Tina McManus' Blog
Most potential buyers for your home will have their first impression on the internet in the form of a photo gallery of your home. Therefore it’s essential to have quality photos that show off the size and features of both the interior and exterior of your house.
As smartphones are equipped with ever-improving built in cameras, taking decent photos of your home has never been easier. However, there are still a few basic photography techniques that you should keep in mind to get the best results.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips on shooting professional-looking photos of your home that will leave a good impression on potential buyers.
Lighting matters most
It may seem like most cameras these days adjust the exposure for poor lighting pretty well. However, if you’re taking photos in a dimly lit house, you can’t depend on your camera to fix the problem. When your camera or smartphone automatically adjusts the brightness of a photo you’re really losing photo quality.
You might have noticed pictures that appear grainy or pixelized. That is often because the photographer didn’t have enough light and allowed the camera to adjust. For best results, take photos in your home when the sun is high, open up the blinds and curtains, and turn on some ambient light in the room. A well-lit home looks much more inviting in photos than a dark one.
There’s only one other lighting tip you’ll need for taking quality photos of your home, and that’s to never use flash. Phone camera flashes can be good in a pinch if you’re not concerned with how a photo is going to look. But, it if you’re trying to take nice photos of your home a smart phone flash will likely ruin your photos. It will create a glare on any number if surfaces in your home and it will create an unnatural white-colored light that is typically unflattering.
Where you stand is important
You want to show off all of the features of your home, but you don’t want to have hundreds of photos in your gallery. To achieve this, it’s best to stand in a corner or against a wall to fit as much as possible into the frame.
Avoid holding the camera up over your head or kneeling down. Typically, when we see a home we see it from eye-level. Photos that are taken from a perspective that is unnaturally high up or low to the ground will appear strange and foreign to someone who is unfamiliar with your home.
Take a ton of photos
One of the most common pieces of advice amateur photographers receive is to shoot as many photos as they can. This helps you for two reasons. First, the more photos you take the more likely it is that there will be a few great shots. Second, shooting a lot of photos and then reviewing your work is the best way to learn what looks good and what doesn’t.
In a time where digital memory is cheap, there’s no reason to be economical with the number of photos you take.
When you’re searching for a home, perhaps the price of the house isn’t as important as the overall affordability of the neighborhood itself. While you have a long wish list of what you want for your property, if you search by neighborhood in order to help you fit your budget, your search may be much easier and help you turn up with a more affordable house.
Look At The Price
This seems obvious, but we mean that you should go a bit deeper. The list price of a home and reality could be two very different things. A house could be underpriced or overpriced based on the surrounding properties in the neighborhood. If you do a little research, you’ll be able to see what the going price for similar style homes is in the area and make a judgement based on that information.
Don’t Stick To One Neighborhood
You should take a peek around and look outside of the certain neighborhood that you find to be the most desirable. If you look just a few streets away, you could find out that the prices are better and the benefits of the area are the same.
You’ll choose your neighborhood based on what you’re looking for in your lifestyle. If you prefer to go out to eat, you’ll need to know what types of restaurants are nearby. If you like to walk in the park, being close to parks and recreation is of course important to you.
Know The Phrase Up-And-Coming
This description of a neighborhood can sometimes seem like a bit of a reach, but many times it turns out to be true. Once undesirable neighborhoods may become the place people want to be after a certain amount of time. The problem with this is that no one can be sure as to exactly how long this will take. Potential warnings for properties described as being in an up-and-coming neighborhood would be:
- There’s low sales in the area
- The value of the properties has actually been decreasing
- There’s little access to grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment
Overall, use your judgement when it comes to what’s described as a neighborhood waiting to be gentrified. You could buy your own piece of gold, or you could be on the search for a dud.
Check Your Commute Times
Match the cost of different homes that you’re looking at with the reality of the commute times that you and your family are facing. How far are the kids from school? Will you be closer to work? Will it cost you more to get to and from work in the new location? While your commute costs aren’t exactly directly correlated with real estate, it’s definitely a part of your regular budget. You also don’t want to add a lot of time to your work commute if you can help it.
These tips should help you to make an informed decision about what neighborhood to buy a home in that will be the most cost-effective for you.
Southern and Western climates are great pests attractors. It's the warm temperatures, rocky terrains, deep foliage and wetlands that make for great hiding places for pests. These types of environments also offer greenery and other insects for pests to feasts on.
Simple steps that lead to a pests free home
Live in a house that close to the great outdoors and the creepy crawlers that fill wooded areas close to your property could easily find their way inside your home. Simply not wanting pests inside your home or even spraying bugs when you see them may not be enough.
Keeping annoying pests out of your house calls for the right action. Start by drying moist areas both inside and outside your home. For example, you could repair leaking pipes, wipe down counters and turn faucets completely off.
Cleaning out vents could reduce the likelihood that pests will enter your house after you turn on the heat or air conditioner. On that point, also make sure that appliances are free of crumbs, spills and scented liquids.
Get and keep pests out of your house
Key is to ensure that there are no liquid or food items that pests can access. Other steps that you could take to keep pests away from your home include:
- Spraying the outside of your house with effective pests repellents. Opt for sprays that are pet and environmentally friendly. Other good choices are sprays that continue to work for up to a year.
- Use sprays that are made to work on the specific types of pests that you have seen inside or outside your house.
- Locate feeding areas and treat these spots.
- Seal off entryways into your house.
- Clean your carpet regularly. Carpets, especially shag carpets, are great for hiding pests and food crumbs.
- Store fresh fruit and vegetables inside your refrigerator. Fruit flies love these food items.
- Wash pots, pans, drinking glasses and dishes every night.
- Designate certain areas of your house to cook and eat in. For example, you might tell your relatives not to eat and drink in bedrooms, the basement or the attic.
- Empty your garbage regularly.
- Sweep hardwood and tile floors after each meal. You could also vacuum hardwood and tile floors to catch small crumbs that you might miss during sweepings.
- Bring in a professional exterminator once a year or as needed.
Commit to living in a pests free house
Remove shelter and meal options for pests and you could keep your house pests free even if you your house is located in a warm, moist climate. Regularly check your house to see if your efforts are working. And realize that you will have to reapply treatment efforts every six months.
More effective strategies may only need to be reapplied once a year. Trimming hedges that are less than 50 feet from your house could help keep pests away. So too could regularly examining and cleaning pets. As a final reminder, wash down outdoor dining areas after each meal.