As a new homeowner, you can't help but feel a little excited at your future. You love the extra space. You envision decorating each corner and making the rooms feel comfortable. And you look forward to seeing new faces and making friends with those in your neighbourhood.
But at the same time, you feel a little scared and overwhelmed. You know that owning a home is a big responsibility and investment, and you worry about all the possible ways you might damage your home. Vandalism and theft could cost you thousands of dollars to fix, and after saving for your down payment, you can't afford the cost of extra repairs and replacements.
Fortunately, with a few simple steps you can deter break-ins and theft as you move. The following, in particular, will boost your new home's security without draining your bank account.
1. Rely on Professional Removalists
When you want to save money, you may feel tempted to rely on friends and family to move house. And as the moving van pulls into your new driveway, your neighbours may come out to lend a helping hand or two as well.
But though friends, family and neighbours usually mean well, not everyone may have good intentions. There is a chance that an individual will take the opportunity to inventory your personal items and see if you have anything worth stealing, from pricey electronics to rare, antique jewellery.
For extra security, hire trustworthy removalists that offer insurance with their services. If anything goes missing during your move, you can easily file a claim.
2. Change Locks, Keys and Openers
After a smooth transaction with the seller, you may feel confident that your home will function at its best. When he or she hands you those keys for the first time, you may feel a slight thrill knowing that the home finally belongs to you.
But although the seller may be reliable, you never know if he or she left spare keys in the hands of friends or family members. Those missing keys could compromise your security, as almost anyone could walk through your door whenever you leave the house.
Rather than take the risk, hire a professional locksmith to change your locks and rekey your home. If your home has a garage door opener, consider reprograming the opener as well.
3. Invest in Good Window Treatments
Right now, your new home looks like a blank canvas. You could paint the rooms, add wall hangings and place tasteful decals anywhere you like. In the next few days, weeks and months, your home will become a reflection of your tastes and personality, but for the moment, the rooms may seem a little bare.
As you start to unpack and settle into your home, make new drapes, blinds and curtains your top priority. If passers-by can see through your bare windows, they can easily tell if you have valuables ready for grabbing. Solid window treatments will not only make your house feel more like home, but they can shield you from prying eyes and nosy neighbours.
4. Install a New Safe
During the house-buying process, you often need immediate access to a lot of personal documents, from tax forms to bank statements. These forms help your lender close the deal quickly, ensuring you have the funds you need to purchase your house.
But once you move, you'll need a safe place to store these documents, and a generic cardboard box might not be enough to protect them. If someone were to find these files and forms, they could use the information to steal your identity and steal thousands of dollars in credit.
Talk to a professional locksmith about installing a safe in your home. The sooner you lock away your personal information, the sooner you can rest peacefully.
Feel Safe in Your New Home
These are just a few ways you can improve security as you settle into your new home. With a little creativity, you can find even more ways to protect your investment.