I stopped by the property this morning on the way to work. We had a monsoon last night with not a lot of rain, but lots of wind, at least where I live, and wanted to make sure the property was ok. I also needed to make my weekly visit to check on it and make sure it hasn't been broken into again. The fact that I had a dream a couple nights ago that someone had broken in and graffiti-ed the inside also had me a bit nervous.
I was pleased to see everything looked good. Over the weekend, I used the free $25 Lowes gift card I got when I bought the stove to purchase another padlock for the back gate and five paper temporary window blinds. I now have window coverings on all the front-facing windows and all the windows on the side of the house. I need about 4 more blinds to cover the windows in the back of the house, but I'm not as concerned about those as I was about the ones in the front.
Looking back, I think the backyard is where people were getting into the house. Of course, the window they got in through was facing the backyard, but I finally realized that, because there is an alley behind the house, vandals were probably getting in through the gate in the backyard. The gate is rather large and has two openings. The whole thing slides open wide enough so you can drive a car in. This is how the stolen car got in. The other gate is a standard width gate set into the sliding portion. The last time I was there, I only locked the sliding gate because I only had one padlock. The pedestrian gate I did not lock, but there was a latch that I shut and the only way someone could unlatch it would be to break through the fence. Since the fence has wooden slats, this is a possibility. So this time I also put a lock on the pedestrian gate so it could not be opened either. The backyard is also fairly large, so I don't think you could look over the fence into the uncovered windows and see the place was empty with a fair degree of certainty. Either way, I am still going to put some more blinds up, but all in all, I feel better about the security of the place. Also, the blinds give the house much better curb appeal.
Unfortunately, the streets in the neighborhood are still all torn up for construction, so buyer traffic may suffer. The house next door, which is being remodeled, has wood over the front windows one of the pieces of wood has had a big face spray painted on it. That probably won't help my place sell either.