Vacationers Home Check-list: Everything You Should Know Before You Leave

If you are planning on being away from your home for an extended amount of time, it is important that you secure your home. You will not be able to enjoy your family vacation, concentrate on the business meeting, or feel relaxed while visiting relatives, if the thought of your home being violated is always in the back of your mind. There are many things that you can do before you leave, as well as things you can have arranged to be done by a third party, that will ensure that your home, property and pets are safe.The most important aspect an owner needs to be concerned with is that their home does not look vacant while they are away.
Statistics report that generally a home is burglarized every 12
seconds. It is important that you leave your curtains open when
you leave. Closed curtains indicate a vacant home. You can also purchase light timers. They will turn on and off different lights in your home throughout the day until you return from your trip. It is also good to invest in motion sensor lights for the outside. As added protection, you may want to keep a radio on somewhere in the main part of the house. The volume need not be very loud, just loud enough to fool an intruder. It is also good to have an alarm system. Make sure that it is turned on when you leave.Do not leave house keys under rocks or flower boxes around your
home. Make sure they are all removed prior to your departure.
Never leave a message on your phone that you are away. That is
just asking for an intruder.You need to also be aware that your lawn can also give signals
that you are away and your home is vacant. If you are leaving
during the warmer months, clip your lawn prior to your departure. Arrange in advance to have someone come and cut your lawn while you are away, as well. It is also good to cut back plants or shrubs that would provide a good place for an intruder to hide, or lurk behind. If you live in a cold climate and it is winter, be sure that you make arrangements to have someone you trust come and shovel the snow while you are away. Nothing gives a clue that no one is home more than a driveway and side walk that is piled under 6 feet of snow. If it is pool season arrange for someone to clean your pool while you are away.Make sure that all outside work buildings or sheds are locked.
Mowers, bicycles, and tools need to be secured inside. It is
important that you do not leave your garage door opener inside
any vehicles that will be left on the driveway. You can even
arrange to have someone move your vehicles around periodically in your driveway to give your home the lived in look. Check all windows prior to leaving, as well as outside doors. Dead bolts on the doors, and key locks for the windows are the safest. Just make sure that the keys are removed from the window locks before your trip. Do not forget your skylight windows, or the small fanlights that may be in your bathroom. If an area is small enough for a head to fit through, it needs to have a lock on it.You need to contact your local post office and have all mail kept there until your return. Cancel all newspaper subscriptions, as well. This is not an uncommon practice, and it will ensure that you don’t have papers piling up on your walk, or mail spilling out of your box. That is an open invitation to an intruder.It is also important that you are careful during casual conversation with the clerk at the store, dry cleaners, clubs,
etc. Do not let anyone in the general public know that you are
planning a trip. You never know who might be listening. It is
also important that you do not list your address on your luggage. You would be surprised at how many homes are burglarized because a future burglar saw your address on your luggage at the airport. They simply follow you to the departure gate and ransack your home that evening.You can contact your local law enforcement office and let them
know that you are going to be away. Give them the dates of when you will be leaving and when you will be returning. They will provide a patrol unit to drive by your house every day to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. If your
neighborhood has a neighborhood watch program have your home
listed as one of the homes that is in need of being watched.It is a good idea to also make an inventory of your valuables, with serial numbers and model numbers where possible. This
information comes in handy if you ever have to file an nsurance
claim due to theft.It is important that you make adequate arrangements in regards to any pets that you may own. You can board them at a shelter, if need be, though the comfort and care of your pet should always be kept in mind. It will be unsettling to your pet to be separated from you, make sure that their temporary home is as loving and comfortable as possible. No family pet should be kept in a cage for an extended amount of time. Make sure that you are leaving your pet with someone who is an animal lover, and not in the business of kenneling for greed. You should never forget the goldfish in the tank, or the plants in your home. It would be sad to come home to a floating fish and dead house plants. You may want to make prior arrangements to have someone come into your home to take care of these other special family members.Prior to leaving it is important that you go through the
refrigerator and dispose of any products that will have spoiled
before you come home. You need to reduce the temperature on the hot water heater to a lower temperature, as well as the
thermostat on any central heat and air units that you may have.
Make sure that all outside water hoses are disconnected if it is the winter season, it will help to keep your pipes from bursting in extreme cold weather. It is also important that you check all smoke detectors to verify that they are in working order.An option that you may want to check into that will give you
peace of mind is a house sitter. This is a person that comes in and takes care of all the above listed things and stays at your home while you are away. Your pets will be able to stay in their own environment, the plants will be watered, the pool cleaned, the mail checked, the lawn will be mowed, etc. The house sitter’s voice will be heard on the end of the telephone line when a future burglar calls to check to see if someone is home. It will be the house sitter that they see coming and going from your home on a regular basis if your house is under surveillance by a future burglar. The presence of the house sitter is the number one burglar deterrent.A house sitter can also provide invaluable services like
forwarding faxes to you if you run a home business and an urgent matter needs to be dealt with. They can also provide immediate attention to your home if there is ever an emergency.House sitters are the best thing you can do in regards to your pets. They can take your furry friends for their scheduled checkups, and tend to them if they get sick or hurt. They can also bathe them, feed them and love them until you get home. You can also leave a grocery list with your house sitter. When you return home, you will have a pantry and refrigerator stocked full of food, and you will not have to worry about that dreaded chore upon your return. A house sitter can also be in charge of getting any needed prearranged servicing done on your vehicles, or your home, while you are away. Above all else, the main service that a house sitter provides is that you can call home and see how your home is doing.There is no greater feeling than to have peace of mind and to be able to enjoy your time away from home. The only feeling that can match that is coming home and finding that your home is still intact, your pets are well, and that your valuable are where you left them. You cannot leave home without having someone watch over your home. The day of everyone leaving their front doors unlocked are over. Make sure that you do everything you can to assure that your home, pets and possessions are well-protected while you are away.

