The vast majority of Americans (about 70%) will go on at least one vacation this year – leaving their homes vulnerable to thieves for days at a time. There are lots of ways to secure your property against burglars, but the best ideas are usually centered on facts. Following are the latest home-burglary statistics complied by the FBI and the insurance industry, as well as specific suggestions to prevent your home from becoming the next vacation victim.
VACATION TIME IS ALSO PRIME BURGLARY TIME
July and August are the most popular months for Americans to vacation. But for thieves, it’s a time to get to work burglarizing homes. According to the FBI, residential burglaries spike 10% during those two months, marking that 62-day period as the most active of all for home break-ins. To play it safe, carefully consider who you tell about your vacation plans. And wait until you’re safely home to post accounts of the trip on social media.
MOST THIEVES ARE NON-PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNISTS
The idea that professional thieves are monitoring your home, waiting for you to go on vacation, is seldom true. In reality, the typical burglar tends to act quickly when a good opportunity presents itself. To keep thieves at bay, make it always appear that someone is inside:
- Don’t let the mail, packages or newspapers pile up on the porch
- Use timers to make the interior lights turn on and off
- Arrange for someone to cut the grass if you’ll be gone for longer than a week during the growing season
- Ask a neighbor to care for your garbage and recycling containers when you’re traveling
MOST BURGLARIES HAPPEN DURING THE DAY
The majority of burglaries happen between 9am and 3pm, when you and most of your neighbors are at work. Installing an alarm system is one very good way to protect your home during the day. But another, often overlooked, option is to ask the retirees in your neighborhood to keep an eye on the place.
UNLOCKED DOORS & WINDOWS ARE A BIG PROBLEM
Many people think they won’t be burglarized, so they don’t make an extra effort to keep all the doors and windows locked. The result: nearly 30% of all “unlawful entries” are made through an unlocked door or window. The solution is simple: lock everything (including the garage door and any upper-floor windows) every time you leave.
ALARM SYSTEMS SCARE BURGLARS
Homes without an alarm system are two to three times more likely to be burglarized. Fortunately, there are many types of systems available today, with a wide variety of affordable price tags.
PROTECT YOUR PIECE OF MIND
It’s tough to transition into a vacation state of mind if you’re worrying about your home’s security. Take time now to implement the ideas above, and you’ll be able to leave those concerns behind on your next vacation getaway.
Source: Windermere Real Estate Home Update May 2017
Recently a pre-school child showed me her collection of savings—pennies, nickels, and the odd quarter stashed away in an old Mason fruit jar. It didn’t add up to much, considering how little a dollar can buy you these days. But she was so excited, because she was going to buy herself a Strawberry Shortcake doll when she had enough money saved.
How basic. And what a great lesson for the rest of us.
Basic is how I see real estate investment. You buy a home or investment property and consistently make payments on it. Then one day you realize the benefits of investment—monthly payments that don’t inflate with demand, building equity or increased cash flow.
Many people I talk to are disappointed that a home they paid $250,000 for in 2006 is now worth $200,000. Most of those people only put between $20,000 and $50,000 down, and have no plans to move anytime soon. They haven’t lost $50,000—they are just in a down part of the market. And in Walla Walla, all indications point to a recovery to those 2006 prices in the next three to five years.
So why invest in real estate now? Because housing affordability has not been this good since 1971 (HUD). Because 50-year low interest rates will not last forever. Because from January 2000 to March 2012 the DOW Jones return on investment was 18.4 while real estate was 36.7 (MSNMoney.com, Case Shiller). Because lending programs are available that make it possible for you to benefit.
So, here’s your action plan. Call a Realtor, talk to a lender, learn about your market and carefully evaluate whether home ownership or investment real estate can benefit you. Every week I meet people who are finding their opportunities in this market and experiencing all the benefits—and that’s just icing on the strawberry shortcake. free slots no registration no download