Enough Chickens

It was one of those days that went by in a whoosh, which was fine by me because I was able to get some much-needed answers on several of my closing files, and fortunately, everything was given green lights to go. There’s no question this China-virus is making the business of selling real estate all the more cumbersome, and especially when there are loans involved. I just mentioned to one of my colleagues yesterday how much more I’ve come to appreciate the ease of cash sales over those going thru the mills of finance.

Having spotted a Realtor’s sold sign recently having been placed at a home which I didn’t even notice being for sale, I couldn’t help but do a little investigating on it. After a little inquiry, I discovered I’d missed it having been reported as an out-of-MLS listing and sale, and since those only show up for a day or two, I understood why it was missed. And then after even more digging, I found that it was a land contract sale to likely a young couple, and just about fell off my chair when seeing how much it sold for. Oh well, I hope those buyers realize they basically bought a rent-to-own with likely very little of their own skin in the game. Whenever seeing a contract sale go thru, I can’t help but wonder why those buyers didn’t get a mortgage like most everyone else does.

Having seen a meat ad in Fareway’s flyer, I ran over around 9:00 am and waited in line at the meat counter to buy a piece of meat they had on sale. When it was my turn, that older guy who’s worked there for years, was a bit more than snippy with me when saying their truck didn’t come in, they didn’t know when they’d have it, and “No” I couldn’t get a rain check. When I questioned him why no rain check, he smarted back to me saying it’s in the fine print of their ad, which I later checked and saw no such statement. Before I walked away, I stepped closer to him and looked him right in the eye and said, “I think you could act a little more professional by at least saying you’re sorry.” He finally got my point, but it was too late, and when I went looking for the manager, I noticed him up in his “crow’s nest”, and didn’t bother, but you can be sure, I’ll not be having that grump waiting on me in the very near future, and that’s if I ever find myself standing in front of their meat counter.

When visiting with a client later this morning about that sassing I got, I couldn’t help admitting that more times than I’d ever want to remember, having said I was sorry for things I had absolutely nothing to do with. Now if it were towards the end of that guy’s day, I’d be a little more understanding, but it was early in the morning, and what bothers me even more, is how he must be treating some of our dear seniors when they’re at his meat counter. After thinking back on some of my recent purchases at their counter, I’d say the bulk of them need refresher courses on customer service. Like always, that’s all it takes is having a supervisor with a bad attitude who’ll give license for underlings to act the same way. I think I’m going to start investigating some of North Iowa’s lockers which are family owned, because you can be sure they treat their customers with more respect. Oh well, it was just one more example of how our times are changing.

I’m pretty much prepared for a listing appointment I have tomorrow, and hopefully it’ll get under contract quickly because of it’s location, size, and condition. It’ll be in a price range that’s running pretty low, and hopefully we’ll catch a buyer that’s been waiting for something like it to come on the market. Unfortunately, I’m finding too many buyers purchasing homes that are currently listed, but not exactly what they wanted, and unwilling to wait until something closer to hit. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that sooner or later, the better “fit” properties for them do end up on the market, but for some reason, they just don’t want to wait, and oft times they’re in month-to-month rentals offering far more time for them to wait and look.

After hearing about the likely multiple offers that’ll be made on an acreage that was recently listed, my suspicions are already being confirmed about how many in our area will be on a burn to move to the country where they “think” they’ll be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables and raise a few animals they can send to lockers for processing, instead of being held hostage by our Country’s corporate meat producers. Today’s experience at Fareway’s meat counter, brought to mind how times have changed from back when all the many more farmers were diversified, and able raise their chickens, pork, and beef, and whatever they didn’t need, went to market for others to feast upon.

While on the phone today with a woman who came from a similar farm background as mine, she admitted having thoughts about raising enough chickens to fill their freezer. She laughed and said, “I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.” We both agreed that even though many of our young would like to have an alternative, they’ve got a great deal of learning to do, and certainly experience a few pitfalls along the way.

I just now remembered a conversation I had with a young family who decided to go off the grid and raise their own vegetables and meat. After I pulled into their dooryard, and getting a good look at it all past my windshield, I had a flashback to that old TV serial, “Green Acres”. There were chickens of all sizes running loose, the grass was long over-due a good mowing, barn doors were hanging open, and the “garden” would’ve been dismissed as a weed patch. When looking at the house, there were screens torn, curtains hanging out the windows, beds unmade, dishes piled to the ceiling, and her husband and children plopped on a big sofa and glued to a blaring big-screen television. I gave them my estimate of value, talked about necessary updates, and then bid my farewell. Oh how thankful I was that they never called me back, and again reminded that some have fields of dreams, while others knee-deep in nightmares.

Tonight’s one-liner is: I admire writers who can remain objective, but that doesn’t seem to be in my toolbox, because I have to care, and have my own skin in the game.

Joe Chodur

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