When it comes to creature comforts, little ranks higher than feeling safe. There are many ways we work toward creating a living environment that promotes security, and improved security often means higher home values and lower home insurance premiums. From MAE Capital Mortgage Inc., here are some of the key security solutions for homeowners and what you need to consider when listing a home.
We all use doors and locks to secure our homes, but your choices can impact how truly safe your household is. As Safewise explains, most burglars enter homes right through the front door, so selecting a secure door is paramount. Steel doors are the most economical, and there are hardwood choices that are very attractive. Avoid sidelight windows for optimal security, or consider installing security film to add peace of mind.
When it comes to locks, certain kinds of deadbolts tend to be more resistant to break-ins than others, and you can reinforce entryway doors and locks to bolster security. Lighting can also play a key role in home security. Think in terms of exterior lights that can reduce hiding spots for criminals, motion-activated versions, and interior lights on timers.
Rethink Your Landscaping
When viewing your home from the exterior, try to do so in the mindset of a burglar. Look for nooks and crannies that would shield people from being viewed by passersby. Overgrown landscaping close to your house provides cover for would-be thieves, so SFGate points out that you should take steps to shear shrubbery back to no more than two feet tall. At the same time, a tall, protective barrier around the perimeter of your property can effectively keep scoundrels out, especially if you choose greenery sporting spikes and thorns. Installing a shrub barrier can be a significant undertaking, so consider hiring a pro to do it for you. With the right tools and equipment in hand, they can knock it out quickly and save you the backbreaking work.
Smart Home Locks, Doorbells, and Cameras
If variety is the spice in life, smart locks and doorbells -- all part of smart home security -- offer ample seasoning to pick from. As opposed to conventional security systems that require you to turn it on or off every time to enter or exit your house, a smart system is on 24/7, negating the need to remember to arm it every time you leave home. What’s more, some smart systems have motion sensors that trigger emergency notifications if something seems suspicious.
Smart home security has come a long way since conventional security. It’s all now very intuitive; in addition to tracking main entry points into the home, a smart system can track behaviors and alert you via text. One example is if a thief cuts your phone line (a typical first task before breaking in), your smart system can send you an alert if it ever loses the connection.
Smart locks alone offer options ranging from notifying you when someone arrives at your home to special codes for each user, voice activation, temporary codes for guests — and everything in between. You can often make changes to settings from your smartphone, and some offer keyless touchpads in case you lock your keys or your phone. Smart doorbells offer a live feed straight to your phone so you can see in real-time who is at your door. Some record the activity for your review, while others offer interaction with the visitor. Smart home security cameras offer a number of interesting features as well, such as voice activation, facial recognition, cloud storage, and emergency services monitoring.
Selling Your Property
With the advent of technological security systems, selling a well-reinforced property is slightly more complicated, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Security systems can catch a prospective buyer’s eye, and at the same time, being recorded can be off-putting to some house hunters. One suggestion is to hang a notification at your entryway indicating that a system is installed and whether it’s in use at the time of a showing. When your property does sell, you should ensure all smart home devices are returned to factory settings and notify technical support there is a change of ownership. If you intend to remove the devices when you move out, you should discuss the situation in detail with the homebuyer in case they intend to replace some or all of the gadgets. Be forewarned, however, that it may be up to you to install adequate replacements for certain items, so you should investigate your responsibilities.
Security means peace of mind for you and your loved ones, and it can also influence the sale of your home. Think about what will be attractive to house hunters and what will put your mind at ease while boosting your home value. With a well-thought-out plan, you can rest easy.
Are you ready to buy a home? Contact MAE Capital today at 916-672-6130.
The article was written by Natalie Jones
2018 started off with relatively low interest rates but in the last few weeks interest rates have been on the rise. The stock markets have hit record highs and the economy has added over 200,000 new jobs. Although the Stock has corrected and has become volatile in the last week or so it is still trending over 24,000 points, the highest in it’s history. So with the strong stock market and new jobs interest rates are rising to slow inflationary pressures, a kind braking system to the economy. In order to understand this affect to the equity markets (Stock Markets) and why it signals coming inflation, we have to break it down to why it is happening. As people make more money and buy more things that puts a pressure on the supply of goods and services and when there is a stronger demand for goods and services prices will tend to go up. As prices go up for goods and services the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to slow the demand down as the higher prices for credit (higher interest rates) will slow people from purchasing goods and services, in theory.
