Entries Tagged as 'Phoenix Homes'

Christmas In July

July 25th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Today is July 25th.  Christmas in July is celebrated today.  Here are several homes that celebrate Christmas well past December 25th.

San Antonio, Texas.  As seen on May 25th.

family photos Santa Claus poster on door Christmas tree still up in May San Antonio Texas homes houses for sale real estate photo

Another San Antonio home with a Christmas tree still up as of May 25th.  Hint, hint: it’s okay to update your real estate photos.

Christmas tree still up in May San Antonio Texas homes houses for sale real estate photo

The decorations were removed, but the tree was still there when this Phoenix home was listed on February 3rd.

Christmas tree still up in February Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

The decorations are gone and half the tree was packed away when this Phoenix home was listed on March 28th.

Christmas tree still up in March Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

This Scottsdale, Arizona home was listed in March, with the Christmas tree still decorated.

Christmas tree still up in March Scottsdale Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

Don’t trip on the cord when you enter the house!  This San Tan Valley, Arizona home was listed as a short sale January 9th with the Christmas tree still up.  It took 7 months under contract for the short sale to be completed.

Christmas tree still up in January San Tan Valley Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

This Surprise, Arizona home was listed as a short sale in early January and it took 8 months under contract for the short sale to be completed.

Christmas tree still up in January Surprise Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

Listed January 11th in Glendale, Arizona.

Christmas stockings still up in January Glendale Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

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Tags: Phoenix Homes · Scottsdale, AZ Homes · Other Arizona Cities · Glendale, AZ Homes · Surprise, AZ Homes · Family Photos · Holiday Décor · Other US Cities · Chandler, AZ Homes

Short Sale Fixer-Upper

July 24th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Short sales accounted for only 3.5% of all sold listings in the Phoenix metro area in June 2014, the lowest since June 2008.  Thank goodness.  They are typically neglected homes.  Here’s a recent example.  And this wasn’t someone who bought at the height of the market.  This home was purchased for $92,000 in 2001 with no refinancing.  It sold for less due to the condition.

Cracked toilet tank.  How does that happen?  Mildew on the shower grout.

cracked toilet tank mildew mold on shower wall tile grout neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

More problems in the bathtub.

damaged bathtub shower faucet drain cover missing duct tape used to seal cracks neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses

The baby sticks those yucky peas and carrots in the hole in the wall.

dining room baby seat hole in the wall dirty window neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

Cluttered kitchen.

cluttered kitchen counters ugly saltillo tile cabinet doors missing neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

Wet bar.

wet bar cannon eagle statue neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

The carpet is shot.

ugly gray industrial carpet torn worn out ripped stairs neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

A bedroom.

cluttered messy bedroom mattress on the floor sheet in the window neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

There are a variety of items on display out front.  The wheelbarrow distracts you from the broken window.

ugly curb appeal cluttered front yard tree stump wheelbarrow broken window neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

The previous photo was better than this one.  And that’s no bull.

ugly curb appeal three cars in the driveway blocking the view neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

The swimming pool adds extra value to the property.

ugly swimming pool almost empty green algae water dirty damaged neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

Can’t wait for the new owner to transform this property.

ugly swimming pool almost empty green algae water dirty damaged neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

The roof on the addition is buckling.

unpermitted room addition roof is buckling damaged bad neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

Another broken window.

broken window boarded up ugly siding bad neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

The security door is not attached.

security door not attached leaning against arcadia window bad neglected short sale fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses photo

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Tags: Carpet · Roof · Curb Appeal · Bathroom · Kitchen · Pool & Spa · Bedroom · Clutter · Phoenix Homes · Dining Room · Back Yard · Fixer-Upper · Window · Drywall Damage · Room Addition · Siding · Wet Bar

Backsplash Paint Smears

July 23rd, 2014 · 1 Comment

Want to spice up your kitchen?  Add colorful paint smears to the walls!

ugly dumb stupid idea blue red paint smears eraser kitchen backsplash fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale photo

From the looks of it, it should only take 3 minutes to complete.

ugly dumb stupid idea blue red paint smears eraser kitchen backsplash fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale photo

The artist sponged a bedroom ceiling as well.

blue paint smears sponge bedroom ceiling amateur looks bad Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale photo

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Tags: Kitchen · Phoenix Homes · Faux Paint & Murals · Fixer-Upper · Ceiling

Phoenix Housing Bureau Relocated

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

Government officials recently relocated their bureau to the middle of a living room in a Phoenix home.

chest of drawers bureau used as a coffee table in the middle of a living room dumb stupid idea Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale photo

But after complaints of cramped quarters, they moved it to the back yard of a Glendale, Arizona residence.

chest of drawers bureau used as a coffee table in the middle of a cluttered back yard Glendale Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

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Tags: Staging · Living Room · Clutter · Phoenix Homes · Back Yard · Glendale, AZ Homes · Ugly Couches/Chairs

It Made an Impression

July 22nd, 2014 · 5 Comments

This Phoenix home made an impression on our reader Jayne, but not a good impression.  This is the master bedroom, for example.

cluttered messy disorganized chaotic filled with boxes stuff piles master bedroom Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

The sellers trimmed their olive tree.  They lion-tailed the branches.  Also known as lollipopping.  It’s a topiary terror.

bad ugly topiary lion-tail lollipop olive tree branches landscaping nightmare Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

Or it’s a spaceship on the bottom section with aliens waving around.  Thank you, Jayne!

bad ugly topiary lion-tail lollipop olive tree branches landscaping nightmare Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

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Tags: Staging · Landscaping · Bedroom · Clutter · Phoenix Homes · Wood Paneling

Five Fancy Bedspreads

July 21st, 2014 · 4 Comments

Tupac lives!  Marijuana leaf.  Buyers will put this house high on their list.  It’s listed for 420?

cheap ugly Tupac marijuana leaf bedspread blanket upside down bedroom staging no closet Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale photo

Marilyn Monroe bedspread!  Gentlemen prefer bland bedspreads.  And completely painted walls.

cheap ugly Marilyn Monroe bedspread blanket Cardinals football bedroom staging Peoria Arizona homes houses for sale photo

Bless America!

cheap ugly Bless America American Mexican flag bedspread blanket bedroom Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale photo

The elusive white tiger.

cheap ugly white tiger bedspread blanket bedroom Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

Holy.

religious bedspread blanket dominates the bedroom Glendale Arizona homes houses for sale real estate photo

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Tags: Staging · Bedroom · Phoenix Homes · Glendale, AZ Homes · Peoria, AZ Homes · Bedspread

The Importance of Taking Good Real Estate Photos

July 20th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Today I was featured in the Arizona Republic newspaper’s real estate section!!

Here’s a link to article; there’s a slide show at the top, and the article below.

Written by Gremlyn Waddell of the Arizona Republic (with my photo comments added in brackets [] ):

In his 16-year career as a Valley real-estate agent, Leif Swanson has seen some less-than-memorable images on online house listings.

There are depressing photos of dirty, cluttered spaces; the classic raised-toilet-seat-in-the-bathroom shots; and his pet peeve, the ones with a photographer’s reflection in the mirror.

Those kinds of photos, along with the ones featuring a cat’s litter box, a weed-filled yard or children mugging for the camera, astound the Realty One Group agent. He knows nearly 100 percent of today’s homebuyers look at online listings before they even call a real-estate office. So a seller may have only one chance — through attractive photos — to get a potential buyer in the door.

“A buyer may overlook a house that’s great just because the pictures were poor,” Swanson said. “And if you were putting a picture of yourself online for a dating service, wouldn’t you at least comb your hair? It’s the same idea with your home.”

In November 2007, he launched his uglyhousephotos.com website to educate sellers and entertain buyers. He posts many of the unbecoming photos he sees as a Realtor (along with his comments that veer from observational to a bit sarcastic), but he’ll often offer suggestions on how to improve the shots. He’ll also post before-and-afters of inspirational rooms.

“The goal isn’t to humiliate anyone,” Swanson said, adding that he blocks out people’s faces as well as addresses, license plates or any indication of sellers’ names. “I was just tired of seeing bad pictures, especially when I know there are easy solutions.”

