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rbwamsley

Are houses with alley access more likely to be burglarized?

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rbwamsley    0

I'm looking to purchase a house in the heights that has alley access. One thing I'm worried about is the potential for theft since access cannot be restricted. What do you think? Does anyone have any experience living in a house with alley access?

 

Thanks,

Blake

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Texasota    983

I have lived in a number of places with alley access, both in Houston and elsewhere, and have never had any problems.

 

Maybe with raccoons. 

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rbwamsley    0
6 minutes ago, Texasota said:

I have lived in a number of places with alley access, both in Houston and elsewhere, and have never had any problems.

 

Maybe with raccoons. 

 

Thanks for your reply. Anyone else?

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poyea    25

I think the largest risk is if you accidentally leave your garage door open and the petty thieves grab your tools or golf clubs.  Maybe a slightly higher risk of a house break-in from the alert just due to less traffic.  Our alley I should shut off which provides an added level of security....anyone coming in would have to back out.  I'm somewhat surprised more people don't put up a permanent fence at the halfway point for this reason. 

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innerloop    42

I think that the odds probably are just a little bit higher because of the increased access, but you have to look at the trade-off.  Lots in the Heights are relatively small so you want to maximize the available space and taking up a lot of your potential yard with a big street-facing driveway is counter-productive.  I thought it was better to have an alley access garage.

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Angostura    518

In a lot of houses, the only access to the alley is via the overhead garage door (i.e. no gate in the back fence). This can lead people (my wife, for one) to be undisciplined about locking the door between the garage and the back yard, in which case it's not uncommon for things to go missing from the garage. If you keep that door locked, and avoid keeping anything of real value in the garage, you should be fine.

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s3mh    261

Buy it.  Alley access is so much better than having to give up a significant amount of your lot to a driveway for a front loader garage.  

 

Houses with alleys do provide criminals a better opportunity to break into garages because they cannot be seen from the street.  But if you are vigilant, you can greatly reduce if not eliminate the ability of criminals to prey on your property.  Make sure the garage is secure.  A lot of contractors in the Heights put in garages with cheap locks and no deadbolts on the doors.  Crooks often are able to just kick in the side door or muscle the garage door open to get access.  Make sure the garage is wired to the burglar alarm.  Many are not.  Make sure anything you store in your garage is secured.  Bikes need to be secured with a strong lock that is secured to something that cannot be removed with a screwdriver or crow bar.  Tools and golf clubs need to be locked up in storage cabinets with a strong lock on them.  And keep the garage locked at all times.  Even if you are home.  People have been robbed when they were working in the garage and went into the house to go to the bathroom for just a few minutes.  

 

Make sure that you do not park your car on the street with the garage door opener in it.  Criminals will break into the car to get the door opener and then get access to the garage.  Also, make sure the door to the back of the house is secure.  Too many people put in french doors or a door with a big window that is easy to smash open.  

 

All in all, I do not think the difference between houses with alleys and those without is at all significant if you are vigilant.  Criminals have no problem coming on to property from the street to steal stuff.  It is just that a lot of people with garages on the alley are careless and leave them open with valuables unsecured.  

 

 

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HAG    2

Alley access resident here - no issues for me or anyone on my block since we bought 5yrs ago. As others have said, just take the necessary precautions and don't leave your door open (you can get timers that auto close it after so many minutes if you're worried about it).

 

Overall it's a nice amenity.

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