A Good Scare

With it being a slower morning which was likely due to the overcast skies and biting cold wind coming out of the north, I managed to get caught up on some bill paying and accounting. It’s amazing how just ten for fifteen degrees can change one’s attitude towards being outdoors.

One of my mid-morning appointments was to meet an out-of-town Realtor at a home he just listed so I could do a walk-thru on it for a buyer who just happened to be away on business. I knew it wasn’t going to be a pleasant journey because I had to sign one of those mold waivers before entering.

Thank goodness I had my mouth covered and not in there very long because that house presented the most shocking example of black mold I’ve seen in a very long time. Oh Mercy! When I walked out, the agent asked me, “Well, what did you think?” My knee-jerk response was, “In my opinion, I’d say it needs to be scraped.”

I was somewhat familiar with the history of that home because back in 2008 it was “flipped” and sold to a buyer using FHA financing. It’s a good thing I didn’t see that lipsticked pig at the time because today’s inspection revealed a whole heap of structural issues that would take thousands of dollars to remedy, and even if the improvements were made, the home wasn’t the best built back in its day, and definitely not in one of the more sought-after districts in our City. With that said, I think any buyer of that home would be throwing good money after bad.

I sent an email to the buyer who wanted me to look at it and pretty much told him I wouldn’t even think of encouraging someone to buy it, and as far as I’m concerned, the highest and best use for it would be for one of the neighbors to get it and have it torn down to simply increase the size of their yard.

Another point I made about that home was that is was built right after WWII, and back in those days, they’d use whatever building materials were available, and sometimes even old lumber coming from tear-downs. What I viewed today, was more than likely one of those flimsy build-outs. The amount of black mold I saw today was akin to something you’d see in a horror movie, so if you’re up for a good scare, have yourselves a look at 2706 – 18th St. SW, but please don’t ask me to show it to you.

I’m still on a burn to get 1 Briarstone Court sold before hard winter arrives. We’ve had good reviews, but unfortunately the most recent interested party ended up buying something else. I’ll likely be having another public open house on it soon because a casual drive-by doesn’t give one a true impression of how big it really is.

I wasn’t being the most pleasant this morning with a contractor who was overly-late in getting some much needed work done, and wouldn’t you know it, like always, they’re right at your door the very next day wanting to be paid. I didn’t get angry, but I firmly said how much I don’t like people making promises they don’t keep because it’s plain and simply bad business. I also mentioned how it’s not my job to chase after people to get their work done because it takes time out of my day. I’m pretty sure he got the message and hopefully he’ll be more diligent in getting projects for others completed in a timely manner.

I have another closing scheduled for late tomorrow morning, and after reviewing the file, I’d say I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. In spite of it being another “internet” mortgage company, we did manage to get it to close on the specified date which I found delightfully surprising. Every time we have so many “cooks in the kitchen”, the whole process seems to get bogged down. Thank goodness everyone worked more closely together this time around.

I have to share something that happened yesterday regarding the barking of dogs. Late in the day I received a call from a neighbor of a home I sold about a month ago, and the person on the line started going on and on about the new owner’s dogs barking all the time. I was finally able to get a word in edgewise by saying I wasn’t the one who sold it, but I’d look in the old file for a phone number. I put down the phone, went digging and found it. I relayed the number to my caller, which by that time, had settled down a bit.

Before I hung up I jokingly said, “I fully understand how annoying the barking of dogs can be which reminds me of what my grandmother used to say.” The caller was curious enough to ask what that was. I laughed a little bit and then said, “One day while looking out our kitchen window and seeing the dogs barking she said, “Dogs that bark and hens that crow should all come to the same end.”, and of course angelic yours truly asked, “What’s that grandma?” She looked down at me and with a smirk said, “They get their heads chopped off.” Yesterday’s caller got a good laugh out of that one and mentioned how every time those dogs start barking, my grandmother’s words will come to mind. Too funny!

Tonight’s one-liner is: Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.

Joe Chodur

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