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How to Keep Your Home Safe While Traveling

Every year, millions of Americans flee their homes to travel for the holidays. Some will leave their house for a few hours, some a few days, and some a few weeks. While packing, cooking, and wrapping may top your to-do list, don’t forget about securing your home before you go.

The main thing to be concerned about is burglary. While the classic holiday comedy “Home Alone” may make us laugh every year, it also reminds us that this time of the year is a very active time for burglars. Nationally, burglaries peak during the summer months, but December is close behind. The key is to try and make it seem like you’re home, even when you’re not. Here’s how:

#1 Tell a Trusted Neighbor

It’s always nice to have friends in the neighborhood. It’s even better when those friends are in town while you’re traveling. Neighbors can keep an eye on the house, grab your mail for you, pick up the newspaper off the driveway, and provide an overall sense of security for you as you travel. Leaving a full mailbox and 5 newspapers piled up on the driveway is an easy way for burglars to tell no one is home!

#2 Arrange for Snow Removal

Winter storms can make it obvious that nobody’s home. If it happens to snow while you’re gone, you can ask a neighbor to shovel your driveway for you. Some people might feel uncomfortable putting that unwanted task on a friendly neighbor. If you can, try and find a teenager who can come shovel for $10-$15, or you can always hire a service. Just ask your neighbor to let you know when it’s needed.

#3 Resist the Urge to Post on Social Media

It’s always best to keep your travel plans off of your social media networks. That means no updates on:

– Where you’re going

– When you’re leaving

– When you’ll be back

Wait until you are back home safely to recap your trip to your family and friends. Even if you have the highest security settings on your accounts, you never want to chance it. This information is exactly what a thief needs to find their next victim.

#4 Invest in Home Automation

Automatic lights, motion sensor lights, smart home apps: these are all great ways to show burglars that you are watching them. Smart devices like the Ring doorbell can even help you keep track of packages so you can ask your neighbors to grab them for you. There truly is a myriad of options now to allow us to take care of our home even when we aren’t home.

#5 Be Mindful of Your Trash

If you got yourself a big screen TV on Black Friday and you want to recycle the box before you leave, never, ever leave that box on your curbside for the world to see. You are simply saying, “Hey everyone! Look what I have brand new in my house that you can come steal!” Burglars are always on the lookout for such garbage items. Break down boxes and put them inside a black garbage back or deep in the recycling bin.

#6 Invest in Home Security System

Last but not least, if you don’t have one already, now is a great time to invest in a home security system. These systems will protect your home and your family and give you an immense sense of security and peace of mind during your holiday travels.

Do you have any tips on keeping your home safe while traveling? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Josh Mente

Real Estate Leader Josh Mente, is a founding member and owner of The MD Home Team of Keller Williams Excellence, and is responsible for business administration and marketing for the firm. Josh’s career path began in 1998 as a loan officer for Eastern Savings Bank, where he managed national accounts. He later joined Option One Mortgage originating more than 500 transactions per year valued at $100M+ in sales. In 2006, Mente shifted his expertise to real estate sales, gained his license and focused on buy/fix/sell transactions. Josh is a member of Elite Real Estate Network (ERN), the 2009 Rookie of the Year for Long and Foster corporate, and in 2012 ranked 206 and 2013 ranked 234 in Real Trends of the Wall Street Journal, ranking in the top 250 agents nationwide for all brokerages. From any early age, Josh was introverted and worked hard to overcome a fears of sales - a business that doesn't lend itself well to introverted people. When challenged by a manager that he didn’t have what it took for a specific job, Josh pushed forward and won approval in his new position. That was a pivotal moment that set the pace for his success in real estate sales. Having earned an AA degree from Montgomery College in business administration in 1995 and a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Towson University in Mass Communications 1997, Josh married his college sweetheart Melinda and they now have three wonderful daughters that provide the opportunity to watch them grow up and experience things for the first time. A committed sports fanatic, Josh spends time on the golf course, and follows the Ravens and Orioles as a season ticket holder. He is a part owner of two restaurants in Manhattan, enjoys music and time away with the family at their beach house in Rehoboth, DE. He hopes to find time for his hobbies that include building furniture, playing guitar, learning Spanish and flying planes.

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