Category Archives: Buyers

Home Security Options

THE YEARLY UPDATE – 20 UNDER $20

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I’m married to a security nut and I say that with the greatest admiration! Security of one form or another has been his job for over 40 years, so it makes sense that he knows a bit about it. Our house was the only one on our street that wasn’t burglarized when we lived in Italy! Security was a morning and evening ritual – house, cars, kids – he locked it all down. Or he left strict instructions for the 85% of the time he was out of town – to me.

Now, over 20 years later, we still have a similar ritual. And a security plan. I’m not talking about the home monitoring system. We have a plan for ‘in the event of a break-in while we’re at home’. You should too. But that’s not today’s topic.

What does a secure home look like to you? Smart home monitoring is pricey but there are great products available that cost far less. I thought these ’20 under $20′ were pretty cool!

1. Defender Security Door Lock for homes with small children

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silver door reinforcement lock

Bad guys know to attack a door at the lock—so put a lock in an unexpected place. The Defender Security Lock can easily be installed nearly anywhere on the inside edge of your door. It’s easy to lock and unlock from the inside, but practically impossible to tamper with from the outside. And since you can place it high on the door, small kids can’t escape when it’s secured.

But it’s not a perfect fit for every door so you may need to get handy with a chisel to fit it on some doorways. Replace it after a few years of wear and tear. Watch for them on sale and buy a couple at a time so you can replace one as soon as it shows deterioration.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Good for childproofing
  • Tamper-proof

Cons

  • Not durable with frequent use
  • Not functional on all doors

2. SABRE Door Security Bar for added door security

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door security bar

A door jammer security device like the SABRE Security Bar has a rubber foot and it fits under your door handle; the bar adjusts to the length you need. 

Pros

  • Works with hinged and sliding doors
  • Adjusts from 28.5 in. to 45 in.
  • Can be used on bedroom doors

Cons

  • May slide on tile floors

3. Defender Security Sliding Window Locks for vinyl window security

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white window lock

This is cool! Literally! The Defender’s Sliding Window Locks offer both protection and airflow. No screws required. Just clamp it on to the window track at the desired location, and it allows for ventilation on those cool Fall evenings. How’s that for a breath of fresh air???

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Durable die-cast construction

Cons

  • Difficult removal

4. Sliding Door and Window Locks for aluminum sliding doors/windows

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Gripping pads on these door and window locks keep them secure on any sliding door or window track. Double thumbscrews make installation easy and snug. Choosing the lock placement along the track lets you control how far your door or window opens.

Pros

  • Heavy duty aluminum construction
  • Easy installation
  • Snug fit

Cons

  • Poor performance on vinyl windows

5. Addalock lock reinforcement for renters

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red addalock

The Addalock does just what the name suggests: It adds a second lock to your doorknob. You can use it on a front door or on interior doors to block anyone from getting in. It takes seconds to install, and it won’t leave any holes or marks, so it’s a great security device for renters. 

Pros

  • Fast, easy installation
  • Non-marking design
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Non-universal fit

6. Defender Sliding Door Security Bar for securing sliding glass doors

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The Defender Sliding Door Security Bar is just like your grandma’s broomstick in the sliding door track, but with handy components like a hinge that makes it easy to lock and unlock without removing the entire thing and an adjustable telescoping length.

Pros

  • Adjustable telescoping design
  • Hinged operation
  • Extruded aluminum construction

Cons

  • Drilling required

7. Taiker Personal Emergency Alarm for deterring intruders

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gold and purple personal emergency keychains

A whole-house alarm system with monitoring might not be in your budget, but there’s no reason you can’t still scare off intruders with a loud noise. A five-pack of push-button Taiker alarms is under $20, so you can stash one in every room of your house.

Pros

  • LED flashlight
  • Compact key fob design
  • Loud 140 dB alarm

Cons

  • Limited durability

8. SABRE Shed and Garage Alarm for garages and outbuildings

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Even though this alarm is marketed for sheds and garages, you can use it to secure any door in your home. It’s easy to arm and disarm with your own four-digit code, and you can choose between alarm and chime modes.

Pros

  • Loud 120 dB alarm
  • Easy installation
  • Entry and exit delay

Cons

  • Permanent entry delay
  • No remote monitoring
Continue reading Home Security Options

Millennials, First Time Home Buyers And Buyer’s Remorse

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

I researched the topic til my eyes were red, swollen and felt like fire! I know it’s real; I know it’s terrifying; I know there are ways to minimize it.

Buyer’s remorse is a sickening topic to consider when the purchase is a home.  It’s not a pair of ill-fitting shoes or an ugly sofa to be returned or cast off and forgotten. I’m amazed to discover statistics are all over the board regarding – well, statistics!  But certain things jumped out at me.  Socio-economic status was deemed irrelevant.  The phenomena seems more prevalent among millennials (who want to diy, but often discover the scope of work is outside their skill set or the cost becomes prohibitive) and first time home buyers (who get swept away in their excitement).

The purchase of a home can easily overwhelm. So, what can you do? Identify each step before you tackle the process, break it down into bite size pieces, and make it manageable.  Part of my job is to help you focus on your requirements and goals. Needs first. Wants are a bonus and depend on your budget. A bit of thought and planning, some serious brainstorming, these things are not a waste of time. 

Continue reading Millennials, First Time Home Buyers And Buyer’s Remorse

Wait A Minute!

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There’s a lot of waiting in real estate.  You’re aware of that if you’ve bought or sold a house.  As a Realtor, I wait for signs, photos, appraisers, inspectors, clients, lenders, other agents and closings. Today, while I’m waiting for you to call, I’ll practice a few affirmations – Realtors are big on affirmations.  I may (will) twist them a bit to suit my purpose.

1.) I am the architect of my life (are you thinking about new construction?); I build its foundation (no cracks, please) and choose its contents (built-ins?).

2.) Today, I am brimming with energy (plumbed for gas in the kitchen) and overflowing with joy (immediately upon closing).

3.) My body is healthy (though a bit tired); my mind is brilliant (I’m definitely bright, but I don’t know about brilliant!); my soul is tranquil (that might be a stretch – I really need to hear from a lender).

4.) I am superior to negative thoughts (always – no matter what the inspector says) and low actions (unacceptable).

5.) I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today (Lord, I hope I started before today!).

Continue reading Wait A Minute!

Credit Score Below 580?

Credit Scort

Low credit scores alone aren’t an automatic ‘no’ when you’re considering buying a home.  Lenders also consider these factors.

  • Large down payment (10% down or more)
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • High income
  • No outstanding debt
  • Large amount of cash reserves
  • Significant amount of time with current employer
  • Paying comparable rent payments (no payment shock)

For FHA (lender requirements vary)

FHA loan credit requirements Continue reading Credit Score Below 580?