Extended-stay Hotels

Alas the sun managed to break thru the clouds later today which made it feel all that much warmer outdoors, and glad for it because I’ve sure had my share of driving out of town this week, and it looks like it’s going to be an every-day occurrence thru Friday.

My first trip was over to Clear Lake to pick up a sign and remove a lockbox from the front door of a home, and fortunately I left at the right time to where I wasn’t caught in the morning rush hour of people heading to work. In spite of my selling homes over there, I’d say it’s highly over-rated considering the noticeable difference in home prices between our two communities. I fully understand living on the lakeshore, but anywhere else, is just like being in Mason City, and when I got a eye-full of that lake today, I sure wouldn’t want to be looking at that all winter long, because just a glimpse or two of it during off-season months, would send shivers up my spine. The least I’m reminded of winter, the more I’m able to endure it.

When I returned to office, I found a number of messages on my answering machine and the bulk of them being from people asking about available rentals. I’m a bit surprised to find continued activity in the rental market due to everybody and their dogs buying homes. After recently dealing with some tenants living in a conversion unit which is owned by one of my clients, I doubt if I’d ever want any sort of high-density units. In the old days they were more work, but in today’s world, I’m finding the quality of tenants living in them being questionable, and much of it is due to a growing generational entitlement which is plaguing our Country. While on the phone with the owner today, I couldn’t help adding the reason our office no longer manages rentals for others and only being due to our having to deal with multiple situations similar to those he’s now struggling with. Duplexes are Ok in my book, but when you get more than that under one roof, you’re just asking for endless problems unless the owner lives in one of them.

There’s been quite a bit of stirrings regarding the cleaning up of blighted properties in our City, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s only half of their problem because no matter how well our landlords attempt to keep their properties in respectable condition, too many of their tenants end up making them look like junk yards. Our City shouldn’t be placing the onus on the owners in keeping those occupied properties up, but rather start going after those tenants who think they’re living in extended-stay hotels where they think they have the right to do whatever they want, and in the end, expect the landlords to clean up after them while refunding them their entire deposits. In my book, that’s very, very wrong.

There’s a house on the west side of S. Monroe which is several down from the corner of 1st St. SW and S. Monroe which looks like something you’d see in either a horror movie or comedy. If I’m driving on that street, I try not to even look that way because of how much it sickens me. Late one Saturday afternoon this past summer, I drove past it and to my shock, someone was trying to burn a tree branch on a barbecue grill out in its front yard. Now tell me truthfully, was that not beyond normal? Open front porches for some are nothing more than extensions of what you’d likely find indoors, and to think many of them have small children. How could anyone even consider those children being given the best of upbringings when living in such chaos and squalor? Don’t even get me started on the so-called inspections our Housing Authority conducts on a regular basis.

Some months ago I ran into a woman who used to be part of a Habitat for Humanity council in another city, and her take on it was the fact that too many of those who benefit by getting a new or re-furbished home, haven’t been given enough instruction on what it takes to maintain them, and then not many years later when they’ve decided to move, their homes end up being in great need of cleaning and repair, and usually due their “blind” neglects. It makes me exceptionally sad when finding people who are definitely in need of such housing opportunities, but unwilling to step forward because of their stubborn pride. I personally know one such couple who’re struggling, and fortunately for them, they have a landlord who’s not charging them market rent for their home, and I dare not consider what sort of situation they’d be in if they were paying several hundred dollars more. It’s too sad for me to even think about.

I was humbled today when receiving a call from a professional who lives out of town and for only the reason being, to tell me how much she enjoys reading my daily journal pages while having her morning coffee. I appreciated her kind remarks which of course gave me even more of an initiative to share my thoughts and happenings with all of you. Yes, there are those in the general public who’ve chastised me for something I wrote which they considered offensive, but as always, when sending something to “print”, there’ll always be those few whose only purpose for reading them, is to find some sort of fault. On the flip-side, it’s always nice to know I’m not faultless because as my old family used to say in German, “He who does nothing, makes no mistake.” Ok, I’ll give it it German. “Wer nichts tut, macht keine Fehler.” If I spelled it wrong, I’m sorry.

Around mid-afternoon I had to take a drive up to Northwood to pick up an abstract which I delivered late last week. What service! With the sun having broken thru, it was a very enjoyable trip up and back, and especially due to the number of combines and grain trucks I was seeing in all those soon to be fully harvested fields. Coming from a farm family, I’ve always enjoyed watching agriculture in action along with comparing today’s farming to what it was over 30 years ago. My how technology has nearly taken over what used to be done by computer-less machines. It almost sounds like ancient history in comparison to these times, and now causing me to wonder just how much more will be changing in this decade.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Only choose in marriage a man whom you would choose as a friend if he were a woman.

Joe Chodur

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