Home Alone: The ABCs of Securing Your PropertyAugust 28th, 2013 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Home Alone: The ABCs of Securing Your Property
It is officially summertime. This means, for most of us, near-constant lawn mowing, barbeques, family vacations. It is a reason to celebrate—the chance to travel awards us the opportunity for new food, new faces, new places to lay our heads at night! Unfortunately, summertime travel can induce a bit of worry for the safety-concerned traveler.
For investors in rental real estate, the threat of home invasion is worth addressing, either for personal peace of mind or out of concern for potential tenants. Jason Hartman’s recommended strategy of rental property diversification may leave you with a number of properties in areas requiring different levels of security, but rest assured—below are several (easy) ways to prevent break-in.
If you lack your own personal Kevin McCallister (Home Alone) orchestrating elaborate schemes to prevent bozo burglars from enters the premises, consider these three ways to reduce the risk of home invasion while you (or your tenants) are eating ice cream on the beach.
Appearance is Everything
If you are planning some yard renovation anyway, why not include rose bushes? The thorny plants discourage painful break-ins and add the much-needed color you’ve been dreaming about. Put up a fence (even a small one) to act as a barrier, and get rid of obstacles that can act as potential hiding places.
When you are away from home, it is important to give the illusion that it is business as usual in your home. Remember to place a hold on your mail and newspaper to avoid accumulation. Ask a trusted neighbor to remove miscellaneous advertisements from your doorstep, especially if it is winter and there is snow on the ground—this makes it look like you’re still there. Make sure your trashcans are stored inside your garage and not left out for longer than normal.
Most break-ins happen between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm midweek, so consider putting some lights or electronics on timers during the day. Finally, do not leave your porch light on the entire time you are gone—it wastes electricity and signals your absence.
It may seem like a stretch, but home invaders are often planners. Usually, they do not look like criminals, but delivery people, plumbers, vacuum salesmen. If you’ve had any visitors or service people that you are unfamiliar with, watch how they first behave in your home. Even if you trust that they are accurately representing themselves, check your window locks to see if they are secure before you leave home for an extended period of time.
Even though you’re undoubtedly excited for your upcoming vacation, be wary about advertising on social media sites. It is surprisingly easy to locate a person’s address on the internet, and sites like Facebook can be trolled to find potential targets. Brag about your vacation once you’ve returned.
Catch Them in the Act
If you’ve been putting off getting a home security system, now might be the time. For a fairly minimal cost, you’ll know that your home is safe both when you are there and away. And an added bonus? You’ll be sure that your angst-ridden teenager stays grounded.
For the same reasons, you might also consider getting a family dog to scare away intruders and make your home a less likely target. Even if Fido isn’t home when you’re on vacation, evidence of a dog can scare people away. If you aren’t ready to commit to a K-9 friend, get a “Beware of Dog” sign anyway—the fib could save your valuables! (photo credit: (GreyArea via photopin cc)
The Jetsetter Show Team