Bent Reflections

My first and foremost job this morning was to take a drive up to Northwood to get a document recorded at their County Courthouse.  I’ve been working diligently at making sure there’s nothing standing in the way of a particular loan transaction which as far as I’m concerned, has been taking far longer than normal.  With the advent of internet banking, we Realtors are seeing all the more home buyers going online for their mortgage needs which is their prerogative, but as some of us know, the farther away processing centers are from our State’s borders, the more at times it becomes problematic.  Unfortunately, nearly all of them use third-party vendors who often times aren’t up to speed with home values in our area, as well as our title laws.  Perhaps there’ll be a time that comes when buyers stay a little closer to home when shopping for mortgages.

Of course we have closing companies in North Iowa that welcome the job of finalizing those transactions for corporate lenders because they’re collecting hefty fees which are then passed on to the buyers. Any time we have all that many more “fingers” in the pot, the more fees they’ll be collecting at closing from un-knowing buyers.  With that said, I encourage all buyers to diligently compare interest rates being quoted, as well as estimated closing costs being charged.  It seems every year I hear stories from disappointed homeowners who’ve had to pay far more at closing than they’d expected.  This often times happens whenever a given buyer can’t meet a bank’s standard credit guidelines, so they’re then encouraged to plug themselves into “in-house” loans having much higher interest rates along with balloon periods. You wonder why they do it?  Well, they’ve already “mentally” moved into their new home along with having paid for their credit reports and appraisals up front.  As far as I’m concerned, buyers who don’t have their ducks lined up for obtaining standard fixed-rate mortgages, shouldn’t have been buying in the first place, but instead waiting until they can meet all those fixed-rate mortgage standards.

With it being the first of the month, there was that much more activity at my office.  The rental calls are usually the greatest around the end along with the month.  There’ve been several tenants I’ve been working with lately who’re ready to buy, but the types and price ranges of a homes they’re looking for is going to take some doing.  I’ve always found November and December to be the “buying at a discount” months due to most sellers’ anxiety over possibly having to hold their vacant homes over the winter, and of course also being forced to pay heat and snow removal bills.  I actually don’t blame them for their discounts because most of them are already in the mindset to sell and move on.

I’m still waiting for a signed price reduction to come back on another home I have listed which will certainly help in getting it sold all the sooner.  All of the furniture is moved out which will make it show even better.  It’s in a popular neighborhood and soon to be priced in a range that’ll be tempting to current tenants who’re paying more rent than what its mortgage payment would be.

It looks like I’m going to be a busy bee come Saturday morning with the number of home showings I have set up.  I’ve worked with them in the past and pretty familiar with their likes and dis-likes.  There’s really not that many homes for sale in their price range, so hopefully they’ll find at least one of them suitable.  With our escalating costs of building materials and labor, most buyers can’t afford such price tags, which forces them to buy used, and believe me, I can personally vouch that construction prices have markedly gone up.  Someone just told me today that they’re going to be selling their home and moving down to a Southern State where their housing prices are lower and real estate taxes on similar homes being nearly half of what they are here.  It didn’t make me very happy hearing that, but what can I do?

The above photo is one I took late this afternoon as dusk was approaching.  I found it to be another creepy-cool sort of shot in the way the sky’s reflections were being bent in the glass of those windows, which inspired me to call it, “Bent Reflections”.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  I never worry about action, but only inaction.

Joe Chodur

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