What Makes Your House Vulnerable to a Break-in – see this article to get empowered

I came across this article and thought it was very timely as I was looking at my home security.  I thought you might also be interested in it.  I plan to make some changes based on this information.

A survey on a large group of convicts as to their preferences of homes to target.thief

  1. How did you typically break into a home or apartment?

Most inmates broke in through an unlocked door or window.  Several burglars kicked the door open.

“I would kick in the door rather than break glass. Loud bangs are better than loud glass breaking, plus you run the risk of getting cut,” said one inmate.

  1. Once inside, what was the first thing you looked to steal?

Jewelry, electronics, cash and credit cards are all attractive to burglars. Inmates also added collectibles and guns.

“NRA sticker on car bumper = Lots of guns to steal,” wrote one burglar.

  1. Where did you look for hidden valuables?

Most burglars started by searching the master bedroom for valuables, then moved through the rest of the house.

“Everywhere!  From the stove and freezer, to the fish tank and toilet tank, book shelves and in boxes of cereal,” said an inmate.

  1. What time of the day did you prefer to break in?

Burglars prefer breaking in early morning or afternoon.

“Between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Anyone that was home for lunch should be gone by then and most kids should all still be in school,” wrote a convicted burglar.

  1. Did home protection or security signs posted outside the home deter you?

Burglars had mixed opinions about home security signs. Some burglars said it didn’t faze them. Others said they knew how to disable alarms or avoid setting them off.

  1. Did pets in the home, like a dog, make you think twice?

If a homeowner had a big, loud dog most burglars would stay away.  Smaller dogs don’t seem to bother them.

“Dogs are a deal breaker for me,” said one inmate. “Big breeds, home protectors are the best to keep people out.”

  1. Did you typically knock on the front door before breaking into a home?

Yes. All of the inmates who responded said they would knock on the front door before breaking in.

  1. If someone answered the door, what would you do or say?

“Act like I was lost or looking for a friend.”

“I would approach the resident as though they had posted an ad on Craigslist.”

“Say wrong house, sorry and thank you.”

“Ask if they’d seen my dog and leave.”

“Sometimes I would wear nice clothing and print a questionnaire off the Internet and carry a clipboard and see if they could spare a moment for an anonymous survey.”

  1. If a home alarm system went off, what would you do?

Most intruders said they would leave immediately if a security alarm went off.

“I would try and turn it off or get the hell out of there,” said one burglar.

  1. If there was a security camera visible, would it keep you from breaking in?

Generally, burglars agreed security cameras were a deterrent. But some said it also likely signaled there were valuables inside the home.

  1. Did lights on in the home make you think twice?

Responses were mixed regarding lights on in a home. Some said it was a deterrent. But one burglar said the combination of lights on and blinds closed created an attractive location.

“Would drive through upper class neighborhoods looking for many things, like porch light on with all window blinds closed,” wrote one inmate.

  1. If you heard a radio or TV on inside the home, would you still break in?

Most burglars feared someone might be home if they heard a radio or TV. They wouldn’t break in.

“Absolutely not,” wrote a burglar.

  1. Would it make a difference if there was a vehicle in the driveway?

As a homeowner, this is one of the best precautions you can take.  Almost all of the burglars said they’d think twice if there was a car in the driveway.

“Most of the time that is a sure-fire sign of someone being home,” wrote an inmate.

  1. What was your ideal target for a burglary?

Burglars don’t want to be seen. They looked for homes with big fences and overgrown trees or bushes.

“Home away from other homes, blind spots, older window frames, cheap wooden doors,” wrote a burglar.

“Large trees, bushes or shrubs around the home, or very reserved and conservative neighbors,” wrote another inmate.

“Nice home with nice car = A person with money,” another said.

  1. Did you ever do surveillance on your target?

The responses were mixed. Some burglars did surveillance before a burglary, while others did not.

  1. If you did surveillance, what were you trying to figure out?

Of those burglars who did surveillance, most agreed they were looking for the best opportunity to break-in.

“Who lives in the home, what are their weekday schedules (weekends are too unpredictable), what they drive, is there a dog, a hidden key,” wrote one inmate.

