Home Safety: Best Places to Put Security Cameras

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

If you’ve decided to put up security cameras for your home for the first time or are considering widening your safety net, knowing the proper way to place and angle your cameras is vital to keeping your home as safe as it can be. Not only can proper camera placement catch important details of possible crimes in your area, simply placing them properly can deter a crime from happening in the first place.

The most important factor in judging where to place a camera is simple: Your home is your home. You know what the layout is, you know where the most important rooms are, and you may be in the unfortunate position of knowing how someone entered your home without your permission in the past. Before you begin placing any equipment, consider some basic questions about your home’s surveillance needs. Some questions to consider include:

  • What parts of your home are you most concerned about?
  • If someone has broken into your home before, even before you owned it, where did that occur?
  • Are there any spots on my property that aren’t plainly visible to the street or my neighbors?
  • Do you need to keep any local camera placement laws in mind?

Though you may come to a variety of conclusions and potential diagrams for your home security systems, consider the usual entry points for potential burglars when casing a home. Knowing the most common routes of entry can take a large portion of the workload off of you simply by observing recorded statistics. With over 80 percent of burglars entering a home through the first floor, whether through door or window, it’s especially important to keep the entirety of your property’s entryways covered. At the same time, trying to cover low locales, such as your doors and windows, may leave cameras in easy reach of criminals, thus completely negating their usefulness.

If you find you have a lack of safe places to place a camera, consider looking into protective caging for your equipment to protect it from being knocked out of order while you aren’t looking. This is also a good time to contemplate what special tools you may need to complete your installation, so ensure you check your camera system to see its recommended outfitting requirements that might need special preparations.

While losing a camera can mean losing important evidence to help identify vandals or thieves, there are clever ways to keep yourself safe that might goad a criminal into making a misstep. Placing a dummy camera in obvious sight not only deters crime by showing you keep your home under tight watch; it also gives an easy target to a potential burglar that can distract them from hidden cameras that catch them in the act. As an added bonus, dummy cameras are far cheaper to replace than expensive professional models.

Most importantly, you must consider the features of each camera when placing it. Cameras cannot focus on multiple ranges and angles at once, so if you want to catch a trespasser’s facial features, mounting your camera up too high can blur distinctive features, but a raised camera may have a better time picking up a car’s license plate when placed overlooking your driveway.

In the end, even poorly-placed cameras will offer better home security than not having any at all, but there’s no reason to leave proper home security to chance. Knowing how to place your first line of defense can keep you safe before and after any crime, and knowledge is always your best weapon.

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Homeowners Can Spend More Than $9,000 a Year on Hidden Homeownership and Maintenance Costs

From property taxes to basic maintenance projects like lawn care, homeowners can spend between $7,000 and $16,000 a year in hidden homeownership costs Continue Reading →

Ranked: 10 Affordable Towns With High-Rated Elementary Schools

Communities with sought-after schools often command a premium for homebuyers. Realtor.com® recently uncovered 10 towns where not only public elementary schools earn high marks, but also home prices make the grade—in affordability.

1. Aurora, Ill. (60503)
Schools: Homestead Elementary School (rating 10/10 on GreatSchools), The Wheatlands Elementary School (8/10), Wolfs Crossing Elementary School (10/10)

The 2017 median household income in Aurora is $114,118 with a 2017 median listing price of $259,900. Aurora is 45 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 47 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

2. Stone Mountain, Ga. (30087)
School: Wynbrooke Elementary School (9/10)

The 2017 median household income in Stone Mountain is $71,678 with a 2017 median listing price of $218,950. Stone Mountain is 38 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and compared to the U.S. overall.

3. Hampton, N.J. (08827)
School: Union Township Elementary School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Hampton is $118,810 with a 2017 median listing price of $297,000. Hampton is 60 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 37 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

4. Royersford, Pa. (19468)
Schools: Brooke Elementary School (9/10), Evans Elementary School (8/10), Limerick Elementary School (9/10), Spring-Ford Intermediate School 5th/6th (9/10), Upper Providence Elementary School (9/10)

The 2017 median household income in Royersford is $83,264 with a 2017 median listing price of $246,125. Royersford is 21 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

5. Kingwood, Texas (77345)
Schools: Deerwood Elementary School (9/10), Greentree Elementary School (10/10), Hidden Hollow Elementary (9/10), Shadow Forest Elementary School (10/10), Willow Creek Elementary School (10/10).

