Photoblogging

Photographing the front of your house

Sometimes a head-on shot of the exterior front of a house isn’t the best way to showcase what the home has to offer.


2 story head on


Sometimes you should take a picture from an angle you’d never normally use.


2 story from side


That’s the same house and the two pictures were taken within about 60 seconds of each other. You’d hardly even know it. While it’s a very unusual angle for a real estate “front” photo, I’d argue that picture number 2 is the better way to showcase this home.


thoughts?

“Amare” for the home team

Professional sports ain’t what they used to be, what with free agency and all..

You want to get behind the home teams, and you want to love the home players, but those players seem to come & go every year.  So I root for the teams, and when I have to buy something player-specific (like a #11 Fitz jersey for a 6-year old at Christmas), I gravitate towards players who are “good guys” and who I think will be in Phoenix for a long time.

Hobby-2010-449a

The guy in front of me yesterday had to be disappointed this summer, since he’s now supporting the New York Knicks’ top player…

Your has never gotten all the way behind free agency Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 97 – Summer Shade


The Fry’s grocery store at Tatum and Shea installed shade covers in their parking lot last week – a great solution to the Parking Lot Shade Tree question I posed last summer.  It still leaves me with 3 unanswered questions:
  1. Is this a competitive advantage?  In other words, would you drive a little further to shop at a store with covered parking?  (at least until the next store down the street offers the same thing!)
  2. If more stores did this, would you be willing to put a quarter in a meter in exchange for having more covered parking around town?  (I would.)
  3. Why aren’t these shades covered with solar panels, and then why aren’t there more solar-panel-covered-parking structures scattered across town?!
You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.
Your likes the shade but is disappointed by not adding solar Realtor,
Chris Butterworth

All about the Phoenix monsoon

This is a reprint of a post from summer 2009.

When I was a kid and we moved here in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the knee-jerk reaction answer to "When's the monsoon?" was “August”.

With the heat island effect, it seems like the monsoon arrives earlier and lasts longer each year. In 2008, the National Weather Service announced they would date the monsoon season in Arizona from June 15 to September 30 each year. In prior years, the weather services had dated the beginning and ending of the monsoon season based on meteorological readings of the barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, etc.

According to Wikipedia:
The North American Monsoon (NAM) occurs from late June or early July into September, originating over Mexico and spreading into the southwest United States by mid-July. It affects Mexico along the Sierra Madre Occidental as well as Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah,Colorado, West Texas, and California.

Monsoon With a Dust Storm Chaser

Monsoon with a dust storm chaser originally posted on Kathy Anderson’s AZ Active Retirement Living blog
Monsoon Clouds Over Phoenix Skyline

monsoon over downtown Phx image courtesy of The Downtown Phoenix Journal
Monsoon near Quartzite Arizona, 1976

AZ monsoon near quartzite, AZ 1976 CDouglas Stockdale on DouglasStockdale DOT com photo courtesy of, and copyright by Douglas Stockdale
Video of Monsoon Storms

Here’s a really exciting video about Phoenix monsoons created by the local CBS news affiliate, channel 10 (hat tip to Kathy Anderson for linking me to it). The video clip is undated but it appears to be a retrospective of the 2008 monsoon season, which was one of the Valley’s 10 worst.

In the video, CBS reporters talk to a hi-rise condo owner in downtown Phoenix who shot video of the August 28 (2008?) storm as it swept across town, blew out the windows in his condo, and then proceeded to dump cherry-sized hailstones into his living room!

At about the 6:28 minute mark of the video, there’s a mind-boggling shot of a huge dust storm surging across the Valley. It reminded me instantly of the videos of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
Just the Facts, Ma’am

Are you the type who likes detailed statistical information instead of shocking videos? Here’s the National Weather Service explaining the meteorological in’s and out’s of monsoons. Local news AzFamily Channel 3 has some more great statistics on wind speeds and dollars’ worth of damages during monsoon season.
Related Posts and Information on Other Sites

the heat sneaks up on you

This morning was beautiful – absolutely beautiful.  I took advantage of the nice weather & grabbed a seat on the patio at Paradise Bakery this morning.  Did I mention it was 5:45 am?  That might have something to do with the almost cool temperature..

Hobby-2008-111a

By 7:00 I noticed it was getting a little warm, but I was on the phone & wanted to finish what I was working on before I moved indoors.  Well, the phone call led to an email, which led to opening my internet browser, which led to my feedreader, etc. etc.  Next thing I know it was 8:00 and the desert sun was doing a number on me..  I suddenly realized I felt like it was 3:00 in the afternoon & I had been out showing houses all afternoon!

Thankfully there was an air conditioned table waiting for me inside.

New to the Valley of the Sun?  Be careful – the heat can sneak up on you quickly.

Your recovering nicely Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Got Lead Based Paint?

IMG00015-20100722-1112


We stumbled across this beauty the other day – it’s a bank-owned REO listing, built in the early 1970s, and it doesn’t look like the prior owners had updated anything since the first few years they were there!


But here’s the catch:  most buyers (almost all buyers) in this price range are going to either pay cash (investors) or use an FHA mortgage (low income &/or first-time buyers).


This house is priced way too high to interest an investor, yet the peeling paint and other deferred maintenance items are going to stop any FHA loan from getting approved.


And so it sits there…


Your feels bad for the neighbors Realtor,


Chris Butterworth


Did You Know? Federal law regarding lead based paint has changed. As of April 2010, the laws about working on older homes that might have lead based paint have gotten much more restrictive. See this article for a rundown of the law changes and how it affects you.