“What time the house would be empty and for how long,” wrote another.

  1. What is the one thing homeowners can do to avoid being burglarized?

Burglars suggest homeowners make their property visible with good lighting and trimmed bushes and trees.  You should get to know your neighbors and alert police if you see anything suspicious.

“In my opinion, I think homeowners should always leave a TV or radio on,” said one inmate.

“Get a camera and make it visible!” wrote another.

“Put bars on your windows and doors, get an alarm, keep an extra car in the driveway, keep lights, TVs and radios on when you leave your home,” read one questionnaire.

“Home alarm, know your neighbor so they can report suspicious people around the neighborhood,” said a burglar.

Many of those inmates who responded were remorseful. They don’t want homeowners to be victimized.

“Thank you for giving me the chance to help and give back something that will actually help people,” wrote one inmate.

“I’ll never be able to give back the sense of security I destroyed but I can help prevent others from losing theirs,” said another convicted burglar.

Published: Oct. 31, 2016 – http://www.9news.com/news/investigations/we-asked-86-burglars-how-they-broke-into-homes/344385966  – Kudos to this station for doing this survey.

There are also a lot of ways with the use of technology that you can deter a break-in.  One is get a Ring doorbell or similar.  When someone walks within the target zone you set up, the camera will notify you of the activity so you can see the activity in real time and talk with that person.  When someone rings the door bell you can even converse with them while you are halfway around the world or just inside the door.  Amazing technology.

If you are interested in what other technology is out there for security send me an email.

Santa Clara County’s Active Real Estate Inventory is Miniscule

silverlake small frontWe have the lowest active inventory since 2006 when I started tracking local statistics.  The total of active single family homes, townhomes and condos was just 555 on January 2nd!  That is in a County with over 1.9 million people!  No wonder prices have been steadily increasing.   Last year was also low with 20 more than this year.  To give you some perspective – in 2008 there were more than 6000 listings. 

The number of active single family homes was 449 and condos/townhomes were 106. The number of active homes is about 45% lower than last month.

The number of homes and townhomes/condos that went into contract in December was 760. It was made up of 546 single family homes and 214 condos/ townhomes. The pending sales were down about 34% from November, due to the lack of inventory. 

December saw more closings than in November.  November was the first month that felt the effect of the new lending requirements rolled out in October.   The number of closed sales in December was 1133 (816 were single family homes and 317 were condo/ townhomes).  The closed sales were up 13% from last month and up 15% from last year’s figure. Find out more market conditions in specific areas in Santa Clara County.

What does this mean to you? If you are a buyer, you need to be ultra prepared and have a knowledgeable Realtor to guide you. As a seller, you can reap the rewards of this good market. How much your home sells for can be very improved with proper guidance on how to prep and market your home.

I am daily in the trenches with real estate. I have been through 31 years of ups and downs in Real Estate.

Understanding your options both in Real Estate and lending is critical now as guidelines have changed making the real estate market fluid. Want to know your options? Call me!

For more information on this local market, go to my website – Pat@PatChadwell.com 

Pat Chadwell,
Broker, CRS, ePro, SRES, CDPE, CIAS, SFR.
I have 31 years helping clients with their Real Estate needs.

Seniors are moving less

Seniors have been moving less.

Often the biggest source of retirement funds for seniors is the equity in their homes and reduction in equity was significant in the last few years for many.  I find some seniors are waiting to recoup the money they “lost” (which could be a long time depending on the location of the home).

While it is true some seniors are now underwater with their mortgage, most seniors have lived in their home for years.  From the 2011 AARP Housing Profile – 25.4% of seniors own their home free and clear, 46.1% own a home with a mortgage, & 26.9% rent.

Recently some seniors have found themselves with children and grandchildren moving in when they lost their jobs.  This offers some benefit to the senior if the others help with maintenance and care of the home or senior’s needs.

While the economy has been slowing up the moves, there still is resistance to making a big change that has always been present –

  1. Some seniors are in good health and do not feel a need to make a change yet.
  2. Others feel uncomfortable just thinking about making a change after all the years in the home.
  3. Some do not know their options or where to start.