The theory of fighting inflation by raising interest rates has been a policy of the Federal Reserve Board since the 1970s. So, when the interest rate markets see any possibility of inflation they will tend to start the process of raising interest rates in anticipation of the Federal Reserve raising them. This is what we have been seeing since the first of the year. Several events have happened to signal possible inflation in the future and as they unfold we see the markets adjusting to stay in front of what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates when they meet at their monthly meetings. One of the major events that is signaling inflation is the lowering of the corporate tax rate to 20%. It seems people in the media and some closed-minded folks think that by lowering corporate taxes helps the rich some how when, in fact, it helps the American middle class people far more. This is simple economics that is not taught in our public schools.
To fully understand this, you must first look at corporations as tax pass through entities. When a corporation pays higher taxes they just pass that cost through to the consumer in the form of higher prices for their goods and services. Higher taxes also mean a big corporation will limit how much money they keep as profit in the U. S. as opposed to taking that profit in a country with lower taxation rates. The money saved by the lower tax rates will tend to keep the money in the US and will be re invested to hire more American workers and keep dollars in the US. Thus; more money in our economy for the American people to spend and eventually driving up prices causing inflation and forcing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to slow the economy down. You see, if the economy grows too fast then there will be a higher demand for goods and service than they can be provided and that will cause prices to go up. The theory has been to raise interest rates so the flow of money slows down with the higher cost of money. This is a confusing topic for most people that don’t have a degree in economics like your author, but if you understand these basic principles you can not only save yourself money, but you can make money by knowing what is coming.
So how does this relate to Real Estate you ask? Knowing the economics behind the economy you can make better decisions as to when to buy home for investment or when to lock in your interest rate on your home or when to refinance and save on your monthly payment. What this tells me about this year in Real Estate is that it should be a hot year for Real Estate Investment on both the Residential side as well as the commercial side of Real Estate. A smart investor will note the economy is starting to improve and more people will have more disposable income to invest thus driving up Real Estate prices. We have seen this happening in the residential sector for a few years now but it did not have to do with a strong economy as so much as the lack of supply of homes. We have seen builders come back into the markets where they can build, and the supply of homes has increased to offset demand. In the markets where builders can not build, due to lack of land, we have seen prices increase to astronomical levels. IN some markets the Government has kicked around rent-control which would limit the amount of rent a landlord could collect in a certain area. The result of rent control would be more run-down real estate, lack of new investment and corruption. The Government should let the free markets figure out where rental prices should be as well as values. As you can tell I am a firm believer in free markets and less government involvement as history has shown that when governments intervene in economics it causes markets to tighten as people and companies have to spend more for compliance of the government regulation that enviably hurts the very consumer they are trying to help. I know the what the argument is from the other side is but it makes no economic sense as every result of more government is higher prices to people, bar none.
In conclusion my advice to potential new home buyers is to lock in their interest rate as soon as they can when they are buying a home in this market. If you have been contemplating refinancing your home my advice would be to do it sooner than later as you will be facing higher interest rates. If you are looking to invest in Real Estate, again do it sooner than later as you will not only get a lower interest rate today than you will tomorrow, but the prices of the Real Estate Investment will be lower today than tomorrow. Interest rates will be common place to be in the 5%-6% range for residential homes in the next 30-60 days from February 7, 2018. For more questions on buying Real Estate or Refinancing or even commercial Real Estate give us a call and we will help you with all your Real Estate investment needs. Again, MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan 916-672-6130. Update to this article 2/22/18- Rates continue to rise due to all the factors listed above and now the Federal Reserve has also said they need to counter inflation by raising rates. I will predict that interest rates will be consistently in the 5's by mid summer. So if you are looking to refinance to take cash out to consolidate bills, pay for college, or home improvement I would suggest that you push up your time frames and get it done now so you can lock in a lower interest rate. It is simple, call one of our qualified Loan Officers and lock you interest rate in today. Update: March 5 2018, Interest Rates still are trending upward although not as fast as we have seen. Again the stance we are taking is to lock our clients in as soon as we can to get the lowest rate possible. As a Broker we are trending about 1-2 points lower in fees or about .125%-.25% better in interest rates than our Mortgage Banking friends.