If you know me at all, you know my life is pretty full.
I like to use my blog to give information, all kinds of information, but today I just want to catch up on some things.
First of all, personally, we have technically become ranchers...mini cattle ranchers. More specifically Zebu's and yes there was a song about them on Veggie Tales.
Zebu's are mini cows that look like really small Brahma's. We have a bull and a cow and we call them Rocky and Babette. Not sure why, that is just what we came up with. They keep Earl busy feeding and just making sure they are settling in to their new home.
First is a picture of them when we brought them home. The neighbor's cows were sort of stunned. It gives you an idea of their size. The second is on a brighter day and you can see their size relative to the round bale. I'll let you know how things go with them.
There is so much I could write about, but each topic would make for a huge blog. So I just want to hit the high spots.
RED FLAG WARNING
Wise and surrounding counties are in a Red Flag season which means that we are in a drought where the trees, grass, etc., are extremely dry. Also, we are experiencing higher than normal winds which will fuel a grass or wild fire quickly. Not only is the Wise County Office of Emergency Management asking that there is no outside burning, it is a pretty good idea to have no fire outside at all. There is a temptation to grill outside, but if you are using charcoal or wood, you may want to wait a bit. One spark could cause a lot of damage quickly.
For complete information, go to (14) Wise County Fire Marshal's Office/ Office of Emergency Management | Facebook.
REAL ESTATE MARKET
There is no way to describe what is going on in one blog, so I will hit the high points. Interest rates are going up. We are still in a Seller's Market which means that we have somewhat of an inventory problem. There are a lot of new builds and properties in high price ranges, but the 'affordable' home is very hard to find. While sellers can sell high, they will also have to buy high, so some are beginning to hold off.
Buyers are fighting for what is available, getting frustrated and either giving up and walking away or paying over asking. This is part of what is driving prices up.
Many families are coming out looking for raw land, and that too is going up. However, often they are unaware of exactly what the costs are going to be and selling the land before building on it. Others are trying to 'build it themselves'. Then after doing some of the work, they get overwhelmed and walk away.
There is a big uptick of people building their own home. If you are going to buy a house, you should always get an inspection, especially if the owner built it themselves. They may be experienced builders, but more often than not, they lack in one area or another and often cut corners. You will want a professional inspection done to ensure you are buying a safe and solid home. Remember, that if anything does show up during an inspection, the seller will have to hire a licensed contractor to fix the problem. They will not be able to just fix it themselves. This ensures it will be repaired properly.
It is inevitable that this crazy market can sustain itself. What goes up always comes down. I thought the quarantine would do it, but it just fueled the fire. However, when interest rates start to rise, gas prices rise, inflation is raging, and there is an actual war going on, that usually will be enough to precipitate a downturn. But who knows, I have been wrong before.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG
The coming of Spring is a perfect time not only for spring cleaning, but spring maintenance. Get your HVAC system checked, change out the filters, and make sure it is ready for summer. Check on your smoke and fire alarms. If you have a septic system, maybe see if it should be pumped. If we get spring rains, you may be glad you did. Many people say you should have it pumped every 2-4 years depending on use. Others have said you never have to get it pumped, but our system usually lets us know. We begin to smell sewer gases outside and the drainage is a bit slow.
Do you have a wood fireplace? Maybe take this opportunity to move the wood away from your house, far away. Wood stacked close to your home not only can be a breeding ground for termites, but it is also problematic if there is a grass fire. Did you know that, if you live in the country, and there is a wildfire or grassfire close, and you have wood stacked by your home, the fire department will not try to save your home? It would take them too long to move the wood and it is too likely to cause your house to burn, so they move on to a home they can save. So keep it away from your house or any other buildings.
While you are at it, clean out your fireplace and see if you can find a chimney sweep to clean out the chimney. Soot and creosote build up and sometimes can cause fires to smolder in your chimney, leading to a house fire and even damaging the flue itself. So keeping it cleaned out can save you problems later on.
Those are all the things I want to say for now, but make sure and get out and about this spring. There are some great events happening, you won't want to miss out!