The 2017 median household income in Kingwood is $123,201 with a 2017 median listing price of $323,750. Kingwood is 46 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

6. Rosemount, Minn. (55068)
School: Shannon Park Elementary School (10/10)

The 2017 median household income in Rosemount is $93,743 with a 2017 median listing price of $299,900. Rosemount is 30 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

7. Bowie, Md. (20715)
Schools: Whitehall Elementary School (8/10), Yorktown Elementary School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Bowie is $107,865 with a 2017 median listing price of $345,350. Bowie is 29 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 27 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

8. Huntington Woods, Mich. (48070)
School: Burton Elementary School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Huntington Woods is $120,265 with a 2017 median listing price of $400,000. Huntington Woods is 15 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 27 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

9. Stow, Mass. (01775)
School: Center School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Stow is $139,622 with a 2017 median listing price of $504,750. Stow is 45 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 23 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

10. Chandler, Ariz. (85226)
Schools: Kyrene De La Mirada School (9/10), Kyrene De La Paloma School (8/10), Kyrene De Las Brisas School (9/10), Kyrene del Cielo School (10/10), Kyrene Traditional – Sureno Campus (9/10), Paragon Science Academy K-12 (9/10)

The 2017 median household income in Chandler is $80,130 with a 2017 median listing price of $324,155. Chandler is 30 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 20 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

“When searching for a new home, finding something affordable in a good school district with family-friendly features, such as large backyards, tops the list of homebuyer priorities,” says Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research for realtor.com. “These markets offer strong public schools and affordable homes, making them a great fit for homebuyers with elementary school-age children.”

The ranking was determined by identifying ZIP codes within the top metropolitan areas in the U.S. that contained at least one public school ranked eight out of 10 or higher by GreatSchools, then calculating affordability by factoring in the ZIP code’s median income and median-priced home with monthly mortgage payment and other cost data.

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

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$94,500 :: 50854 MARSHA LANE, New Baltimore MI, 48047

3 beds, 6 baths
Home size: 1,350 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 07/30/17, Last Updated: 07/30/17
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 315834
Community: New Baltimore (50010)
Status: Sold

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$249,900 :: 35436 ST. CLAIR DR., NEW BALTIMORE MI, 48047

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,824 sq ft
Lot Size: 8,276 sq ft
Added: 07/29/17, Last Updated: 07/29/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 58031326877
Community: New Baltimore
Tract: Baltimore Square
Status: Active

Hurry, this is the one you’ve been waiting for! Ready to move into-sellers have done all the remodeling for you. Newer furnace and A/C, tankless HWH, roof, kitchen cabinets, stainless steel appls., light fixtures, wood floors, sod, and trex deck floor. All done with impeccable taste! Walking distance to Anchor Bay schools and quaint and upcoming downtown New Baltimore and waterfront park.

Listed with Real Living Kee Realty-Clinton Twp


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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Study: How Have Borrowers Made Out Since the December Rate Hike?

Borrowers on the whole were able to accommodate the interest rate hike initiated by the Federal Reserve in December, with most successfully continuing to manage their monthly payments after the rate went up, according to a recent analysis by credit reporting agency TransUnion. Of the 63 million borrowers assessed in the analysis—borrowers whose monthly payments are affected by the market rate—just one million became delinquent three months following the rise.

Researchers followed borrowers’ payment behavior through March 2017 using TransUnion’s aggregate excess payment (AEP) algorithm, which takes into account credit card and mortgage payments, among others. Roughly 10.5 million of the borrowers evaluated were determined to be at a higher risk for failing to adapt to the rate rise. Their prediction ended up bearing out only for a fraction.

“We’re pleased to see that only 10 percent of those consumers we had considered at elevated risk of payment shock from a rate increase exhibited delinquency over the study period,” says Ezra Becker, senior vice president of Research and Consulting at TransUnion. “Most consumers appeared able to reallocate their available cash, or make small changes to their spending habits, to effectively absorb the December rate increase.”

Seventy percent of the one million borrowers who became delinquent also carried higher balances in March than they did prior to the hike.

“Minimum payments are as much a function of balances as they are of rate,” Becker says. “Increased balances can lead to liquidity constraints regardless of how rates move. Consumers should always be careful to manage their credit usage within the limits of their income.”

Source: TransUnion

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$319,000 :: 50856 REDWOOD, NEW BALTIMORE MI, 48047

Property Photo

2 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 2,214 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/23/16, Last Updated: 07/28/17
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 58031301175
Community: New Baltimore
Tract: Redwood Estates
Status: Sold

NEW CONSTRUCTION!! PICTURES ARE OF A PRIOR UNIT THAT WAS BUILT. Not Yet Built. Redwood Estates is located in New Baltimore at the corner of 23 mile rd and Jefferson. Redwood Estates Condominiums are cozy upscale condos that range from 1726sq ft to 2416sq ft. Redwood Estates is nestled among upscale residential homes with Lake St. Clair at the end of the street!! Standard with Granite through-out, hardwood floors, gas fireplace, whirlpool bath’s and much more.

Listed with Exclusive Broker Services


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$250,000 :: 51150 Caroline, Chesterfield MI, 48047

Property Photo

3 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 1,813 sq ft
Lot Size: 14,374 sq ft
Added: 07/27/17, Last Updated: 07/27/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 31326730
Community: Chesterfield Twp (50009)
Tract: Chesterfield Oaks Sub
Status: Active

Don’t let this stunning 3 bed/2.5 bath ranch in Chesterfield slip through your fingers! You will be wowed by the gorgeous flooring that greets you to the spacious living room that features recessed lighting, gas fireplace, and large windows that allows the natural light to shine through. The eat-in kitchen is every cooks dream come true, and offers granite counters, tile back splash, new tile floor, commercial faucet, and tons of sleek white cabinets for storage! Unwind in your large master suite that features cove ceiling, huge WIC and attached bath with modern sink, stand-up shower, and tub! The basement has been prepped to be completed, and ready for you to make your own! Kick back and relax in the huge back yard that is surrounded by cedar privacy fence with LED caps! *All appliances are negotiable! *Seller to provide 1 year home warranty!

