Spring Trip to the Mountains

Here is to mountain air we breathe ~


I just returned from a much needed weeklong trip to the North Carolina Mountains.  Although the heat and humidity aren’t yet in full bloom here in Charleston the cooler mountain air was nice to get out and enjoy.    The trip was not my typical selfish photography trip where I venture off on my own to shoot but more of a family comes along trip (which is fine) where I am kind of at the mercy of others.  Nonetheless, we did some exploration and hiking and I even was able to photograph a waterfall on the Cat Gap Loop Trail I never have before.  While I didn’t get the breathtaking sunset photo I hope for with each trip I did manage to capture a variety of images.  Enjoy!

Posted in Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunrise from the Isle of Palms

Well, it’s been a while since my last post and I have been thinking lately that I really need to get back to keeping this/my site active.  I figure why not start with a beautiful sunrise from the Isle of Palms a couple of mornings ago.   I love in this image how the seafoam leads the eye all the way to the pier.   Anyway, thanks for viewing and look for more to come soon



This image is available for print at Donnie Whitaker Photography

Posted in Charleston Photographs, Isle of Palms, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best DIY Projects for a High ROI For Resale

Guest post by DIY Dad, Eugene Williams.

Household Appliances in modern kitchenPhoto via Pexels

As the housing market fluctuates, so too does your risk when you purchase and rehabilitate a home as an investment. If you have bought a home to resell, you need to get the best return on investment (ROI) for each of your rehab tasks. Knowing exactly which DIY projects are the best for ROI and avoiding those that are the worst is the best place to start.

1. Focus on What Sells

When you purchase a home as an investment, you easily list dozens of projects to tackle. Unfortunately, many who do this take on too much and then get a negative return on investment because they don’t focus on meeting market demands and matching budgets to the needs of the market instead of exceeding it.

Experts suggest focusing on what sells, potential homebuyers look for updated kitchens, bathrooms, and curb appeal. Focus on these areas when prioritizing DIY projects and your budget. Compare your potential projects to others in the neighborhood and match them. Avoid excessive spending on basements and landscaping or swimming pools. These projects are expensive and do not proportionally increase your after repair value (ARV).

2. Kitchen Rehab DIY Ideas for High ROI

In many booming housing markets, kitchen remodels yield top ROI. Some of the best kitchen DIY projects that protect your investment include replacing appliances with commercial-look stainless steel appliances, installing natural wood or stone floors, and installing stone countertops. Of course, you should leave the complex projects like replacing countertops to the professionals if you are not a contractor, because this project involves a great deal of precise measurement and specialized tools.

With some patience, you can install a wood or ceramic tile floor in the kitchen and get a high ROI for completing the job on your own. Keep in mind you may need to remove the existing floor and prepare the subfloor for the new flooring. First, be sure to test for asbestos if you have purchased an older home.

For tile, you’ll need thinset to cover the floor for backer boards and mortar for between the tiles. If you need easier, more budget-friendly kitchen DIY projects, consider resurfacing cabinets or updating finishes.

3. Bathroom DIY Projects for High ROI

Potential homebuyers expect to see updated bathrooms. There are several DIY opportunities in bathrooms, including replacing the vanity, lighting, and toilet. These simple, inexpensive projects significantly alter the look and feel of the bathroom.

In most cases, bathroom vanities are cabinets housing a sink or two. This makes it fairly simple to replace them without needing a professional; just be sure to turn off the water before you unhook pipes. If you don’t want to deal with plumbing or work around flooring that was cut to fit the old vanity, you can update the existing vanity with hardware and a fresh coat of paint.

Lighting is another simple and inexpensive way to update a bathroom. If you want to replace an existing light fixture, do it yourself by checking the sizing and disconnecting the power at your breaker box. Test the wires to make sure no electricity is flowing through them and remove the old light fixture and mounting hardware. Then, follow the instructions for installing the new light fixture. If you want to add new lighting, contact a professional electrician to handle new recessed lighting, wall sconces, or decorative ceiling fixtures.

4. Curb Appeal DIY Projects for High ROI

Curb appeal is essential to attracting potential home buyers to your property. Some of the easiest DIY projects to improve curb appeal include painting the front door a color that will make it pop and replacing entryway hardware like your house number, entry door lockset, mailbox, and light fixture. Don’t mix metals and make sure the finish you choose compliments the style of your home. For example, choose aged bronze for traditional homes and brushed nickel for contemporary houses.

To protect your investment and get the highest ROI, focus on what sells. Start with kitchen and bathroom updates and decide which projects are DIY and which require professional help. You also can improve curb appeal with some quick DIY projects that make a big impact on potential buyers.


Posted in Charleston Real Estate, foreclosures, home ownership, Real Estate, short sales, Tips for Buyers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Whatever it Takes…….

DJI_0129-EditA few mornings ago I forced myself out off the bed, rubbed the cobwebs from my eyes and poured a much-needed cup of coffee.  I grabbed my bag (with my drone) and headed out the door for one of my favorite local spots to catch the sunrise,  Shem Creek Park.   My plan was to fly my drone to about 350 feet, fly back as far as I could for a wide angle capture, and then go home with an award winning image to edit ( I joke).  As I was getting in the position I noticed a shrimp boat named the Sea Horse pulling out of the dock and immediately got in position to snap a few picks before it was out of my site and while the composition was right.  I got what I got (image below) and then flew higher up to get the shot I set out for.  It turned out after getting home that by far the best capture was the one I shot at a lower elevation of the shrimp boat heading out to sea.


Later on that day I posted the image on Facebook where it has received 32 shares and I have had numerous people ask about purchasing a print, etc.   Which leads me to my headline.  As some of you might know, in August of 2016 the FAA ruled that in order to be compensated for drone work whether it be for real estate photography or just selling an image, you have to pass the FAA 107 test.  I have BEEN trying to so hard to find the motivation to study and think  I have finally found it.   After all, studying is no fun, but turning down money is not easy.  Hopefully, I’ll have it soon, but until then, I’ll play by the rules 🙂  Wish me luck!

*visit my photography site at Donnie Whitaker Photography for more images and print options from the Charleston Coast.

Posted in Mt. Pleasant, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something about Shrimp Boats

There is something about photographing shrimp boats that never gets old to me.  While boats continue to modernize, they seem to maintain the traditional look they have had since the beginning.   This image was captured on a glassy day on Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant, SC. just at dusk.  Still, water always makes for a great reflection and the color has a feel of an Indian Summer which makes this image different than others I have captured over the years.


*Visit my photography site for available print options and other beautiful photos of the Charleston Coast.

Posted in Mt. Pleasant, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment