21 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You

Author: admin / Category: Blog

Here is a great list from Les Calvert with some tips to keep you and your family safe!


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at http://www.faketv.com)


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runshttp://www.crimedoctor.com/ and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis , who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

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USDA Loans Aren’t Just for Farmers Anymore

Author: admin / Category: Blog

Today we have a guest contributor to the blog. Kevin Pearia, Content Director for USDALoans.com gives us a look at the USDA loan program and its benefits. Want to take advantage of this or any other real estate options? Lets talk soon!

USDA Loans Aren’t Just for Farmers Anymore

Interested homebuyers in Iowa have multiple options when it comes to home financing. Conventional loans, FHA loans, and VA loans are all available; however, very few actually consider a USDA loan. The loans provided by the USDA were once thought of as types of assistance only reserved for farmers, and many today, who could benefit from the program, don’t even consider USDA loans because of this assumption.

What is a USDA Home Loan?

USDA Home Loans are mortgage loans provided through Department of Rural Development to those eligible borrowers seeking to live in a USDA-deemed “rural” area. Although the home a borrower wishes to purchase must be in what is considered a rural area, housing on outskirts of major metropolitan areas and even housing within certain smaller communities may qualify for the program. Many areas around the cities of Des Moines and Iowa City qualify.

Why Choose a USDA Loan?

What makes the USDA program stand apart from a conventional lending program is that it is 100 percent guaranteed by the USDA. Because of this guarantee, borrowers are able to obtain great benefits through the program even with limited incomes or imperfect credit histories. Such benefits include:

  • No or a limited down payment requirement
  • No private mortgage insurance required
  • Regulated closing costs
  • No loan limit

What also makes the USDA loan program differ from conventional lending are the various types of assistance that the program actually offers.

What Other Types of Assistance Does USDA Provide?

Those wishing to purchase a home can definitely benefit from a USDA loan, but so can farmers, businesses, and communities wishing to enhance current facilities, purchase land for public structures, and expand their business. Other loans available through the USDA include:

  • Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan
  • Rural Energy for America Program Guaranteed Loan
  • Rural Housing Site Loans
  • Community Facilities Loan Program
  • Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans

If you wish to apply for USDA home loan or other type of loan, consider contacting a USDA loan specialist or visit your local Rural Development Office. For those interested in a home loan, they should note that the USDA home loan program does have lenient eligibility requirements, but most USDA approved lenders will desire a credit score of at least 620 to secure financing.

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Multiple Signs Point to Real Estate Rebound

Author: admin / Category: Blog

Here is a nice article from RISMedia regarding the signs to a real estate recovery. Pay special attention to the bolded section regarding the strongest areas. Ready to take advantage of that confidence and the great rates? Give me a call and we can get your home on the market today!

Original Article

The past few weeks have showcased numerous signals that the real estate market is on the rise. Recently, we have reported statistics pointing to an industry turnaround, including a 15 percent rise in housing starts in September; a surge in builder confidence in October, an increase in mortgage applications and a slew of regional market improvements across the country.

A recent Marketwatch story written by Amy Hoak points out that housing markets in the Great Plains, including those in North and South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Louisiana and Iowa, are showing the most signs of strength these days, according to a recent report from Veros, a risk management and valuation services firm.

Hoak notes that Bismarck, North Dakota., is expected to be the strongest market in the country in the year ahead, with housing values appreciating at a 5.6% clip, according to Veros. Other markets projected to be among the strongest in the year ahead include Honolulu; Fargo, North Dakota.; Harrisburg/Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Pittsburgh. Washington, D.C., and Boston remain strong city markets.

Hoak writes that while not many markets are fully rebounding, at least a good number of them likely won’t see values fall at quite as rapid a pace as in recent years, according to the report.

“Overall, the recovery in the housing market is limited to just a few markets and is taking a long time to occur. The encouraging news is that many markets are no longer expected to be rapidly declining,” says Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling for Veros.

The weakest U.S. markets are in Nevada, inland areas of California, Washington and Oregon, according to the report. The weakest market in the year ahead: Bakersfield, California, where foreclosures have been a huge problem.

Hoak wraps up the story with words of assurance; While prices aren’t on the upswing in many places, at least they’re not expected to fall that rapidly in the coming year.

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Fall Landscaping: How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

Author: admin / Category: Blog

The leaves are falling and the weather is changing. Don’t shoot the messenger but its time to get ready for winter! Check the articles below for some great tips on preparing your lawn for winter.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.


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