3 Tips to Avoid Unwanted Home Invasions

Summer is the season for beaching, grilling, sun-bathing…and home invasions. You hear it all the time on the news where a family is out of town and they come back to a vandalized home. This is a devastating situation, and you think this could never happen to you, but it can!

According to a study from Credit Sesame, “approximately 78 percent of ex-burglars use Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook to identify properties with absent homeowners.” So when you check in for a week-long vacation with the family in Mexico, you have potentially let a burglar know you have a vacant house, ready to be vandalized.

Don’t take your chances, and don’t post your whereabouts on social media. Some of our favorite tips from IndependentTraveler.cominclude the following:

  1. Tip off the police and your neighborhood crime watch captain, if you are leaving town for longer than a week. This might be particularly useful if you don’t have a house sitter and/or live in a small town.
  2. Don’t make it TOO obvious you’re trying to make it look like someone is home. For example, leavingthe lights on for the duration of your vacation is obvious and costly. Instead, you can purchase a lightswitcher to look like a person is actually changing it. Nextag.com offers a list of these online.
  3. You can put a hold on your mail during the duration of your trip by going to usps.com. They will deliveryour held mail after you’ve returned.

No one wants to come home to a vandalized house after a relaxing time at the beach. Put your mind at ease by taking precautions before you leave, and while you’re gone to ensure the safety of your home and possessions.  

Is Home Ownership Still Foundational for a Financial Plan?

Changing attitudes in the way some up-and-coming investors view housing is fueling a regular boom in downtown Indy and upscale suburban communities.The startling increase in condos, townhouses, and high-end apartment choices are part of what Chris Sikich of the Indianapolis Stardescribes as a changing mindset.

The apartment building business began booming, explains Sikich, just as the housing market was crashing. But, even though the new home market has emerged from the recession, many younger people are more interested in living in an urban environment without the long-term obligation of a mortgage. Millennials and empty-nesters want walkable urban neighborhoods, he notes, and that’s what we’re seeing in Westfield, Carmel, Fishers, and downtown Indy. “Many no longer share the age-old American dream of a house in the 'burbs with a white-picket fence.”

In fact, according to a 2012 Consumer Federation of America financial planning survey, “For many Americans, the idea of a home as a financial investment has faded.  While the overall rate of home ownership has remained the same, fewer decision makers who do not own a home reported that they plan to buy one.”

At Worley Erhart-Graves, we know that sound financial advice can bring you confidence and security for your financial journey, whether that journey includes home ownership, a condo, or apartment living. No financial planning recommendations can be made, we understand, before considering your unique lifestyle choices. 

While many of our clients continue to consider building equity in a home an important foundation in their financial plan, as planners we’ve learned to focus on learning what’s important to you, and then developing strategies and techniques to support those lifestyle choices that are foundational in your life!

Content was prepared by a freelance journalist on behalf of Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors