5/1 ARM vs. the 30-Year Fixed : Pros and Cons

Last updated on August 4th, 2020

Here we go again…it’s that special time where I compare two popular home loan programs to see how they stack up against each other. Today’s match-up: “5/1 ARM vs. 30-year fixed.”

Everyone has heard of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – it’s far and away the most popular type of mortgage loan out there. Why? Because it’s the easiest to understand and presents no risk of adjusting during the entire loan term.

It’s basically the default home loan option whenever mortgage lenders advertise interest rates, and the pre-selected option when using a mortgage calculator.

But what about the 5/1 ARM? Do you even know what a 5/1 ARM is? What the heck is that slash doing there!? This looks confusing…calm down, we’ll get through it.

5/1 ARM vs 30-Year Fixed

Jump to 5/1 ARM topics:

– What Is a 5/1 ARM?
– 5/1 ARM Mortgage Rates
– 5/1 ARM Example
– 5/1 ARMs Will Likely Adjust Higher
– Is a 5/1 ARM a Good Idea?
– Pros and Cons of 5/1 ARMs
– 5/1 ARM FAQ

What Is a 5/1 ARM?

5/1 ARM

  • It’s an adjustable-rate mortgage with a 30-year term
  • The interest rate is fixed (does not change) for the first five years
  • And adjustable (the rate can rise or fall) during the remaining 25 years
  • It adjusts once each year after the first five years

Simply put, a 5/1 ARM is an adjustable-rate mortgage with a 30-year loan term that has a fixed interest rate for the first five years and an adjustable interest rate for the remaining 25 years.

So during years one through five, the interest rate never changes. If it starts at 4%, it remains at 4% for 60 months. Nothing to worry about there.

But after the first five years are up, the interest rate can adjust once annually, either up or down. That’s where the “1” comes in, as in one adjustment per year.

This means it’s a hybrid ARM – partially fixed, and partially adjustable.

Whew! There you have it, the 5/1 ARM broken down into simple terms we can all understand. Oh, and don’t get hung up on that pesky slash.

While not as popular as the 30-year fixed, it’s a pretty popular adjustable-rate mortgage product, if not the most popular. And as such, just about all mortgage lenders offer it.

It’s an option for conventional loans, FHA loans, and VA loans (but not USDA loans). So you won’t have any trouble finding it. This should make comparison shopping quite easy too.

5/1 ARM Mortgage Rates Are Lower. That’s the Draw

30 vs 5/1 rates

  • 5/1 ARM mortgage rates are cheaper than comparable 30-year fixed rates
  • Because your rate is only fixed for a short period of time
  • And can increase significantly once it becomes adjustable
  • The discount might range from .25% to 1%+ over time

The biggest advantage to the 5/1 ARM is the fact that you get a lower mortgage rate than you would if you opted for a traditional 30-year fixed.

You get a discount because your interest rate isn’t fixed, and is at risk of rising once the initial five-year period comes to an end. Of course, if you refinance your mortgage at that time you can avoid the rate changing.

As you can see from the chart I created above, the 5/1 ARM is always cheaper than the 30-year fixed. That’s the trade-off for that lack of mortgage rate stability.

But how much lower are 5/1 ARM rates? Currently, the spread is 0.55%, with the 30-year averaging 4.45 percent and the 5/1 ARM coming in at 3.90 percent, per Freddie Mac data.

Since Freddie began tracking the five-year ARM back in 2005, the spread has been as small as 0.27% and as large as 1.30% in 2011.

If the spread were only 0.25%, it’d be hard to rationalize going with the uncertainty of the ARM. Conversely, if the spread were a full percentage point or higher, it’d be pretty tempting to choose the ARM and save money for at least 60 months.

The Freddie Mac survey only covers conforming loans. The spread might be different for jumbo loans, depending on market conditions. And it may also be significantly understated.

Either way, take the time to compare lenders since rates (and loan payments) can vary considerably, just like fixed interest rates.

Let’s look at an example of the potential savings of a 5/1 ARM:

$300,000 Loan Amount 5/1 ARM 30-Year Fixed
Mortgage Rate 3.5% 4.5%
Monthly P&I Payment $1,347.13 $1,520.06
Total Cost Over 60 Months $80,827.80 $91,203.60
Remaining Balance After 60 Months $269,091.53 $273,473.41
Total Savings $14,757.68

Assuming you can snag a 1% lower rate on the ARM vs. the fixed product, you could potentially save nearly $15,000 over the first five years, not taking into account tax deductions.

That’s a pretty big win, though you do have to consider what happens in month 61. Does the rate (and payment) on the ARM jump significantly at that time, and begin eating into those initial savings?

Or do you have a plan to avoid that, such as a home sale or refinance? As you can see, the savings can be tremendous, but there’s risk involved too as we won’t know where rates will be five years into the future.

This lower-payment mortgage may also free up cash to pay off credit card debt, student loans, an auto loan, or any other higher-APR debt you hold, or for home improvements.

You’d also pay down your mortgage faster because more of each payment would go toward principal as opposed to interest.

So you actually benefit twice. You pay less and your mortgage balance is smaller after five years (more home equity and a higher net worth).

After five years, the outstanding balance would be $273,473.41 versus $269,091.53 on the five-year ARM. That’s another $4,400 or so in savings for a total benefit of nearly $15,000.

Discussion over, the ARM wins! Right? Well, there’s just one little problem…

It might not always be this good. In fact, you might only save money for the first five years of your 30-year loan.

After those initial five years are up, you could face an interest rate hike, meaning your 5/1 ARM could go from 3.50% to 4.50% or higher, depending on the associated margin, the rate caps, and the mortgage index.

And most importantly, the adjusted rate may not be affordable, which can lead to a lot of trouble.

5/1 ARMs Are Cheap But Will Likely Adjust Higher

  • While the start rate on a 5/1 ARM can be enticing
  • Expect the rate to be higher in year six and beyond
  • Since ARMs typically adjust higher, not lower
  • But if you only keep it for a short time it can be a big money-saver

Currently, both ARMs and mortgage indexes are super low, but they’re expected to rise in coming years as the economy gets back on track, which it will eventually.

And you should always prepare for a higher interest rate adjustment if you’ve got an ARM.

In fact, during the loan application process mortgage lenders typically qualify you at a higher expected rate to ensure you can make more expensive mortgage payments in the future should your ARM adjust higher.

To that end, qualifying shouldn’t be any easier relative to fixed-rate mortgages.

So that’s the big risk with the 5/1 ARM. If you don’t plan to sell or refinance before those first five years are up, the 30-year fixed may be the better choice.

Although, if you sell or refinance your mortgage within say seven or eight years, the 5/1 ARM could still make sense given the savings realized during the first five years. And most people either sell or refinance within 10 years despite taking out fixed loans with 30-year terms.

The big question is where will refinance rates be when it comes time to make your move? And home prices.

If you came in with a low down payment and home values drop and it’s difficult or impossible to refinance, you could be trapped if you don’t sell your home. That’s the great unknown of going with an ARM – and trying to time the real estate market is nearly impossible.

Is a 5/1 ARM a Good Idea?

  • It really depends on what your plan is for the property
  • If you know you won’t keep it for five years it could be a no-brainer to save money
  • But if you plan on keeping your home for the long-haul and interest rates rise
  • There’s a chance it could cost you more money if your rate adjusts significantly higher

If you do decide to go with a 5/1 ARM, or any ARM for that matter, make sure you can actually handle a larger monthly mortgage payment should your rate adjust higher. Paying the mortgage with your credit card isn’t a good strategy.

Also realize that refinancing won’t always be an option; you may not qualify if your credit score goes down or your income takes a hit, or refinance rates may be too expensive to justify a refi. It’s never a guarantee.

If you actually plan to pay off your mortgage, an ARM loan could be a bad idea unless you seriously luck out with rate adjustments. Or you serially refinance before the ARM adjusts and pay extra each month to shorten the amortization period.

Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll pay a lot more than you would have had you gone with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Why? Because each time you refinance to another ARM, you’re getting a brand new 30-year term. That means more interest is paid over a longer period of time, even if the rate is lower. If you don’t believe that, grab a mortgage calculator and do the math.

However, if you’re a savvy investor and have a healthy risk-appetite, the 5/1 ARM could mean some serious savings, despite the potential of the rate changing, especially if the extra money is invested somewhere else with a better return for your money.

Just know what you’re getting into first with this loan type and how high the rate can climb during the life of the loan.

Your financial advisor probably won’t recommend it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good deal. In reality, a ton of home buyers could probably benefit from an ARM because they don’t hold their mortgages for more than a few years anyway. So why pay more?

Five years not enough for you? Check out the 30-year fixed vs. the 7-year ARM, which provides another two years of interest rate stability compared to the 5/1 ARM. The rate may not be as low, but you’ll get a little more time before that first rate adjustment.

Or go the other way and check out the 3/1 ARM, which gives you two less years of fixed-rate goodness but might come with a slightly lower interest rate.

Pros and Cons of 5/1 ARMs

The Good:

  • Cheaper than 30-year fixed mortgages
  • Interest rate won’t change for a full 60 months
  • Rate can adjust lower or not at all
  • Might be able to refinance or sell before it adjusts higher
  • Could be a good choice if you have bad credit and want a lower rate
  • Can switch loan products once you’re more financially fit and have excellent credit

The Potential Bad:

  • The interest rate can adjust much higher
  • Five years can go by very quickly
  • Housing payments may become unaffordable
  • No guarantee you can sell your home or refinance before that time
  • Might cost you more money vs. taking a slightly higher fixed rate at the outset
  • Could actually be harder to qualify depending on what rate is used (fully indexed rate or the note rate)

5/1 ARM FAQ

How much cheaper is the 5/1 ARM vs. the 30-year fixed?

As noted above, it depends on the spread between the two loan programs at the time you apply for a mortgage.

It can be quite minimal, just 0.25%, or more than 1% lower, depending on the interest rate environment and the lender in question. It’s very important to know the spread to determine if it’s worth the risk.

Is the 5/1 ARM due in full in just five years?

No, the five-year part just refers to the amount of time the interest rate is fixed. It’s still a 30-year loan. The rate doesn’t change during the first five years, but is annually adjustable for the remaining 25 years.

Can I get a 5-year mortgage?

I haven’t heard of a home loan with a term as short as five years, but that’s not to say it doesn’t exist, somewhere…

However, you can get a 10-year fixed, or simply pay extra each month to effectively pay off your loan in five years or less, if you wish.

What happens when the first five years are up on my 5/1 ARM?

Your interest rate will become adjustable, based on the lender-assigned margin and the mortgage index it’s tied to.

At that time, you can do nothing and simply accept the new fully-indexed rate (and corresponding monthly payment), or refinance your loan into something new. Some homeowners may sell before the five years are up as well.

Can a 5/1 ARM be refinanced?

Yes, assuming you qualify for the refinance. You can start with an ARM and move into a fixed-rate mortgage later, or go from an ARM to another ARM if you wish.

Can I get another 5/1 ARM after the first five years are up?

You sure can, again, assuming you qualify. Of course, you have to consider if rates are favorable at that time to do so. Also note that you’ll restart the clock with a fresh 30-year term if you do.

Can you pay off a 5/1 ARM early?

Like any other mortgage, you can pay more than the amount due and whittle down your outstanding balance and loan term.

It could even be a good idea if you want a lower balance at the time your loan is first scheduled to adjust. For example, the smaller balance might make it easier/cheaper to refinance thanks to a lower LTV.

Is this a risky loan program? Should I just stick with a 30-year fixed?

This is an age-old question that can’t be answered universally. For someone who plans to pay off their mortgage in full, a fixed-rate loan might be a better call.

Conversely, if you plan to sell or refinance in a relatively short period of time, the 5/1 ARM can be a real money-saver. The key is having a plan and knowing the risks involved, namely that the rate can increase, sometimes significantly.

Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

Credit Karma Review For 2021

Whether you’re working on repairing your credit or simply want to find out where yours stands, there are plenty of websites available that claim to offer free credit scores.

Credit Karma

Credit Karma offers its members free credit score updates, monitoring services, and personalized advice on how to improve your credit score. It’s currently one of the most popular “free credit score” sites on the Internet.

So how does it stack up to other sites? And is the information truly reliable? We dug deep to find out exactly what they bring to the table and whether it’s worth taking the time to sign up. Read on for our full Credit Karma review.

How does Credit Karma work?

Unlike other sites, you never have to enter your credit card information, so you don’t have to worry about hidden charges, fees, or trial periods that end suddenly.

How does Credit Karma make money?

Credit Karma makes money by offering promotions and financial services to its members from partner companies.

For example, if you apply for one of the “personalized credit card offers” using their link, they’ll get a kickback from that credit card company. While you can easily opt-out of emails at signup, you’ll still get offers when you visit the website.

Some of the recommended credit cards Credit Karma offers include:

  • Balance transfer credit cards
  • Cashback credit cards
  • 0% and low-interest credit cards
  • Rewards credit cards
  • Travel credit cards
  • Hotel credit cards

Each credit card recommended on their list of “best credit cards” is based on your credit profile.

Is Credit Karma safe?

Credit Karma prides themselves on keeping your personal information safe, and part of their success in doing so is that they don’t request that much.

As mentioned above, they don’t ask for a credit card number and you only have to enter the last four digits of your social security number to get started. Even that information isn’t stored permanently, so there’s no risk of someone hacking in and stealing part of your social security number.

Additionally, Credit Karma doesn’t sell or rent your information to any third parties. This includes both your contact information and your credit information. Your information is safe on the website because they use encryption services to protect online users.

Credit Karma Complaints

Credit Karma’s BBB rating is currently a B+ which is partially due to the 330+ complaints filed within the last three years. However, with more than 50 million members, that’s quite a drop in the bucket, and the company resolved all complaints.

The Better Business Bureau also cites a slow response time to complaints as part of the reason behind their rating. Still, a B+ is an improvement over the last couple of years. It demonstrates that they’re taking clear steps to improve their customer service.

The FTC sued credit Karma in 2014 for security risks in its mobile app, but those issues have since been addressed.

What You Get with a Credit Karma Account

Once you’re ready to open an account, what benefits do you receive?

The website primarily centers around breaking down your credit information and analyzing the information to help you make financial decisions and gauge what areas might need attention. One of the most appealing features for many users is access to their free credit score.

Here’s everything you’ll get with your membership:

  • VantageScore 3.0
  • TransUnion credit report, credit score, auto insurance score
  • Equifax credit report and credit score
  • Free credit monitoring
  • Credit report card to help identify weak areas in your credit report
  • Credit score simulator shows how certain actions could potentially raise or lower your credit score

All of this information is displayed in easy-to-use dashboards. You can look at what factors impact your credit score. Credit Karma breaks down each weighted category in the scoring system to show how you rate in each one.

This helps you know what areas of your finances you should focus on to improve your credit score. If you noticed any errors or possible signs of identity theft on your credit report, you can take action by disputing them with the major credit bureaus.

Credit Karma dashboard

For example, you might have an “excellent” rating under your credit utilization, but only score a “fair” for payment history. So you know that your best potential for future growth lies in making regular, on-time payments for your bills each month.

You can also click each category to go into further detail about how different ratios are calculated and what statistics have changed since last month. They also show you how you compare to other Credit Karma users with similar demographics as your own.

It’s quite an in-depth breakdown of all the factors that go into your credit score. This can be very helpful if you’d like a full analysis of what you need to do to help improve your credit score.

