Last year, headlines were all about the fact that a home that belonged to rapper 50 Cent was burglarized. Fortunately, Fiddy wasn’t home at the time. As a matter of fact, the 21 bedroom, 25 bath mansion was vacant because it was on the market. The burglars didn’t make it much past the front door because of security alarms.
Most of us, of course, don’t live on lavish estates. Fiddy wasn’t alone though. Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Vacant houses are about as close to risk free as it gets for burglars. While they won’t find fancy electronics, they are known to take appliances, staging furniture and even the copper pipes.
Robbing for sale homes is nothing new. Burglars have been targeting homes with For Sale signs for decades. Today, though, many savvy Realtors and home owners are leaving the tell-tale sign out and listing the homes virtually instead.
Unfortunately, that makes the home that much more difficult to sell and the bad guys have the internet too. In one case in Oregon, robbers found their targets on free real estate apps. The watched the houses day and night and then returned during the day as cleaning crews. They even fooled the neighbors, who were thankful people were taking care of the vacant property.
How to Secure a Vacant Home
Whether you are away for a short trip or are selling your home, the best way to prevent burglaries is to make your home look occupied. Put lights on a timer and turn the porch light (motion detector is best) and a visible inside light on at night. Stop all mail and newspaper deliveries.
Plant thorny bushes near the lower windows, so burglars don’t have a place to hide. Buy security film for the lower windows and install a heavy security door.
No one wants to pay for electricity or alarm systems for a house they don’t even live in, but a security system makes your home a much more difficult target. Some alarm companies have temporary solutions.
Keep your neighbors and the police in the loop. Let them know that the home will be empty and that if you are sending any contractors over, you will let them know.
While all of this might seem like you’re throwing good money after bad, there’s nothing that gives buyers second thoughts than a home that’s been burglarized.
Featured image via Pixabay