Think about this….

This is a post from The Inventory Lady, Jo Soard on her Facebook page and I think it is great advice…what do you think?

Letters from your burglar

By: Jan Soults Walker

Successful burglars have lots in common — home owners who unwittingly give invitations to robbery. Here’s how thieves thank you for your generosity.

Leaving boxes by the curb alongside the trash lets burglars know you’ve got new toys inside. You come home to an open front door, a ransacked house, and missing valuables. How did a burglar know you’d be gone? How did they get in?

Check out these 10 thank-you notes from your friendly neighborhood burglars, and their advice on how to stop lending them a helping hand.

1. Thanks for the ladder!

Call me a social climber if you will, but I did discover a ladder in your back yard. Thank you for leaving it where I could lean it against your home and easily reach a second-story window. I really love it when upper story openings aren’t wired to a home security system!

So, if you want to keep me out, store your ladder in the basement or a locked garage. And call your security company to wire upper-story windows into your alarm system.

Vertically yours,
A rising star

2. Loved your trash

Can’t tell you how much fun I have driving around neighborhoods on trash day (especially after big gift holidays) when the empty boxes on the curb reveal what wonderful new toys you have. Your thoughtfulness made it possible for me to land a new laptop and a flat-screen television in one easy trip to your home!

Next time, break down the boxes and conceal them in the recycling or trash bins.

Happy shopping!
Curbside Cruiser

3. Dear Can’t-Get-Around-To-It

Recently, I noticed you hadn’t trimmed trees and shrubs around your home, so I knew I’d have a wonderful place to hide while I worked to break into your home. I really can’t thank you enough for all the great new things I grabbed.

Next time, trim back bushes and trees near windows and doors. Make sure entry points to your home are easily visible from the street — I much prefer to work in private! While you’re at it, install motion-sensor lighting. I’m scared of bright lights!

Cordially,
The Tree Lover

4. Su casa es mi casa!

I was sincerely relieved to find your back door was a plain wood-panel door. I had no trouble kicking it in (my knees appreciate how easy that was!) Imagine how silly I felt when I discovered that your windows weren’t locked anyway.

You may want to take a cue from your neighbor and install steel-wrapped exterior doors with deadbolts on all your entries. And be sure your windows are locked when you’re away.

All the best,
Buster Door

5. Bad reflection on you

You’d be surprised how many home owners position a mirror in their entry hall so I can see from a window if the alarm system is armed. (Yours wasn’t, but I’m guessing you know that by now!) Thanks for taking a lot of pressure off of me.

A little free advice: Relocate the mirror so your alarm system isn’t visible if someone else would peer through a window.

Fondly,
Mr. Peeper

6. The telltale grass

Wow, isn’t it amazing how fast the grass grows these days? I swung by now and then and noticed your lawn was uncut, newspapers were piling up on the front steps, and your shades were always closed. To me, that’s an open invitation.

Next time, hire someone you trust to mow regularly, pick up around the doorstep, open and close various window shades, and turn different lights on and off (or put a few on timers). One more thing: Lock any car you leave in the driveway, or I can use your garage door opener to get in quickly.

Best,
Your Trip Advisor

7. Getting carried away

Many thanks for putting your valuables into an easy-to-carry safe that I could carry right out your back door. (Nice jewelry, and thank you for the cash!)

You may want to invest in a wall safe, which I rarely attempt to open. Or, rent a lock box at your bank.

With appreciation,
Mr. Safe and Not-So-Sound

8. Dear BFF

Thanks for alerting a professional acquaintance of mine via your social network that you were away for the week in Puerto Vallarta, having the time of your life. Me? I enjoyed a very relaxing visit to your home with no pressure of being caught.

If only you had known that posting comments and photos of your trip on social networks is fine — but do that after you return so you won’t broadcast your absence!

Sincerely,
Cyber Savvy

9. Tag, you’re it!

Where are you? When you use popular geo-tracking apps, such as FourSquare and Glympse, I might know if you’re not home. Web sites such as www.pleaserobme.com help me keep track of your whereabouts.

