Real Estate Information Archive


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Thirsty Plants, Pet Sitters, and Nosy Neighbors

by The Jana Caudill Team

Summer’s nearly here, so get out, go camping, snorkeling, skydiving…Okay, maybe not skydiving.  Hop on a plane or drive cross country.  Take that well deserved time off to rest and recharge, and exercise some of these precautions to ensure your home is safe and sound when you return from your vacation:

  1. House/Pet Sitter.  This one costs a little, but if you have pets, plants and newspapers it’s a must.  Plus, a house sitter helps keep the house looking occupied which is the greatest deterrent to home burglary.  Lights are turned on and off during the course of the evening, pets are fed, plants are watered, and newspapers make it to the recycle bin all without you being there.  What about paying your sitter a little extra to dust and vacuum so you return from vacation to your clean Northwest Indiana home?  If you don’t use a house sitter you can still put a hold on your mail and newspaper service while you’re away.
  2. Nosy Neighbor.  If you don’t have pets and plants, or are not planning on spending the extra money on a house sitter, why not take advantage of that nosy neighbor and have them stop by the house every other day just to, well, stick their nose in your business?  Neighbors can walk the perimeter of the property, make sure newspapers are picked up, flyers are removed from your front door, and otherwise remove any sign that would indicate your family is out of town.  Give them the phone number where you will be staying in case of an emergency, and emphasize the phone number is for emergencies only.  You can catch up on the neighborhood gossip when you get home.
  3. Delayed blogging.  Many don’t think about this one.  If you’re real-time updating all your social networking sites with great photos of your family standing in front of the Grand Canyon you are effectively letting the world know you are not at home.  Save this practice until your return.
  4. Do not leave your GPS in your car unattended!  For many of the same reasons for observing delayed blogging, do not leave your GPS in your car where a potential burglar can see it.  What better invitation for a thief than a GPS unit programmed with your home address on the dashboard of a car with an out of state license plate, or parked at long term airport parking?

Here are more tips to keep your home safe while you’re away.

Holiday Traveling

by The Jana Caudill Team

Everyone deserves a nice long vacation, and if you’re fortunate enough to be able to take the time off during the holidays then by all means pack up and go!  Yes, sometimes it’s nice just to stay home, watch a movie, complete the little renovation project on the powder room you started last spring, or maybe just catch up on some sleep.  Whatever suits you.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about hitting the road, getting away, and in particular traveling during the holidays.

 Whether you’re venturing cross-country or just across the state, one thing to keep in mind when traveling during the holidays is the safety and security of your unoccupied home while you’re gone.  That brings up two main concerns, accidents and burglary. 

Accidents are the easiest to mitigate.  Start with turning off the main water supply valve in your home.  One of the top insurance claims throughout the year is water damage, and a burst pipe while no one is home to take care of it right away is no way to start the new year.  Also, turn off your water heater and its gas supply.  Not only does this prevent potential gas leaks, you’ll save money on your energy bill.  Everyone’s equipment is different, so refer to manufacturer’s directions first when considering any of these practices.  Here’s a complete checklist of things you can do to minimize the chances of an accident occurring while you’re away. 

The best way to deter burglary is to minimize opportunity while making it appear the house is operating just as it would any other day.  Stop newspaper delivery for the time you’re away so papers don’t start to pile up on the front porch.  Put house lights on timers.  Park a car in the driveway.  Remember, Business as usual.  That’s the message you want to broadcast to the outside world.  Even then, burglars are always out during the holidays looking for opportunities.  Don’t make it easy on them.  Hide spare car keys, jewelry, and other valuables in shoeboxes or behind the canned vegetables in the pantry.  Have a trusted neighbor stop by periodically to monitor the house, or consider hiring a house sitter for the week!

Take a few extra steps for your peace of mind before your vacation and whether you’re leaving Northwest Indiana for some time off or staying home enjoy the holidays!

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2