When looking for a new home, we all have our list of 'must-haves' and so-called 'would-like-to-haves.'
This can range from proximity to schools, to number of washrooms or bedrooms, to yard size, to hardwood floors, and well beyond. If the ultimate goal of purchasing or renting a house is to create a home, then one of the most important considerations (that can often be overlooked), is the security of the house and surrounding area.
5 important security questions to be considered when viewing a potential new home include:
How is the neighbourhood? Location is obviously one of the greatest considerations, but very often we forget to research crime statistics of the surrounding area. Most useful stats are easy to find, and your real estate agent should have them available if asked. Proximity to licensed establishments could also be a consideration, as well as proximity to transit exchanges (especially higher volume stations).
Is there an attached garage or shed? If the garage or shed is to hold valuables (which they likely will), it is important to check if they have doors or windows that can be easily secured. Check to see if they have direct access to the house itself as well, as the importance of ensuring garages and sheds can be secured is much higher in this case.
Is there sufficient outdoor lighting? Check out the house at night to find out how well lit the exterior areas can be. Not only can this factor into ensuring that high risk areas are lit in order to deter would-be offenders, but also to avoid injuries from falling or tripping when coming or going at night.
Are the windows and doors secure? As outlined in one of our previous posts, making sure doors and windows are of proper thickness, have secure frames, and proper locks in good condition. You may want to consider bars or other security on ground floor windows. 80% of burglars enter through a door, so making sure your doors are secure is of the utmost importance.
Are the appliances up to date? Although having brand new appliances is a must for some, they are less of a consideration for others. From a home safety standpoint, having antiquated appliances could pose a hazard, particularly a fire hazard due to faulty, dated, or exposed wiring. While having brand new, out-of-the box appliances isn't necessary, ensuring appliances are up to current standards and devoid of electrical deficiencies is important. Having an electrician check these ahead can save you money in the long-run, and potentially even help prevent an accident.
These are just a few of the security and safety concerns to be mindful of when buying or renting a new home. Enlisting the help of a seasoned real estate agent can always be a usfeul tool, but be sure to ask lots of questions and do some of your own research as well. What are your top home buying safety and security tips?