If you prefer that I not visit your home, be careful about geo-tagging. But, otherwise, thank you for the loot!

— Just Tagging Along

10. Thanks for the appointment

Thanks for inviting me into your home to view the laptop you wanted to sell. I do apologize for the scare I gave you when I took it (and your purse).

Did you know that some large U.S. cities are averaging one so-called “robbery by appointment” per day? If you want to sell high-ticket items to strangers, I suggest you arrange to meet at the parking lot of your local police station. I definitely won’t show up, and you’ll still have your valuables (and your purse!)

Regards,
A Tough Sell

So what are your thoughts on these letters?  Do you see the value in the suggestions?  Would love to know if these are things you have thought about!  Even moving into a new home and buying that new TV for the family room, think about breaking down your boxes and recycling them instead of putting them curbside!  Put the ladder away at night, even if you have to get it back out in the morning…don’t make it easy on them!  Ready to sell your home?  Buy a new home?  Let’s talk!

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Vicki Reed

Sweet 16…Can’t afford to go to the games?

Can’t afford to go to the NCAA Regional play in your area but would really like to take a live look at the teams?  Try this….the day before the games, the venues are open and the teams each have scheduled practices so you can get a look at a team that might win the the NCAA National Championship in Atlanta.  My friends and I have been doing this for years, scheduling time off work and really enjoying the day of watching the teams practice.

Indianapolis is a regular on the location rotation for regional and championship games – when the Butler Bulldogs were in the Final Four, there were about 40,000 people in the stands to watch them PRACTICE!  I was there…were you?

This year, Indianapolis is hosting Louisville, Duke, Michigan State and Oregon and the schedule is Oregon (Noon-12:50 p.m.); Michigan State (1-1:50 p.m.); Louisville (2:10-3 p.m.); Duke (3:10-4 p.m.) – Doors open at 11:00 a.m.

All venues follow the same NCAA times of Noon to 12:50 p.m.; 1 – 1:50 p.m.; 2:10 – 3 p.m.and 3:10 – 4 p.m.

In the South Regional at Cowboy Stadium on Thursday, again doors opening at 11:00 a.m., the lineup is Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast, Kansas and Florida

For Wednesday in the West at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, you have Wichita State, LaSalle, Ohio State and Arizona and finally, my fav, those boys in the candy stripe pants…Indiana University at the Verizon Center in Washington DC along with SyracuseMiami (FL) and Marquette.

Take time out of your busy lives and stop in and check out the teams in your area…you’ll be glad you did!

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Vicki Reed

Ever been to Alcatraz?

Not as a resident, as a visitor!  I had the pleasure of visiting shortly after the movie “The Rock” was released…very cool, driving my friend Cullen crazy because I kept saying “Sean Connery stood here”  “Nicolas Cage stood here”!  He finally paid for the audio tour so he couldn’t hear me anymore!  As of yesterday, Alcatraz has been closed for 50 years and I still find it’s history fascinating!
On Thursday, the National Park Service unveiled an exhibit of newly discovered photos that depict new details about the final hours of Alcatraz.  The images were taken on the day infamous prison was closed after holding an impressive selection of criminals including gangsters Al Capone and Mickey Cohen, but did you know there were other residents on the Rock?
Workers on the Rock actually lived there too!  The warden and other prison personnel lived there, raised their families there…can you imagine being a kid on Alcatraz?

The images will be on display for at least the next three months and have evoked a swell of emotion for people who lived on the island during its days as a prison.  Jan Peters, 62, was the last child to leave the site of the island prison. His father, Arnold Peters, had been in charge of relocating the inmates to other federal prisons.  At the unveiling on Thursday, Peters said “I’m realizing that we were a part of American history,”  Peters and former Alcatraz resident John Brunner, whose father was the prison’s electrician, said living next door to the country’s most dangerous criminals was ideal.  They never saw the inmates and had world-class views, fishing and friends.  “It was fantastic to live here. We never had to lock our front door,” Brunner said with a chuckle.  Click here to read the full story on MSN.

