Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

4 Things Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

You’ve invested in an expensive home security system and have tried your best to teach your lovable Labrador to bark at the sign of danger. What else can you do to keep would-be thieves from breaking into your home?

Here are 4 tips from professional burglars to help you keep your home as safe as possible.

  1. Burglars Prefer Daytime Break-Ins: It’s more common for homeowners to be out of the house during the day, giving criminals the opportunity to break in while you’re at work or out running errands. The most popular break-in times are between 12:30p-2:30p, not late nights or weekends.

 

  1. They’re Stalking You on Social Media: While you’re uploading your vacation photos from Hawaii, they’re ransacking your house in search of valuables. Privacy has become passé, and criminals are using our penchant for oversharing as research. Every time you check into a location, you’re letting the world know that you’re not home.

 

  1. They Don’t Like Security Systems: Burglars don’t want to risk getting caught, and typically strike homes without security systems. Also, inexpensive “tricks” keep burglars at bay. Examples include having parked cars in the driveway, motion sensor lights, and TVs that are left on.

 

  1. Keep Valuables Out of Sight: Enticing a burglar with an open view of your most expensive offerings increases the odds of a break in. Don’t leave your MacBook on your kitchen table, or your iPad on the couch. Multiple flat screen TVs visible from every window encourage burglars to check your locks for easy entry and a simple steal.

 

A burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the United States, so take the time to protect your family and your most prized possessions with a few common-sense tactics from the pros themselves. Keep your doors and windows locked, keep your valuables out of clear sight, and be selective in what you share on social media.

-6 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know, RISMedia.com

Spring Cleaning Maintenance Guide

We’re fast approaching warmer weather, which means that it’s a good time to make a springtime home maintenance checklist. Read on for three common areas to inspect as winter draws to a close:

Roofs and Gutters: Now is a good time to clean out your gutters from all of the debris that may have collected during the winter season. Check your rooftop for shingles that need replacing and look for signs of leaks. Those April showers might bring more than just May flowers if you don’t have your roof properly inspected, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional roofing company to help you scope out potential problem areas.

Air Conditioning Systems: Don’t wait until a heat wave hits before you test your air conditioning unit. Even if it’s still a little chilly outside, take the time to check your AC unit so that you’re not waiting in line for an HVAC professional during their busiest season.  Schedule a technician to perform an annual maintenance checkup on your unit, as ask them about cleaning your home’s duct work.

Windows, Exteriors, and Walkways: Clean the exterior of your home and walkways to remove stains and built-up dirt, and repair or replace broken or damaged windows and screens. If you have a dock, inspect your structure for any damage that may have occurred during recent winter storms, and replace any areas that look unsafe.

Making an effort to properly prep your home for spring could save you time and resources once warmer weather ushers in. As a general rule, always enlist the help of a professional when tackling potentially dangerous jobs, and keep all receipts and paperwork organized in case you need to refer back to them at a later time.

Source: Home Warranty of America, Spring Home Maintenance Guide

Will Right-Sizing My Home Save Money?

If retirement is in your near future, you may have started analyzing your finances in efforts of finding areas to save. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that 49% of Americans in their late 50’s and early 60’s has mortgage or home equity debt, and that housing costs take up one-third of their household income. Simply stated, many of us are living in more house than we need. The concept of “rightsizing” your home could potentially save you a considerable amount of money, and is a great place to start your financial planning.

Rightsizing means that you are finding the right-sized house to suit your needs. A larger home equates to larger mortgage payments, utility bills, and maintenance costs. By rightsizing your home to a smaller living area, you’ve cut down your living expenses, giving yourself extra money for investing and retirement.

Smith Mountain Lake offers a host of housing options, making it easy for retirees to find their ideal living space. From waterfront condos and townhomes, to maintenance-free residential developments, I can show you a variety of homes that speak to your desired lifestyle and budget. And with the extra money you’ll be saving, you’ll have more flexibility to relax and enjoy your retirement on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake.

 

Source: Rightsizing for Retirement, Discover 360 Financial