New Features from Credit Karma

Credit Karma has recently rolled out a few extra features to offer members. The first is called Unclaimed Money. You can perform a free search to see if you qualify. When companies owe you money but can’t reach you, for example, they’re required to turn that money over to the state.

Credit Karma members can search a free database to see if they have any outstanding money to claim from the government.

The second new member feature is a free tax return service. It’s similar to Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software services, with a maximum refund guarantee. Plus, both the federal and state returns are free to file, as are additional forms you may need.

See also: Top 5 Credit Monitoring Services of 2021

Is Credit Karma free?

It’s true that Credit Karma is completely free and the company claims that they will remain so indefinitely. That’s great news for users, but it’s still important to be cautious when browsing the website.

It might be tempting to take out a loan or get a new credit card that you might not otherwise consider when you see all the various financing offers available to you.

Perhaps that is a good thing for some people; after all, everyone needs some sort of financing at some point in their lives. Or maybe your credit has improved and you are eligible to refinance a current loan at a better interest rate and save some serious cash.

Why is Credit Karma free?

One minor complaint from some users is that the user dashboard has many ads and offers from third parties — maybe too many for some.

Of course, these ads and offers are how they make money and can provide members with a totally free credit score. However, you shouldn’t take out a credit card or loan that you don’t need just because you’re being offered what seems like a good deal.

Because Credit Karma has access to so much of your personal and financial information, they are able to make extremely targeted individualized offers to each member.

Be sure to use your judgment wisely before committing to any product you’re offered. But hopefully, if you’re using Credit Karma, you’re already determined to use your credit responsibly so you can achieve all of your financial goals.

How accurate is Credit Karma?

The free credit score you receive from Credit Karma comes straight from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three credit bureaus. It is not your FICO score, the scoring model used by the vast majority of lenders. In the credit industry, these credit scores are referred to as “FAKOs.”

If you’re interested in getting your real FICO scores for free, check out our article, 13 Credit Cards Offering Free Credit Scores. Some of the credit card companies don’t even require you to be a customer.

VantageScore

While VantageScore 3.0 was actually created by all three major credit bureaus, it’s still not as popular as the FICO model. When it comes time to apply for a loan, your FICO score may be quite different from the free credit score you’ve been tracking through Credit Karma.

There’s no way to tell how big the difference may be; in fact, member reports vary in all different directions. Some users claim that their credit scores from Credit Karma are much lower than their FICOs. It leads them to wonder if the website purposefully reports lower credit scores to keep customers coming back.

Other people are disappointed when they find out that their FICO score is lower and that they don’t qualify for as competitive interest rates as they had hoped for.

Still, others say that their FICO and Credit Karma credit scores had negligible differences. It seems like personal experiences can vary widely, so it’s best to take your personal information with a grain of salt.

Does Credit Karma hurt your credit score?

Many people ask if getting your credit score from Credit Karma will damage your credit. The answer is no. Viewing your credit history or free credit score at CreditKarma.com does not affect your credit at all.

Bottom Line

Using their service to track and analyze your free credit score can be a big help when you’re in the process of looking for a loan. Just remember that when you are shopping for a loan, you should always talk to several lenders and compare offers before choosing one.

If you’re unsure of how accurate your Credit Karma credit score is compared to the number your lender will pull, wait until you are ready to actually take the loan out. That way, you can batch all of your credit inquiries together and find out your credit score during the application process.

By doing so, you won’t risk hurting your credit score with multiple hard pulls on your credit reports from different lenders. Even if most lenders use a FICO score instead of the VantageScore 3.0 provided by Credit Karma, they still offer a useful service.

So does Credit Karma prepare you for the loan application process? Yes, they provide a free credit score that comes directly from the information (and formulas) furnished by the three credit bureaus.

If you’re looking for a free, reliable credit monitoring service, Credit Karma provides real-time updates and personalized advice to help you raise your credit score.

But nothing is an exact science and you can’t rely solely on Credit Karma’s credit scores to determine how likely you are to get approved for a loan. However, more information is always better than none, especially when it’s free.