How would you feel about growing up in a prison?  While we don’t have that opportunity here, there are a lot of unique properties in our own city for you to call your own!  Ready?  Call me, text me, email me and lets get to work finding them!

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Vicki Reed

Why is your home not selling?

Why do some homes linger on the market for months (or years) while others are snapped up in a matter of days?  Much has to do with price, but a lot of factors can conspire to keep your home sitting…

Let’s talk about price…this is usually the largest factor in any home that doesn’t sell.  Did you meet with several Realtors?  Let me guess, you chose the one who said they would price it the highest and now here you sit.  As your agent, it is my job to price your home to sell, not just put a sign in your yard and garner new buyer clients from sign calls, yes, that’s what happens when your home doesn’t sell, we just get new buyer clients from you while your home languishes!  I watch the market, watch the trends and provide you with the best possible price to get you to your next home, be it in the same city or across the country.  A great rule of thumb is 10 showings no offers or 2 weeks no offers means your home is overpriced.

Now about that decor…everybody’s taste is different, so less is more when it comes to decor at sale time.  Declutter, move away from the 80’s (or even 70’s?) and do everything you can to make the home seem clean and fresh…change out those “builder brass” light fixtures for brushed nickel or bronze, you’ll increase your bottom line!  Paint the walls a light neutral shade and the trim white, pack away the knick knacks and make the home as clutter free as possible: too much clutter = not enough storage in the buyer’s minds!

Make certain you have finished all those little home repair projects, if a home looks as if it’s going to cost half as much to repair or renovate as it does to purchase, it’s going to take a long time to sell.  Don’t forget to deal with the cooking, pet or mold odors!  You may have to consider replacing carpet or painting walls to get rid of the odor, your home should smell clean and fresh, but don’t overdo it!  If potential buyers notice a heavy scent of air freshener, they will wonder what you are trying to cover up!

I have turned down listings because the homeowner was not willing to listen to me regarding price – they listed with another agent at a higher price and sat on the market for 6 months until their listing expired with that agent…then called me, listed at my suggested price and sold in 30 days.  Will you listen to me?  Call me today and let’s talk about it!

For Sale Personal 2

Vicki Reed

Which Way Did They Go?

It’s March Madness…where did your favorite team end up?  For those of you who are friends and/or regular readers, you might have surmised that I am an avid (or is it rabid?) Indiana University Hoosiers fan and am excited they are headed to Dayton for the first round, but sad that for Regional play they will be headed to DC instead of Indy.

Do you know that the day before the games start in your location, each team takes the floor for 50 minutes of practice and that these are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?  Regardless of who is playing in Indy, we have always gone to these practices and with the advantage of Indy hosting the final four and regional play on a regular basis, we have had the opportunity to watch a lot of really great teams over the years.  The last time Indianapolis hosted a Final Four, Butler was in the Final Four and it was estimated that 40,000 people came to open practice that day!  Indy generally has an abundance of people at these free practices, but the Butler Bulldogs added about 12,000 to the usual crowd.

So who do you think will win?  I do 2 brackets, the first based in reality and the second based on my heart…which means all of my favorite programs win!  So go ahead…fill out those brackets, no one is working today anyway…who do you think will be meeting in Atlanta?

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Vicki Reed

Time to get your Irish on!

Okay, so we don’t live in Ireland or even a city like Boston with a good Irish mob kind of culture…so how do we celebrate in Indy?  Well…

Today at 11:30 was the St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown (sorry, didn’t get my post written earlier, working with clients, then I had to watch IU beat Illinois…go Hoosiers!)  but truly, there is a lot going on this weekend in Indy!

