“The Safety of the People shall be the Highest Law” -Cicero
Being a new homeowner can be as daunting as it is exciting. Especially if you have selected a fixer upper project as your first adventure in home ownership. But the benefits of owning a home and building equity in a property can vastly outweigh the difficult moments spent on repairs and renovations.
The most important thing when owning a home, especially if you have young ones or you are hosting overnight guests is SAFETY. Whether you own a property in a small town or a big city, safety needs to be a number one priority. Make sure the property is structurally sound and that all windows and doors have locking mechanisms. It is wise to update locks and change them out when buying a new property- deadbolt locks tend to be the most secure, especially when locked from the inside. One of my favorite tricks I have learned to secure a slider door is to put a rod at the bottom preventing any movement. Some people like to hide an extra set of keys somewhere outside the property but I advise against this. Personally, I leave an extra key with a trusted neighbor and in my locked vehicle to prevent the chance of someone happening to find a spare key laying around and potentially breaking in.
Another important and smart thing to do is to check all the appliances in your property, making sure they work properly and safely as to not start a fire or leak a hazardous substance. If there is propane in the home make sure a qualified technician checks the equipment. Also install a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm for your home. If you are renting out your property, especially as a vacation rental, this is a must! Airbnb actually gives away CO2 and smoke alarms to new hosts, see here for details: https://www.airbnb.com/home-safety
Living and owning a home in today’s techy times can be a benefit to you as a homeowner. There are many affordable options for home security and cameras can be installed easily connecting right to your cellphone via WiFi. These are the ones I recently ordered from Amazon, under $200 and easy to install: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IT8LLQG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_O9ytAb3DG3KPZ
There are also third party services like ADT who can come install equipment but you will pay a premium for their service and have to sign a 36 month contract.
If you and your family are travelling out of town for a period of time you can alert your local police force that you will be out of the area. Stay in contact with them about any issues. Always have your phone available for emergencies and keep it charged or have an extra battery. There is also a huge benefit to hiring a caretaker, a licensed professional to check on your home or second home after a storm and to do security checks rounds at various times throughout the day. Talk to a local Realtor for more information.
If you have any questions about how to make your home safer do not hesitate to ask your local police officers or reach out to us directly for more tips- safety first, last, and always. firstname.lastname@example.org