On the fast track to find an acceptable home for one of my customers these past several weeks, I’m finding yet again a bit of an up-tick in prices of homes that are in the upper ranges and move-in ready. There’s several that recently sold which I believed were a bit on the pricey side and still sold. When there’s a glut of buyers in certain prices ranges and the inventory is weak, there seems to be a frenzy on the buyers part to get a nose ahead of the competition and pay more simply to have it locked-in for themselves. Again we see age old supply versus demand scenarios that will likely continue far into the future.
A relative of one of my clients was at her home today and began asking me about rentals available in the area. I told her what we had while she wrote down the addresses. An interesting comment she made about the rental market here in Mason City caused me to yet again confirm that there is a great shortage of fair priced and well maintained homes for rent. It seems the landlords continue to test the market and see how high they can go with their monthly rents before the tenant starts looking elsewhere. Unfortunately, too many of the owners of rental houses seem to follow the trends and price similarly. There’s a double whammy happening with this picture. Number one, the tenants are not making enough to start saving for a downpayment on a home of their own, and secondly, the homes that would be well suited for those tenants to purchase are either snapped up by investors or possibly won’t qualify for an FHA or VA loan due to some of the government standards that must be followed. I believe there is a real opportunity for someone to start buying rickety homes around the city and rehab them enough to meet those standards and then place them back on the market at a price that would encourage those existing tenants to purchase. There are two listings I have that would be perfect candidates for rehab projects. I walked thru a home this evening that I’ve not been in since over a year ago and was delightfully surprised to see how much hard work the owner did to bring out the best in his home. I gave him at least a bushel of compliments on the over-all great job done and assured him that it would sell quickly. I was about ready to tell him to go out and get himself cloned and turn all of his copies loose in Mason City. Staying focused and diligent does create wonders when it comes to bringing out the best in a home.
A customer whom I’ve been working on and off with this past year wanted to see a home several days ago so I set the appointment and we met there in the early evening. He seemed to be showing some interest as well as asked all the questions most buyers do when getting their first look. The last question he asked sort of threw me for a loop when he said, “Is the house haunted?” After a moment to get my breath I said with a smile, “You’ve been reading some of the articles on my website haven’t you?” “Yes, but you didn’t answer my question.” he replied. I looked back at the house and said, “No, I didn’t feel anything discomforting about the home other than I think it may be quietly crying for someone to bring out its best. Perhaps it’s the voice of the home’s karma.”