One of the most important things people want in their new home is the feeling that they and their family (not to mention their belongings) are safe and secure. To achieve that, there are steps that you can take during the buying process, from the first open house until the day you move in.
Here are some key steps:
Do a little research: Let’s say you’ve seen a home during an open house that you really like, and the neighborhood seems appealing. Do a little due diligence and look into things like the crime rate in the area, how big the police department is and school safety. Search local newspapers and websites, and even consider visiting schools and the police department as part of your research.
Change the locks: Do this as soon as you move in. You have no idea how many copies of keys there are for current doors, or who might have a copy. This is an easy and affordable step to take, so there’s no reason not to get this done right away.
Check the windows: Compromised windows can make it easy for someone to enter a home. Make sure the locks on windows are functional and that they lock securely. If the windows are old, you may want to consider new ones. Ask the home inspector for their insight into how safe your windows are.
Install new fire alarms: Safety isn’t only about keeping intruders out of your house. You also want to protect your family and home from fires. Replacing fire alarms is easy and inexpensive. Even if the current alarms seem to be in working condition, you don’t know their history, so switch the alarms and change the batteries every six months.
Consider an alarm system: Installing a home alarm system is a bit costly, but it’s a smart investment. There are lots of options, so there should be something for any budget, and the security that comes with knowing the police will be immediately notified if someone tries to break into your home is priceless.
Other technology: If you don’t want to invest in a full security system, there are all sorts of affordable features that can help protect your house. There are apps that alert you whenever someone knocks on your door, even while you’re away from your home. Other options include cameras that send live feeds of your front door to your phone, and smart locks that are designed to add more security than standard deadbolt locks.