An Open Letter

I was surprised to see it raining again, but at least it cleared off and evolved into a beautiful day which all of us so much deserve.  That cooling north wind is definitely keeping the humidity down which means we’re in store for a pleasant evening.

My first appointment today was to write an offer for a young gentleman who’s planning on purchasing his first home. He had a good sleep on it last night, and early this morning he sent me a text saying he wanted to make an offer on the home he looked at yesterday.  Since he had a little free this morning, he stopped by the office and I wrote it up.

After he left I made my copies and then ran the original out to the listing agent’s office.  While walking out I said, “That’s a good offer and I’m going to stay hopeful the owner will take it.”  The reason for me saying that was the fact that the home’s HVAC units are at least 25 years old, the electric panel is filled with fuses instead of breakers, and nearly all the windows are original double-hung, and not to mention the garage being an old single stall.

About three hours later the agent called and said the seller countered very close to what I believed to be its exorbitant asking price.  I called the buyer and told him what the seller countered, and flatly he replied, “I’m not going any higher in price on that house.”

What I believe most sellers don’t realize is that the costs of maintenance are not considered improvements.  The reason I say this is that I’m sure the seller thinks there’ll be a 100% return on the costs of re-roofing that house several years ago.  That was strictly a maintenance cost.

The only improvements I could see having been done was the installation of new countertops, new vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bath, and some back-splash and tile work done in both of those rooms.  When considering what those costs were which was possibly $4,000, I just can’t get my brain wrapped around that home now being priced at over $20,000 more than what the owner recently paid for it.

It all goes back to supply and demand.  Now if that home had a double garage instead of a single, at least another stool and lavatory in that “one bath” house, newer windows, circuit breaker wiring, permanent siding, and not having a portion of its roof being flat, I’d say it would’ve been sold, but when you start adding up the cost of those upgrades, you’re looking at some serious coin.  But, what do I know?  It’ll be interesting to see what that home finally sells for.

A soft landing of a closing took place on another condominium over at Prairie Place on 1st later this morning.  Once again, I have to say the buyers who’re filling up those remaining units are the nicest of people.  I became a little teary-eyed while walking out with the buyers after I said, “It makes me exceptionally happy to know you’re moving there because you do remember how much I thought you’d be a good fit back when you looked at them all those months ago.”  Of course there was an acknowledgement of it being the right choice.  They’re one more delightful couple getting far and away from the high costs of senior living in the Des Moines metro area which leaves me to believe there’ll be more on their way.

Later this afternoon a dear friend dropped off a recent clipping out the Globe Gazette titled:  An Open Letter to Councilor Joshua Masson.  The letter was written by Patrick McGarvey who is a native of Mason City and a retired 35-year city administrator who served in both Minnesota and Iowa, including Mason City.

I read the entire article and came to the conclusion that Mr. McGarvey shares my sentiments nearly to the letter.  Now that I’ve read the comments and concerns coming from a retired city administrator, I’m all the more worried about what’ll be facing the residents of our City if that project goes south.  You all do know who’ll be paying for it in the end don’t you?  Our property taxes are already too high, and to think they could spike even higher if that build-out turns into a white elephant just like the Music Man Square did before it was even finished, but this time the taxpayers will be on the hook.

Please take time to find yourselves a copy of that article and give it a good read.  When you’re finished, there’s no question you’ll have the same reservations as Patrick McGarvey as well as myself.  Just yesterday I mentioned how often we get administrators and department heads placed in positions in public administration who’re either trying to do something that’ll look good on future resumes, or biding their time for their retirement years so they can sell out and head off to their far away golden ponds.  When there’s no long term “skin in the game”, decisions are too quickly made without looking father ahead at possible devastating consequences.  With that said, I’ll have to sign off with a tongue-in-cheek, “Silly me!”

Tonight’s one-liner is:  There’s no wrong time to make the right decision.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

Firstofall....JoeChodurreallydoesn'tliketalkingabouthimselfbutthisiswhatwehavefoundoutabouthim. more about: Joe Chodur

View page.