Even if you choose a safe neighborhood to buy in, there is always the possibility that your home will be targeted by thieves. If you want to protect your home, your family, and your possessions from break-ins, the best way is to fortify your home. Here are some home security tips for first-time homebuyers:
- Get to know the neighborhood before you move in. Before you even put an offer down on the house you want to buy, do a little research about the neighborhood. Is this neighborhood a safe area? No neighborhood is going to be completely crime free, but you certainly do not want to buy in an area that is known for home invasions. In general, areas with single family homes will have the lowest crime rates, while rental properties will often have higher rates.
- Get to know your neighbors. Even if you do not intend on becoming best friends with your neighbors, it is still a good idea to get to know them. Being friendly with the people around you probably means that they will look out for you and your home. If there is a neighborhood watch group, join it. If there isn’t, you might want to start one.
- Perform an audit of your home’s security. It might be helpful to ask your neighbors what security flaws or bad habits they notice. For example, if you often leave your garage door open overnight, this could be a potential entry point for burglars. Walk around your house and test your own windows and doors. How difficult would it really be for someone to get into your home?
- Prevent, first and foremost. Picking up after a break in is much more traumatic than preventing one in the first place. A home security system is a good option, but even if you opt against one, you can still reinforce your doors and windows to make sure that no one can easily open them.
- Ask about home insurance discounts. Many insurers will offer you a discount if you take extra measures to protect your home from burglars. Some systems even help you save money, as they can be wired into your thermostat and controlled remotely from a mobile device.