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Home Loan After Bankruptcy – Is It Possible?

After the crisis of bad credit and filing for bankruptcy, perhaps you may feel intimidated of starting up new transactions. For instance, you may feel disheartened about purchasing a new home because of your bad credit history. However, even if you have a record of bankruptcy in your credit report, there is still a chance to make a new start.Today, there are mortgage companies who are willing to grant home loan approvals for those who filed for bankruptcy in the past. Tough competition among lending companies in the market drives these lenders to give special home loan packages for those who have been through bankruptcy. As long you have been discharged from your debts, you can go right ahead and submit that home loan application.Will Lenders Accept Your Application?Lenders are not merely taking chances. After all, your home property will be used as a security for your loan so there’s really not much risk involved. If you’re done filing Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 of bankruptcy, you can call a lending company and ask about your chances of getting an approval.While other lenders require 2 years of interval after your bankruptcy has been discharged, other lenders also grant home loan approvals after just one day of discharge. If you have been submitting your payments religiously and all your payments are reported to the major credit bureaus, you should have no problem getting a loan approval.What About the Down Payment?You might also be required to give at least 3 to 5% of down payment in order to get an approval. If you do not have the money to use as down payment perhaps you can borrow from a friend or a relative. However, if the money you will put down is borrowed, you should disclose this to your lender before closing. It is important to declare to your lender where the money is coming from since not doing so can be counted as defrauding your lender.Another option can be programs such as Neighborhood Gold or the Nehemiah. These down payment assistance programs help you get the loan even if you don’t have enough cash to put down. Use the internet to search about “down payment assistance” programs.Starting NewOnce your home loan is granted, don’t forget that you’ll be paying monthly payments for your mortgage. This is your chance to rebuild your credit history. If your reason for filing bankruptcy in the past were circumstances beyond your control such as illness, loss of job, death in the family, calamities and other unfortunate events, then you may not accountable for bad credit.However, if the reason behind your bankruptcy is due to unpaid debts because of irresponsible management of your finances, then you might have already learned your lesson. Keeping up with your monthly payments is the best way to avoid being caught in bad debt. Live according to your means and do not waste time in making adjustments with your lifestyle if you see the need to change. This is your chance to own a home and to regain your reputation.

Foreclosure Homes

When buying a house, try checking out the foreclosure listing of your local bank. You are most likely to find prime real estate at a much lower cost than those offered by real estate agents. Some government agencies with lending capabilities or functions also post a listing of foreclosed properties. Another good source of listings is the Internet. Several websites keep records of foreclosed properties and allow access to their databases.These sources of foreclosed property listings may also provide lists of properties on pre-foreclosure status or those put under bankruptcies. Some will also offer free updates and alerts on foreclosures, via email, phone calls, or mailed notices.If you are more entrepreneurial, buying foreclosed properties and selling them is possible too. In fact, there are those who have already earned substantial profits from this kind of business venture. It makes a lot of sense, actually. Banks or government agencies holding these foreclosed properties want to dispose of them as quickly as possible because it is better to transform these idle assets into cash that can be easily invested as soon as possible. The selling rates of these properties are therefore at the minimum. Buyers can get these houses at a much lower price; some can go lower than fifty percent of their original value, especially during seasons when real estate values dip low. When they resell them at an appraised value when demand is high, they can earn thousands of dollars in profits.Finding an affordable home property at prime or desired sites is quite easy. These web-based agencies or providers of listings of foreclosed properties have a vast network of sources, covering the whole United States and even other parts of the world.So the next time you consider buying a property, check out first the foreclosure listings. You will get much more for your money.