Warbling Away

Another beautiful day happened here in North Iowa, and you can bet I was out enjoying it as much as possible. In spite of it being the shortest day of the year, it felt like a delightful Fall day instead of being the official beginning of our Winter.

I had a very good repeat showing of 415 – 1st St. SE this morning, and this time the buyers brought their parents. Over-all, I believe they were impressed with the home and hopefully there’ll be an offer coming in on it soon. As far as I’m concerned, they are that home’s target buyers because they have a young family which that home is meant to have living there when considering the number of bedrooms and bathrooms contained within.

One of my customers stopped by this morning to make an offer on a home we’ve looked at more than once. We spent extra time going over its much needed updates, and what I cautioned against the most, was not being overly concerned about having everything done at once, but rather tackling the more glaring issues, and then in time, moving forward with getting the remaining improvements completed.

I’m fully versed on what it’s like to take on whole-house projects, along with the amount of daily stress involved when trying to live in an on-going mess. There’ve been too many times where I’ve seen first-home buyers tearing into an old house, making a big mess, and then become overwhelmed to the point of never finishing them. We must always remember that the only way we can eat an elephant, is by taking one bite at a time.

I’ll never forget a home which I once had listed a number of years ago, and another agent having sold it to a young couple. It was your standard two-story home which as far as I was concerned, in need of general cosmetic updates because it had a good floor plan and well preserved for its age. About ten years later, that home was foreclosed on, and after it was listed by another agent, I was probably one of the first to show it. I couldn’t begin to describe the depth of structural, as well as functional chaos they created and then walked.

In their infinite ignorance, they opened up load-bearing walls without header supports which caused the floors and walls on its 2nd floor to sink. For the craziest of reasons, they also tore out the original open staircase, and installed a closed one on the kitchen side of the house, and the only reason I believe they did that, was to have a “master” bedroom that took up the entire front half of its upper floor.

To make matters even worse, they tore out all the lathe and plaster and then hung sheetrock on all the walls and painted. Sounds OK doesn’t it? Not a chance, because they neglected to tape and mud the seams as well as all those visible sheet rock screws. It was a sight for sore eyes when looking at raw sheet rock in all the rooms which were each painted in vibrant colors. Sounds like something out of “The Red Green Show” doesn’t it?

When walking out, I told the buyers that as far a I was concerned, that home was a glaring money pit because of all the interior tear-out and re-supporting that would have to be done before any improvements could even be started. It finally did sell, and for more than I would’ve ever thought it worth because of the time and money it would take to get it back in shape, because that home’s location is in a not-so-popular district of our City. I’m thinking those new owners ended up spending more money on it than it’s now worth, but don’t we all have to live and learn. Right?

Since I have a busy day planned for tomorrow, I decided to take in a religious Service over in Clear Lake late this afternoon. I was surprised when seeing there not being very many people there, but then remembered we’re in December and many of the “old folks” are already in their winter digs somewhere down South.

It was an “Ok” Service with the exception of there being a female singer warbling away Christmas hymns with her overly-strong and slightly screechy voice as she soloing from the rear gallery. The first hymn was fine, the second one, a bit much, and the third, damned annoying. Their recessional hymn was a more modern and syncopated Advent piece which I’d not heard, and from the looks of it, all those many congregants who weren’t singing, were equally un-familiar. I’ve developed an understanding of late, that anything goes when it comes to planning Service music in our area houses of worship.

Since I was already in Clear Lake, I decided to stop at their Fareway, and wouldn’t you know it, I ran into a first cousin of mine whom I’d last crossed paths with at nearly that very same spot about a year ago, and making it all the more interesting, I was just thinking about her earlier this week. Too creepy cool don’t you think? We did have a good chat, got our Christmas hugs, and a promise we’d likely be meeting at nearly that very same spot again for the third time. She just happens to be one of my first cousins who bears an uncanny resemblance to one of my sisters.

Tonight’s one-liner is: The pen is the tongue of the mind.

Related Property:
415 1st St. SE Mason City
Joe Chodur

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