Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

It's Getting Hot Down Here
by James Glaser
April 24, 2009

It started yesterday about two in the afternoon. Either that or I first noticed it then. It got hot. I was in the sun, sanding wood for a sculpture, and a drip of perspiration fell from my face down onto the wood. I hate that because it raises the grain of the wood even if you wipe it right off. At least it does if you are sanding with 400 grit sandpaper.

I moved back in the shadow of the building, turned on a fan and started sanding again. I shouldn't complain, here it is toward the end of April, and it has been nice since early October. That means we have had seven really nice months in a row. Also we still will have some nice weather these next few weeks. As long as it cools off at night and is nice in the early morning, I am satisfied.

Come June, the real heat will be here. Today's taste of it was really nothing compared to the summer months. I guess trading three months of hot weather for three months of OK weather and six months of wonderful weather is a trade I am willing to make.

Wanda and I have started looking for a house to buy. No, I don't think housing prices have bottomed out, but I do believe that inflation is going to hit us hard, and buying a house now with a low interest rate, and paying for that house with inflated dollars makes sense to me. Also I want to get out of town a ways and have enough room for a good garden. I think my garden in Minnesota is what I miss the most about moving down here.

This week we looked at a four bedroom brick home with an in-ground pool on 2.4 acres that was in pre-foreclosure. We could have had it for about 150 thousand. It looked pretty good until we went inside, and the place was horrible. Only one room looked acceptable and that was a back bedroom. Nobody had lived there for six months and I was not about to open the refrigerator and look at what the inside of that looked like. The yard looked nice with great trees, but I could only see into the pool water about ¼ inch. It looked to be a thick pea green.

The next house was a four bedroom, 2,000 square foot two story home with an attached double garage on five acres. That home had already been foreclosed on, and was owned by a bank in Texas. The yard was great. The house has a nice layout, but when the owner left, he took all the appliances and the three toilets, three bathroom sinks, and the kitchen sink, too. That house is listed for 125K. It also needs interior paint, and when they took the upstairs toilet and sink, the water must have still been on, so the ceiling in the kitchen needs work from that water leak. The whole house has oak floors, and they need refinishing. The walls and ceilings need painting, and there is a lot of missing trim. The house is was worth money when it was looking good, but in a down market with all the repairs it needs, it seems to be a bit high priced.

That is funny, a 2,000 sq, ft. house with four bedrooms, and 2 ½ baths, hardwood and ceramic tile floors, attached garage and 5+ acres and I'm thinking 125K is a bit high. Still I read in the New York Times this week that housing prices have a ways to fall yet.

So, we are going to keep on looking if we can't get a lower price on that second house. Yes, it is a buyer's market, and if we don't get that one, there certainly are a lot of other houses to look at.

Summer has come, and for you people up North, I have all sorts of tomatoes on my plants, and red, yellow, and green bell peppers on those plants, The caladiums are starting to pop out of the ground, and the skies are not cloudy all day.

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