8 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Traveling

Since it is the holiday season, many homeowners may be traveling to relatives or taking vacations. If you are planning on leaving your home for a significant amount of time you should really take a few moments to go through a few extra steps to ensure that your house is well cared for while you are away. Installing a home security system may be the first thing that comes to your mind, but there are plenty of smaller, less expensive steps you can take that are just as (if not more) effective in preventing theft.

Breaking in

So here is a list of things you can do to bring peace mind while you are on vacation.


1. Tell your neighbors you’ll be away.

Even if you are not close with your neighbors, it is important to give them a heads-up when you are leaving town for a week or more. If you are good friends with your neighbors, you should consider leaving a copy of your house key in case of an emergency, or at least a way to contact you while you are away.*Think twice about sharing specific details of your trip on social media. It is better to be safe than sorry.*


2. Use light timers and motion sensors.

Giving the impression that your home is occupied is one of the surest ways to deter theft. Pick up a basic light timer at the hardware store and program your interior lights to turn on for several hours each evening. You can even program your TV to turn on as well.If you don’t have outdoor motion-sensor lights, you should consider installing them before you go away. If you do have them, double check the bulbs before you leave.


3. Hire a pet sitter or house sitter.

Instead of creating the illusion that someone is home, hire or ask someone you trust to actually stay in the house. You could also hire a pet sitter to come by your house once or twice a day to make sure your animal is okay, as well as your house. You can even ask your pet sitter to bring in your mail and water your plants.
If you don’t have a pet, you could do a swap with a neighbor or family member in the area; they watch your house this time, you watch theirs when they go away.


4. Lock it up

It may seem obvious, but sometimes it is easy to forget about windows and doors that are rarely used when you are rushing to the airport. Make sure you leave enough time before you leave to make sure all your windows and doors are securely shut and locked.


5. Secure sliding glass

Sliding glass windows and doors require special care to be really secure. Luckily the fix is a simple one; just cut a wooden pole or thick dowel to fit in the groove of the tracks when the door is shut, and lay it in before you leave. This won’t stop someone from shattering the glass, but it will make your home a less desirable target if a thief can’t easily slide the door open.


6. Keep up the appearance of routines.

If you will be away for more than a week, see if your house sitter/neighbor (etc..), can bring your garbage and recycling bins out for you and back in the next day. Also don’t let mail pile up on your porch or in your mailbox. You can either have someone bring your mail inside or have the postal service hold your mail (for up to 30 days) instead. You can fill out a form online, so you don’t even have to step foot into a post office during the holiday season.


7. Maintain snow or lawn service.

Not only will it be a relief to come home to a neatly shoveled path and tidy yard, but maintaining a normal level of care will help give your house a lived-in look while you are away.


8. Move valuables away from windows. 

You may want to leave a few shades open, since it can look rather off to see a house all closed up if that’s is not your normal routine. However, do be aware of what is visible from the open shades when someone is peering in from the outside. Laptops, flat-screen TVs and other pricey gear within reach of a window make an easy mark for an easy burglary.


 Source: Houzz.com


8 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Traveling

Time to De-Clutter

declutteredA brand new year has arrived, spring is just around the corner; it’s the perfect time to clean-out, clean-up, and get re-organized! Your bedroom closet is the perfect place to start. A cramped, chaotic closet can make your mornings very frustrating.

Before you begin a closet remodel, evaluate your closet’s size and prioritize your storage and dressing needs. You should also get rid of items you no longer need or wear by donating them to a local charity.

Consider these suggestions based on
the most common closet types/style

Long, Skinny Closet
Since you are limited on space, you should determine if there are items currently in your closet that could be store in other drawers/cabinets or under your bed, like shoes, purses, and other accessories.
Try using a closet system with half-rods, drawers, and shelves. Place the half-rod in the middle and use hangers that will hold multiple items. Place a tower of shelves to the left for shoes, purses, and accessories. Place a tower of drawers to the right for folded clothing and socks. Don’t forget to put a shelf above the rod to fully utilize all open spaces.
If you are not hanging long items, you could place a second rod below the first one.
Use floor space for shoes, boxes, etc.
Don’t forget the ceiling! Hooks can create another great spot to hang belts and store purses!

