Protect Your Home Against Break-Ins

Our homes are our most valuable possessions. We do everything we can to keep them safe and sound. Yet, we all hear local news stories about residential break-ins, where thieves would steal jewelry, cash, silverware, laptops, expensive electronics, etc. Sometimes even in broad daylight! It’s not a pleasant sight, to see your home was broken into, and your valuables gone. What’s even more troubling is homeowners not doing enough to prevent it.

Protect your home from break-ins

Protect your home from break-ins

In this post, we’ll go over some most common home security options and a few general tips to help deter the thieves, and keep your home safe and secure.

  1. Get a home alarm system – this is essential protection that will thieves away or at get them caught. You can either get a professional company to come out, evaluate your needs and setup a home security system, that can be monitored live. Alternatively there are home security systems such as Nest that can be setup easily and would save you thousands.
  2. Cover windows so that nobody can pry in and see what you have inside. Plus it gives you privacy. You’d be surprised how much you can see into people’s homes from outside on a dark night if their windows aren’t covered.
  3. Lock all doors and windows, garages, sliding doors and sliding windows too. Make sure to use the door stopper if you have one. For sliding doors you should definitely have one. Of course, all your doors and windows should be in good condition.
  4. Don’t keep keys under floor mats or flowers pots. Thieves will look there first. So that’s not a good idea to put anything there.
  5. Lock your jewelry, expensive stuff and valuables in a home safe or in a bank’s safety deposit box. Just don’t let it sit around your bedroom. If someone gets in, that’s the first place they’ll go look.
  6. Don’t post your travel plans on social media accounts (eg. check-ins, pictures of valuables, announcing you’r going on a vacation). By letting everyone know you’re not home, you’re risking someone going there to try and rob you.
  7. Light up your house well. Shady business is less likely to happen if the area is well lit. Make sure you have all corners of your house lit up and have motion sensors to activate lights if someone approaches.
  8. Get a guard dog if you can. Nothing stops the bad guys like a good guard dog.
  9. Always look who’s knocking. Check through the peephole so you’re not in for a nasty surprise. Today you can also get video door bell which brings it up on your smartphone, even if you’re not home.
  10. Eliminate hiding spaces around outside your house where thieves can hide eg. untrimmed bushes, old cluttered sheds. Keep your property clean and secure with very little hiding spots.

Do you have any recommendations or tips to help homeowner keep their property and valuable secure? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

This real estate advice was brought to you by Lori VanDinther, Burlington RE/MAX sales representative and a team lead of Team VanDinther. As a long time resident of Burlington, Lori has been helping home owners buy/sell their property. Contact Lori VanDinther today for all your Burlington real estate needs.

Millcroft neighbourhood in Burlington, Ontario

Finding Your Ideal Home in Burlington

There are many factors home buyers should take into account when looking for that ideal home in Burlington, Ontario. Buying a home isn’t a simple process and you should put a lot of thought into it. This is why it’s always a good idea to get professionals, such as Team VanDinther, to guide you through the whole process.

So what are those factors to consider? What makes a home an ideal home? Ideal home is located in the right spot, and the home itself is accommodating your lifestyle and needs. Sound easy but in reality it can be tricky. And sometimes what we want and what’s available are not the same. Also, first thing is first. Figure out your purchase power. This will be the ultimate say in what you can attain.

Location. As the old phrase goes: Location, location, location! This is very important for a number of reasons. For one the price of your home will largely be determined by the location of the land and what’s around.  The value of your home appreciates as you live in an area that’s “happening” and has everything close by. You could have the most beautiful home, but if it’s too far from everything and isolated, you’ll end up not liking it as much. We’re talking major roads and highways, amenities, schools, parks, community centers, businesses, restaurants, etc. Well established communities, that support quality life. Consider where you work, how do you like to spend your free time, where are your friends and family, is waterfront important to you, or perhaps you like a more secluded area a bit outside the city. You don’t want to pick a house located too far from everything, even if that house is absolutely amazing. Unless you’re buying in an area that will grow in the years to come and you’re aware of that and OK with that.

