Poor Man’s Oak

The minus eight below zero this morning was something that made us bundle up and move all the faster while outdoors. As I’ve said many times, once it gets near or below the mark of zero, I grow downright hateful of winter, because it’s never fit for man nor beast. At least it did get up above zero with the help of the warming sun which was out only about half the day.

I hope everyone’s braced themselves for tomorrow’s snowstorm. If we’re going to be getting as much as they’re predicting, I would encourage all of you to shovel twice or thrice, because scooping and/or pushing smaller amounts, is much easier on the arms, legs and backs. I’m sure some think me a bit of a maniac with my front sidewalk, but I do try to stay ahead of the snow and ice, which continues to help with the tracking of sand and salt into my office.

Having an hour or so to kill this morning, I gave my office floors a good dry-mop, and then mixed up some Murphy’s Oil Soap with water and did some good scrubbing. If there was one positive and lasting decision I made when I moved to that location, was to refinish its existing floors, because it’s been over 10 years since I’ve been there, and those floors are still holding up exceptionally well considering the daily punishment they get. Part of the reason they’re in such good shape, is that its plank flooring is very old Red Fir, which most don’t realize that the longer it ages, the harder it gets, which is the reason it was considered by builders in the old days to be, “poor man’s oak”.

Not long ago when I was showing my listing at 114 – 11th St. NE, I pointed out to the buyers that the flooring on its second floor was the same wood as in my office, and if they were re-finished, they’d be just as beautiful. Unfortunately my words didn’t seem to register, and possibly because they’d forgotten what the floors in my office looked like. Oh well, you can’t help but keep trying to educate.

As much as I like the look of our City’s vintage maple flooring which was likely milled from old-growth trees, it can be a little tricky to work with because it seems to have issues with warping, and if there’s a weak spot or not having been tightly secured, it will in time, show warp. I’m sure you’ve been in old homes that have parquet flooring, and some of them being created with a combination of oak, walnut, and maple, but if there’s any variation in the continuity of pattern, it’s usually due to a piece or two of maple deciding to go wild.

My afternoon appointment was a meeting with the seller of 1 Briarstone Court, and after we had a good chat about our winter market conditions, it was decided to do a drastic slash in price. With it now having been reduced $22K, there’s no question in my mind that it’s going to sell, because there’s very little competition with it that’s now on the market.

While the sun was shining this afternoon, I took a new exterior shot of it which I’ve posted as tonight’s photo. Now that it’s vacant, along with being drastically reduced, I’m going to be pushing hard to have it sold. I’m still betting the new owners are going to be empty-nesters who’ll fit right into the neighborhood, and with it having a view of Briarstone Lake and located on a dead-end street, will make it all the more desirable for those who’ve raised their families, worked hard, and now wanting to slow down and start enjoying their own lives.

For being the 16th of January, it looks like our pre-Spring market is going to be slower due to our lack of inventory. I just read where the Des Moines market was weaker last year than before, so if they’re setting the trend for our State, I’d say there’ll be some multiple-offer situations happening with listings in North Iowa this year. Once again, the lack of new home construction in Mason City, is creating a bottle-neck of movement. I’m sure there are many homeowners out there who’d love to have a new home, but can’t afford the costs of building new, which is why even more are making upgrades in their existing homes and staying put.

Whenever driving around some of our once beautiful neighborhoods and seeing rental after dilapidated rental, it makes me want to scream when thinking that if those homes were cleaned up, brought up to present-day buyer standards, and priced to sell, we’d have all the more current renters turning into homeowners.

There happens to be one older district in our City that seems to be holding its own, and that’s the “Oak Park Addition” which is where my listing at 114 – 11th St. NE is located. Most don’t realize that there’s a large number of City employees who live in that district, and staying put. Now if that area could be used as a model for some of the other older districts, we’d have our City looking from stem to stern, all the more pleasing.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Everyone’s a millionaire where promises are concerned.

Related Property:
114 – 11th St. NE Mason City 1 Briarstone Court Mason City
Joe Chodur

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