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Who the Heck is Sep Ted and What Does He Want with My Property?

Who the Heck is Sep Ted and What Does He Want with My Property? By Kenbob Whiting  What is CPTED (pronounced “SEP TED”)? CPTED is an acronym for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. This has come from extensive research that has shown that certain architecture deters crime, while other types encourage it. These ideas were at first designed to reduce crime to a property (for instance burglaries and break-ins). It has now been discovered to also help prevent crime from a property (like drug dealing or illegal gang activity). The key lies in creating “natural surveillance” (the ability to look into and out of your property). Crime is much less likely to happen if criminals feel they will be observed. A little accountability is all that we need. (Well… and maybe a lot of money too.) What this entails is quite simple. It could include making your bushes no taller than three feet; trees with branches no lower to Mother Earth than ten to twelve feet. This allows your neighbors and others to help you protect your house from vandals and thieves due to higher visibility. It also helps in the sense that it shows you care about your property and the integrity of the neighborhood. Another form of CPTED is to provide house numbers that are very visible (day and night) from the street. We use a piece of 1×6 or 1×8 scrap wood (cut into a decorative shape) in order to make a mounting plate painted with an accent color for the numbers (three to four inches tall) to mount on. Police and Fire Departments like them as...

Are You Ready For A Second Home?

It’s winter in northern Illinois and you have been thinking this might be the year to start looking to buy that second home.  Whether the warmth of the Florida beaches, the Arizona golf courses or the mountains of Colorado are calling you, there are some things to consider before you take the plunge. The first item on the list should be the financial aspect of buying and owning a second home. Aside from the purchase price of the property, you need to factor in the costs of actually owning the home.  Taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and HOA (home owner association) fees need to be budgeted just as they would be for your primary home. Even though you may only be living there several months out of the year, remember you will have these costs 12 months out of the year. You may be able to rent out the home for the months that you are not using it which can help offset the cost. Don’t forget to consider the transportation costs to and from the property, especially if it is a great distance away from where you now live. If you will be getting a mortgage to pay for the home talk to your lender about the loan costs involved for a second home. Typically the down payment will be higher because it will not be your principle residence and there may be other additional costs as well. Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance may cost more too since you this is not your primary home. Don’t forget to talk with your accountant about how owning a second home could...

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