Small Walk-in Closet
A closet system is a good idea for any size closet. Being able to customize the size of shelves, drawers, and the location of rods, will allow you to utilize all available space.
Use extra floor space by installing a shelf and storage bins that fit above and below it.
Hang a shoe storage rack over the back of the door.

Large Walk-in Closet / Dressing Room
A large closet like this can be fun to organize and has many available options! Start with your closet organizing system and move forward from there.
A full length mirror will make the closet look bigger and give you a better view. If you have room for a tri-fold mirror, go for it. You’ll be able to get a view from every angle.
Don’t just limit yourself to wall space; consider installing a center cabinet. This cabinet can be fitted with shelves and drawers and will provide a work area as well. It will become a great spot for sorting laundry and folding clothes!
This center cabinet can also serve as a vanity area for make-up, a lighted mirror, jewelry, or other small accessories.
Consider installing a fold up ironing board. It’s a great out of the way spot and is easily stored!
If room allows, consider creating a small, private nook for yourself. A spot for getting dressed, putting on shoes, or even a quiet corner for reading or doing yoga.

A few final thoughts…
Once you have it organized the way you want it, it’s important to keep it that way! Keep it clean and tidy. Organizing clothes by color, type, sleeve length, etc. is just one more great way to get it organized. Now is also a great time to update the light fixture to maximize lighting and provide easier access. Fluorescent lights are the safest and most effective for this type of space.

Go on, get your supplies, gather your creative thoughts,
and get organized!

Search for homes in Maryland or Homes in Pennsylvania.

Time to De-Clutter

Projects That will Add Value To Your Home

Some improvement projects will add more value to your home than others. Read on to discover our top suggestions.

  • Tidy the lawn-Start from the outside; curb appeal is the key to adding home value. Before tackling any major landscape projects, tend to your lawn. Re-seed as needed and consider fertilizers and weed control products to increase the overall of your grass.
  • Consider a Fence-This can add privacy and value, as well as enhance the appearance of your home. Wood and vinyl are the two most popular materials. Before you start check with your local township or borough and homeowners’ association for any restrictions on fencing.
  • Lighten up– Adding an outdoor living space can be almost as valuable as adding actual living space to your home. Start by making an existing patio or deck space more inviting with warm, appealing outdoor light fixtures.
  • Gutters-Not the most exciting project, but very crucial. Make sure they are kept free of debris and replace any damaged gutters. Gutters that work properly will protect other areas of your home, such as windows and doors, from water damage.
  • De-clutter and organize-Clean up the clutter and maximize your storage space. A closet organizing system is an easy way to clean up and find a spot for all your things.
  • Refresh-Updating the look of your bathroom can be as simple as replacing outdated fixtures with something sleek and modern. Consider a vessel top sink; they are the latest trend in bathroom remodeling.
  • Upgrade Appliances-Updated appliances will look, run better, and give your kitchen more appeal. Stainless steel is the current standard, but if that doesn’t fit your budget, any new model will do. A kitchen upgrade will almost always bring you a good return on your investment.
  • Finish your basement-If your basement is dry enough for finishing, go ahead and tackle the project. This is almost always a more cost efficient way to increase your living space and even outweighs adding a whole new room!

Dust off your overalls and get to work, you’ll be glad you did!

Looking to sell your home? Contact a Prudential Homesale agent today to assist you with the home sale process.


Projects That will Add Value To Your Home

Beat the Heat with these Summer Drinks

Are you entertaining guests this summer? Here are a few easy to make drinks that are bound to cool and impress.


Prudential Homesale provides real estate services in Maryland and Pennsylvania for both buyers and sellers. Feel free to contact a real estate agent with any questions you may have or visit our website at http://www.prudentialhomesale.com
Beat the Heat with these Summer Drinks