Whether the seller or seller’s agent is the photographer, or even if the seller has hired a professional photographer or commercial service, Swanson said the following tips go a long way toward making photos stand out online:

The basics
• Take more photos than you think you should, then edit judiciously. “You don’t have to publish every picture you take, but while you’re at the home, you should preview your photos. Chances are that you’re shooting with a digital camera, so look right there and then at what you’ve taken and make sure you have something good.”
• Keep the camera still while shooting; blurry photos are not pretty. And keep those fingers away from the viewfinder.
• Exterior shots look best when the sun’s at an angle, so shoot during the early morning or late afternoon. Watch for shadows and try to avoid having them in photos.
• When photographing a room with a mirror in it, stand to the side (not straight in front of the mirror); otherwise your reflection will be in the mirror — and that looks amateurish. Same thing goes if you’re using a tripod; keep it out of sight.

[Just move a foot or two over to avoid the reflection, as shown here]

example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos bathroom mirror reflection   example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos bathroom mirror reflection

• For interior shots, turn on all the lights. It’s smart to bring an extra camera along to see whether you can get better shots with it, too. Swanson often shoots photos with his cellphone camera when the shots with his standard camera appear too dark.
• Remember to look for a room’s best feature and highlight it in your pictures. Is it the vaulted ceiling, the picture window or a fireplace? “Focus on the stuff that makes up the room, not what’s in it,” Swanson said.
• Think about what you’d like to see in listing photos. Do you really want to see the back of a chair or couch? You may need to try a different angle to get the best vantage point. Even moving a foot or two can make a difference.
• Don’t use a flash too close to a window or you’ll see mostly glare in your picture.

[With the sun pouring into the open window and no kitchen lights or camera flash, the kitchen looks dark.  I closed the window shades, turned on the kitchen lights, and used a flash.  An improvement, but a better option would be to take the photo earlier in the day when the sun was not at the window.]

example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos exposure too bright sun in window kitchen  example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos exposure too bright sun in window kitchen

Tricks of the trade:
• A straight-on shot of a still swimming pool looks boring and lifeless, so Swanson either uses a net or his hand to “chop” the water in a pool several times so it gets some nice ripples going. Then he grabs his camera and shoots. “Then I can call it a ’sparkling, clean pool’ in my listing,” he said.

example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos sparkling swimming pool still flat water vs. choppy waves  example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos sparkling swimming pool still flat water vs. choppy waves

• Even in a bare backyard, you can introduce a pop of color. Find a bougainvillea bloom or other plant, position it in either the bottom-right or bottom-left portion of the camera’s viewfinder and take the picture.
• Move cars off the driveway (or, heaven forbid, the yard) when taking photos. If cars are blocking the home’s exterior, move them down the street temporarily. If a neighbor’s nearby driveway is full of vehicles, try to exclude it from your shots.

[I had a corporate relocation listing interview with the house on the left.  I sent this photo to the relocation department to let them know buyers might be turned off by the neighbor’s parking lot.]

example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos too many cars vehicles parked on neighbor's driveway

• If the house has incredible sunset views, take some photos at dusk to showcase them. Highlight any desert or mountain views as well.
• You may love your pets, but don’t include their evidence — cages, food bowls, litter boxes — in your pictures. Buyers will assume the house smells, Swanson said.
• Don’t include family photos in online pictures, and limit or entirely exclude political and religious paraphernalia. Would-be homebuyers want to imagine themselves in a home, not be reminded about the sellers and their preferences.

A few parting thoughts:
• Remember that sellers are ultimately responsible for, and have final approval of, any listing photos of their homes.
• Tacky posters in your teen’s bedroom or an exceptionally cluttered guest room? Not every single room in the house has to be photographed.
• Pictures are a wonderful tool for selling a home, but there can be too much of a good thing. Most folks get “photo fatigue” after looking at 25 or 30 photos, Swanson said.

