Tittle Bros. Packing Co.

It was a rather uneventful Tuesday, and likely because of it being chilly and gray nearly the entire day.  Yes, we had a few cloud-breaks, but they were not long-lived.  I’m wishing the forecasts are going to be correct when telling us it’ll be in the 60’s toward the end of the week.

I’m afraid it’s going to be a race getting a home closed next week since we still don’t have all the documents we need, which is going to make it a close call in keeping that date.  It seems all the more people there are involved in a transaction, the more likely there’ll be time constraints, and with this one, I see it moving in that direction.

While on the phone today with a long-time client of mine, he mentioned that one of his relatives closed on the sale of his house earlier this year that’s in the San Jose area of California, and when he talked about that 1930’s house being a 2 bedroom 1 bath home that has about 1,000 square feet, no basement, a standard size lot, and a single detached garage that was converted into a sort of office/bedroom, I figured California prices would put it at about $750,000.  When he told me they got $2,300,000.00 for it, I just about dropped the phone.  I kept insisting there had to be something super special about it, and since I had to see to believe, he actually emailed me a copy of the listing which included photos.  I ended up calling him back and saying, “California is not one of our States, but rather another country!”

Whenever seeing average people buying homes in those price ranges, I can’t imagine what their justifications were, because servicing that kind of astronomical debt is mind-boggling.  I’m wondering if when they die, they will their homes to beneficiaries under the conditions they assume their un-paid mortgage debts.  And to think we North Iowans complain about over-priced homes. Yes, their incomes are greater than ours, but not that much more when comparing costs of goods and services, and likely the extra miles they put on their vehicles driving to and from work.  With that said, the big differences in home prices doesn’t add up for me.  Irregardless what anyone says, those mortgage payments are not sustainable because of the way our economy goes thru its cycles every 10 – 20 years.  I’ve visited California enough times to say it isn’t the paradise they’d like for everyone to believe.

Instead of our City giving $50K to the Music Man Square to help with their so-called fund drive, I’d say they should’ve paid for some glossy advertising in a handful of California’s popular newspapers and magazines touting all the benefits of living in Mason City.  I would certainly go after those that are either close to retirement or already retired.

With those sale prices, and being a homeowner out there, no matter how much I was attached to one of their expensive cities, I’d have my home on the market and under contract with no questions asked.   Of course many talk about the ocean views and beaches.  Really?  How does anyone have time to sit and look at ocean views or walk on a beach when having such debt hanging overhead?  And if they dislike winter, they can go rent a vacation apartment in one of our southern States for two or three months.  Yes, no matter which way you look at it, it’s insanity for them to be sitting on homes worth that much money, and all the while scraping by to keep the taxes and insurance paid, along with necessary repairs and improvements.

While I was sorting thru some old files, I happened upon a newspaper one of my clients gave me some years ago.  It happened to be a section of the Globe Gazette from the year 1936.  I flipped thru it and happened upon the page where the local grocery stores and butcher shops had their weekly ads placed.  I was very much taken by the simplistic way they advertised back in those years, along with their posted prices.

The above photo is one I took of the ad Tittle Bros. Packing Co. had placed for their meats.  I looked at the address, which appeared to be on the east side of the 100 block of S. Federal where Southbridge Mall is now located.  Tittle Brothers?  What a hoot!  It reminds me of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but in my mind I’m hearing Tittledee and Tittledum.

Whenever looking at prices from those years, it makes me smile when remembering how some of my old clients and customers used to brag about how hard they had it when working for perhaps 25 cents an hour.  Well, if you look at those meat prices in the above photo, I’d say that was a pretty good wage considering what 25 cents would buy 83 years ago.  When we look at the whole picture of wages and prices for goods and services, it all makes sense.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Prophecy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks.

Joe Chodur

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