Dropped To An All-Time Low

Another biting-cold morning arrived, and since I had an earlier than normal appointment, my journey to office began a good hour sooner, just so I’d be able to get settled-in before I had to head out. I knew it was going to be above freezing today, but that didn’t happen until much later.

When I arrived at my appointment, I noticed the sidewalk to the house hadn’t been shoveled, so grabbed my pair of boots and changed into them before the seller arrived, and since she didn’t have boots on, I had to grab my shovel and scoop a path up to the front door.

I was at the house much longer than I expected, and only because there was much to investigate, as well as taking the time to offer-up a few options on marketing it. Since I’d known the seller for a good many years, I spoke as freely and soulfully about what steps needed to be taken to get it readied for the open market. All in all, I believe our meeting went well, so hopefully I’ll be hearing from her in the near future.

A Realtor from another office called and asked if he could show my condo listing over a at 361 S. Pennsylvania this coming Friday, which I then gave him the green light, so hopefully now that our days are getting longer and the buyers are experiencing cabin fever, we’ll finally get that unit under contract. I still believe our market has been in a funk since shortly before the holidays arrived, so we’ll see if it comes out of it.

With Noon barreling down on me, I drove over to a project to see how things have been shaping up since I was there last. When I got there, I could see a marked improvement, so hopefully it’s now in the downhill slide, and the door on one more work-in-progress, can finally be closed.

I made the big mistake of stopping at a store to pick up some things I needed, and while there, I grabbed a can of Hormel Chili with beans which I took back to office to heat up. Well, it wasn’t nearly as good as Wendy’s, and definitely more than I could eat in a sitting, so I sent the other half to the refrigerator for my lunch tomorrow. It’s been so long since I’ve had chili out of a can, and likely another long span before I have another. I think people must use that in recipes for tacos and/or dips, and only because of how heavy it was. Oh well, it was definitely a filler which reminded me of the few times I had too many Grape Nuts in a breakfast cereal bowl. Come to think of it, I don’t recall seeing them in the store, so the next time I’m at a groceteria, I’ll have to look.

After lunch, I spent some time returning phone calls which had come in, and one of them was from a woman I’d not spoken with in months, so we had to spend a little more time playing catch-up. I couldn’t help mentioning my struggles with getting all those black walnuts cracked, along with saying my eyes were bigger than they should’ve been while gathering them last Fall. She laughed and said, “You’ll probably do the same thing this coming Fall.” I assured her, I’ll be far more selective on the sub-species and the numbers I gather. I’m always up for a challenge, but not often a repeat.

Have you ever had that “feeling” from time to time, whenever all of a sudden someone’s name pops into your mind, and you suspect they’ve been up to no good? Well, I had a kick in the teeth this morning when searching thru the most recent sales for that name, and wouldn’t you know, right before my eyes, there stood the name of a new homeowner whom I’d been working with on and off this past year. I was then compelled to place a call to one of the agents involved, and managed to get a few more pieces of information which was yet another confirmation of what I’d suspected of having taken place. But, from the very beginning, I had my suspicions because that particular family has been known to be as loyal as stray mongrels that only come around whenever in search of free handouts.

Please don’t believe I’m wishfully thinking about a kicking-back of karma on that person, because I’d noticed some character changes taking place months ago, along with my belief a dark path leading down into a rabbit hole, had already been chosen. I won’t be the least bit surprised if I should hear about that person being let go from a very good job which was handed-over on a silver platter. Well, as they’ve always said, “Easy come, easy go.”

Since I get a monthly publication from the National Association of Realtors, I thought I’d start sharing the five home buying trends the author had suggested we watch, and the first one being: First-time buyers are vanishing. The first-time buyer share of the market dropped to an all-time low of 26% over the past year. Historically, first-time buyers make up 40% of the home-buying market. “Housing affordability has shut out first-time buyers with the rise in interest rates and home prices,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights.

The second trend being: It’s taking longer to afford a home. The age of first-time buyers rose to 36, a record high. Recent buyers said higher rental costs, car loans, credit card debt, and student debt were factors that delayed their entrance into homeownership.

The third trend being: Buyers are moving farther. The median distance purchasers moved from their previous homes, reached an all-time high of 50 miles. Historically the median distance moved, has been between 10 and 15 miles.

I’ll be sure to share the other two trends tomorrow, but right now, I must say, what’s been said in the first three, is pretty much what’s been happening in North Iowa’s market.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Honor is simply the morality of superior people.

Joe Chodur

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