Moving Stills 96 – Remodeling at Arizona Biltmore

AZ Biltmore under construction

I drove through the Biltmore parking lot this week and had to do a double-take (and then a triple-take!)  You don’t usually see Piestawa Peak nestled between Sam’s Cafe and Steamers!
You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.
Your wondering what it’ll look like when they’re finished Realtor,
Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 95 – Quitter’s Hill

Quitter's Hill
Wide lanes, smooth asphalt, sparse traffic, and a 105-foot vertical gain make this four-tenths of a mile stretch of Tierra Del Rio Blvd a great place to train.  Located about a mile north of the intersection of 107th Ave and Happy Valley Rd, I biked and ran this hill about 100 times this spring while training for my triathlon – it helped me both physically and mentally, since I usually wanted to give up and get off my bike the 3rd or 4th time up it & had to mentally challenge myself not to quit.  (hence my name Quitter’s Hill.)

You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.

Your dreading and looking forward to riding Quitter’s Hill again this fall Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 94 – Flagstaff Wild Fire

Flagstaff Wildfire
Yesterday my family was driving across Northeastern Arizona towards Flagstaff.  We could see this plume of smoke from 75 miles east on I-40, and stopped at Little America for a chance to stretch our legs and take a couple pictures (and smell the charred forest…)

You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.

Your bummed thinking think about how one idiot could cause such devastation Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 93 – Reflection in SCF Tower

MovingStills93
A great reflection off the SCF Tower at 2nd Street & Earll Dr.

You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.

You can see a map of all my Moving Stills photos here.

Your managed to stay out of the reflection’s picture Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Peoria’s new Beardsley Connector offramp

There’s a lot of construction in Phoenix. I guess this is probably true in most cities – maybe it’s just a fact of life, that they’re always building things, and then breaking them down to make them bigger.

Sometimes the construction is because the city is growing; other times it’s because they’re trying to make something better. The new Beardsley Connector offramp is one of these. No one can/will tell me why this wasn’t built as part of this section of Loop 101 when the freeway opened in the late 1990s, but at least now the City of Peoria is spending tens of millions of dollars to fix what seems like an oversight.

Most people in the NW Valley are excited about the new Beardsley Connector, as they’ll no longer have to drive 2 extra miles each time they enter and exit Loop 101. But it’s bitter sweet to the people whose neighborhood used to back to a large desert wash and will soon back to a large offramp and thoroughfare instead.

Here’s what the desert wash used to look like:



In October the city posted a notice of what was coming:



Next they started clearing & grading the paths (which my kids thought was cool.)



Yesterday I stopped to watch the construction work and was amazed by how much activity is happening at once – it was like a swarm of ants (humongous ants, mind you) working together through what seems like chaos. Pretty impressive, actually.

Here’s what’s going on now:













Ah, progress.

Your bitter sweet Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

.

Moving Stills 92 – Echo Coffee

Moving Stills 92 - Echo Coffee

Echo Coffee – a brand new coffee house on the corner of 68th Street & Thomas Road.  I’ll post a full review soon, but here’s the short version:  This is a GREAT cafe in a location that badly needed one!

Here is a map of all the Moving Stills’ locations.

You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.

Your loves good cafes and free wi-fi Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Where was that Moving Stills picture taken?

Some of my Moving Stills pictures are obvious to anyone living in the Phoenix area, while others are a little less conspicuous.  To make them easier to find, I mapped each of the pictures onto a Google Map (below).  For future Moving Stills posts I think I’ll include this map, but I’ll have it zoomed in to where the picture was taken.

Here’s a link to all the Moving Stills posts.

Thoughts, Questions, Suggestions?  I’d love to hear them!


View Moving Stills in a larger map

Your one hand on the steering wheel the other on his camera Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 91 – Alvarado Historic District

Moving Stills 91 - Alvarado Historic District

This house is just too picture perfect.  And a quick drive through the Alvarado Historic District will show you an entire neighborhood of picture perfect homes!  Here is a map of all the historic districts.

You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.

Your still loves the historic districts Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 90 – Super Pawn

Moving Stills 90 - Super Pawn

Sometimes I’m driving down the street and a building catches my eye; Super Pawn certainly did, so I guess the brightly colored facade was a good idea..
You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.
Your not ready to start pawning his stuff quite yet Realtor,
Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 89 – St Francis Cemetery

Moving Stills 89 - St Francis Cemetery

A tranquil location in the shadow of Camelback Mountain.  Well, maybe it would have to be a really long shadow…
You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.
Your doesn’t know where the superstition comes from or what it means, but still holds his breath when he drives by a cemetery Realtor,
Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 87 – Central United Methodist Church

Moving Stills 87 - Central United Methodist Church

In midtown, on Central Ave just south of Thomas Rd, under a sunny blue sky as winter gives way to spring.
You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.
Your should probably live downtown since he’s there so often Realtor,
Chris Butterworth

Moving Stills 86 – 7233 E Butherus

Moving Stills 86 - 7233 E Butherus

The Kierland area in Scottsdale is one of my favorite places to photograph (outside of downtown & midtown Phoenix), due to the number of buildings of varying heights & styles.  I liked watching the clouds move in the reflection of the Nautilus Insurance building at Scottsdale & Butherus.
You can read the rules for a Moving Stills post and learn how the series came to be by reading my initial post in the series - Moving Stills 1.
Your stopping to photograph the proverbial roses Realtor,
Chris Butterworth