[Final example:  taking a house photo straight on.  It can make a house look boring.  Try stepping to the side and taking the photo at an angle.  It might add some excitement to the photo.]

example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos exterior shot front yard view straight on vs. at an angle  example of good bad real estate photography pictures photos exterior shot front yard view straight on vs. at an angle

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Tags: Phoenix Homes

Before & After Bungalow Renovation

July 19th, 2014 · 5 Comments

Before Living Room.  1930s-1940s bungalow.  2 bedrooms, 1 bath.  Was purchased in poor condition as a short sale for $39,900.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture living room bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Living Room.  The wall to the kitchen was removed.  Once the house was renovated, it sold for $97,000.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture living room bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Living Room.  Here’s what buyers see when they enter the house.  Buyers love open spaces and being able to see long distances.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture living room bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Living Room.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture living room bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Kitchen.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture kitchen dining area bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Kitchen.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture kitchen dining area bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Kitchen.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture kitchen dining area bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Bathroom.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bathroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Bathroom.  The size of the bathroom was doubled.  Not sure where they found the extra space.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bathroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Bathroom.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bathroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Bathroom.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bathroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Bathroom.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bathroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Bedroom One.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bedroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Bedroom One.  Because the walls are brick, it was difficult to add electric wiring through the walls.  They had to add electric conduit along the back wall.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bedroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Bedroom Two.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bedroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Bedroom Two.  New windows.  But no electric outlets on two walls.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture bedroom bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Front of House.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture front exterior curb appeal bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Front of House.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture front exterior curb appeal bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Back of House.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture back yard bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

After Back Yard.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture back yard bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Roof.  This home had gas heat and evaporative cooling before.  Regular air conditioning and a new roof were added during the renovation.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture roof rusty damaged evaporative cooler bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Before Basement.  Sorry, no after photo available.

before after renovation remodeling project photo picture basement bungalow Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

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Tags: Flooring · Curb Appeal · Bathroom · Living Room · Kitchen · Bedroom · Remodeling · Phoenix Homes · Back Yard · Before & After · Basement

Real Estate Photo Turn-Offs

July 18th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Buyers start their home searches on-line and they judge houses based on photos.  Sellers only get one chance to impress and entice buyers.

Buyers don’t want to see fingers in real estate photos.

poor bad amateur real estate photography photo picture two fingers Phoenix Arizona home house for sale

Buyers are turned off by over-exposed photos.

poor bad amateur real estate photography photo picture over-exposed too bright Phoenix Arizona home house for sale

Buyers are also turned off by under-exposed photos.  Yes, these are actual photos used to promote the sale of houses.

poor bad amateur real estate photography photo picture too dark all black Phoenix Arizona home house for sale

Buyers do not like panoramic photos, especially if several photos were stitched together.  Look at the uneven floor.

poor bad amateur real estate photography photo picture panoramic uneven floor stitched Phoenix Arizona home house for sale

Unless it’s a view of mountains or a golf course outside the back yard, panoramic photos indoors should not be used.

poor bad amateur real estate photography photo picture panoramic uneven floor stitched Phoenix Arizona home house for sale

Buyers do not like fish-eye photos or peeping Tom photos through fences or in bathrooms.

poor bad amateur real estate photography photo picture through a fence fish-eye lens Coolidge Arizona home house for sale

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Tags: Phoenix Homes · Other Arizona Cities · Poor Photography

Too Hot To Get Out of the Car?

July 18th, 2014 · 2 Comments

It does get very hot in Phoenix in the summer.  Photographers sometimes take real estate photos from inside their air conditioned cars.

poor bad amateur photographer real estate picture photo taken inside a car too lazy to get out Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

Sellers, please ask your photographer if she/he will go the extra mile for you.  Well, at least an extra ten feet.

poor bad amateur photographer real estate picture photo taken inside a car too lazy to get out Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

And if that’s not possible, at least roll the window down!  Tell the photographer you’ll pay for the extra gas; all that precious cold air going out the window, you know.  [By the way, this is the only photo available for this house]

poor bad amateur photographer real estate picture photo taken inside a car too lazy to get out Phoenix Arizona homes houses for sale

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Tags: Phoenix Homes · Poor Photography