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.

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? Continue reading

Cambrian condos/townhomes are the stars!

Cambrian condos/townhomes are the stars!  The number of condos/ townhomes for the Cambrian area of San Jose is just 19 actives.  This is a huge reduction in inventory from last year’s 35!

There were 13 pending sales in the last 30 days and 13 closed condos/townhomes in January.  Pending plus closed sales are way up!  In fact last year there were only 2 closed sales of condos/townhomes in the area for January.  These are good signs of the real estate marketing returning to San Jose. Continue reading

HAFA short sale – Chase continues to amaze, NOT!

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: A sign on the front of ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I have written before about short sales and probably about Chase.  This company is one of the slowest I have had to deal with.

HAFA sales are supposed to be streamlined and go through a lot quicker.

We waited 2 months to get an approval to be a HAFA approved short sale listing. We got the approved price that was needed to be marketable. We put the home on the market. It was sold in 10 days. The contract went to CHASE where I was told it would take 10-14 business days for the final approval of the offer. It took 6 weeks to get that approval verbally!  After a week of getting a verbal okay we got the approval letter which stated that property needs to close in 18 days from now. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Chase adds more work for itself. We now need to straighten out the timing to something realistic.  I sometimes wonder about the IQ of the persons making the decisions for Chase.

I think some of us should go into Chase and straighten up the process!!

By the way,  I did a HAFA approved sale through Wells Fargo in days after the contract was received by the negotiator.

Have a story you wish to share?

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New Trend in Short Sales?

Money
Image by jollyUK via Flickr

What is this trend?  Asking a buyer to pay money toward the seller’s 2nd loan. I am seeing more and more in the private remarks on the MLS “buyer to contribute $**K toward the 2nd loan”.  I saw one last week that asked the buyer to pay $26K to the seller’s 2nd loan.  I confirmed with the listing agent that is what they meant to say.  It was! Continue reading

Santa Clara County Annual Real Estate figures (April 30, 2008 – 2011)

Santa Clara County Annual Real Estate figures (April 30, 2008 – 2011)

Active listings, pending sales in the last 30 days, closed sales for the month of April

Year Active homes Pending Closed Active TH/ condo Pending condo/th Closed sales Total Both Active Total Both Pending Total Both Closed
2008 5478 1163 632 1783 336 212 7261 1499 844
2009 3722 1582 886 1272 518 246 4994 2100 1132
2010 2493 1592 956 1010 635 297 3503 2227 1253
2011 2561 1341 946 1042 568 332 3603 1909 1278

Things that turn buyers off of a short sale in San Jose

checklist
Image by alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

 

There a many things that can turn a buyer off to a short sale.  I would love for you to add your comments. 

  • Gross dirty kitchens and bathrooms
  • Doors closed to the bedrooms – especially when other family members are in the house
  • Bedding on the couch
  • People lying or sleeping in bed
  • Light fixtures stripped from the home
  • Seller staying in the house while showing.

This really applied to all sales but really even more with a short sale as you need a buyer willing to wait for an approval for the seller’s lender(s).   Think about it would you be more willing to wait that time for an awesome property or a dump? 

Out of 6 short sales recently viewed by my clients only two looked like the sellers cared for the home.  Those were the ones that caught their attention.  That being said the staged owner occupied home really make it difficult to even consider the headache of a short sale.

What are things you see as a buyer you don’t like when in a short sale property?

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California Senior trying to decide to pay insurance or get groceries?

[ Project ]
Senior decision

California Senior trying to decide to pay insurance or get groceries?

Senior trying to decide to pay insurance or get groceries?

Over a 3 day period, I had two seniors call to say they could no longer afford their home loan.  Both parties were cash poor, both were living on Social Security and both took out horrible “pick-a-pay” loans by then World Savings, now Wells Fargo.   Continue reading

New California Carbon Monoxide Law

A residential smoke detector is the most famil...
Image via Wikipedia

New Law —  SB183 enacts the California Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010

This law requires a carbon monoxide device (battery or hard-wired) to be installed in a “dwelling unit intended for human occupancy.”

A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $200 for each offense.

Owners of residential rental property must also comply with this law. Tenants are responsible to notify the owner of an inoperable or deficient carbon monoxide device.

Installation Time Period:

  • On or before July 1, 2011 for existing single-family dwelling units
  • On or before Jan. 1, 2013 for all other existing dwelling units

From what we can see it looks like the better and more reliable ones are in the $30 range according to the reviews. The less expensive ones (less than $25) seem to have more bad reviews (false alarms, lots of chirping, etc.).

Here are some different types and prices for you to compare –

Home Depot:

  • Universal Security Instruments 2 Photo electric 9 volt operated Smoke & Fire Alarms – $34.99 eachKidde Battery Operated Voice Alert Carbon Monoxide and smoke alarm – $36.97 each (also as Lowe’s)
  • First Alert Combination Photoelectric Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice and location – $36.97 each (also as Lowe’s)

Amazon:

  • Kidde KN-COSM-B Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm – $29.99
  • First Alert SC05CN Battery Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Alarm – $28.75

For the text of this law go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0151-0200/ab_183_bill_20100325_chaptered.html

Pat Chadwell
408-927-6565 x 11

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