6 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

Posted on Apr 21 2017 – 4:36pm by Housecall

By Krystal Rogers-Nelson RIS Media

Even though a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S., you can still protect yourself without installing top-dollar security features.

Home burglary generally has a pattern; criminals are looking for an easy target they can rob fast. Learn from the pros. Here are six tips from career burglars you can use to defend your home and prevent break-ins.

1. Nighttime Burglaries Aren’t the Best Time

Burglars like to break in to homes during daytime hours—the last thing criminals want is to encounter someone at home. Weekdays are ideal for thieves, since weekend schedules are too unpredictable. Between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. are the most popular times because there’s a high chance people will be away at work or school.

2. They Know When You’re Not Home—Thanks to Social Media

While it’s tempting to post about your vacation to your social media feed, wait to share those trip photos and exotic location check-ins until you’re back home. Criminals scout public social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Foursquare to find victims.

Locating someone’s home address using basic information from their social media profile is surprisingly easy. In one survey of convicted burglars, more than 10 percent say they used social media to determine who was out of town. The same survey found one burglar stole over $250,000 in electronics and jewelry from 33 women he saw in public—he used GPS data embedded in photos they posted online to find their homes.

Even if all your accounts are private, that old friend from high school or new neighbor down the street could be a potential criminal. Never post what times you’re not home or how long you’ll be out.

3. They Don’t Like Your Security Practices

Burglars want nothing to do with alarm systems (whether they’re from the best home security companies or not). Homes without a security system are almost 300 percent more likely to be targeted for a break-in.  If you do install an alarm system, make sure you guard it with a strong code. Don’t use your house number or birthday, and clean any dirt or grease off your keypad so a burglar won’t guess your code based off the numbers you’ve hit the most. Unlocked windows, unused deadbolts, poorly lit homes, and residences without security systems are prime targets for burglars, so make sure you are using the security features you already have.

Also, tricks that make it look like you’re home really work, professional burglars reveal. Burglars run from properties that look like people are inside. Motion sensor lights, bright flood lights, and timed lights are inexpensive security features for a home’s exterior that scare criminals away. TVs or radios left on, as well as cars parked in the driveway, make burglars nervous that someone is home.

4. Great Targets Advertise Their Weapon Supply

If you’re a proud gun owner, that won’t scare away burglars—it entices them. A gun is stolen roughly every two minutes in the U.S., so homeowners should be sure to always lock up their guns. NRA bumper stickers on a car or Smith & Wesson signs on a house advertises that there are lots of guns to steal.

5. Shrubs and Architecture Make Great Hiding Spots

Tall bushes are favorites of burglars since they offer an obstructed view from the street and an easy way to hide from neighbors. Keep shrubs and large landscaping features trimmed. If you want big plants by your windows, choose something thorny that will detract a burglar, like roses or cacti.

Think twice about large architecture features, too, like fences, half walls, and big fountains. Thieves are searching for crimes of opportunity, and such decor elements give a burglar more time to hide and plot their method of entry. The best defense is a clear view of your front porch.

6. Valuables in the Open Help Them Decide on a Target

Keep your expensive items out of sight. You’re making it too easy for a burglar by advertising the type of valuables they can steal. Don’t leave a new MacBook in front of your first-floor kitchen window, iPads on your living room ottoman, or even a nice car in a garage window with a clear sight line to the street. Key hooks—especially with labels for each key—need to be concealed out of view from windows, too.

“A burglar appreciates such kindness, but you will find it expensive when you have to replace all the locks after a break-in,” says Mike Fraser, former professional burglar and host of the BBC show Beat the Burglar.

Fraser also advises to leave large family calendars out of view. You’re inviting a break-in by detailing when you’ll be away, Fraser says. This advice goes for any ID documents, too. Mail or other personal information left in plain view is a gold mine for a criminal looking to easily steal your details for identity theft.

Using these tips can help you protect your home from break-ins. Also, be sure to research crime rates and trends in your neighborhood and state. Just like some houses are safer than others, some states are safer than others.  Where does your state rank?



South Santa Barbara Real Estate Statistics

Let’s see how 2020 is shaping up! Real Estate Market Statistics are provided by Fidelity National Title Group and are generated from 3 sources:
CORT data, TitleFLEX and Santa Barbara MLS, and  edited and compiled from the Sales Team here at Fidelity National Title Group Santa Barbara.

For more information about the current Santa Barbara market, please give me a call!


Home Upgrade to Make or Avoid

Congratulations! You finally moved into the home of your dreams. Well, almost the home of your dreams. Maybe you’re thinking of upgrading to high-end kitchen appliances, or converting the bedroom next to the master into a huge walk-in closet. Whatever you’re planning, don’t leap into any major projects until you’ve had a chance to live in your new home for a while and think about your real estate goals, experts advise. 

Planning to stay a few years until your family needs something bigger? Considering living there until you can sell for a nice profit? Feeling the urge to tackle a bunch of DIY projects to customize the home to fit your lifestyle? They’re all great pursuits. But it’s good to know how each modification might help or hurt your property’s future–as well as your own.


Healthy Home Habits for 2020

Each year, most of us come up with New Year resolutions and vow to stick to them. The feeling of a fresh start can be inspiring and lead us to take steps toward self improvement or achieving new goals.

But, as a homeowner or even a renter, it can also be a great idea to make resolutions that revolve around your home. We all get caught up in crazy, day-to-day tasks, and sometimes keeping our homes happy and healthy can feel challenging.


