From Dennis and Jane Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Leaving your home unattended while you're traveling can be stressful. Here are some ways to help keep your home safe from break-ins, along with a few preparation reminders that can prevent other emergencies while you're away.
By the way, if you or anyone you know has a real estate need, please contact us today. We'll always provide first-class service!
Dennis and Jane Guertin
(952) 442-1300 Direct

Protect Your Home During Holiday Travels

Although security systems are becoming more and more efficient and high tech, the ideal scenario is to not have a break-in to begin with. The questions below can help you lower your risk and make your home more secure while you're away.

Does your home look unoccupied?

Thieves are most likely to attempt a break-in when they think no one is at home.

- Put your newspaper subscription on hold, and have your mail held or forwarded. Arrange for a neighbor to pick up any packages that are delivered to your door.

- Tell people you trust that you'll be gone, and ask neighbors to notify police if they see a moving truck or workman's van at your property.

- Program lights and appliances to operate at timed intervals.

- Arrange for landscaping care. Condo owners should make sure that plants left on balconies and patios are not allowed to dry out.

- Consider leaving a car in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park there occasionally.

Does your home look like a low risk?

The most likely entry points are through side, back and garage doors that are shielded from view.

- Reduce potential cover by trimming vegetation that obscures doors and windows.

- Consider installing exterior motion sensor lights at potential entry points.

- Install warning signs that say you have a home security system or a watchdog.

Tip: References to a specific breed of dog (i.e., "Rottweiler on Duty") are apparently more effective than generic "Beware of Dog" signs.

Is your home a "soft target"?

Here are what experts say are some of the most common home security flaws:

1. Poorly secured strike plates on exterior doors.

The strike plate is the metal plate installed in the door jamb that receives the bolt of the door. Regardless of how solid your door is, it is only as secure as the strike plate, which can easily be kicked open if it is only secured to the door jamb. (This is not uncommon.)

--> Quick fix: Make sure the strike plate is secured to the underlying door frame stud with four 3-inch screws.

2. Flimsy latches on sliding doors and windows.

--> Quick fix: Install security bars in the runners to prevent them from being forced open. A highly-rated option for under $20 on Amazon is the Cocoweb PortBlock Dual-Function security bar.

3. Garage doors that can be forced open.

--> Quick fix: Before leaving, run a padlock through the garage door runners to prevent anyone from forcing the door up.

4. Valuables inside cars at the home.

--> Quick fix: Lock all cars at your home (even inside the garage), and remove any sensitive documents, keys, and garage door openers.

Are your belongings "easy money"?

- Don't leave valuable items in places that can be easily seen from the outside.

- Mark your valuables with an engraving pen or invisible ink so that they are harder to sell and easier to retrieve if found. Police typically suggest that you mark items with your driver's license number, followed by the abbreviation for the state the license was issued in.

- Document your belongings with photos or video in case you need to make a claim to your insurance company.

Tip: Thieves know where homeowners typically hide valuables, such as in bedroom nightstands and master closets. If you are hiding items try to think of unlikely places.

A Pre-Travel Reminder Checklist

  • Remove garage door openers from any vehicles left outside.
  • Turn water off to the washer and dishwasher.
  • Empty the refrigerator of perishables.
  • Take the trash out, and arrange for someone to put trash and recycle bins away after the collection day.
  • Program lights and appliances such as the TV or stereo to turn on and off at specific times.
  • Unplug appliances such as coffee makers and toasters.
  • Set the thermostat at a reasonable "away" temperature.
  • Pull window shades to desired positions.
  • Water plants.
  • Check to make sure that the stove and all taps are turned off.
  • Lock doors and windows, including the door from the garage to the living areas.

Don't forget these items that are frequently left behind:
  • Cell phone chargers.
  • Medical prescriptions.
  • Cameras and battery chargers.
  • Earplugs.
  • Computer thumb drives or external hard drives.
  • Laptop electrical cords.
  • Sunglasses and prescription glasses.

Recent Market Highlights

- U.S. home prices rose 4.7 percent year-to-year in August, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. They rose 6.9 percent year-to-year in September, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has remained close to 4 percent.

The September Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.0 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Contact Us for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call us at 952-442-1300.
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The Lighter Side

Border collies take note: The 'one to beat' at the next agility competition might just be a chicken! OK, that's a stretch, but this short clip of a girl training her chicken on an agility course is very cute. (Especially the impressive style displayed on the very last move.)

Click here or on the image to watch the video.

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Please give us a call today at (952) 442-1300 if we can be of assistance!
Have a great day,

Dennis and Jane Guertin
Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, CRS, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI
Guertin Family Realty

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