Wednesday, June 02, 2010

An angry barber

I have been contemplating finding a new place to get my haircut. Ever since my barber went underground I have thought I should move on as well. I mean, getting your haircut in a guy’s kitchen seems kinda weird to me.
But somehow I can’t make the change. I tried another barber shop in the neighborhood but didn’t like the result. I felt like a guido when I walked out. Bottom line was these guys didn’t know my head like my barber did.
Maybe it is loyalty. I believe in the concept of “buy local” to help the merchants of my neighborhood. They tend to be fractionally more expensive but the convenience easily offsets the cost.
Whatever it is I just can’t make a change after 15 years.
Yesterday I found myself in the chair again. He asked if I wanted the usual or if I wanted to go a bit shorter considering the heat. I opted for shorter to get an idea of what it would be like. Yes, I braved the 2 blade yesterday even though he told me I would be ready for Boot Camp.
I got a lot of info out of last night’s cut. Why the sandwich shop a couple of miles away went out of business. How much money is being spent at a brew pub who just added in a huge outdoor area. The lunacy of the tax guy in the office below.
This is info you can’t get from a chain. You get the lowdown on what is going on in the neighborhood. You get the rant of a businessman who is trying to survive in the world.
The most interesting conversation we had yesterday had an effect on me. It was also the only fiery one we had. It related to a duplex on the other side of the alley. The home just sold for below market value. Anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 below market value. Someone got a steal on the property because (according to my barber) the real estate agent was looking for a fast buck. He told the owner if you want to get rid of the property fast, you can sell it for $XXX,XXX.
One could probably flip that property for a 10% gain within a couple of weeks. What pissed off the barber, and later had me mad as well, was the effect on prices of other homes in the neighborhood. This one sale could lower the value of all duplexes in the surrounding blocks. If buyers come in and use that price as a barometer, then homeowners are screwed. We have just seen the value of our homes drop by 20%.
Supposedly the barber is going to call and bitch out the real estate agent. That guy won’t care. He made a good buck for 4 days of work. Personally, I would rather talk to the seller to see what the hell they were thinking leaving so much money on the table.

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