My family is actively shopping for a new home. This house has been ok, but it could have been much better. This time we’ll think about security when home shopping.
Think About Security When Home Shopping
When we found our current home, it was winter. The neighborhood was quiet and everything had a nice layer of snow. It was very idyllic and picturesque. We jumped on the house and moved right in! It was everything we wanted…. or so we thought.
When the weather started to warm up, and the snow began to melt, we discovered that the quaint hills in the neighbors back yard were piles of junk, hidden under snow. Groups of pot smoking teenagers started to hang out in the neighbors driveway and the street, blocking traffic down the road. There was no time day or night were groups of people weren’t hanging out in view of your house. You couldn’t bring anything in or out without being seen. People sped down the road in front of our house at very high speeds. Keep in mind this is residential neighborhood with a cul-de-sac, not a through street.
What can you do to avoid this type of situation?
- Use Google maps satellite views to check out the neighborhood and area. This will help you spot landfills and prisons in your area, as well as other indicators and landscape features that may not be in your best interests.
- Check out the neighborhood and area using crimereports.com
- Check your states Sex Offender Registry (in some areas this information will be on the Crime Reports website also)
- Do a stakeout in your new neighborhood. Pack lunch and dinner, and sit in your car, watching what goes on near your prospective home. I don’t think you’ll need to resort to binoculars and telephoto lenses on your camera, in most situations. You’ll need to do this for more than 1 day, and from different areas around the neighborhood. Make multiple visits to your prospective home, during different times of day, and in different weather.
- Be prepared to spend long hours. You’re going to live here, so you want to know what goes on before you commit your money and family to this area.
- Be there in the morning to see people heading to work and school.
- Be there in the evening to see people coming home from work.
- Be there on weekends, to see if there are wild loud parties every night.
- Watch the neighbors houses the most, try to figure out if they’re the kind of people you want to live beside.
- Make sure to have some proof that you have an interest in property in that area, because you may look suspicious and may get a visit from the police.
These simple tasks, while an investment in time, will give you a much better inside view of the happenings in your prospective neighborhood, much better than a few short home viewings with a Realtor! Putting yourself on a stakeout of the prospective property, the surrounding neighborhood, and by doing the proper research will ensure that you think about security when home shopping.
The security shouldn’t stop when you’ve ensured that your home is in an area that meets your needs. Once you’ve purchased your home, you’ll want to be sure to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and install a home security system from a reputable vendor, like SimpliSafe.