Another one of my listings sold today in a relatively short period of time considering I just listed it about 2 weeks ago. I’m not looking for any problems with getting it to close since the buyers are strong and the sellers have likely no title issues associated with the home. I’m hoping that this sale is an indication the strong market will continue this month. Someone asked me about the home I sold at 760 Briarstone Drive since they noticed the transfer in the paper today. We spoke a little about it and I assured her that the buyers are likely considering themselves very lucky to have that rock solid home as their new residence. I said, “If anyone was to get that home at a discount, I’m glad it was them because I know of the family and they are very hard working and downright good people.” I wish them the absolute best in their new home.
Several days ago I had a heart to heart conversation with a member of a family our office has done business with for a number of years. We spoke about the state of our rental housing market here in Mason City and where it’s likely heading. I went on to say that no more than thirty years ago, there were only a fraction of the number of rickety rentals in Mason City that there are now dotting our landscape. One can drive in just about every direction from the city center and find apartment conversions as well as single family homes that are in deplorable condition. I’m not just speaking of the structures, but the yards and front porches littered with everything imaginable. We spoke about who’s responsible and why our city has not created more teeth in their ordinances especially in the areas of our downtown where we all want to see great and good things happen. We cannot have main arteries of travel being populated by eyesore dwellings and storefronts. What ever happened to best foot forward? Even some of the flimsy at best construction that’s been taking place downtown should be more closely scrutinized due to proximity to the upward movement of bigger and better changes. Too many people think they’re designers, architects, custom builders, and finishers. They just want to get things thrown or patched together and call it good to go.
The absolute sad and frustrating part of this whole business of rickety rentals is that many of the tenants living in those units are receiving government assistance. There is a maximum rent allowable based on number of bedrooms irregardless of the overall condition of the unit. Since most of those units are owned by a select few, the impoverished are almost forced to accept what is offered. The standards are at a minimum and the maintenance is limited at best. Why are the landlords not policing their properties more and making sure their units are safe, sound and sanitary? Are those same landlords making sure their tenants are not causing issues with neighbors? Are they doing everything they can to make sure there’re not chronic problems in the neighborhoods in which they own multiple units? If these questions are not answered by “Yes”, then we are left with the idea that there are landlords here in Mason City just as there are all across the country and they are nothing more than profiteers of poverty. We came to the agreement that having less and taking more care of rental units as well as setting higher standards for the tenants is far better in the long haul. If we don’t take care of our community; our community will not be in a condition to take care of us. It’s a generational foresight that most have forgotten to consider.