DO YOU KNOW THE BASICS OF HOME SECURITY?
Most people feel confident that they know the basics of home security. For example, they know to: keep all doors locked; have a light on in the house while away; and, never hide a key outside in an obvious place, like under the mat.
Yet, almost a million and a half properties get burglarized in North America each year. So, how can you prevent that from happening to your home? Here are a few lesser-known home security basics:
- Actually, never hide a key outside. Thieves know all the hiding places. Instead, make sure all family members have a key.
- Two-thirds of home burglaries occur during the day. So, be extra vigilant about making sure doors and windows are locked while you’re out during the day.
- Surprisingly, most thieves are not daring. They are 2.7 times more likely to target a home without an alarm system.
- Thieves will attempt to force entry through sliding-style doors and windows first. Make sure these have a locking bar or extra bolt lock.
- Surprising, 40% of household burglaries do not involve forced entry. The thief is able to slip in through an unlocked window or door.
- Don’t show off possessions! An imported racing bike parked next to the garage, or expensive audio equipment clearly seen through a window, is an invitation to burglars.
- Take a look at the lighting and landscaping around your property. Are there spots where a thief could easily hide? If so, make some changes.
- When planning a trip, have a trusted neighbor pick up newspapers, flyers and anything else that may accumulate at your door.
Your local police department may have more tips and special programs for keeping your home secure. Give them a call.
THE IMPORTANCE OF READING AND UNDERSTANDING AN OFFER
When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it’s important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.
An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are “conditional upon arranging financing” and “conditional upon passing a professional home inspection.” However, there may be other conditions as well.
You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.
In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.
As your real estate agent, I will always explain the changes and ask you to initial them. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you’re signing.
A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgment against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.
You don’t want that to happen to you. Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.
WHEN TO CALL A REAL ESTATE AGENT
If you’re like most people, you go to see a doctor when you’re not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living.
In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.
The same holds true when it comes to real estate.
Many people only call a real estate agent when they’re planning on selling their property, buying a new home, or doing both. While that’s an important reason to speak to a real estate agent, it’s not the only reason.
Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give me a call. For example:
- If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)
- If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.
- If you want to determine the current market value of your property.
- If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighborhoods you’d like to consider.
- If you’re thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.
In other words, don’t be afraid to contact me when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.
RECIPE: Beef-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
6-8 medium zucchini
1 lb. ground beef
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup low-sugar marinara sauce
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375° F. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp with a spoon. Chop pulp and set aside. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and line up zucchini boats.
Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Cook onion for 2-3 minutes, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add beef and cook 3-5 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, zucchini pulp, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Divide mixture evenly into zucchini boats and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly. Garnish with chopped basil leaves.
See the world with Scott’s Cheap Flights
Not long after Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, scored a $130 fare from New York City to Milan, his hobby of searching for cheap flights became an actual business.
Scott’s Cheap Flights is an email list that points subscribers to unbelievable airfare deals around the world, like a roundtrip ticket from San Francisco to Bali for $364 (normally $1,000). Many of these deals are airline mistakes that disappear quickly, but Keyes’ staff keeps their 1.5 million subscribers in the know.
In an interview with CNBC, Keyes said, “We’d like to keep unearthing mistake fares and super cheap international flights so even more people who thought they couldn’t afford to take that honeymoon or visit that overseas relative will actually be able to do it.”
Scott’s Cheap Flights offers free and paid subscriptions, and most alerts are 2-8 months in advance, giving you plenty of time to pack your bags.
NOTABLE, QUOTABLE, QUOTES!
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
“It is skill, not strength, that governs a ship.”
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”