Hurricane Michael – WOW!

Hurricane Micheal was one for the record books!  My house and my neighborhood took a direct hit; the eye passed right over us.  One neighbor who stayed said the eye took over 30 minutes to pass by!  We were buffeted by 155+mph winds first from the east and then from the west after the eye passed.  

Surprisingly, about half of the houses here, including mine, had only minor damage from the storm.  The rest were damaged pretty severely in one way or another.  At least 3 were declared a complete loss.  My house was livable immediately, though we had no power and water and our septic system would quickly fill up without power for the lift station to pump it out.  We actually stayed in the house Thursday and Friday nights after the storm as we prepared for our previously planned trip to Iowa for a wedding the following week.  

We returned on October 22nd and found out from one of our neighbors that we had water; it was turned on earlier that day.  The next day someone with a generator came around to all the houses and offered to energize the septic pumps to help empty the tanks which was quite a relief.  Still, even though we had water and could theoretically take showers (cold ones), we couldn’t actually do that or we’d end up filling the septic tanks again after only a couple of days.  By using the septic system only for biological necessity, we were able to stretch that time into a week to 10 days.  

We ended up getting power back on October 28th and we quickly turned everything on to 1) empty the septic tanks and 2) start cooling the refrigerator.  Unfortunately, power went out again about 30 hours later on Monday.  It took a couple of days but our power folks came out and finally determined that another one of our underground cable sections needed replacing.  (I thought underground cabling was supposed to be less susceptible to damage???) By 630pm Friday November 2nd, we had power again.  And as luck would have it, we still have it today!  

We were lucky.  There are many, many people in the area and in the county as a whole who have no place to live.  And in one of the unintended consequences that has been noticed (maybe this has been the case in other disasters but it hasn’t been mentioned in any of the news reports I’ve seen before), many of the homeless people have literally left the area and now nearly every business is looking to hire workers to replace them and keep their stores open!  Even our nearby Wal Mart has said they might have to close because they don’t have enough workers to keep the store open.  Their current hours are 10am – 5pm.  

I am finally getting my computers all hooked back up and running and am starting to sync all of the photos I took and saved on my laptop while I was away to my main desktop system.  Once that is done I can start sharing photos here again and keep everyone updated.  

Drone Update Status

I wanted to let everyone know that it’s taken far longer than anyone had suspected but my new drone has finally shipped.  It should be here on Monday the 13th.  It’ll take me a week or so to learn how to fly it and best utilize it for real estate photos.  And it will take even more time for me to learn exactly what the FAA is looking for when making waiver requests.  Right now I see a need for two waivers:  one for the Tyndall AFB airspace which affects the southern part of Callaway, Parker, and Springfield areas.  And another waiver for operation over populated areas which will affect all of the beach and condo areas on Panama City Beach.  

I’m looking forward to tackling these issues in the coming days so I can be ready to provide the best aerial service to all of you.  Thanks for your patience.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Drone Service Coming Soon!

Because of all the requests and inquiries I’ve been receiving lately about drone aerial photos, I have decided to take the investment plunge and get a drone.  I have studied and passed the drone certification course from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and have found the drone I want to procure.  Unfortunately it is backordered for a couple of weeks so it will be a short while longer before I can get it in my hands and practice with it so I’ll be ready to use it.  I’m looking at setting pricing right now.  What would you be willing to pay for 3-4 drone images to help market your house? 

I Have Returned!

I have returned from my New Mexico trip to visit an old high school buddy.  I had a great time and might even throw a few images here for you to view a little later.  In the mean time, I’m ready for more houses and condos to photograph for you!  Let me know what you have and I’ll get them on the schedule ASAP.  

2924 Syracuse Ave – Another Older House That Needs Some TLC

Here’s another house that’s been fixed up with new paint and somewhat refinished flooring that will make it easier to sell.  However, as you can see in the photos, there’s a lot more remodeling TLC that needs to be applied to bring it up to more modern standards.  

Not All Properties We Photograph Are “Showcase” Homes

Not every house we photograph is one of those you see on the front page of various real estate, vacation, travel, or architectural magazines.  Regardless, we still need to do our best to photograph those houses and present them in the best way possible for the prospective buyers.  They need to see the true condition of the property but they don’t necessarily need to see all of its “warts”.  No matter what we do in the photographing or editing process, we absolutely cannot remove anything unpleasant.  As most of you are aware, that is construed as mis-representing the property which is a big no-no.  We often have to strike a balance between making the property look “too good” versus showing reality in all of its “splendor”.   

310 Alexander Drive is one of those houses that are not magazine ready.  

Extended Absence

This short note is a heads up about a trip I’m planning.  I’ll be loading up my motorcycle and pull behind trailer soon for a trip to visit some friends in New Mexico.  I plan on doing a lot of photography on the way out there and back.  No interstates for me; I want to drive the back roads and visit a lot of the out of the way places on this trip.  I even hope to get some extended driving time on the infamous Route 66 when I can!  Right now I’m considering the last two weeks in April and possibly extending into the first week in May.  Keep that in mind when you’re planning your photographic needs.  Thanks for your understanding!

New Listing – 5420 Nicole Blvd

This is a new listing for one of my favorite agents!  Her father builds houses and this is just the latest one which is ready to be sold.  As you can see it is unfurnished but very clean and modern looking.  If you are interested and need the agent’s contact information, let me know!  Thanks for viewing…

Latest On Hurricane Irma

Irma was downgraded to a Tropical Storm around 7am this morning and we’re now feeling the effects from Irma here in Bay County.  I’ve been seeing reports (I really need to get a descent weather station of my own) of winds steady around 20mph with gusts up to 36mph or so.  Rain started around 6 hours ago (I was sleeping so I’m not really sure when it started) and so far at my rain gage on the east side of Callaway, I’ve received nearly 1″ so far.  All in all, the effects from Irma should be minimal.  One thing I’ve really been enjoying though is the cooler temperature.  It’s 66 degrees outside now and I turned off my A/C yesterday and opened up the windows to let the cool air inside!  It was perfect sleeping weather last night!

Right now they’re forecasting good weather tomorrow so as long as the winds didn’t mess up anyone’s landscaping we can make plans to continue photographing real estate for sale or rent!  The forecast for the rest of the week shows a possible 50% chance of rain Thursday and Friday.  

Hurricane Irma Update

As of this morning, the latest forecast track is bringing Irma up the west coast of Florida beginning as a Cat 5 storm.  It’s track has been drifting farther westward for a few days now.  If it gets out over the Gulf as it tracks northward along the coast, it will remain a very strong storm and might begin to have a serious impact on our area here in the panhandle.  As of now we’re expecting some tropical storm force winds and showers from the outer rain bands.  I suspect we’ll be dealing with this storm through Tuesday at least so you might want to consider this as you make your photography plans.  Please everyone; stay safe out there and please be considerate of all the evacuees from south Florida staying in our area for the next few days.