Friday, February 26, 2021

The Real Deal: The Holidays are Coming


Diana Lytal therealdealwithdiana Realtor • DRE# 01490170 Intero Pride Real Estate
Diana Lytal


Realtor • DRE# 01490170

Intero Pride Real Estate

Holidays are coming! That means “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…” Unfortunately it also means many homes will be ripe for the picking for criminals! I don’t mean to scare you but it is important that you prepare your home so when you are away enjoying your time with friends and family that you do not return home to find disaster!

First and foremost, while it is common place to share the most insignificant details of our lives on Facebook and the like, it is a really BAD idea to disclose your travel plans when you will be away from home. This is an engraved invitation for criminals to stop by and do their holiday shopping in your home. I know this is probably the hardest rule to stick to because we are all excited when we are going on a trip! And sharing photos while you are gone is just as bad. Smart criminals pick up on the fact that you are not home when they see you standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon or lying on a tropical beach.

A few extra tips to increase security in your absence are:

Don’t change your voicemail message to indicate you are out of town. Simply say you cannot come to the phone right now OR leave it as it always is. The more normal things look, the less likely people will suspect you are away.

Tip off the local authorities and ask if they can do the occasional drive by in your neighborhood and even give them your contact information in case of emergency.

If you have a security alarm, be sure to leave a house key and code with a family member that you trust.

Closing curtains will prevent “looky loos” from peeking inside your home, BUT it can also prevent neighbors and friends from keeping an eye out and seeing if anyone is inside your home. Some experts say to leave the curtains exactly as they are when you ARE home, thus bringing less attention to your home. If you leave the curtains open, be sure to place valuables out of sight.

Be sure to put a vacation hold on your mail or ask a neighbor to pick it up for you. Also, don’t forget the newspaper. Nothing says “vacant” like a stack of soggy, yellowing newspapers by your front door.

Arrange to have someone water your plants, feed the cat, mow the lawn or rake the leaves if needed. This will help create a more normal appearance on the outside and have someone checking in on the inside at the same time.

Make sure all doors and windows are locked. It is also a good idea to put a thick wooden dowel in the bottom of your sliding patio door.

Set a couple of automatic light timers to go on and off a couple of times through the evening.

Aside from avoiding break-ins, there are also more safety considerations to remember. Typically when we travel at the holidays, there may be a risk of bad weather while we are not home. Be sure to consider some of the following to keep your home safe:

Set the thermostat at a temperature that will keep the home at an adequate temperature to avoid freezing pipes.

Unplug appliances such as the television, microwave, coffee pot, etc.. to avoid power surges in the event of a power outage.

Make sure to remove all perishables from the fridge so you don’t come home to a smelly house.

Take out all the trash.

Close flues & dampers on the fireplace.

• Depending on the harshness of the weather where you live, you may want to consider turning off the water at the main supply line to avoid frozen or bursting pipes. You will then want to drain the faucets, lines to washer, refrigerator, etc..

With proper preparation, you can truly leave your worries behind and your holiday vacations will be a source of enjoyment and many great memories. If you need any help or have questions on this or other topics, please feel free to contact me at or call 530-681-2532 K


Diana Lytal
Diana Lytal is a Real Estate Professional with proven sales ability demonstrated over the last 30+ years with experience in management and training in the corporate sales environment. Diana is a Colusa County resident and provides readers with valuable Real Estate information.

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