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5 Signs the Block Has Gone Bad and It’s Time to Move

5 Signs the Block Has Gone Bad and It’s Time to Move

Choosing a place to live can be incredibly stressful and mentally taxing. Finding the perfect blend of comfort, price, and location can take weeks if not months. Even when you find the right home the work has only just begun. Upkeep can be expensive though necessary to keep your home in it’s top condition.

How your neighbors take care of their property can also directly impact your property value. We’ve all heard of curb appeal and how important it is for everyone to keep their areas in tip top shape. But what happens when several of your neighbors start to care less and less about their homes appearance? The sad truth is that neighborhoods occasionally fall into decay.

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The good news is if you stay alert and look for the signs, you may be able to tell before anyone else that you’re living on a block that’s headed in the wrong direction. Even if you think you’ve found your forever home, surrounding circumstances may lead you to think twice. If this happens to you, have no fear, moving is always an option. There will always be more fish in the sea, or in this case, houses.

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So if you think your neighborhood may be going bad here are some troubling indicators to note:

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  • Increased police presence: This is an obvious one, but its significance can elude you if you’re shrugging off frequent police visits as isolated incidents. Added police patrols and elevated law enforcement responses likely indicate a problem—or several—on your block. Police typically step up patrols to deter potential problems, and this is a bad sign if they’re doing it near you.
  • Broken windows staying broken: If graffiti or other petty crime goes unchecked, it could mean that property owners have given up on the neighborhood. In their classic study on crime prevention, Fixing Broken Windows, George Kelling and Catherine Coles argue that controlling disorderly behavior prevents neighborhood decline. Unchecked vandalism is a sure sign of neighborhood decay. If you begin to see broken windows or have heard of an increase in petty crime it’s most likely time to start banding together as a neighborhood and keep things in check.
  • Homes in disrepair: If homeowners regularly ignore decorating, basic maintenance, and/or upkeep of their homes—like planting spring flowers, painting or replacing deteriorating fixtures—it could be a sign that property owners either no longer care about the neighborhood or are looking to get out.
  • Drop in homeownership and a corresponding rise in rentals and foreclosures: Neighborhoods dominated by rental properties and foreclosures tend to be headed toward decline. Foreclosures take a significant social and economic toll on a community, while renters don’t always view their residences the same way that homeowners do. Too often foreclosed homes are sold to investors who transform the homes into multi-unit apartments or transitional housing, and this can be a sign that things are getting worse, not better.
  • Long-term vacancies: If properties remain vacant, go unsold, or remain boarded up, these homes can become havens for mischief and crime. Likewise, their value will decrease and depress the property values of every home on the block. More than one vacant property is bad news. The longer these homes remain vacant, the more deleterious the effect.

With a little effort and some organizing, neighbors can work together to keep their blocks and neighborhoods moving in the right direction. However, if these signs sound too familiar, it may be time to call it a day and move on to a new home. By ignoring these signs, you put yourself at risk for damage to your new home as well as the future sale price if you ever do move.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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