Once you’ve purchased your first mobile home to flip, you need to know how to keep your investments secure while you’re away. Squatters are a known issue in mobile home parks, especially family communities. They tend to break into homes when they know they’re vacant and take them over or call it their own until they get caught.
Not only do you not want these intruders to get cozy and your new project, but you also don’t want them to vandalize or break anything that could cost you money. So taking these security tips seriously is something important you need to do.
Security Tip #1: Hang ‘Security Camera In Use’ Signs
These signs are good to deter squatters. They make them think twice before they go into your home. A lot of times when you’re fixing up the home you might have some stuff outside that lets them know that it’s vacant. So, you want to make sure that they think twice before they go into your house.
They are really cheap. They cost about $2.50 cents. Get four of them, post them on each side of the home, front and sides and the back. You’ll be good to go.
Security Tip #2: Change the Locks
You don’t know who has the key to the home, or if duplicates have been made by a family member or a friend. Someone might have a duplicate key and they might enter the home as you’re doing the rehab. And you don’t want anyone entering your home without permission.
So, what we do is we have our handyman go to Home Depot and get new locks. It’s $30 a door. Make sure you change them out. We also get a duplicate key and put it in a lock box outside of the front door. So, if you have a handyman or the repairman coming the key is in one place and you don’t have to worry about them moving the key as well.
Security Tip #3: Secure the windows
We’ve noticed in a lot of mobile homes the locks on the windows are just broken. So, it’s easy to slide open the window and allow the intruder to jump in.
What we like to do is use shower rods, the ones that you can extend. They are really cheap and very simple. We just put them right where the window is and make sure that the window can’t be opened. We even put planks of wood there if we have any. It’s very cheap, very simple to install, and it prevents an intruder from being able to open the window from the outside. Get it done, guys. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.
Security Tip #4 Turn of the electricity
Whenever we finish our rehabs we immediately turn the electricity off. You don’t want squatters having access to your home while the electricity is on. They’ll definitely feel like it’s their home at that point.
They’ll camp out. They’ll use your air conditioner. They’ll use the stove or the refrigerator. And you don’t want your new buyers to walk into somebody living there unauthorized. So, make sure the electricity is turned off. As soon as you’re done with your rehab.
Security Tip #5 Introduce yourself to the neighbors
Go up to the neighbors around your home, give them your business card, let them know that you’re the new owners of the home, and that you’re going to be making some repairs to it. And that way if they see any strange activity outside of office hours, they can give you a call and let you know that there’s something weird going on.
There’s no problem giving the neighbors a case of beer, cookies, whatever you have to do to build rapport, just to get an extra set of eyes on the home while you’re not there.
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