Home Security Tips for First-Time Homeowners
As a first time homebuyer, there is a ton of information out there about how to keep your new home safe. The problem is that you’re already stressed out about choosing a house and getting to closing, so you probably don’t have a lot of extra bandwidth to dedicate to security issues as well. The good news is that there are a few quick and easy steps you can take to keep you and your family safe when you buy. Here are a few tips from the experts:
Start Your Research Before You Look at Your First House
You’ve probably already researched which areas have the best schools and public transportation to get you to work, but have you looked at the crime statistics? Plenty of companies publish crime statistics to give you a better idea of the kind of environment you’ll be looking at. However, the numbers don’t tell the whole truth. You will also want to drive through your prospective neighborhoods to see for yourself. Oftentimes, crime data is several years old before it gets published, so you could discover that changes have been made to improve safety in the meantime. Drive around, talk to the locals, and get a personal feel for things before you settle on an area that you want to live in. You may also consider how close you are to certain businesses, the police depot, and more.
Work on the Practical Things
It is important to remember that the vast majority of crimes that could occur at your home would be crimes of opportunity. Basically, any time you leave a car door or house window unlocked, you could be inviting a petty thief onto your property. Most local criminals are not sophisticated nor motivated enough to break down a door or bust a window unless there is something valuable in plain view. Taking simple steps like changing your locks, making sure all your windows are secure, and even keeping your car inside a locked garage can drastically reduce the chances of a break-in or other security threat around your home.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Aside from the benefits of having new friends, your neighbors can be a great line of defense against bad actors. As a first time homebuyer, never underestimate the importance of your neighbors, because they may be able to spot unusual activity while you are away. If they see something going down, you will definitely want them to contact you and the authorities. In exchange, you can look out for them too.
Shop for a Security System
Once you’ve gotten all the of the things within your control down, you can add that extra layer of security in the form of cameras and alarms. There are some DIY systems that you can install, although they are not generally made to connect with a monitoring service. If you want full-time monitoring from a security expert, you will need to hire a company to come in and install alarms on windows and doors. When these alarms are triggered, the monitoring company will attempt to contact you first to make sure you are okay and then dispatch 911 if you do not respond. You should be aware that these services can be quite costly, but more companies are starting to offer bundle deals to go with your internet, cable and other utilities, so watch for those.
These first time homebuyer security tips should be enough to keep you and your family secure as you move into your home! Remember, focus on the simplest things first because they are the most important.