Grab the Knob and Turn

doorknobReviewing the recent drop in interest rates as well as the number of likely first time buyers living in Mason City and North Iowa, I’ve come to the conclusion that there still seems to be something holding them back. Perhaps it’s the extended cold weather, or maybe being insecure about job stability, and even perhaps the negative national and world news they are being bombarded with every day.

Having worked in real estate here in Mason City for so many years, I can say I have lived through more than one major economic downturn. I was just visiting with a long time banker today about some of those periods in the past. We agreed on several points of the conversation. Number one, there were buyers who purchased at the top of their income limits and didn’t realize there would be bumps in their finances over the months and years of home ownership, and number two, there were too many people with the mindset that they had to have everything now. Those ideas in time, led to money problems within relationships as well as nurturing despair and discord within the household.

We now have a new generation becoming old enough to purchase and yet not moving as quickly as the generations before them. I believe it’s possibly due their childhood memories of hearing some of their parents arguing over finances and likely created divorce. I do know that of the top three reasons for people divorcing is over the issues of money. It still makes me laugh to myself when one of my mother’s quite prominent friends said to her, “Make sure you have your children marry for money because they will all in time learn to love their spouses.” It was a joke but over the years I got the jest. It was simply a way of saying a marriage will likely last longer without fighting over finances.

The rental properties in Mason City are becoming more numerous and that shouldn’t be happening in our present interest rate friendly environment. I remember too well when long ago the landlords were faced with a high vacancy rate due to the mindset of ownership over tenancy. There will always be people and companies who prefer tenancy over ownership, but if there is some sort of fear created by a past circumstance, then those bugaboos need to removed from their minds. Times change, and people change. As long as the tenants who are looking at moving from renting to buying, take a conservative approach and look at the whole financial picture, I’m sure the answer will be to step up to the door of home or business ownership, grab the knob, and turn. They’ll likely be thankful for years to come for taking their much needed steps in the right direction.

Joe Chodur

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