Stick Victorian

In spite of it being on the cold side, it gave me a wonderful feeling when seeing the sun finally coming out from behind the clouds. I kiddingly said to someone on the phone this morning, “I think I’m going to have to grab my sunglasses before I go outside because of how my eyes have grown so used to all gray days we’ve been having.” It sounds like it’s going to get down into the high 20’s tonight which should cause all the more leaves to drop.

When I arrived at my office this morning, I was determined to get everything done that was needed for the day because I knew I’d be tied up with clients until mid-afternoon. I have an offer going on a property which I’m not sure if it’s going to come together because the buyers and sellers are a great distance apart in price. There was a counter-offer that came back which was far higher than we would’ve liked, so the buyers sent back a counter to their counter.

After my appointment arrived, we went over what we were going to look at today, and then headed out for our home-buying adventure. As chance would have it, they’re young, semi-professional, and well on their way in climbing their ladders of success. What delighted me the most when I first met them, was their insistent on buying a home built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.

Thank goodness the sun was out because most older homes with their taller windows show all the better when there’s natural sunlight brightening up their interiors. Another pre-requisite was for their new home to have as much hardwood flooring as possible. They also needed a double garage and a yard large enough to have a small garden. They really didn’t mind if there were updates needed because they preferred not to be paying for someone else’s “lipstick”.

You can bet I was complimenting them on their level-headedness in buying more square footage for less than if they’d purchased a cookie-cutter ranch that’s been far too popular with our younger crowd. I was giving them a little lesson on the styles they were looking at which were either Stick Victorian, Foursquare, or Craftsman.

While driving around the older districts of our City, they were amazed at how many different styles there are in our community. I did share with them that it was written just recently where Mason City has a wide diversity of architectural styles considering how small our population is.

Of course they had to ask me what my favorite style was, and after thinking for a moment I said, “You may believe I’m skirting your question by saying that I truly love homes built in the age range you looking at, but I’d say what really trips my trigger is the quality of workmanship, the balance of floor plan, and an abundance of windows allowing for natural light. With that said, I could see myself living in just about any style from that period as long as it hasn’t been altered to the point of having lost its original character.” I guess my answer satisfied their question, and I think even gave them more variables to consider.

They seemed more than passingly interested in 415 – 1st St. SE and 115 S. Connecticut Ave. which as chance would have it, are both my office’s listings. We talked about the functionality, the hardwood floors, convenience to the library, the museum, and our Historic Downtown. Since there’re both very nature oriented, they loved the mature trees and the views of Willow Creek.

Since today was our first outing and overly-loaded with viewings, the next time I hear from them, they’ll likely be giving me a short list of homes they’ll want to see again. What a charming young couple!

Not long after they left, a seller stopped by to sign the transfer docs on a home we’ll be closing next week, and unfortunately, it’s yet another native who’s exiting to the Des Moines Metro area. It didn’t surprise me when hearing how different Ankeny’s demographics are compared to Mason City’s. It’s been said that Ankeny along with West Des Moines are the fastest growing in our State. From what I recently heard, Ankeny can’t even keep ahead of the influx within their school systems to where they’re barely finishing one and it’s already at capacity. Now why isn’t real growth like that happening here in Mason City?

My last caller of the day was a dear friend asking for a little real estate advice. The conversation was long but much needed because of how un-informed she is regarding costs of materials and labor. I couldn’t have stressed more, the need to investigate as much as possible while saying, “Be sure you measure twice before sawing once.” I’m hoping she’s a little less anxious over the whole business of doing a major update on her home.

Tonight’s one-liner is: It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.

Related Property:
415 1st St. SE Mason City 115 S Connecticut Ave. Mason City
Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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

View page.