Home Burglary Statistics: How Safe Are You?

Do you feel safe in your home? What about when you’re not there? Home security is an everyday concern for many, so it’s important that you are taking the proper precautions to protect your valuables and loved ones. To help you understand the patterns and behavior of burglars, we have a guide on burglary statistics and how to safeguard your home.

Are people securing their homes?

We surveyed 1,000 Americans about their home security and found that:

  • 70 percent of people have security measures in place to keep their home from being burglarized
  • Almost as many people lock their doors and windows when they are home (40 percent) compared to when they aren’t (46 percent) home
  • Only 22 percent of respondents indicated that they use an alarm system and 22 percent said they use video cameras
  • 24 percent of respondents said they owned self-defense equipment

graphic that shows what americans do to protect their home from a burglarygraphic that shows what americans do to protect their home from a burglary

When it comes to securing their homes, respondents indicated that they are more likely to use old-fashioned techniques such as deadlocks (40 percent) on their doors rather than relying on technology such as alarm systems (22 percent) or video cameras (22 percent).

Seasonal break-in concerns

The majority of respondents (56 percent) were most worried about a home burglary in the summer. Half as many (26 percent) were concerned about winter and only 9 percent were worried about spring and 9 percent in the fall. These concerns align with seasonal burglary statistics. According to the FBI, burglaries are most likely to occur during the summer months, between noon and 4 p.m.

graphic that shows seasonal break-in concernsgraphic that shows seasonal break-in concerns

Despite the tendency for people to take precautions by having self-defense equipment and locking doors when they’re inside, a majority of break-ins happen when people are not there to protect the home.

Preventing a seasonal break-ins

The most break-ins occur in the summer months. This is when Americans are most likely to be on vacation or outside enjoying a sunny day. The second most popular season for break-ins is winter. During the holidays, people take trips to visit family and are away from their homes. This is also the time of year when they have valuable presents in their homes.

To prevent holiday break-ins this season:

  • Leave lights on a timer so it looks like you are home throughout the day. Break-ins are most likely to occur between noon and 4 p.m. If you aren’t home during those hours, leave lights or music on a timer so it seems like you are.
  • Don’t leave signs that you are gone such as mail piled up in the mailbox or garbage cans out in the street for too long. The average break-in lasts between eight to 10 minutes. Leaving signs you are gone lets a burglar know they have plenty of time to steal your belongings.
  • Don’t leave boxes from your holiday gifts on the curb. Forty-seven percent of burglaries aren’t planned. Someone might be passing by and see your new TV or PlayStation box on the curb which triggers them to try to break in.
  • Avoid posting that you are out of town on social media. Eighty-five percent of burglars know their victims so they could be following your public social media account.

Burglaries statistics by state

Wondering how your state compares? The FBI has a granular look at crime rates in your state. Below are the top 10 states with the most and least burglaries per hundred thousand residents in 2018.

states with the most and least break-ins per capitastates with the most and least break-ins per capita

Burglary vs. robbery

It is easy to misconstrue a burglary from a robbery. While they may seem similar, they are two very distinct crimes that have different implications and investigative processes.

Burglary is classified as a property crime, whereas a robbery is classified as a violent crime.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, a burglary is an “unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft.” The specifics of a burglary is relative based on your state laws.

On the other hand, a robbery is classified as “taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.”

Since robberies are classified as violent crimes, if someone is convicted of a robbery they will find that it carries a more severe sentence than a burglary.

Additional burglary statistics

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that there were 1.3 million household burglaries, which was a 4.72 percent increase from the previous year. It’s important to be aware of when they happen so you can reduce your risk.

1. Burglaries are most likely to occur during the middle of the day

According to the FBI, in 2018 there were 346,312 daytime burglaries compared to 218,028 burglaries that occurred at night.

This is most likely because the daytime is when your home is left unoccupied. People have daily routines. Criminals are able to track this and take advantage of the times you aren’t home.

