by David Reddy
2023 President, Lorain County Association of REALTORS®
It’s that time of year … vacation time! Don’t come home to a nightmare and the feeling of being invaded. Here’s how to stop a house burglary from ever happening.
You come home to an open door, a ransacked house and missing valuables. How did a burglar know you’d be gone? How did they get in?
Here are nine tips from a burglar's perspective about how to keep them out. And try these home security tips, too.
#1 Put Ladders Away:
Call me a social climber if you will, but I love ladders. Makes it so easy to reach a second-story window. I really love it when upper story openings aren’t wired to a home security system.
#2 Don’t Make Your Trash So Visible:
Can’t tell you how much fun I have driving around neighborhoods on trash day (especially after big gift holidays) when the empty boxes on the curb reveal what wonderful new toys you have. That made it possible for me to land a new laptop and a flat-screen television in one easy trip to your home!
Next time, break down the boxes and conceal them in the recycling or trash bins.
#3 Keep Shrubs Trimmed:
Oh, how I love overgrown shrubs and trees. A wonderful place to hide while I break in and grab all your cool stuff.
Trim back bushes and trees near windows and doors. Make sure entry points to your home are easily visible from the street. I much prefer to work in private. While you’re at it, install motion-sensor lighting.
#4 Be Sure Your Exterior Doors are Steel:
A plain wood-panel door is an invitation. I have no trouble kicking it in.
You may want to install steel-wrapped exterior doors with deadbolts on all your entries. And be sure your windows are locked when you’re away.
#5 Watch Where You Hang Mirrors:
You’d be surprised how many homeowners position a mirror in their entry hall so I can see from a window if the alarm system is armed.
#6 Have Someone Attend to Your Home While You’re Away:
Wow, isn’t it amazing how fast the grass grows? An uncut lawn, newspapers piling up on the front steps and shades always closed scream, "I'm empty. Come inside!"
One more thing: Lock any car you leave in the driveway, or I can use your garage door opener to get in quickly.
#7 Don’t Put Valuables in an Easy-Carry Case:
I can carry that right out your back door.
You may want to invest in a wall safe, which I rarely attempt to open. Or, rent a lock box at your bank.
#8 Be Wary of Posting on Social Sites When on Vacation:
It's quite likely that I'm a friend of a friend of yours. And through them, I may discover you're away for the week in Cancun, having the time of your life. And I'll have the time of my life ransacking your place.
If only you had known that posting comments and photos of your trip on social networks is fine -- as long as you do that after you return, so you won't broadcast your absence.
#9 Inviting People to Your Home to See Stuff You're Selling:
You're downsizing. Great! Selling a bunch of stuff like TVs, computers, jewelry. I just have to call you and when you invite me to your home, I just grab the items and run.
It's called “robbery by appointment.” If you want to sell high-ticket items to strangers, I suggest you arrange to meet at the parking lot of your local police station. I definitely won’t show up and you’ll still have your valuables.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, contact a REALTOR® today. Members of the Lorain County Association of REALTORS® care about the community in which they live, work and support. Lorain County offers a wide variety of housing choices.
Do your research and take advantage of the many housing opportunities right here in Lorain County. We are fortunate to live in a region with such vast offerings. From big to small, country to city... it's available in Lorain County! Our proximity to highway and freeway access provides great commute options both east and west! Contact your LoCAR REALTOR® member today.
The Lorain County Association of REALTORS® is an industry trade association representing licensed real estate sales agents in Lorain County who are members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and the Ohio Association of REALTORS® (OAR). As members of NAR these licensed real estate agents have earned the REALTOR® designation and they pledge to protect the rights of homeownership and conduct their real estate business abiding by the NAR Code of Ethics.
The Lorain County Association of REALTORS® is one of more than 1,200 local boards and associations of REALTORS® nationwide that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®. The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than one million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate sales agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR along with their State and Local Association.