From finding the perfect home and making the offer to final inspections and negotiations to coordinating the big move, buying a home comes with its share of work. While you’re rushing around getting everything done, one thing you do not want to forget is to make sure your new home is secure. We’ll go over some of our top home security tips for first-time home buyers to help you keep your new home secure for years to come.
Home Security Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Become a Neighborhood Expert
Learning about your neighborhood is a great way to help keep your home and family safe. This is a smart step to take before you make an offer to ensure you know what you’re getting into before you commit. To start, assess your new neighborhood on the whole. Take a drive around your neighborhood during the day and at night to see what’s going on at different times. You should also research your neighborhood’s crime rates using one or more online tools. Overall, make sure you’re familiar with the ins and outs of your neighborhood and what you can expect there.
Get Familiar With Your Neighbors
Once you move in, make an effort to meet your neighbors. Learn their names, how many people are in each house and what everyone does. Neighbors who know each other tend to watch out for each other, so making solid connections aids in your own security and makes your neighborhood a more enjoyable place to live in general. You can also research whether there’s a neighborhood watch group in your area, which is a great way to make connections as well. If there’s a homeowner’s association, consider attending some meetings to get to know everyone.
Perform a Home Security Audit
To assess the security of your home, you should conduct a thorough review of the property. Make note of all potential entry points, including doors and windows. Check all door and window locks and garage doors and openers. Make note of anything that needs fixing or could use an upgrade. Check for places where security cameras might be a good idea, such as near off-street windows or doors. Also, make a note of whether your doors and windows are visible from the street or a neighbor’s house.
Address Potential Home Security Issues
You should fix any issues you find as soon as possible. Replace bad locks, add deadbolts where necessary, clear lines of sight and replace exterior doors that aren’t up to snuff (e.g.: hollow doors that can be kicked in). Try to keep costly items, such as televisions, stereos and computers, where they can’t be seen from the street. Consider investing in smart home devices, such as automatic door locks and lights, that you can operate from your smartphone. You can also install timers to make it look like someone is home even when you’re not.
Shop Around for Home Security
Shop around for the best possible home security system. Security systems come in many varieties, from professionally installed and monitored systems complete with video surveillance and proactive intelligent monitoring to simple DIY systems you can monitor yourself with no monthly fee. Be sure to consider factors such as contract length, guarantees and warranties, free trials, backups for power outages and whether you can change or add to your system. Other features worth considering include smart home automation, mobile app control and video surveillance.
Consider Financial Savings
If the cost of a home security system gives you pause, consider the potential savings. Home security is an investment in your family and your home’s safety that can save you quite a bit on homeowners insurance, give you peace of mind and prevent the financial hardship of having your home burglarized. Many home security systems also protect you in case of fire, carbon monoxide contamination and environmental hazards. Some even add personal medical monitoring, which is handy if you or a loved one may need extra protection from medical emergencies. If you’re not sure, you can always try a system with no contract so you’re not stuck in a long-term commitment before you’re ready.
We take research seriously at Safety.com. To give you the best, most accurate and up-to-date information, we use only the most reputable sources. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program informs our data about crime statistics on local, state and national levels. Demographic and economic data comes directly from the United States Census Bureau. We also use several online tools to learn specifics about your local area, such as CityProtect, AreaVibes, Family Watchdog, Nextdoor and Neighborhood Scout.