Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tough Tuna

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty -- Winston Churchill

There are buying and selling opportunities in the Wilmington, NC real estate market. Now. Today. Don't let fear and ignorance (equal opportunity emotions for both buyers and sellers) keep you from benefiting from these opportunities. Easy answers? Shortcuts? There are none. Facts and figures; there are plenty. A knowledgeable and trusted real estate professional can explain these facts. Listen, understand and you will benefit. Don't be the pessimist. Worse, don't be misinformed or under informed.

Recently, listed the Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009. Wilmington, NC made the list. Read the full story HERE.

If you contact me, I may not always tell you what you want to hear, but I'll always tell you the truth and I'll use my 23+ years of experience, my market knowledge and the latest market statistics to show you what you can expect from today's real estate market and how you can take advantage of today's opportunities.

One more quote before I go: Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tuna Time

Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true. - Homer Simpson

As a Wilmington, NC real estate agent, I shoot a lot of photos of the properties I market. Since I do not use flash in my indoor photos, I try to make the most of natural light from windows and doors, and the lighting in the room. This tip will work whether you're just shooting to show the room or if you have a subject (friend or pet) in the room.

In most cases, it's best to have the light source (window or lights) behind you instead of shooting into the light. The first photo here illustrates the problem. With the camera facing the window, the light meter took the reading off the brightest part of the scene (the window). Consequently, the room itself was too dark. To solve that problem in the second shot, I moved the camera slightly to the left and pointed it just to the right of the fireplace. I pressed the shutter button down halfway to set the focus and exposure and, while keeping pressure on the shutter button, moved the camera back to the right to re-compose the scene. Then I pressed the button the rest of the way to take the photo. The result is that the room looks more natural. The down side is that the window appears bright white. However, unless you're going to use a strong flash to balance indoor and outdoor lighting (and most point and shoot cameras don't offer this option) your going to wind up with a properly exposed window with a dark interior or a decent looking interior with the equivalent of a small nuclear blast outside.
So, as a general rule indoors or outside, try to keep the light source behind you and illuminating your subject(s). If that is not possible, use this tip. If your subject is a friend and the light is behind him/her, try aiming the camera at something else about the same distance as your subject. Press the shutter halfway, then (with pressure still on the shutter) move the camera back to your subject and take the shot. As I've said before, with digital cameras, you can check your results right away and take additional shots until you get the one you like.

For additional examples of indoor shots, click on any one of the three photos on the right side of this blog. Questions? Contact me. Scoot into the light.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Scoot Tuna Factoids

Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. - Jerry Garcia

I've been tagged on Facebook, by my wife no less, to provide 25 Things About Me. So, being a two birds with one stone kind of guy, I thought I would post them here and make my Facebook friends read my post. The part I don't cherish is tagging 25 other people to do the same. That has all the appeal of a chain letter. Here's my 25.
  1. I've had five dogs in my life -- Snooper, Dusky (aka Sam), Bulgie, Callie and Maggie
  2. I believe that the toilet paper should roll forward off the top and not come from behind (no pun intended).
  3. Back in the day, there was a military draft. Teaching was an exempt status. Right after college, I taught 6th grade in an attempt to avoid the draft. It didn't work.
  4. In Viet Nam, I was a Vietnamese translator. I was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service.
  5. I died once.
  6. I knew my wife for less than three months before we were married.
  7. I'm a procrastinator. More about that later.
  8. I live my life with an attitude of gratitude.
  9. My favorite meal is turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. I used to order that at MOI.
  10. I studied photography at Maryland Institute of Art.
  11. I once captured a bat armed with a yard stick and wearing nothing more than a laundry basket on my head.
  12. I can wiggle my ears.
  13. I got my first pair of cowboy boots this past Christmas.
  14. We were married in the county court house. In attendance were my wife's parents and younger sister. When the clerk pronounced us married, Nancy's mother said to her, "Now you're Mrs. DAY."
  15. For a while, my hair was shoulder length.
  16. I'd like to be a good photographer.
  17. The movie Rudy chokes me up . . . every time.
  18. My parents offered to buy cigarettes for my brother and me so we would not have to sneak them. Consequently, neither of us ever smoked.
  19. It bothers me that some people in my profession cannot pronounce what they do. We're REALTORS (two syllables, real-tors, not real-a-tors). Doctors know they're not doc-a-tors; plumbers know they're not plum-a-bers. What's the problem?
  20. I never had a chocolate chip cookie I didn't like.
  21. Sometimes when I'm distracted, I put on two wristwatches . . . on the same arm.
  22. Briefs, not boxers.
  23. In high school, I went out for the football team. I was terrible, but did not want to quit. One day at practice, Buddy Tallman ran over me and I sprained my ankle really badly. I was on crutches, went to the games with the team and got lots of sympathy in school. The coach even commented on my commitment. I ate it up. The next year, I went out for band.
  24. In college, I played drums in a band called The Saturday Knights. If I took a date to a job, she had to sit in the back seat of my Volkswagen because the bass drum only fit in the front passenger seat.
  25. My middle name is Morris.

Want to know about the Wilmington NC real estate market? Ask me. Next time, photo tips. I promise.