Time To Do Some Deep-Thinking

Now this was one heck of a biting-cold day if there ever was one. Those gusts of northwest wind was enough to cause a person to slip and fall on the ice, and you can bet I was taking my time walking whenever outdoors. I’m truly hoping once the weekend arrives, we’ll be back to some more tolerable temps that’ll last until Spring arrives. I did see we may possibly get rain and/or snow this coming mid-week.

Most of my morning was pretty much taken up with errands and office duties, and once the Noon hour arrived, I headed out to check on a vacant home, just to make sure the furnace was running properly for the cold night ahead of us. When I walked in, all was well, so I headed back to office to finish eating the rest of that Hormel chili I purchased yesterday, and after I managed to get it forced down, I spent some time reading our online news.

What popped into my head while paging thru those articles, was a reminder that we’ve not heard the outcome of that feasibility study which our City paid to have done over at Mohawk Square a number of months ago. Since we’ve not heard a peep about it, I suspect it didn’t pass, so there went another seventy-five thousand dollars out of the pockets of our tax payers. I’m pretty sure I remember reading or hearing that amount from someone, so don’t you think the powers that be should inform us as to the outcome of that study? I thought at the time, how it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to quickly come to the conclusion that it would take millions of dollars to resurrect that building, and only because that monstrous gaping hole in its roof has been there since that portion of the roof collapsed back in May of 2019, which was far too long for the interior of that building to be exposed to North Iowa’s elements. Oh well, we can chalk that up as another one of our City Government’s follies.

A short time ago, a local business person button-holed me, just to talk about a presentation that was recently given at the Chamber of Commerce, and one of the speakers happened to be David Rachie who’s the snake-oil salesman trying to convince everyone in Mason City, he’s gonna build that ghost hotel and attach it to the bridge to nowhere, along with re-skinning the mall, adding food vendors who’ll share kitchen pods, building apartments above, and his list goes on. I had to laugh after being told that someone in the crowd had asked Rachie the name of the lead bank he’s using to fund that hotel, and his answer being something about not remembering the bank’s name. Really? Now if I were working with a bank to get a multi-million dollar loan, you can be absolutely certain I’d remember its name, along with the loan officer handling it. Wow. All I can say, is that whole project is growing all the more curiouser. Would someone in the know, please put your big-boy or big-girl pants on, and admit it’s a failure, instead of continually leading us along with false hopes and weak promises?

Now getting back to real estate, I wanted to finish sharing the last two of those five home-buying trends. So here’s the fourth: Move-up buyers can bring cash. All-cash buyers jumped to 27% of the market over the past year, up from 17% in the previous year. “Homeowners have accumulated tremendous housing equity in the last decade,” Lautz says, typically about $210K. “This has allowed many to avoid holding a property mortgage.”

The fifth and last is as follows: The racial gap remains. Despite recent reports about spiking homeownership rates among Black, Latino, and Asian households. NAR data, which looks at each group’s share of home-buying activity, shows a mixed bag. The share of White and Hispanic-Latino buyers increased over the past year, while the share of Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander buyers decreased. Recent news reports have relied on 2021 census data, while NAR’s data comes from a random, weighted sample of home buyers who purchased between July 2021 and June 2022.

Since Mason City is such a small community in comparison to the Metro areas, I’d say four out of those five points mentioned are similar to what’s been happening in North Iowa, but as far as the fifth, I really couldn’t say if it’s true or not.

Having survived the big two of our market corrections, I can reasonably say our real estate market is beginning to slow, but what makes me sad and mad, is the fact that there are so very many struggling young people who’re paying our rental barons far more per month for housing, than if they were in a home they owned, but unfortunately it’s become a vicious circle for them because their monthly expenses don’t allow room to save enough for a downpayment on a home. It came as no surprise when sharing one of those points last night regarding the spike in the average age of first-time buyers to 36.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel it’s appropriate to once again share my concerned belief that partially thanks to meritocracy, our Country’s middle class is rapidly vanishing, and if it does, you might as well consider us another third-world country, because that’s exactly where we’ll end up. There’s possibly one or two percent of a third-world country’s population in control of its wealth and power, and the remainder is left to struggle with being one paycheck away from poverty for the rest of their lives. I see it happening right here in River City, so if you want to see how it really is, then I think it best you remove your rose-colored glasses before looking.

My mid-afternoon was growing slow, so back I headed to continue on with my nut-cracking, which also afforded me time to do some deep-thinking. I was just now reminded of my long-deceased friend who used to drive to Chicago to see her daughter, and all the way out and back, she used those hours to think deep. Yes, it’s good stuff.

Tonight’s One-liner is: A cynic, is a person who, when suddenly smelling flowers, looks around for a coffin.

Joe Chodur

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