ago. Just now I checked, so just for your information, the rates were hovering around seven percent in the late 1990’s, then went back up to eight and above in 2000, but then started a downward spiral up until in December of 2020 when they hit a historical low of 2.68%. We started our January out with a rate of 3.45%, and since then they’ve been slowly creeping up until just recently with the major spiking that’s been going on. There you have it, so now we’re gonna have to start reading the tea leaves so they can tell us where this is all going to take us.

One call I had to make, was to my dear friend whom I’d not spoken with in over a week. We had a good chat about gardening, hungry birds that can’t seem to get enough out of her feeders, and just about every other subject in-between. She asked if I’d started wearing my long johns again, and my answer was an emphatic “yes”. I think if I didn’t have to wear those thin dress slacks, my legs wouldn’t be getting as cold as they do. Not to worry because I don’t have a problem adding one more layer each morning.

While out and about, I ran into one of the owners of Prairie Place whom I’d not seen in months. Somehow we ended up on the subject of politics which prompted her to say she’s now watching far less of the news because it upsets her so much. I went on to tell her first-off that I’m not a crazy religious freak when sharing my belief that Hell must’ve recently released all the more devils to walk this earth. She agreed, along with saying how much she absolutely hates listening to bickering and name calling. Before we parted company, I informed her that we’re more kindred spirits than we ever realized.

What troubles me, is the fact that more down-to-earth people are closing their eyes and ears to politics which in the end, is a bad thing because an educated and informed voter, almost always makes the right choice, but when you have closed minds listening to the fake news feeds, along with the ranting and raving of those loud-mouthed politicians who’re spewing half-truths and downright lies, there’ll be a whole lot of gullible people jumping on their bandwagons. Filling someone with fear is the best way to control their decision-making process. With that said, I believe all of us must fact-check and follow only those news feeds that’ve had the information they’re supplying, fully confirmed before sending it out. Perhaps it’ll help de-radicalize some of those who’ve allowed themselves to be duped into believing such nonsense. Just today I received in the mail a glossy political publication that was bashing candidates who’re in political races here in Iowa. You want to know from where it was mailed? Some town in the State of Georgia. I read just a little of it, and then immediately sent it to the shredder.

I had a late afternoon appointment to meet with some sellers to sign a stack of transfer docs on a home that’ll be closing the first of next week. After getting them all signed and copies made for their records, we had a nice visit regarding their new digs which they had built. I was shown some photos of the exterior and interior woodwork which was quite remarkable. It sounds like they’re absolutely loving it, so “Good for them.” I say.

When paging thru the Shopper last evening, I couldn’t help noticing all the companies who’re advertising for help. The sign-on bonuses are getting bigger, and now, they’re even giving a premium wage for those who show up for work every day. What in the world is going on with these people not wanting to go to work and keep their jobs? Either their spouses are funding them, or they’re getting money to live from parents or grandparents. Ever since the pandemic arrived, it seems our who culture’s turned upside-down.

While in conversation with my dear friend today, I couldn’t help mentioning how often I’d get chastised by some of my relatives for being blunt with them about things they shouldn’t be doing and/or saying. Now wouldn’t you think good direction should be appreciated instead of angrily dismissed? Not in these times.

I discovered a new word today which is “gaslighting” which after reading the definition, I’m convinced there’s more people doing it to others than we dare suspect, and especially to our vulnerable elderly.

Tonight’s One-liner is: May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your home.

Joe Chodur

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