10 Expert-Approved Home Security Tips for First-Time Homeowners

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

moveup1Buying your first home is an occasion worth celebrating. But before you get caught up in decorating and planning that housewarming party, it’s important to make certain your new home is secure.

New homeowners are especially vulnerable to security risks, as they are just beginning to learn about their new home and neighborhood. Get a head start with these 10 home security tips for first-time buyers from experts in the home security field.

  1. Assess the security situation before you buy.

Aim to be an informed resident of your neighborhood before even moving in, try to move into the best ZIP code you can afford. Neighborhoods with single-family homes usually have lower crime rates, while high-density housing areas with many rental apartments usually have higher crime rates.

  1. Take your neighborhood for a test drive.

Drive around the neighborhood during the day and at night, this allows you to gauge the happenings of your new neighborhood at different times of the day and week.

  1. Do your research.

Research the area’s crime rates for both property and violent crimes. Also consider neighborhood watch programs and other city initiatives that may increase the safety of the neighborhood as even the safest neighborhoods are not immune to crime.

  1. Meet your neighbors.

New homeowners should get acquainted with their neighborhood and neighbors. Talking to your neighbors about neighborhood crime and safety will provide a sense of the kinds of security precautions needed in your home.

Getting to know your neighbors also leads to an increased awareness of trends in criminal behavior in your neighborhood, thus reducing the risk of being a victim.

  1. Perform a home security audit.

After you’ve moved into your new home, homeowners should inspect all of the home’s entry points and identify any outdated or malfunctioning locks.

Considering electronic door locks as you update your new home’s locks. They give you the option to assign personalized key codes to others, allowing you to track the people going in and out of your home. Look at locks to windows and rear doors, as well as your exterior and garage lights. And don’t forget to re-code your garage door opener.

  1. Identify your local emergency services.

Once you’re aware of the kinds of crimes that occur in your area, new homeowners can determine the proximity of emergency services to your neighborhood and then work this information into your security and safety plans.

Furthermore, after neighborhood watch members are trained on what to do when suspicious activity is seen, they should know who to contact and what information should be provided when reporting crimes to authorities.

  1. Focus on prevention.

Even if you decide not to get a home security system, you can still address home security issues.

Do no showcase valuables through open curtains and discarded packaging on the street. Add secondary blocking devices to sliding glass windows and doors so they can’t be easily forced open.

First-time homeowners should be especially mindful of who enters your home, including service vendors, delivery persons, contractors, and even friends of your children. Once inside, they have a chance to look around for things worth stealing, and they can determine if your home security is real or fake.

  1. Shop around.

The home security industry has a history of aggressive sales tactics, so it’s more important than ever to find a provider you feel comfortable working with that can offer advice and guidance without pushing a product.

Assessing your family’s specific goals for a security system is key. If you are looking to catch a burglar in real-time to contact police, you’ll probably want monitoring. Those looking for a way to document evidence to provide to police may want a motion-sensing camera.

Favor a full smart home or security system, noting that they allow you to rely on cameras to keep an eye on your home’s surroundings and flag any unusual movement inside.

  1. Don’t rule out DIY systems.

You can purchase a wireless alarm system without paying for installation or monthly monitoring. If the alarm is activated, it triggers a loud siren, which is good enough to scare most burglars away. The best part of any security system is the sign in the lawn advertising that you have a security system. Many burglars will bypass your home due to the sign alone.

  1. Consider financial benefits.

Beyond the security benefits alone, a home security system also often bring you a home insurance discount of up to 10 percent. A reduced insurance rate is not a universal rule, however, and any possible deduction will vary by insurance provider.

In addition to potential home insurance discounts, take into account that some home security systems help homeowners conserve energy costs, as they can be integrated with thermostats and outlets, and monitored remotely.

It’s all about preparedness

Ultimately, proper home security precautions stem from research and preventive actions. Take a critical look at your new neighborhood, home, and lifestyle to best determine your family’s specific security needs.

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