Your Lifestyle. Where you are in life will determine the type and size of home you need. For example if you are thinking about starting a family? or have one already you need a place that will be accommodating to that in the few years to come, at least. Think about how many rooms/bathrooms you’d need, what style of home? are too many stairs a problem? backyard size? number of garages? Do you need a shed for tools and tinkering around. Figure out how many years you’d want to stay in this home, and then try to picture your life 2 years from now, 4 years, 6 years, and so on? Does it work for everyone that will be living in the house? If you are not planning kids but have lots of pets, you may need a bigger backyard or parks close by, rather that lots of bedrooms. If you are parents you need to take into considerations schools and where you want to send you kids to? Check out our blog post The Best Ranked Schools in Burlington, Ontario. You want your home to be able to accommodate your lifestyle.

Paletta Mansion in Burlington, Ontario

Paletta Mansion in Burlington, Ontario

Neighbourhood. What’s around your area? What can you do with your family or friends on the weekend? How does a typical evening feel like? What about morning rush hour? Try to see your potential neighbourhood in different times of the day to avoid surprises. Ask other home owners what do they love most about the neighborhood, what do they dislike? Do you like neighbourhoods that are easily walkable. For example if you go to www.walkscore.com and type in your address, neighbourhood what score does it give? Are you OK with that? Get a good feel of the neighbourhood because once you step outside your house, this is what you’re be immersed in. You wanna feel right at home. Some of Burlington’s best neighbourhoods for families are: Millcroft, The Orchard, Alton Village. South Burlington is primarily older neighbourhoods but closer to the Lake Ontario and very beautiful mature lots. Downtown core, Aldershot, Corporate tend to be suitable for young professionals or retirees.

If you are planning to buy a home in Burlington, best mid-sized city in Canada, and need some help in finding that ideal home, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help. That’s what we’re here for. We’ve connected hundreds of people with their ideal homes and we can do the same for you too. Call 905-330-2002 today or learn more about our Burlington real estate services.

Offer Strategies When Buying a Home

Offer Strategies When Buying a Home

Offer Strategies When Buying a Home

Choose the Strategy That’s Best for You!

  • The “How Low Can You Go” offer
  • The “I’ve Got to Have This Home” Offer
  • The “Poker” offer

The “How Low Can You Go” offer is contingent on you not having an emotional attachment to the property you intend to purchase. In a buyers’ market, you may find a few homes that catch your interest and you may want to make a lowball offer. This is usually significantly less than the asking price. Lowballs only succeed if the seller is desperate. You may receive a counter offer, but more often than not, the seller will feel insulted and ignore your offer.

We may advise you against presenting such an offer, but will pass it along to the vendor.

The “I’ve Got to Have This Home” offer usually happens when buyers fall in love with the home and want to present their best offer first. This offer leaves no negotiating room, but if the market is hot, it’s an offer that will attract attention. Your RE/MAX associate will convey to the seller that this is your best offer. Most sellers expect to receive an offer and counter with another, so you may find yourself in a situation where you either accept the counter offer, or walk away from the home.

The “Poker” offer usually arises in a sellers’ market where buyers find themselves in a bidding war for the property. If you find yourself in this situation, all of your negotiating strength will be lost. You have the choice to raise the bid, or fold and move on.

The power of waking away is a formidable one, especially when no one else is competing against you to buy the house.

Also keep the following points in mind:

  • All negotiating should be done in writing.. don’t relay on oral communication.
  • Don’t settle for the first offer presented, especially if not what you expected.
  • Do examine each clause, contingency and condition in detail.
  • Do consult with a real estate lawyer before signing any papers.
  • And always hire a professional real estate agent to represent you – this is what they do, and trust us, you do need the guidance in today’s real estate market.