You know that popular real estate agent saying “Location, location, location”? Well, I hate to say it, but that means more than living in a good school district or being within a stone’s throw of great shopping – it also has a lot to do with your home’s security.
To guard against the threat of burglars, anybody shopping for a new home might want to consider avoiding houses that are located in these areas:
1. In a Cul-de-Sac
I remember playing in neighborhood cul-de-sacs as a kid – with little traffic, they were perfect for riding bikes or playing football in the street. But when it comes to home security, there are downsides to living in a dead end.
According to the website Advanced Investigations, houses in cul-de-sacs are at greater risk for home invasion because there aren’t as many people passing by them and because they aren’t as closely watched or visited by police patrols.
2. In a Dark, Quiet Neighborhood
You may like the feel of that peaceful, leafy neighborhood from the right angle on a bright, sunny day, but ask yourself if it might not be a little TOO quiet and overgrown. Because if so, it just might be equally idyllic to a burglar.
As an article on the Electronic Security Association’s alarm.org website points out, “For a burglar, an ideal home would be located in a dark, lifeless neighborhood with good hiding places and escape paths.”
3. Near Previously Burglarized Homes
Unfortunately, just being near another house that has been burglarized can compromise your own security.
John and Karen Leyburn write in a post on the RobberStoppers Community Info Blog that “if the previous target has been hardened, the thief will pick another house nearby that they feel will contain similar property, assuming everyone wants to ‘keep up with the Jones’.”
4. On or Near Major Roads
Being close to a major thoroughfare may seem like a plus when you’re thinking about convenience, but it can also mean convenience for a thief.
In a study investigating whether or not burglars calculate ROI, researchers Dr. Yochanan Shachmurove, Dr. Gideon Fishman, and Dr. Simon Hakim found that houses located near arterial roads were in fact more likely to be broken into.
5. Next to a Wooded Area
Homes situated in an area that might provide ready-made cover for an escaping burglar are certainly a significant security risk.
So it’s not surprising that the study by Drs. Shachmurove, Fishman, and Hakim specified that houses “adjacent to a wooded area … had a greater probability of being burglarized.”
6. Proximity to Potential Troublemakers
In her paper “Burglary of Single-Family Houses,” Deborah Lamm Weisel notes that homes located near areas where potential offenders can frequently be found are particularly vulnerable to security issues.
“These include houses near large youth populations, drug addicts, shopping centers, sports arenas, transit stations, and urban high-crime areas,” writes Weisel.
7. On the Outskirts
Weisel also says that living on the outskirts of a neighborhood can make your home a bigger target of burglars looking for easier pickings.
The problem is that houses on the outskirts don’t have the protection of neighbors, who are more likely to notice strangers and report suspicious activity in the less-trafficked confines of the neighborhood’s interior.
8. By a Parking Lot
It turns out that having a home that’s adjacent to a parking lot, even a fairly small one, could put you at greater risk from thieves.
In a blog post titled “Prolific Burglar Shares Tips from Prison,” Robert Siciliano reveals that a burglar confided to him that he frequently targeted houses close to business or church parking lots so that he could park his car unnoticed.
When looking for a home, you have many priorities, but don’t forget to factor in the importance of location and the impact it can have on your security.
To recap, these are areas or attributes that you should be wary of when choosing a house:
- Dark, “lifeless” neighborhoods
- Nearness to previously burglarized home
- Major roads
- Wooded areas
- Proximity to potential offenders
- The outskirts of a neighborhood
- Near a parking lot
If you’re already living in a home located in or around one of these areas, don’t panic, but do consider increasing your security measures. Items like deadbolts, outdoor lighting, and a home alarm could go a long way to making your house more secure. Want an easy solution?