Buying a new home together as a couple is a huge step for couples. Not only is it a significant financial investment, but the moving process can be trying, and the associated changes can have an interesting psychological impact.
One area that many new home buyers fail to address is home security. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your first new home as a couple protected.
Budget for Security Features
In addition to changing the locks, there are various other security features that not only protect your assets but improve the resale value of your home. People often shirk spending extra on enhanced security because they have other spending priorities– the appeal of shopping for a beach wedding dresses while trying to find a registry while planning a wedding far exceeds the desire to shop for locks and motion sensors.
One of the main security features to budget for, if not already included, is a home alarm. Crimes take place in quiet neighborhoods because of the opportunity. In other words, living in a nice area often results in complacency.
Other things to budget for– if they aren’t included in the home already– are motion sensor lights to install in dark areas of the yard and ground-floor window bars. Criminals will often look for people who are in the process of moving into a home, as they are often caught unprepared.
Change the Locks
The simple act of changing the locks is an effective way to improve home security. This step is often overlooked during the hustle and bustle of the home buying process. Ideally, this task will be completed within a week or two of moving in. While it may seem like a pessimistic outlook, you never really know who had access to your home previously and where their motivations lie.
Invest in a reliable locksmith who comes highly recommended in your area. Take your time and check their references and the security measures they take within their business to ensure that they hire trustworthy employees.
Work with a Realtor
Finally, find and work with a realtor when purchasing your first home. A realtor can provide insights into the area and ensure you find a secure neighborhood in which to live. In some regions, a couple of miles can make all the difference in the security and resale value of your home.
Another smart way to figure out which areas are better than others is to check monthly rent reports for neighborhoods you’re considering. Of course, you don’t want skyrocketing rents but generally an increasing rent trend shows the neighborhood is safe and in-demand.
Discuss Who Gets Access
It’s important to have an open conversation about who will be given access to your home and what safety protocols are a priority for each of you. If one partner grew up in an area where people left their doors unlocked, it can be a tough habit to break. Additionally, one partner might want to have a hidden key (which isn’t recommended) or give a key to a family member in case of an emergency. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page will go a long way towards keeping your new home safe.
By keeping communication open you’ll be able to enjoy the home buying experience and celebrate this important building block in your life together as a couple, without worrying about safety in the long run.