Listed with Realteam Real Estate


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Japandi Style: Embracing Minimalist Beauty and Nature in Home Decor

Japandi1

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

It’s been known that those who long for simplicity in living space look towards Japanese culture and design for inspiration, but there are also those who admire Scandinavian functionality above all. Seemingly opposite, these two trends somehow merged together and today we have a beautiful blend of over-exaggerated and strict design trends. Where functionality meets aesthetics, we welcome and embrace Japandi, a wonderful combination of strict Japanese minimalism and beautiful Scandinavian design.

Even though there are elements of Scandinavian extravagance and elegance, Japanese minimalism is predominant in Japandi style. Scandinavian trend prides itself with minimalism as well, but there are a lot more colors and details that draw attention than in traditional Japanese style. You should focus on using only the things that really matter in your home, and get rid of anything that creates unnecessary clutter. It’s about perfect balance and pastel color palettes, with statement accent walls, details and materials. You should turn to nature and find inspiration there—cotton, linen, wool, stone, wood, and plenty of greenery are the main characteristics of this style.

Image Credit: Grovemade via Unsplash

Beauty in Details
If you have a lot of decorative bits and pieces that create a lot of clutter in your home, you should change that. This doesn’t mean that your home should have bare walls and floors, but when you’re picking decorations, you need to do so with care. Popular, trendy patterned designs of rugs, curtains, throw pillows and tablecloths are not the right choice. If you need to add a little something to break the strict minimalism in colors, choose items with simpler, earthy tones and delicate patterns. If, however, your furniture is textured and decorated already, you should tone everything down with plain and elegant details.

Image Credit: kaboompics via Pixabay

Dreamy Living Room
Japandi is a great way to make your living room warm and textured, yet still quite simple. You should focus on your furniture and minimize use of any accessories. Think raw forms, bold lines and sleek, modern-style furniture—wooden sofas with cotton and linen throw pillows, bulky, heavy armchairs, and modern coffee tables. Pick which pieces you’d like to be more noticeable and unique—coffee tables, shelves or sofas, and have fun looking for them. Use natural materials for cushions, curtains and sofa covers and try to get matching ones. Bring in some plants in terracotta flower pots and there you have it—a perfect minimalist living room.

Japandi3

Image Credit: (Left) Dane Deaner via StockSnap; (Right) Sylwia Pietruszka via StockSnap

Perfect Bedroom
A wonderful way to create an oasis of peace and serenity in your bedroom is to decorate it in Japandi style, as the perfect blend of calming zen and Scandinavian cold gives the best decor. As a result, your bedroom will be cool and have a calming effect, a trait you’ll appreciate after a long and stressful day. You can keep your wooden statement bed, but tone down the other pieces in the room—wardrobe, chairs and nightstands. (On the other hand, a bulky wardrobe will look great when paired with a minimal, yet bold bed.) Cold pastels and warm wood are a great combo, and when you pair it with recessed lighting, you get the perfect bedroom.

Japandi4

Image Credit: (Left) Cheryl Winn-Boujnida via Unsplash; (Right) milivanily via Pixabay

Paradise Bathroom
The bathroom is a place where you should feel at peace, so it’s important to focus on design and decor, too. A simple and effective way to achieve harmony in your bathroom is to look to nature for inspiration once again. Wood and stone are perfect, since they look rustic and sophisticated at the same time. If getting wood is too complicated and costly, faux wood panels combined with a large statement wooden mirror work wonderfully with stone basins and bathtubs, or even simple stone or wood vinyl wallpapers. Bring a couple of pots with plants and a nice moss mat and it will look just right.

Japandi5

Image Credit: quinntheislander via Pixabay

Bring Japandi to Your Home
Embracing minimalism means that your old furniture should be replaced with something sleek, elegant and functional, and you’ll need to be clearing out all unnecessary clutter in order to get more space. If you were hoping to follow the trend but not really throw your furniture away, you can always get a storage unit and move it there until you need it again. You won’t have to spend a fortune to do so, since there are many affordable lock-up storage solutions.

For some, Japandi is a way of life. Not only is this design easy to achieve, but its subtle decor statements, raw forms and beautifully balanced mixtures of natural wood and bold colors allow you to create clutter-free spaces. Japandi is a wonderful way to turn your home into your own personal paradise.

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$110,900 :: 49222 MICHELLE ANN, Update MI, 48051

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,300 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 07/27/17, Last Updated: 07/27/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 423508
Community: Chesterfield Twp (50009)
Status: Sold

inEAT CURB APPEAL, OWNERS WILL RE-ROOF HOME.INFORMATION DEEMED RELIABLE BUT NOT GUARANTEED.

Listed with Century 21 Market Tech Realtors


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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