How to Protect Your Home From Burglars

How can you protect your home from burglars? I have six tips to help you today.

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There is a burglary about every 20 seconds in the United States. Today, I have a few tips to help you prevent your home from becoming a target.

There are six main things that burglars don’t want you to know:

1. Burglaries don’t always happen at night. That’s what we see in the movies, but the majority of burglaries happen between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. The last thing the criminal wants to do is run into you. Protecting yourself in the middle of the day is most important.

2. They know when you’re not home thanks to social media. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, don’t post exactly where you are if you are out of the house or on vacation. They recently caught a burglar who hit 33 different homes. He simply watched his targets on social media and looked at the location when they posted a picture to determine whether the family was home or not. Be careful when posting photos, and don’t make a status update about your week-long vacation.

3. They don’t like your security practices. If there is an easily identifiable alarm system for your home, then your home is 300% less likely to be targeted. Floodlights, leaving a car in the driveway, leaving a TV on, and turning on the lights inside all help deter burglars.

4. Great targets advertise their weapon supply. Is there a bumper sticker on your car that says you own a weapon? There are a lot of burglars out there who are incentivized to steal weapons because they can sell them for a lot of money. Advertising your weapons can actually make you more of a target rather than deterring burglaries.

5. Shrubs and architecture make great hiding spots. If you have big shrubs in front of your house that someone can hide behind to get into your house, that’s not good. The more open your landscaping is, the less likely it is for someone to try to break into your home because a neighbor might spot them from the street. If you do want to plant something in front of your window, make sure that it’s something thorny that they won’t want to jump through to get to your home.

6. Don’t leave your valuables out in the open. A lot of the time, these criminals look through the windows to see if there are any laptops or stuff that’s easily accessible for them to go after. Put your valuables away. I also recommend hiding family calendars because those can advertise where you are going to be.
Don’t advertise your location on social media.
I hope you found these tips helpful. I have something else to offer you today—one of my mentors and coaches, Steve Scanlon, just published his second book, “Still the Lizard.” It is an amazing read that explains what the lizard brain is and how it works.

If you want a free copy, be the first one to email me with the four traits of the lizard brain. (Hint: The answer can be found at

As always, if you have any other real estate questions for me, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

A Few Money Saving Tips for Homeowners

Saving money is easy as a homeowner. Here are seven tips that will help you save instantly.

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Today I’d like to give you a few tips for saving money around the house. These tips might seem silly or simple at first, but they can save you a lot of money over time and they’re often overlooked by sellers:

1. Make the switch to energy-efficient lighting. A standard incandescent lightbulb costs around $180 in electricity to operate each month. If you’re using a CFL or LED light, however, that’s only going to cost you $30 or $40. That’s $100+ in savings each month, and if you add up the totals for the life of the bulbs, the sum is enormous.

2. Fix leaky faucets right away. Even if a leaky faucet only drips one drop per second, that adds up to over 3,000 gallons in a year. By fixing those leaky faucets immediately, you can save a lot on your water bill.

3. Change your air filter regularly. When you let your filter get clogged up, it works overtime to compensate. That leaves you with dirtier air and a higher utility bill. Make sure your filter is changed every few months.

4. Custom temperatures. Whether it’s with a smart thermostat or an old-school programmable one, being able to set custom temperatures in your home for when you’re not there will save you thousands over the years.

5. Overwatering your yard. This will not only keep your water bills sky-high, but it could also cause damage to your lawn as well.

6. Pay attention to the water heater temperature. During warmer months, you can drop the temperature in your heater down a little bit to save you a bit more without affecting anything else.

7. Poorly sealed windows. If a window or door is letting in a draft, make sure you get it sealed with some caulk or weatherstripping to keep things insulated and keep your energy costs down.

These are just a few great ways to save money over time as a homeowner. If you have any questions for me or want any more tips, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

What Should You Do If Your Property Taxes Are Too High?

Tax season is officially here, and I want to go over a few important things you should know about property taxes.

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Tax season is here, so I want to discuss a few things about property taxes and what to do when you have some questions on those. 

If you plan on buying anything or getting a loan in the next couple of years, how you file today or in the next few months will have a huge impact on what you qualify for on future loans. 

People write off a lot of items. Whether you are a business owner or you have the ability to write income down or defer things, make sure you give us a call if you are thinking about buying an investment property or primary residence. We have to make sure that you have enough income on there to qualify for whatever home you are looking to purchase. 

There are a few other things you should know with regard to property taxes. 

July 1 is the beginning of the tax year for property taxes. October 1 is when tax bills are mailed. The first installment is due November 1. December 10 is the final due date you have to make if you don’t want to pay any penalties. 
If your property tax bill is too high, we can help you challenge it.
Then, the second installment is due February 1. April 10 is the last day for you to pay the second installment without penalties. 

Then, June 30 is the end of the tax year, and everything starts back over on July 1.  

If you get a property tax bill and you believe that it’s too high, let us know. We can help you challenge that.

If your property tax bill is too low, then keep that to yourself! 

If you believe that your bank is supposed to pay your property taxes because you pay impounds, and that number seems to be off or there’s not enough in the escrow account to cover it, keep an eye on that stuff. This is especially important in the first few years of homeownership because the bank can go way off and end up having to assess you additional fees or bump your payment later on. 

If you have any other questions about property taxes, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you.