Comments From An Old Soul

It was good to see the sun shining today, along with the temps rising enough to continue on melting our ice and snow. For whatever reason, I sure have been getting more ice accumulating at the back of my office, which on a near-daily basis, has to be sprinkled with chicken grit, just so I don’t end up on my keister while walking to and from my car.

Once I had myself settled for the day, my early-morning appointment arrived to get some documents signed, and while there we ended up having a very soulful conversation about how troubling it is to see so many of our homeowners, and especially the younger ones, having no interest in keeping the exteriors of their homes presentable. I couldn’t have stressed how much there’s been a marked change in their mentalities over these past twenty years, which is why I encourage every concerned resident in Mason City, to take a very long driving tour of each quadrant of our City, and then there’d be something to talk about. Unfortunately, most people including our so-called “powers that be”, drive to and from work on the same streets and highways, and even then, after a while, they turn their blind eyes on such homes, which is normal because as they used to say, “When you meet an ugly person for the first time, that’s when they’re the ugliest because we as humans, in time, tend to grow accustomed to unsightly people, places and things.” I challenge every concerned citizen in our City to start taking in the sights on streets you never frequent. Yes, we had a very good visit this morning.

With it having been a number of days since I’d called my dear friend, I picked up the phone and called her. I was glad to hear she’s back in the saddle after having been sick for weeks on end, but as we all know, rest is the best medicine. I filled her in on all the recent happenings, along with the progress I’ve been making on cracking those nuts. She made me laugh to myself when saying, “Your job with those nuts, has created good therapy, because you’re able to take your frustrations with others, out on those nuts.” Oh how well she knows me. Of course she had to remind me again how much I remind her of my mother. Since we’ve known each other for a number of years, along with having removed our filters long ago, we speak about things most wouldn’t dare, but that’s what counts because it enables us to acknowledge the wrongs in society, along with being reminded, we’re not alone. It’s always a joy to hear comments from an old soul.

One of my past clients called to tell me she had some canning jars for me to pick up at my leisure. Since I’d not spoken with her since before Christmas, I was glad to find she was in much better spirits since the last time we spoke. I couldn’t help saying how it’s just OK to have a bad day, because those who’re always happy and smiling, are definitely the ones I worry about, because it’s just not normal. Oh, and yes there was a past long-time client/customer who’d always be smiling, but one day he did a complete about-face and purchased another home from one of my competitors. I knew his second wife had something to do with it, but not even a call, so in the end, I simply got ghosted, and likely with that faux smile on his face. I later discovered it’s in his bloodline.

Since she lives in Worth County, she proceeded to tell me how insanely high their County Assessor had raised her home’s valuation, and only because they used the same one Mason City used, which is Vanguard Appraisals out of I think Cedar Rapids. We all remember what they did with our valuations, which I still believe was a terribly poor job. There just happened to be two times I had to open a house for them, and each one of those workers, didn’t appear to know the difference between a poured foundation, versus a block, and that’s just for starters.

Several weeks ago, I happened to look at an assessor’s card, and found that according to their records, that tiny house has three bedrooms, which I personally know it doesn’t, which is why that home’s assessment is too high. So in the end, it looks like there’ll be some very angry residents of Worth County who’ll be knocking on the door of Worth County’s Assessor’s office. For as loosely populated that small County is, you’d think that assessor’s office would have the time to do their own valuations, and especially since their assessor is young. For sure, they’ve got plenty of down-time on their hands. I did encourage my past client to start doing some of her own research, and challenge her now bloated assessed value. I also mentioned having spoken to one of my clients whose main reason for moving out of Iowa, is to get from under the high real estate taxes he’s been paying. I have a “feeling” there’s going to be an even greater exodus of our current residents, who’re wanting to rid themselves of their tax burdens. Truthfully, I don’t blame those seniors a bit, because they’re not getting any sort of bang for the tax bucks they’ve been paying. Keep in mind, nearly all of them are on fixed incomes.

I happened to notice where a colleague of mine jumped ship and moved over to another office, which came as a quite the surprise. After seeing that, I was once again reminded of what was happening back when our market was correcting in 2008. Between the office-jumping, along with those who simply got completely out of real estate, there were two periods of time in my career, where things got really ugly and the worst sides of characters started coming out. I’ll never forget a time when a male Realtor who “thought” I stole his buyer, came up to me and said, “I’m so mad at you to the point that if you were walking across the street in front of me, I’d run right over you!”, and by the look in his eyes, he meant it. Unfortunately, he must’ve seen a reflection of himself because he was a master at pirating buyers and sellers from other agents. Yes, whenever there’s a love of money involved, that’s when people will justify nearly any and all of their actions to get their hands on it. Unfortunately for those troubled souls, I continue to remember. Oh, and by the way, they’re usually the ones you see piously attending their churches every Sunday morning. I don’t think God’s forgotten either.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Be careless in your dress if you must, but always keep a tidy soul.

Joe Chodur

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