Postage Stamp Lot

It must’ve been so soft of a rain in the night to the point where it didn’t even awaken me. With this continued heat wave, all of Nature is beginning to awaken from winter’s rest. I had to make a quick trip out of town early this morning, and while on the highways and blacktops, I couldn’t help noticing all the activity going on with the grain trucks along with what appeared to be fertilizer distributors. Yes, our growing season is well on its way. I did happen to spy a Magnolia tree beginning to push out ends of its flowers, and in spite of their blooms not being long-lasting, they’re still quite the sights to behold. Oh and by the way, those vile deer absolutely love eating the bark of the young ones.

Speaking of deer, while out at our MLS office yesterday, which is near East Park, I looked up and there were six deer running across N. Kentucky, and mind you, it was just before noon. I still think we need to start a boutique meat processing plant which would process deer, and create cat and dog food from them. It could be advertised as being all natural and earth-friendly. I’m wondering now how many more insurance claims have been filed in North Iowa by those who’ve had their vehicles damaged by deer collisions.

Oh how much I wish I had my camera this morning when getting a glimpse of two turkey vultures perched on the low-hanging branches of a tree. Without a doubt, they were either just getting ready to drop down and feed on something dead, or possibly they’d already had their fill, and just taking an after-breakfast break before flying off.

I was still feeling the effects of my long hours of manual labor on Sunday, but not even near the point it was yesterday, so hopefully I’ll be back to myself come the morn. With this long winter behind us, I’m sure many are working at getting themselves in shape for the extra work they’ve got ahead of them this summer. Give me a couple more weeks of acclimation and I’ll be up to speed with my normal levels of endurance.

Around mid-morning, I received a call from a gentleman who owns a home near the Oak Park Addition of our City, and his main reason for calling, was for some advice on what he needed to do about getting his new assessed value lowered. While on the phone with him, I pulled up his assessment, and when seeing they’d raised his assessed value to an amount well over $90K, I just about fell off my chair. I’m very familiar with that home, and whomever put that number on it, should be shamed into perpetuity.

When he called their office and asked why they raised it that high, it all ended up being because he sided it. Wow! What a stupid excuse because that home is within spitting distance of some not-so nice rental properties, but the big issue with that two story, is there’s no garage on it, and likely no place on its “postage stamp” lot to build one.

I strongly encouraged him to go thru the channels locally to get it lowered, and if he couldn’t, then he’d best take it to the State level by filing a complaint. Most people don’t know that they can go to higher authorities, and my suspicion being, if there are enough complaints against a given assessor’s numbers, they’ll be doing some further investigations on their own. Contrary to popular belief, we do not yet live in a fiefdom where everyone must bend to one person’s personal opinion.

Speaking of assessments, they’re like appraisals which are NOT part of an exact science. No matter how many calculations and codexes they have on hand, appraisals and assessments are opinions just like belly-buttons which are nearly all different, yet we all have one. Make sense? Another thing which really grinds on me, is the fact that our assessors do NOT take location into consideration, which in sales, is paramount. Ok, now tell me truthfully. Do you think two identical homes built by the same builder in the same time and offer exactly the same features and updates should be valued the same if one of them is in the 1600 block of N. Federal, and the other, down in the Grand View Addition of S. Vermont? Well, guess what, our assessors do not make much if any adjustments for location. Now in a realistic mindset, don’t you think there’s something wrong with the way in which they place their tax values on homes? As far as I’m concerned, tax valuations should be based on market values where if you’re neighbor’s home which is similar to yours, sells for say $150K, then yours is in the same value range. Right? Ok, I have to stop because every time I get on my pulpit regarding erroneous tax values being placed on people’s homes and buildings, causes me to wanna go out and spit three times, and only for the reason it being plain and simply, not right.

My afternoon appointment with a senior couple went well, and after having a good visit regarding values, along with the few things they needed to do to get their home show-worthy, I’ll be heading back out there next week to list it. I’m not very concerned about it selling, as it’s in a desirable location, along with it offering a great deal of finished living area. The only concern I have, is finding them something to buy when we do get an offer on it. I did give them some hope by saying, “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to find an acceptable replacement for a seller.” I’ve know the husband for many years, and you can be sure I’ll be giving the both of them my 101%.

Just before I finished up with my meeting, I received a call on my mobile from a frustrated seller saying the agent who just showed his home, locked him out. Now again, if you were a Realtor showing another agent’s home, and there was a sign right above a door saying, “Please do not lock.”, wouldn’t you follow those instructions? Well this was the second time, so yours truly had to drive over, open the lockbox, take the key, and drive to a hardware store to have another made for the seller, just so he wouldn’t be locked out again. As I’ve said a few more times than I care, “Sometimes I feel like a moderator out in the middle of a playground belonging to an adult daycare.”

Tonight’s One-liner is: I’ve always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.

Joe Chodur

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