Georgia Street: Music & green beer on the boardwalk

On Saturday, March 16, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. will host Indy’s newest St. Patrick’s Day event: Blarney Bash presented by Killian’s on the Georgia Street Boardwalk in between Meridian Street and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Beginning at noon and runs until midnight and features live music from  My Yellow Rickshaw (2 – 5 p.m.) and Flatbed Twitch (7 – 10 p.m.), with a DJ before, after and in-between bands. An outdoor stage will be in front of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Green beer will be served inside beer tents along the Georgia Street Boardwalk and food will be available from surrounding bars and restaurants including The Pub Indianapolis, Kilroy’s Bar and Grill, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery and Howl at the Moon. All attendees must be 21 or older. More information is available at www.indydt.com/blarneybash.cfm.

**Beer tents will be open Friday by 3 p.m. Friday, March 15 for fans heading to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to see the Pacers play the Lakers, and on Sunday, March 17 from noon to 6 p.m.

Rather just go to an Irish Pub?  Take your pick!

Claddagh Irish Pub offers 3 Indy area locations and their menu is varied, featuring lots of Irish classics such as corned beef and cabbage, bangers and champ and shepherd’s pie.

Downtown – 234 S Meridian Street, Indianapolis

Northside – 3835 East 96th Street, Indianapolis

Plainfield – 2539 Futura Park Way, Suite 150, Plainfield

Mo’s Irish Pub is located at Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville, and offers traditional Irish pub offers great takes on old sandwiches such as a killer grilled cheese and tomato soup, the traditional fish and chips and the Big Cookie for dessert.

McGinley’s Golden Ace Inn has brought Ireland to Indianapolis. Established just four months after prohibition by Irish immigrants John and Ann McGinley, the Golden Ace Inn is still owned and operated by the McGinley family, making it the oldest Irish pub in Indianapolis. Their basic menu is very fairly priced and includes their most famous item – homemade cheeseburgers.

Mickey’s Irish Pub, located in Carmel, offers great pub food, pool, and dancing.  Mickey’s menu doesn’t offer a lot of traditional Irish food, but they do offer variety, enjoy everything from a burger, to pizza to a catfish dinner. Mickey’s also features lots of live events throughout the year.

O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant is just north of Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and has an extensive menu of appetizers, burgers and many specialty entrees.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Vicki Reed

Mamma Mia!

If you were growing up in the late 1970s or early 1980s, you probably know about ABBA, for you youngsters, you’ve probably at least heard of the musical or movie “Mamma Mia!,” built on ABBA’s music, you can probably even sing along to the group’s greatest hits. But you might not know just how big a deal ABBA was and continues to be or why the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra would dedicate it’s entire performance its music.

ABBA was Sweden’s first major cultural export and has sold more than 370 million singles and albums since its inception in 1972, making Sweden the No. 3 exporter of music in the world after the U.S. and U.K. The group continues to enjoy pop culture relevance through “Mamma Mia!” and other films, and this weekend, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform the music of ABBA with the six-voice Finnish a capella group, Rajaton.

What other exports can we thank Sweden for?  Remember, Sweden is a country smaller than New York City’s five boroughs!

How about the Nobel Prize?  In 1759, Sweden’s brightest minds founded The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel (the inventor of dynamite, among other things) tasked the academy with the creation of the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry, first awarded in 1901. The prize has been expanded to include physiology and medicine, literature, peace and economic sciences and has become synonymous with brilliant people doing visionary work.

Technology?  They are home to telecom giant Ericsson as well as Skype!  Sports?  Bjorn Borg didn’t just win five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles, he was the iconic image of men’s tennis in the 1970s. Fashion?  H&M is the world’s second-largest clothing retailer!  What about IKEA?   It is a multibillion-dollar international flat-packed, read-to-assemble home furnishing and accessory empire.

And talk about some great exports…how about Greta Garbo, Max von Sydow, Ingmar Bergman. Author Astrid Lindgren who created the beloved Pippi Longstocking, and most recently, Stieg Larsson’s  “Millennium Trilogy” (”The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”) has sold more than 65 million copies globally and a movie starring Daniel Craig!

Now that you are up to date on all things Swedish…join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for the music of ABBA March 15 and 16 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis and March 17 at The Palladium in Carmel.

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Vicki Reed