Five Ways to Discourage Burglars

There’s more you can do to discourage burglars than an alarm system when you’re away. Burglars look for easy targets, where they can get in and out quickly. They pick a house and watch it to learn your comings and goings and for signs that you’re gone. So what can you do? Make it harder for burglars.

Smart Phone Security. Make cameras visible and install them in more places than the front door. You can access your security cameras anytime, anywhere and get alerts when visitors are detected. You can store video clips and recorded audio to the cloud.

Neighbors. Meet your neighbors and exchange numbers. Watch their homes when they’re gone and ask them to watch yours for any suspicious activity. Have your neighbor pick up mail, flyers on your door or packages left on your doorstep.

Trash. Burglars look through trash for valuable personal records and through empty boxes to learn about purchases, such as pricey new electronics. Make sure to shred important documents you wouldn’t want them to get ahold of.

Lighting. Motion detector lighting is startling and may discourage a burglar from entering your home. It’s worth it to keep your home well-lit with landscape lighting that illuminates windows, doors and walkways. Use on-off light timers, T.V. flicker simulators and large dog bark recordings to simulate that someone’s at home.  

Vehicles. Many burglars break into cars to get addresses and other information. Keep your car and glovebox locked. Don’t leave your garage opener visible. Instead, pair your opener with your smartphone so only you can access your home.

MARKET CONDITIONS: About Institutional Homebuyers

One reason there’s a shortage of available homes to buy across the U.S. is that corporate investors are snapping up single-family homes to use as rentals or to flip back onto the market after making improvements. Institutional homebuyers (companies, corporations, LLCs) have always been around but a new report by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) found their market share rose 84% in 2021. Based on deed records, institutional homebuyers accounted for 15% of residential purchases in 2021.

The record low interest rates of 2020 and 2021 and rising inflation – 8.5% in March 2022 – are ideal incentives for institutional homebuyers to turn to residential real estate for asset acquisition as a hedge against inflation. They buy properties to turn into rentals where rents can be raised annually. Investors look for dense populations with fast growth, fast rent growth and home appreciation, fast home sales volume, and low vacancy rates. NAR also found they look for areas with higher incomes and education, more young people and minorities, and a high density of renters.

In those areas where institutional investors are more than 30% of market share, the number of household formations grew 11%, average rents increased more than 30%, home prices rose 40% or more, and home sales rose 70%, all over the last decade. The top five states with the largest market share of institutional homebuyers were:
Texas (28%),
Georgia (19%)
Oklahoma(18%)
Alabama (18%)
Mississippi (17%)

Closely followed by:
Florida (16%)
Missouri (16%)
North Carolina (16%)
Ohio (16%)Utah (16%)

Don’t Let Them Bugs Bug You


August is typically the hottest month of the year making it an ideal time to be outside for fresh air and sunshine, but mosquitoes and other flying biting stinging insects can take the fun out of it. You want to enjoy your outdoor spaces, so what can you do? Here are some fun facts and tips about these pests.

In studying how wind affects mosquitoes, researchers found that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon monoxide which humans and pets emit. When you turn on a fan to blow on you, it disperses the concentration of carbon monoxide, which is why fans are such a good deterrent for mosquitoes.
Male mosquitoes like nectar, not humans, but the females seek blood to nourish their eggs, using receptors and vision for cues such as body heat, perspiration and skin odor to find a potential host according to Off.com.

What doesn’t work to repel mosquitoes, says Science.org are citronella candles, bracelets containing herbal extracts and sonic mosquito repellant which claim to use high-frequency sound to drive them away. Instead, try spray repellents with DEET and products with lemon eucalyptus oil.

Wasps, like honeybees, are most aggressive in late summer and windy or cloudy days when they can’t forage for food and they can sting multiple times, warns Terminix.com. Yellow jackets can live in holes in the ground or in hanging nests made of leaves, stems, mud, and bark. They love sweets, so only serve drinks in open containers. Use repellents with mint or clove oil.