If you are traveling this holiday season, as your local real estate team, we’d like to share some tips on how to protect your home while away. There are certain features of a home that robbers look for, and by knowing what these features are, you can better protect your home while away. As you can gather from “Home Alone,” the number of robberies increase around the holidays!

According to PopSugar, here are home features to avoid having as a homeowner:

Rundown front door – A dilapidated front door is an easy target for a robber. A new, clean door makes a robber assume the rest of the house is taken care of to, and harder to breach. (Plus, a new front door yields the highest ROI of all home improvements, so why not update yours?)

Single lock – According to Skilled Locksmith, a single lock is a lot easier to break into than a padlock, so consider at least doubling up on locks, and making this visible from the outside.

Enticing trash – Don’t leave your trash out for burglars to spot. If they see big-ticket purchases, which very well might be the case during the holidays, they know there are expensive valuables inside. Put your trash out at the last minute on pickup day, and hide it inside garbage bags.

Dark houses – If your home is dark, it is much more liable to be broken into, as burglars know they have a better chance of not being seen in the dark. Motion-censored lights are best, but standard exterior lights work too, especially if you are away.

Overflowing mailbox – This is a sure sign that you’ve left town for the holidays. Be sure to let the post office know to hold mail while you’re away, or have a neighbor pick up your mail for you.

Visible interiors – Cover your windows with curtains or shades at night, when the lights are on and all can be seen from the outside. A giant houseplant is a great way to hide the interior as well, without blocking sunlight during the day.

Landscaping – This one is a bit tricky, because burglars like landscaping that is close to the windows and door, as they can hide in it. But they don’t like anything that has thorns or makes loud snapping noises. Invest in some of these types of plants, and trim low branches on trees, so they can’t climb them.

If you will be away for a long period of time, consider investing in an alarm system, or in electronic timers, which allow you to turn on lights and electronics at different times. Also, be sure to let trusted neighbors know you will be away, so they can keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

Taking some of these simple precautions could protect your home while you’re away, and leave you with one less thing to worry about.

Happy holidays from your Houston real estate team! We hope you enjoy a safe, festive weekend, and when ready to accomplish your real estate market goals, don’t hesitate to call us.