For the 1st group – Well done & Carry on!

For the 2nd & 3rd group – I would recommend enlisting the help of a knowledgeable Realtor, especially one trained to assist Seniors (Senior Real Estate Specialist).  The Realtor can give you an idea of what your home might be worth and offer suggestions for your next home or refer you to someone in the area that you might consider moving to.

Another task is consulting someone trained to help with moves.  For a good guide on moving go to http://www.nasmm.org/education/guide_to_relocating.cfm

For help in organization and your paperwork, I would suggest a local businesswoman who owns Exit Stage Right.  She has been working for years with seniors and their families.  www.exitstageright.com.

Have more questions?  Need some guidance?  Comment here or call.

Pat Chadwell, broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists (San Jose, CA)
Senior Real Estate Specialist
408-927-6565 x 11 (direct)
http://www.patchadwell.com

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If we had double the inventory we could have easily done double the sales

The real estate market in Santa Clara County has been HOT!!   We have a very low inventory of only 1659 homes and condos/townhomes.   Investors, first time buyers and move up buyers and sellers are out in full force. I recently had an open house with 125 attendees in 3 hours and this was on a blustery day. The rapid change really started in the last 2 months.

So here is the Sales Statistics Update Report. Remember we have a population of 1.8 Million people. 

If we had double the inventory we could have easily done double the sales.

For area specific market conditions in San Jose area – check out my updates – http://realtytimes.com/rtmcrmember/patchadwell

Pat Chadwell, broker
28  years experience
Realty World – Residential Specialists
www.patchadwell.com
855.927-6565

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What can a rehabber do?

Fixer Upper in Dorena

The Santa Clara County real estate market has heated up so much in the last 2 months.

There have been many properties especially at the lower price range in San Jose that are getting 30+ offers. The resulting sales price might not work now for the “rehab and sell” investor.

Some of the reasons why?

1) First time buyers are usually willing to pay the most for these properties as they will live in them and fix over time. First time buyers are out in droves now. In this segment of buyers 1st time buyers) there is a backlogged demand for homes. After all they, as a group, have not been “in the market” for the last 4-5 years while they wait for the bottom to hit. Well, the bottom was yesterday.

2) The “rent-to-hold” investor is just going in and lightly improving the place, getting a tenant and not trying to resell – they will pay more for the home and the rental figures are making it a smart investment.

Until not that long ago if you compared 3 homes that were the same in all respects but one was a short sale, one was an REO (bank owned home) and one was a regular sale, there was a decent difference in sales price between the groups.  Now, due to many buyers in the market, the difference is getting less and less.

So that makes it more difficult to get the numbers the rehabber (aka FLIPPER) needs to make a profit.

What can a rehabber do?  If you can pare down on profits and also “hope” that the prices will continue to rise, you might be successful in securing a property. But that is “IFFY” and not necessarily a smart business model.

It is an interest problem.  Do you have a comment?

Pat Chadwell, broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists
www.patchadwell.com
408.927.6565 x 11 (direct)

The real estate market has heated up so much in the last 2 months.

There have been many properties especially at the lower price range that are getting 30+ offers.  The resulting sales price might not work now for the “rehab and sell” investor.

Some of the reasons why?

1) First time buyers are usually willing to pay the most for these properties as they will live in them and fix over time.  First time buyers are out in droves now. In this segment of buyers 1st time buyers) there is a backlogged demand for homes.  After all they, as a group, have not been “in the market” for the last 4-5 years while they wait for the bottom to hit.  Well, the bottom was yesterday.

2) The “rent-to-hold” investor is just going in and lightly improving the place, getting a tenant and not trying to resell – they will pay more for the home and the rental figures are making it a smart investment.

Until not that long ago if you compared 3 homes that were the same in all respects but one was a short sale, one was an REO and one was a regular sale, there was a decent difference in sales price between the groups.  Now, due to many buyers in the market, the difference is getting less and less.

So that makes it more difficult to get the numbers the rehabber (aka FLIPPER) needs to make a profit.

What

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