I had no plans to move back to my hometown in my mid 30s, but I’m an only-child and my parents needed help with certain tasks as their health issues regressed and worsened. The one saving-grace was the cheap real estate market at the time. I found a two-bedroom house with an average-sized yard for only $200k. Now that we’re in the late stages of the COVID pandemic, the same kind of house in this neighborhood would fetch between $275k and $300k depending on the condition and the size of the lot. While the value of homes in the area has risen, there really isn’t any new construction happening in this town. We aren’t seeing new businesses rush in or residential developers eyeing old pastures to build subdivisions or apartment complexes. Just finding quality contractors in this town can feel daunting at times. All but two plumbers that I found on Google told me over the phone that I lived so far from their offices that they’d charge me mileage fees. That’s the reality right now with the historic inflation rates that are hitting gasoline and other goods and services the worst. I needed a certified ductwork cleaning company to disinfect my metal ventilation system, but none of the ductwork cleaning companies that I found in my searches had any proof of licenses or certifications. This is essential for ventilation system cleaning, otherwise you could end up with serious air quality issues. I eventually found a ductwork cleaning company, but they were so far away I had to pay a premium on travel fees. Luckily the crew was extremely nice and did a thorough job of sanitizing my ducts.