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.

New California Carbon Monoxide Law

A residential smoke detector is the most famil...
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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)


  • 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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Sunnyvale sales are continuing to do well

SUNNYVALE, CA - JANUARY 22:  The Yahoo logo is...
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The number of active single family homes in Sunnyvale, CA is 114, pending sales in the last 30 days were 84 and closed sales in May were 81 and 43 thus far in June (as of 6/18). Listings are staying steady and closings are up. This is a good indicator for this area.

The price range for the active homes ranged from $349,900-$1,499,950. The median list price is $798,000. The listing price range for the pending sales is $299,000-$1,625,000. Continue reading

Florida & Arizona Beat California – what’s the score?

Seal of California
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After seeing headlines – Ten states account for more than 70% of nation’s first quarter total

Highest was California which accounted for 23% of the foreclosure filings at 216,263 properties and 2nd was Florida at 153,540.  Arizona came in 3rd with 55,686.

This got me thinking about what percentage of each state’s population was hit with new foreclosure filings for the 1st quarter of this year.  See the table – each was surprisingly under 1% of its population – wouldn’t you have thought it was WAY more?  Secondly, by population, California has considerably fewer filings. 

state population foreclosure % of pop.
CA 36,961,664 216,623 0.0059
FL 18,328,340 153,540                   0.0084
AZ 6,595,778 55,686                   0.0084

It just goes to show you there is a need to check behind the figures that are forwarded.

For more information go to- http://www.realtytrac.com/contentmanagement/pressrelease.aspx?channelid=9&itemid=8927

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Campbell Real Estate in the spotlight

The skies all over the state had beautiful rainbows this week.  In fact I saw two double rainbows in the sky – once in Southern California near the area where families were evacuated for fear of mud slides and another when in Hayward while looking for properties for a client.  I had never seen double rainbows before this week. 
Rainbow Valley
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We are so lucky in our area to have a blossoming Real Estate market here in Santa Clara County.   I chose a bright spot to highlight in the area.

The number of active single family homes in Campbell, CA is 36. The pending sales in the last 30 days are 17 and the number of closed sales in January is 10. The price range for active homes is $465,000-$2,399,000. The median price is $729,000.   The listing price range for the pending sales is $456,153-$1,149,000.

The listings have dropped 48% over last year and sales are up 25%.

The number of townhomes/condos on the market is 28, with 9 pending in the last 30 days and 4 closed sales in January (1/20). Compared to last year the listing are down 32% and the sales are over double!

As of January 20,2010, in the Santa Clara County the inventory for active listings of single family homes was 1765 and condo/townhomes is 699. Totaling 2464 for both. The number of listings dropped around 55% from last year at this time!

The number of homes and townhome/condos that went into contract over the last 30 days was 1172. This figure is up over last year.

The number of closed sales in December was 1272. This figure is up 41% over last year! The 1st time buyer program and investors in the market have had an impact on this a LOT.

Last year In January there were 1246 short sale listings, 751 bank owned properties and 1729 traditional sellers. This year the numbers are 353, 162 and 923 respectively. The first two segments (short sellers and bank owned properties) dropped significantly. Last year only 15% of traditional sellers were in contract and this year it is 35.9%.

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