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Step 24 - Secure your New Home

February 2, 2024

Step 24 - Secure your New Home

Secure Your Home

No matter whether your new home is in the city, good neighborhood, or bad neighborhood, it doesn’t hurt to secure your new home with some security measures:

Agent-Recommended Must-Have Security Measures

  1. Change or Rekey all of your door locks.  You just never know who still has a key to your new home so it is better to be safe than sorry and have a locksmith rekey the existing locks on all your exterior doors. This is a MUST for all buyers.  We have had previous clients who were Triple A (AAA) members who were able to use the rekey benefit in their membership.  They can rekey all of the exterior locks so you only have one key which opens all of your exterior doors.  We recommend having at least one deadbolt on all exterior doors.  We highly recommend having this done the day you move in or the day after to be safe.
  2. Consider installing an alarm system.  Our favorite alarm company is ADT.  They are reliable and reasonably priced. We’ve negotiated a 20% discount on installation for our clients.  Click here to download the flyer with their phone number and the code you need to use to get our 20% discount. Plan to spend $100 – $300 on installation depending on if you want motion sensors, door windows, glass break alarms, etc. We highly advise considering a security system for single-family houses or condos located below ground, on the first floor, or those with exterior staircases that could provide access to your unit. Scheduling an appointment for installation can take a week or more, so we recommend contacting a security provider now and arranging for the installation to occur on the day of or the day after closing. It's important to remember that the first week in a new home is when you're most vulnerable to break-ins. Thieves often target individuals who are moving in, knowing that they may not have all their security measures in place yet.
  3. It’s always great to have a peephole in your front door if it doesn’t already have one.  This isn’t hard to do and can normally be installed by a handyman. A Ring doorbell or some kind of video doorbell will also be a great solution. 
  4. For homes with a sliding glass door, it is suggested that you buy a thick wooden dowel and keep it in the door track on the floor when the door isn’t open.  We also recommend adding a jimmy plate and an auxiliary lock to any patio doors.

Discretionary Security Measures

  1. Install Door Armor on each of your exterior doors.  These straightforward strike plates are remarkably effective in safeguarding your front door against forced entry, even in condominium buildings. If you're purchasing a condo in a small building with a common entry door, it's worth inquiring with the HOA about the possibility of installing a Door Armor on the exterior doors of the building, as well as on the door to your own unit. These products are easy to install using a drill and are essential for single-family homeowners.
  2. Install a metal wrap around knob reinforcer on all exterior doors.  If you're purchasing a condo in a building that lacks these security measures, especially on side or back doors, we encourage you to advocate for the installation of these devices with the HOA. They are cost-effective and extremely efficient in deterring break-ins. While we may not suggest installing them on the door to your individual unit in a condo building, we do recommend considering them for exterior condo doors, as well as basement doors in single-family homes or other areas that you believe may be targeted by burglars.
  3. It's worth considering the installation of a NightLock on back or side doors that you won't use on a daily basis. These locks are highly effective in preventing unauthorized entry and are essential for single-family home basement and back doors.
  4. If your front door or windows at or below ground level contain any glass, we strongly advise considering the installation of Shatter Safe. This clear plastic film covers the inside of your window discreetly and makes it extremely difficult to break the glass and gain entry into the home.
  5. For those purchasing a single-family home, we recommend installing dusk to dawn lights overall exterior doors and considering a motion detector in the gangway or garage area. You can easily find dusk to dawn lights by searching on Home Depot's website. If you're buying in a condo building, it's advisable to request the HOA to add these items if they are not already in place in the building.
  6. When purchasing a single-family home with a garage that has a window, it's worth considering installing a curtain over the window or changing it to frosted or glass block to prevent potential burglars from seeing inside your garage. Additionally, adding Shatter Safe to your garage window is highly recommended, as it's a prime location for a break-in.

We highly recommend implementing the above security measures as soon as you move into your new home. Criminals are known to monitor new residents moving in to assess the valuables being brought into the home, such as TVs, computers, and more, and then target them shortly after moving in. For instance, we had a recent case where a couple purchased a ground floor unit in a small building and experienced a break-in during their first week of residence. Following this incident, they promptly installed the aforementioned security measures and have had no further issues. It's always better to prioritize safety and take preventive measures.

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