5 essential things to check for when you are buying a house.

By: Thomas Hunter

There are several security steps that you need to follow when you are buying a house or an apartment. Following these steps will ensure that you selected a secure home at a secure location. The first thing to do is to meet your prospective neighbors. Talk to these people, get to know them, ask them to describe you the neighborhood and the local community. The more information that you will have about the local community, the better decision you can make about purchasing the new house. You will know upfront about the possible security issues in your new community and will be able to determine if there are any dangers to your home or to your family. You will also know who your neighbors are and what kind of people they are. This is very important if you plan to communicate with your neighbors a lot and maybe even rely on them for something. If you have kids, you might want to know if your neighbors also have kids and whether these kids are good enough to spend time with your own children.

The second thing that you should check is if there is a neighborhood watch program already started in this area. If not, talk to your prospective neighbors and see if they will be interested in starting this type of program. If everyone agrees that this program is beneficial, this is a good sign. If, on the contrary, everyone declines to participate in the watch program, this is a negative sign for you. A watch program provides a higher level of security and reduces the chance of a potential break in attempt. Burglars consider an area with a watch program as a higher risk area and tend to attempt their robberies in other locations that donít have a neighborhood watch program. This information can be used when you are making a final purchase decision.

The third thing to check for is whether the community or an apartment complex has an externals security system. For example, many communities and apartment complexes are fenced around the area and have an entrance gate. This entrance gate may require you to enter a security code to open the gate or may even have a security guard on duty both during the day and during the night. A security guard, of course, provides a higher level of security then an entrance code (a burglar may simply find out a code and still get inside the secure area). If you are purchasing a house or an apartment located in a community that provides this type of additional external security, it is a big plus.

The forth thing to do is to talk the local patrolling police officer. He or she will be happy to provide you with the local crime statistics and will be able to provide his or her opinion of how safe and secure is the local community and your house in particular. Since this officer has a detailed information based on experience of patrolling the entire community, it is a good advice to take his or her opinions and information into consideration when you are making a decision whether to purchase and apartment or a house or not. You can also check the crime statistics for this area by contacting the local police department or the local government office.

The fifth thing that you should check is whether the actual house is secure. Check if the door and windows are strong and protected and whether the locks are good. You will be changing your locks after you move in, but the doors and windows should be already strong and secure. Make sure that the house has smoke and fire detectors installed. Having carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors installed is also a good security measure. An alarm system is also big plus, especially if this system already includes motion detectors. As far as the alarm monitoring service, this is not necessary as you will need to sign up for this service yourself. Another thing to check for is the possibility to install a video monitoring system. You should also check the condition of gas and water equipment and electrical wiring and find out whether any if this equipment needs replacement.

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