Décor Trends for Fall and Winter

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice goodies and home makeover trends dominate Pinterest boards and magazine covers. Here are a few key trends for fall and winter:

Woodsy Vibes
Type in DIY wood pallet on Pinterest and watch the firestorm that comes back. This year, it’s all about mixing woods and stains. Whether you prefer the unfinished, rustic look or lean toward deep cherries and intense oaks, this is the year to mix it up and experiment.

Heavy Knits
The financially savvy understand the best way to redecorate is with accessories. Instead of a new couch or table, upgrade a room with throw pillows and blankets or candles and mirrors. Fall 2018 is all about chunky, cozy blankets. Find one in a deep purple or midnight blue and toss it over an armchair, then hibernate with a cup of hot tea and enjoy the laid-back charm of a happy home.

Citizen of the World
Cultural themes are too matchy-matchy. This year, people want to mix patterns from all over the globe. So hit up your favorite boutique and look for paisleys, ornate Indian prints, handmade pottery, and dyed textiles. Imagine tassels, rope, and safari prints on everything, including throw pillows and wall art. Celebrate earthy textures like volcanic stone and amber in rich colors of berry and ebony.

Contemporary Charm
Like seasons past, the neutral minimalism of modern décor never goes out of style. Set a wicker chair on an oatmeal-colored natural-fiber rug and breathe in the effortless charm of the artisan-inspired home. Use natural materials to offset pops of color, like handblown glassware on a silver tray.



117 Calle Bello-A Home with Stunning Mountain Views!


This double-threat has gorgeous mountain AND ocean views! Take a look!

With all the hustle and bustle of living in the city, you may be finding yourself in need of some fresh air, some middle-of-nowhere peace and quiet, and, of course, mountain views. Buying a home on the outskirts could mean a better place to raise a family, dealing with no traffic, lower crime rates, and space for days.

Here, we rounded up 14 homes for sale in Southern California with some of the most breathtaking mountain views you’ve ever come across to help make that decision ASAP.


14 Homes With Stunning Mountain Views

Home Offices to Keep You Focused

Is your perfect office can be a quiet, secluded room in your home? A cozy seat on your veranda? Take a look at these “perfect for me” home offices!

Back to school means one of two things for parents: Back to piles and piles of weekly homework, or, if your students are college-aged, back to a quiet, empty nest.

Home offices are a great solution for keeping your work, whether school-related or not, separate from the rest of your home life. You or your child can work hard, then close the door when it’s time to relax. 

Or, if your students are away in college, you may find yourself with an extra bedroom to spare.

Find inspiration from these 11 homes offices, they’ll have you ready to knock out a project or study for an exam in no time.

11 Home Offices for Every Student Back in School

Looking for that perfect “in-town” getaway?

13 homes you will love to vacation in! Are you ready to buy a second home? One of these may be just your style!

If you’ve done your research, you may know that owning a second home or a vacation home is a goal that many aspire to and can have many benefits. If you’re still undecided, you might want to read our guide on what to know when buying a vacation or second home.

Once you’re ready to make that investment, the next step is finding a home that fits your needs. 

We found 13 homes for sale in Southern California that are the right price and in the right location (because, let’s face it, any home in Southern California is in the right location) to be considered as a second home.



13 Homes You Will Love to Vacation In

Preparing Your Home for Sale

On a daily basis I am bombarded with real estate industry related blogs and articles. When I come across one that resonates with me, or that I think is worth sharing, I want to share it!

I came across a blog post on www.HomeLight.com (1) written by Catrini Sun-Tan (2) detailing her come-aways from binge watching the Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”. Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing expert and author of four books on organizing. Her books have been translated from Japanese into many languages including Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, French, German, Swedish and English.

The entire post is well worth reading!

Selling the House and ‘Tidying Up:’ What We Learned From Binge-Watching Marie Kondo’s Netflix Show

To get you started here is a list of how each of the episodes relates to preparing a home for sale:

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
One of the more important, and stressful, preparations for a home sale is de-cluttering. Finding the joy and fun in this daunting task can make it make more easy-going.                                                                                                                                       One step at a time
With so much to do, we can become paralyzed. Breaking down tasks into smaller pieces can make the process much easier to manage.
The more the merrier.
Get friends and family involved and turn those chores into a party
Cut the Cord
In order to navigate what is often a very emotional time, the separation process is critical. Without detaching from the home, everything becomes more difficult and takes more time.
Know Where You’re Going
Visualize your destination before you begin the trip.
Do I NEED That?
Belongings should have a purpose. The first step in the decluttering process is identifying what items have a purpose and what items are just taking up space.
Be Grateful for What you Have
Appreciating what you have, what has meaning, and what brings you joy makes it much easier to let go of the things that do not.
Honor Where You’ve Been and Where You’re Going
Before you begin this journey, appreciate your home and the memories you have in it as well as your new home and future that awaits.

1 HomeLight is a real estate referral company based in San Francisco, CA. Although HomeLight is itself a real estate broker, it does not provide services typical of a broker. Instead, HomeLight works with a network of participating real estate brokers in various markets to which they refer customers. Wikipedia
2 Catrina is a native San Franciscan with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Cinema and Media Studies from Wellesley College. A storyteller at heart, she loves to write about people, films, and of course, real estate. Don’t be surprised if you catch her browsing luxury homes on Instagram or obsessing over the latest market trends.