Going Postal on Her Mortgage Broker

It was more than a typical Monday considering I had two closings to attend, as well as all the other first business day of the week phone calls and emails which had me hopping. The phones actually started ringing before the hour of eight which normally doesn’t happen except when I’m expecting an early call. There were also a number of follow-ups I had to do regarding the showings of several of my listings over the weekend, along with scheduling others for later this afternoon.

Thank goodness the cloud cover finally went away which allowed the sun to shine and make us feel it was warmer than it really was, but since our Downtown two and three story buildings create wind tunnels, it was pretty gusty while walking down to my first closing at Escrow Plus which is our City’s “go to” closing agency. While I was down at the corner of 2nd St. and N. Federal, I gazed over at that 3 story building on the corner which looks like the owner is having the brick veneer removed along with the parapets. They’ve been working on that for a good week now, and all I could think of, was how terribly costly that’s going to be. I’m not sure if they’re going to replace the brick, or clean up the ones that are now exposed and call it good to go. That’s the building where Hamilton Business College was located for a number of years, and before that, I’m thinking it was a multi-use building, and the third floor being the location of the Elk’s Club or possibly the Moose Lodge. It’s funny I’ve not heard any street gossip as to why they’re going to that expense. The contractor who’s doing it is Randall Construction which does good work, but I’d sure hate to be the one paying their bill after it’s finished.

I took a quick glance at the Globe Gazette this morning and read another stinging letter to the editor which was pretty much a confirmation of Mr. Sayles’ belief that our City fathers are taking our hard-working taxpayers for a ride. Today’s author mirrored my thoughts regarding our City jumping in bed with the owner of that decayed mall by making multi-million dollar improvements on his building and then turning around and plugging our taxpayers into a long-term lease which from the beginning, I believed was the most idiotic thing to do. And of course I must add what I’d heard some months ago where our City had to repair the roof of the mall which abuts the ice arena, and only because rain water was leaking into the arena from the mall’s hole-filled roof. To top it all off, I just heard today, but haven’t had it confirmed, that our new Finance Director doesn’t have the accreditation to perform certain City accounting tasks, which precipitated “the powers that be” to out-source that work to a firm that could do it. I’m sure Kevin Jacobson is rolling over in his grave right now. Irregardless of what anyone in the City has to say about him, I was convinced a number of years ago, his being in possession of a fine accounting mind which was likely never fully appreciated. I marveled at his abilities and still miss seeing him, along with having a short chat whenever the opportunity would arise.

Now please, I don’t want any of you to think I’m bashing any one person or group, because all I’m doing is relaying facts which should never be lightly dismissed. While in conversation today with a long-time resident and listening to his angry comments regarding the things he believes to be nonsensical, I walked away convinced there’s an ever-growing number of our residents who’re sick of paying their hard-earned taxes on silly build-outs which will be burdening them all the more with higher taxes in the future. One comment I remember hearing from the mouth of Kevin Jacobson when talking about the mounting expenses regarding the Renaissance Mason City project, and sternly saying, “I don’t know where we’re going to get the money.” Keep in mind, he was the power behind our City’s financial throne for years, and fully aware of what we could financially handle. He’s gone now, so who’s now soulfully watching over our City’s purse strings? I doubt you’ll find someone raising their hand.

Both of today’s closings had soft landings, and my last one was with a dear elderly lady who you just couldn’t help but love. She’s looks far younger than her years, as well as having a quick step and a razor sharp mind. I now have two people who’re over 90 years old whom I’ll use as a perfect example of growing old gracefully. You can bet I’ll be staying in touch with her because she’s a delightful conversationalist who’s filled with many heartfelt stories. She’s quite the remarkable woman.

With some time to kill, I grabbed my camera and headed over to 207 N. Hampshire and snapped a new photo of the front of the house because the last one I took was when we had overcast skies. In spite of it being under contract, I’m still promoting it because the appraisal hasn’t been done yet, and if we should have any problems with that loan, I do want to have another buyer waiting in the wings, just in case it goes south. I took a proactive step today and drove over to Diamond Vogel to see if they still sold oil-based exterior paint, and luckily they have five gallons on hand, and since the type of loan that buyer is getting is an FHA, they’ll likely have some silly exterior painting requirements which the buyer will be responsible for prior to closing. Since it was sold by a Realtor from another office, I’m not privy to the buying power of the buyer. Like I’ve said for years, “It ain’t sold until it’s closed.”, which prompts me to hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

While at my first closing today, I questioned the closer regarding that $1,400 appraisal fee which was charged to the buyer. Her jaw-dropping answer was that it was considered a “rush appraisal” which allowed that online bank to charge such an exorbitant amount. OK, I get charging more, but a thousand dollars more is nothing less than highway robbery. If I was that young buyer, I would’ve been going postal on her mortgage broker. Shame on them.

Tonight’s One-liner is: I have no fear of depths, yet a great dread of shallow living.

Joe Chodur

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