Elbow Grease and Imagination is Out of Vogue

I’m sure everyone was glad to see the rain arrive, and since I have yet to hear how much we received, I’ll wager we got a good half inch or more. At least we’ll continue to see our landscapes on the green side instead of what’s happening out West. I’m sure many on the coast of New England are bracing themselves for that hurricane moving in their direction. If it isn’t one natural disaster, it’s another across our Country this year.

My morning was spent over at my little/big project which I hadn’t been working at as diligently as I’d wanted, but at least I managed to give myself a renewed direction with it, so I’m now be back on track by insisting on working over there more regularly. One encouragement, was seeing how much I’ve already done, which has given me hope.

There were only three separate groups of people at my public open house today, which didn’t surprise me because of how delightful our weather was. One of the couples did show some interest, but not anywhere to the point I’ll be expecting a call from them for a second look.

One of the agents that showed it this morning, considered it a good solid house, and needing nothing more than some painting and decorating. Unfortunately my seller has moved, and certainly not willing to go to the expense of “lipsticking” it. As I’ve said before, if there’s been any great change in the mentalities of today’s buyers, is the fact that they’d rather pay considerably more, just so they don’t have to do anything other than move in. It looks like elbow grease and imagination is out vogue in these times.

While at my open house, one of my customers called and asked to see a home later this afternoon which had come on the market earlier this week, so I called and then text the agent to schedule a showing. About 20 minutes later I received a short response saying, “It’s sold.”, which didn’t surprise me in the least bit. Ok, now that home prior to the beginning of this pandemic, would’ve been listed for at least $15K less than it was, and would’ve sat on the market for a good while before it sold. Even in the not so popular neighborhoods, we’re finding high prices and fast sales.

After my open house, I dashed back to office to change my clothes, just so I could go and help several very loyal clients move a cast iron bathtub, along with a few other items they were in need of help getting loaded on a trailer.

It all went well, and after we had it taken care of, we spent some time chewing the fat over a number of subjects, and one of them was the high cost of having any sort of commercial work done by some of our area vendors. I just about shocked the pants off both of them when telling them Mason City Overhead Door Company charged one of my clients $160 an hour for work they’d done. Can you imagine charging $160 per hour for semi-skilled labor? What really got me, was the fact that they likely doubled the price on the materials used, and then double-dipped on the hourly rate. It’s no wonder more brick and mortar companies are closing their doors. I believe in paying a fair wage, but $160 per hour is an insane price to be charging for work being done by an overhead door repairman. There’s no question we are in need of more competition in North Iowa.

And while I’m on the subject, just recently I was told that a client had two estimates from tree service people to cut down a large tree. One of the estimates was almost $6K, and the other was a little over $3K. And speaking even more freely, I’ve personally seen estimates being well over 100% higher in some cases. Like I said before, if they think they can charge such prices and get away with it, then you can bet your britches they’ll do it.

I’m personally needing some concrete work done, and after getting three or four bids on it, you can be sure there’ll be big price differences between them, and especially if I don’t tell them that other concrete contractors will be submitting their own bids.

Yes, I do know many like to haggle over the bids submitted to them, but not me, because if they’re not good enough to offer fair bids in the first place, they’re certainly not worthy of my business, because there’s usually that cutting of corners or their making you believe they’ve done you such a great favor. No thank you very much.

Every time I see the owner of a plumbing company driving around our City, I’m reminded how quickly a so-called business relationship can turn sour once it’s been discovered there’d been some long-term billing abuse. Of course that person likely thought it was justifiable because I sold them one piece of real estate on which the sellers paid the commission. Yes, people can make the most absurd justifications for treating others unfairly.

I was brought up to speed several days ago when I happened to notice a small pile of ball point pens which had been taken apart and laying on the floor of a vacant building. Since I’m not that much up to speed with what the druggies use to get themselves doped-up, I asked someone in the know. Oh my goodness, I never would’ve thought they use the tubes of those pens to snort-up their drugs. After describing what I’d seen, I was told there must’ve been a meth-head party going on. There’s no doubt in my mind, our City has a huge drug problem. I’m still waiting for the day when it’ll be legal for our police to be able to stop and search these many back-packing nighttime bicyclers.

Tonight’s One-liner is: You begin saving the world by saving one person at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.

Related Property:
207 N Hampshire Ave Mason City
Joe Chodur

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