A Grand Staircase

It was another beauteous early morning while driving to work with the temps higher and and our sun shining. I had to take the long way in, as I had a few errands to run before arrival, and for some reason, the City was far less active with traffic than normally, but I was liking it all the more.

Pretty much my entire morning was spent getting ready for tomorrow’s closing, along with spending time with my end-of-the-month accounting, along with setting up showings for tomorrow. By the time our noon hour arrived, I had everything accomplished, so I placed another call to my dear one in need, and asked if I could drive over with truck to get that set of old tires she had in her basement, and deliver them to the landfill. She was agreeable, so I changed my clothes and headed over. When I arrived, she was trying to lift a heavy garbage bag, and quickly intervened along with reminding her not to be over-doing it. Just since yesterday, they’d already filled more bags, so they also accompanied those four old tires to our land fill, and just for your information, they charge $5 per tire.

Once again, the landfill was quiet, which I’ll be sure to remember should I want to get in and out of there quickly, and make my arrival during our lunch hour. About two miles from their site, I ended up behind a pickup truck pulling a small trailer filled with garbage which was secured by a loose tarp. The more garbage I saw being sucked out by the speed he was traveling, the more angry I grew with the driver, because there’s no doubt he was seeing that nasty stuff blowing out onto the pavement. When I pulled up behind him in the drop-off, I so-badly wanted to have words with him, but I kept still. I’m sure he would’ve lodged a few “f-bombs” my way if I’d scolded him over his negligence. He did appear on the brutish side.

I had to make haste in getting back to office, as I had an appointment to get my hair cut with a young barber who’s set up shop on the 2nd floor of Market 124. I managed to make it back in time, and walked over still wearing my work clothes. He happened to be standing outside visiting with a customer, so I headed up and waited for him.

We had a nice chat while I was getting sheared, and when looking in the mirror after he finished, I considered it, acceptable. I asked him how his business has been, and he said it’s finally beginning to grow, and likely due to word of mouth, as I didn’t even know he opened a shop in that upstairs until one day I noticed his sign on that upstairs entrance door which was barely visible from the street. It was a good thing I did see it, as it’ll be much easier for me to keep my hair cut since he’s only a half-block away. I had been going to another barber, but had to stop going because of how far out in time I’d have to wait for a haircut, and with my profession, I never know what a particular day a month from now would be like, and possibly having to cancel the day before. Isn’t it always nice to be able to get a haircut the day you call in need for one?

When back at office, I returned a few more calls that came in, and then decided to leave my work clothes on and mow the grass at the rear of my office. While mowing, I couldn’t help noticing how scruffy the buildings to the south of mine are now looking with their volunteer trees and giant weeds. In past years, I used to freely keep them under control, but after getting not even a “thank you” for doing it, I figured it not worth my time or effort. When thinking about it, why should anyone be forced to keep weeds and volunteer trees from growing on someone else’s property? I’m still in shock that building next to me recently sold to a Des Moines investor for a whopping $490K. I wish the best for him in spite of my belief he paid far too much for it. He must know something I don’t regarding profit and loss, and most of all, sustainability.

After putting my mower away, I headed over to my listing at 114 – 11th St. NE, just to do a little tidying-up for my open house this weekend. Yes, my time there ended up being far longer than I’d expected, but just as I was walking out, I gave its living room one last looking-over, and then instantly had the creepiest-cool feeling being I’d just seen a whole different living room than I’ve been looking at all these many months it’s lingered on the market. Now that was an experience I will remember. But to make matters even more curious, just after returning to office, I received a call from another Realtor wanting to show it tomorrow morning. Now if that Realtor ends up selling it before my open house, then the transformation I saw today, will have been seen by others. It’s amazing how a good sweeping and tidying-up on a vacant home can create a more positive karma within. As I said today, getting a home as clean as possible, puts it on a faster track on getting it sold.

The above photo is one I took today of the vintage oak staircase at 114 – 11th St. NE. There’s no question a grand staircase like it, would cost upwards of $5K or more to create something even close, but with the spiking of costs of labor and lumber just recently, I’d say it would be approaching $10K, which is why I’d much rather have an exceptionally well-built vintage home to add cosmetic improvements, rather than those newer, but cheaply built homes of today. I’d wager 114 – 11th St. NE will out-last homes 75 years newer than it is, and for the reason being, the builders in those days, used old-growth lumber and performed their crafts with pride of workmanship, while looking more closely at what we have today? Oh by the way, just yesterday, there was a new construction in a tract subdivision of Clear Lake which has less that 2,000 sqft. of living area on its main floor, being reported sold for $515K. You now see how much money it takes to build a new home, and keep in mind, that was a “spec” home which means a “custom-build” would cost even more. Welcome to our ever-changing times.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Truth engenders hatred of truth, for as soon as it appears, it is the enemy.

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

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