So, you have decided to buy a house, have your deposit ready and are now starting to look around. Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make and you need to ensure that you are safe while doing this. Safety and security factors should always be on the top of your list as there is always an element of risk when you buy a property. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to minimise this risk.
Looking for a New House
When you look for a new house, you have to consider the area you want to live in. While you need to consider the local amenities, school catchment and local transport links, you also need to consider how safe the area is. Consider what the crime rate is and if the house is on a family road. Are there any unsavoury people hanging around the area?
It is important that you check the crime stats for the local area. This can be done on the Police website and the UK Crime stats website. This will provide you with an overview of the crime in the area that you want to move to.
You should also take the time to visit the area at different times of the day. Visiting the area after dark will give you some insight into what happens in the neighbourhood at night. During this visit, you should look for any signs of antisocial behaviour and ensure that there is enough street lighting for you to feel safe.
If possible, you should talk to people in the area about any crime and the general atmosphere. When you look at potential houses, you also need to take note of the state of the doors and windows. While they can be replaced after you move, this will increase the costs of moving so a house with a solid door and secure windows is better to buy.
You should also consider if the house has a gravel driveway. This is a good security measure as the gravel will alert you to any vehicle and human movement.
The Day of the Move
Moving day can be stressful as all of your belongings wait in boxes to make the journey to your new home. While this is a bay day, you should never neglect basic security. There are a number of points that you have to keep in mind and things that you should do to ensure that you are safe on moving day.
The most important thing to do is to call a professional locksmith. You never know how many copies of the house keys were made by the previous owners and this is why the locks need to be changed. Your insurance policy may also be void if you do not have the locks changed.
You also need to take the time to check the lock on the shed and garage. This is particularly important if you are going to be storing any valuables in these areas. It is recommended that you change the locks on these spaces as well to ensure they are secure.
If the house comes with a security or alarm system, you need to ensure that the previous owners leave all of the details. This will include the manufacturer, password and information on when it was installed. Once you move in, you will need to change the code or password.
You also need to keep an eye on your possessions when you move and try to direct everything into the house without leaving the van in a publicly accessible area. It can be very tempting to grab a cup of tea in your new home before tackling the boxes, but this creates a great opportunity for thieves to snatch your boxes.
You should also take the time to make it less obvious that you have just moved in. Hanging curtains or blinds should be your first job. You should also avoid leaving any boxes in view and let the neighbours know that you have moved in as soon as possible.
Changing your locks when you move is a basic security measure that is advised by insurance companies. However, 74% of people do not do this when they move.