2. Burglaries are most likely to happen in the summer months

Seasonality can impact the number of burglaries that occur. These crimes are most likely to occur during the summer months. This is most likely due to a combination of good weather, longer days and an increase in vacations. With more daylight, there is a larger window of opportunity for burglars to break into homes.

We found that the majority of survey respondents (54 percent) indicated that they are most concerned about home burglaries during the summer months.

burglar climbing fenceburglar climbing fence

3 Burglaries are more likely to occur in rural states

According to the FBI, New Mexico, Mississippi and Oklahoma have the highest burglary rate per 100,000 residents. In contrast, Virginia, New York and New Hampshire have the lowest.

4. A burglary occurs every 23 seconds

According to burglary statistics from the FBI, burglaries happen every 23 seconds. This means, there are nearly three homes burglarized every minute and 3,757 burglaries each day.

burglar stealing jewelryburglar stealing jewelry

5. Your bedroom is most likely to be the target of a burglary

Burglars have to be strategic with their time, and this includes targeting the rooms that are most valuable. According to the American Society of Criminology, in two-story homes, burglars will bypass the living areas and head straight for the upstairs bedrooms where they will find the most coveted items.

When scouring the bedroom for your belongings, burglars gravitate toward small, valuable items. Rather than big bulky items like TVs that are difficult to carry, they steal small items that can fit into their pockets in order to avoid unwanted attention as they exit the home.

6. The average cost of a burglary is $2,799

The cost of a burglary is steep. At $2,799 this could set apartment renters back a couple months’ rent. Many renters get renters insurance so they can recoup these losses if burglary were to happen. While it is possible to get back your monetary loss, the feeling of security in your house is harder to recover.

breaking inbreaking in

7. White men are most likely to break into your home

According to the FBI, 80.4 percent of men are found to be the ones breaking in compared to only 19.6 percent of women.

When looking at race or ethnicity in 2018, the FBI found that 68.1 percent of all offenders were Caucasian, 29.4 percent were African American,1.2 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.1 percent were Asian and 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

8. Only 23 percent of U.S. households are professionally monitored

According to senior analyst Dina Abdelrazik at Parks Associates, only 23 percent of all U.S. households with broadband internet have a professionally monitored security system and 2.5 percent have a self-monitored system.

person looking at home security systemperson looking at home security system

How to prevent a break-in

While thieves can be tricky, there are precautions you can take to prevent a break-in in your home. Here are some ways to prevent a break-in.

Install a home security system

The installation of a home security system not only will help secure your home, but it will also give you more peace of mind when you are away. Many systems include video cameras that allow you to see who is on your property at all times of the day.

Park your car in the driveway

This can be an indicator that you are home and burglars will be hesitant to break in fear that they will encounter someone. If you are on vacation, have your neighbor use your driveway as a parking spot to deter any possible burglars.

Lock doors and windows

Locking all points of entry will provide an additional layer of protection when you are away from your home. If you leave a door unlocked or window cracked it will be an invitation for any intruder looking for an easy target.

Install timers for your lights

Even if you are away from your home, putting your lights on timers can give the illusion that someone is home, which can deter an intruder from breaking in.

Be careful on social media

Social media can be a way that burglars track you. Posting that you are at a coffee shop or on vacation will let them know when your home is free to attack. Be cognizant of your social media use, especially when you are not home.

Advertise your dog

Your dog can deter a burglar even if it’s harmless. A simple “beware of dog” sign can make a burglar second guess if they should break-in.

Don’t let the mail build-up

Allowing your mail to pile up is a clear indicator that you have not been home for quite some time. This will make your home an easy target.

Hide ladders and tools

Don’t give burglars any accessories to break into your home. Hide or keep your tools in a safe place where no one can access them but you.

Now that you are more aware of the upward trend in home burglaries in the past years. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to better secure your home or apartment. It is always better to be prepared than to realize you have been the victim of a burglary.

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Methodology

This study was conducted for Apartment Guide using Google Consumer Surveys. The sample consists of 1,000 respondents in the United States. The survey was conducted in November 2019.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

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