Polishing Knobs And Handles

While driving to work this morning, I once again felt as if I’d been instantly transported into a Nordic city where the sun rarely shines brightly and the light rains and humidity is a near constant, which is one reason I’d never want to live in the Seattle area because of their many overcast days. Someone who lived there a number of years, told me once that instead of having cloudbursts like we have, they have sunbursts, which meant their days were normally gray ones. I’m too much a lover of sun to even think of living somewhere like that. Thank goodness the cloud cover did finally leave us later this afternoon, so at least we were able to enjoy a November sunset.

After I got myself settled at office, I proceeded to go to that drying area where those very many black walnuts have been drying, and after cracking a few more of them, I decided they’re now ready for my long road of getting them cracked. Since it’s been only a year I last cracked them, I remembered all the paraphernalia I’d be needing, so I went ahead and got everything in place, just in case one of these days, I decide to immerse myself into cracking.

I did meet with the seller of 224 – 12th St. SE this morning, just so we could register a price reduction. It’s now officially priced at $39,900 which is one heck of a buy considering the updates it has, and the district in which it’s located. If I were a young and forward-thinking person who’s looking for an additional source of income, I’d be all over that home. The minor cosmetics it needs is minimal considering the number of big ticket items that are already in place, so if you know anyone that fits that description, please tell them about it. The garage alone would likely cost upwards of 20K to build.

There was an interesting question posed to me today by a managerial person who’d relocated here from out of State last year, and since we’ve become well-acquainted, most of our filters have been lowered. Just out of the blue he asked, “Don’t you think this City has a higher than normal percentage of rentals?” My answer was, “Yes”. Since I’d opened the door, he then asked, “I’ve been noticing where there are investors living here that singularly own upwards of 80 to 100 rental units. Is that true?” Again, my answer was “Yes, and more.” His last question was, “Am I right when saying from what I’ve seen, it looks like they’re more interested in collecting their rents, than keeping those units in good repair?” Once again, my answer was and emphatic “Yes”.

Since we both had time to discuss the situation, I couldn’t help mentioning that just yesterday, a man who has a wife and four children, asked if I knew of any four or five bedroom homes for rent, only because the one they’re in, the landlord is charging them $975 per month, which is putting a strain on their household income. After looking up the address he gave me, I just about had a jaw-drop because there’s no way I’d ever even think of charging such a high price for that hunk of junk. But, our City’s rental barons could give a hoot because they’re of the mindset that if they can ask such high prices and get it, then they’ll do it. Those “shoebox” apartments they’re continuing to build in our Downtown, is another example of price-gouging. There’s no way I’d rent an apartment in either one of those locations when knowing what goes on down there after dark. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t be walking my dog down there after dark, even if I had a pit bull.

After I got all my real estate chores done, I changed my clothes and went over to a project I’m working on, and spent a good four hours polishing knobs and handles. I did manage to get all of them done, so that was another tedious and time-consuming session fully completed. First I had to strip all the hinges, knobs and handles of paint, and then went back and polished them all. If there’s one thing that annoys the heck out of me, is walking into a home with painted doors and woodwork, and finding the owners or tenants had painted the door knobs, cabinet handles, hinges, and strike-plates. I dare say I’ve seen hundreds of homes over the years with such sights, and every time I walk in one, that’s one of the first things I notice. I have absolutely no problem with painted doors and woodwork, as long as they don’t have paint on any of the hardware. Tonight’s photo is one I took of but one of the doors. Don’t you think it looks acceptable?

For Heaven’s sake! I truly can’t wait until the elections are over because just today I was interrupted over a dozen times by text messages from area candidates, and the bulk were from Ashley Hinson. I just blocked another one from her which was all about “FIGHTING FOR IOWA”, which turned me right off because I don’t think there’s any necessary fighting to be done, but rather a coming together and working towards the betterment of our State and Country. I’m sorry to say, the derision taking place in these mid-term elections is beyond troubling. She’s beginning to remind me of Marjory Taylor Green with her red outfits, blonde hair and verbal intensity.

While visiting with a gentleman today about how real estate has evolved since I became a Realtor way back when, I shared with him how much more difficult it was to get a sale to the closing table, because in those days, when working with first-time buyers, I actually had to sell a home four times. Yes four, because I’d first have to sell it to the buyers, then to the buyers’ parents, then the banks, and finally the appraisers. More often than not, there’d be a fifth sale, which was to a private mortgage insurer. It would be interesting to see how our recent newbie Realtors would react if we’d be catapulted back in those times. Another big difference between now and then, is the fact we had far more homes for sale than we had buyers looking for them, so there was almost never any bidding wars going on because we’d be damned glad to have one who was willing to make an offer. Yes, our real estate times in North Iowa have drastically changed.

Tonight’s One-liner is: I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.

Related Property:
224 12th St. SE Mason City
Joe Chodur

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