As we move towards winter with the cold weather and snow lately, I am reminded how fortunate we are when we are able to slip away for a little holiday to visit friends or family, or to get away to a warm location. My current newsletter talks about safety and home security - something to keep in mind whether you're away or at home over the holidays. I hope you find it interesting and helpful!
Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms
When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.
One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.
Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.
Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.
Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.
Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.
Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.
Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.
What to take with you when home shopping
You will want to make the process of shopping for a home as productive and enjoyable as possible. After all, you'll be on a quest to find your next dream home. That's why it's important to take the right things with you:
- A digital camera, so you can take pictures of the features you like in the properties you see.
- A notepad, so you can take notes.
- Measurements of your largest pieces of furniture, so you can confirm they'll fit in the rooms of properties you like.
- A measuring tape.
- Some healthy snacks and beverages, (especially important if you're taking the kids along).
- A map of the area, so you can check out local parks and other neighbourhood features.
- Clear driving directions to each of the properties you want to see.
One of the best ways to shop for a home, and actually enjoy the experience, is to work with a great REALTOR®.
As always, if you have any questions, or would like to chat about your real estate needs, please give me a call.