Brooms and Dust Pans

It was a pleasant surprise to find it raining in the night and on into our early morning and all the happier for it, but now when looking at our week ahead, we’ll be bracing ourselves for a scorcher of a week. If anyone says our weather patterns haven’t changed, they’re in absolute denial. I know we’ve had a hot day or two at the end of August, but to be in an entire week’s stretch is highly unusual. If it’s like that during school days, those students are going to be suffering in their classrooms if they’re not air conditioned.

My first appointment out of the office was to show an acreage up near Fertile, and since that slow-moving train had blocked the tracks on B20, I took the long way around by driving up to Manly and then over on Hwy 9. As I was making that bend near Fertile, I was shocked to see a very much alive bald eagle at the side of the road. Oh my goodness! I’ve never personally seen one at such a close distance, and when getting a good look at it, there’s no question they’re formidably big birds. Wow! I now believe the stories told about them being able to take down big animals like young deer. After today’s viewing, I fully understand why our forefathers made them our national bird.

Both my buyers and myself were a few minutes late getting there, and thankfully the sellers had already left because sometimes sellers wait until the buyers arrive and then leave. We were there almost an hour which is pretty normal when showing acreages. Since I’ve been showing them both in-town homes along with acreages, it’s become a real learning experience for them. I think after today, I’ve got them convinced that they’ll never find the perfect home simply due to its non-existence. Unfortunately they’re uneasy about our current market conditions and fearful about the future values of homes in our area. I shared my belief that there will be a market correction but not so much with acreages because of the short supplies we have in North Iowa for which we can thank our big farmers creating. They’ve scraped off well over half of the homesites that once dotted our countrysides, and still in disbelief some big farmer razed the beautiful farm home my great aunt so meticulously cared for while she was alive. I can only imagine what her acreage would go for in these times if it were still standing.

I received a text this afternoon from an agent who recently showed the Raven acreage and it sounds like she’s going to be writing an offer on it. I have an appointment to show it tomorrow, so hopefully it’s going to get sold to someone soon. With this rain, I’ll have to spray myself with insect repellant before walking out in those trees and tall grasses. There’s no question whomever buys it will scrape the existing house off and build a big country home out in the middle of those five acres. Since the price is high enough, the likelihood of the farmer owning the land around it won’t pull the trigger on buying it and converting it into farmland. If that be the case, then the greed for farmland in our area will have risen to a new level.

When visiting with a colleague of mine today, I couldn’t help mentioning the recent sale of a home which is going to be a classic example of “The Money Pit” owing to the fact that I’ve personally shown it enough times to where I was able to see the many hidden structural issues it has. I hope those buyers have suitcases full of cash and many close family members who’re tradespeople who’ll be willing to offer many hours of their services for free.

I left my colleague nearly speechless when telling him just a handful of the issues that house has, and I’m still wondering how it managed to appraise yet not, and most likely many of them now rubber-stamping values due to how quickly our market prices are rising. Like I said today, “If there are structural issues where load disbursements have been altered, that’s one huge problem because of hidden damages that have already taken place.” Oh well, I wish those buyers the best, but there’s no question that home is in some serious need of restoring its soundness. The three words our government lending arms always wrote in bold letters, “A home must be safe, sound and secure.” Too often today’s buyers have no clue of the real meaning of “sound” when purchasing eye-candied lipsticked pigs. I can assure you without resign, paint brushes, brooms and dust pans don’t cure many of the “sound” issues I’ve seen in homes.

My public open house went relatively well to where there was one person in attendance who’s looking for a friend, and while walking out, she assured me she’d talk to her about it. Unfortunately that’s a townhouse that doesn’t show its true size and quality from the street when knowing all the big-ticket goodies are within.

The appointment I had in Clear Lake was quite an illumination for both myself and the buyers. I’d say it’s been years since I’ve shown a home in such a high price range with such a funky floor plan. I was expecting it to be quirky from the looks of its online photos, but the real dysfunction didn’t kick in until I personally walked thru it. There’s no question whomever had it built, must’ve had some odd-ball ideas which didn’t hit until after it was built. If likely having to hire a contractor, I’d say its new buyers would have to throw at least a hundred thousand dollars into it before it would be considered functional. I know people had some bizarre ideas about building homes back in the 1970’s, but today’s showing was even more than I would’ve expected from that decade.

Before heading home I decided to stop at their Fairway, and to my shock I saw with my own eyes a pack of two organically grown red bell peppers priced at $5.99 which was so shocking to me, I had to look twice. Now if we can’t get a real organic farmer’s market started here in Mason City which would be open year-round, I’d say there are many budding organic farmers missing the boat. For sure, I’ll not forget that pepper price tag.

Tonight’s one-liner is: To be ignorant to what occurred before you were born is to ever- remain a child.

Joe Chodur

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