Living in a home comes with a lot of rewards, but there’s also some risk as well.  Therefore, consider securing your new home by installing some security measures:

Things We Think Are Must Have Security Measures (we really want you to do these. pretty please)

  1. Rekey all of your door locks.  You just never know who still has a key to your new home.  Better to be safe than sorry and have a locksmith rekey the existing locks on all of your exterior doors. This is a MUST for all buyers.  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. Install an alarm system.  Plan to spend $100 – $300 on installation depending on if you want motion sensors, door windows, glass break alarms, etc. We strongly recommend having a security system if you’re buying a single family house or a condo below ground, on the first floor or one which has an exterior staircase that people could climb up to get to your unit.  It can take a week or more to get an appointment so we recommend calling now and setting up the appointment for the day of or the day after closing.  Remember, you’re most likely to get broken into the first week you’re in a new home.  Thieves look for people moving in as they know the are generally easier to burglarize as they don’t have many safety features set up yet.
  3. Put a peep hole 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.
  4. If you have a sliding glass door, 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.

Things We Strongly Recommend But Are At Your Discretion

  1. Install Door Devils on each of your exterior doors.  These simple strike plates are highly effective at preventing your front door from being kicked in, even if you live in a condo building. If you’re buying a condo in a small building that has a common door leading into the building, consider asking the HOA if you can install a Door Devil on the building’s exterior doors as well as on the door to your own unit.  These items are simple to install with a drill.  This is a must have for single family home owners and is a product we install on all of our homes and investment properties. Here is a great article about the effectiveness of Door Devils  Please note that these items cannot be purchased anywhere locally (ie. Home Depot, etc) and must be purchased online directly from the Door Devil company.
  2. Install a metal wrap around knob reinforcer on all exterior doors.  If you’re buying in a condo building which doesn’t have these, particularly on side or back doors, urge the HOA to install them. They are inexpensive and highly effective at stopping break ins. We wouldn’t go so far as installing them on the door to your unit if you’re in a condo building, but would recommend them on exterior condo doors as well as basement doors in single family homes or other areas which you think might be of interest to burglars.
  3. Consider installing a Night Lock on back or side doors you won’t use every day. They are highly effective at preventing someone from breaking in.  These are must haves in single family home basement and back doors.
  4. If you have any glass in your front door or windows at or below ground level, We recommend installing Shatter Safe on your windows. It’s a clear plastic film that covers the inside of your window (you can’t even tell it’s there) and makes it virtually impossible to break the glass and enter the home.
  5. If you’re buying a single family home, add a dusk to dawn light over all exterior doors and consider a motion detector on the gangway or garage area.  Just search for Dusk to Dawn lights on Home Depot. If you’re buying in a condo building, ask the HOA to add these items if they aren’t already in place in the building.
  6. If you are buying a single family home with a garage and the garage has a window, consider putting a curtain over the window or change the window to frosted or glass block so potential burglars can’t see inside your garage. Definitely add Shatter Safe to your garage window as it’s a prime spot for a break in.

We strongly urge you to consider doing the above items as soon as you move in. Criminals are known to watch new people moving in to see what kinds of valuables you’re bringing into the home such as TVs, computers, etc. and then rob you shortly after moving in.  We recently had a couple who bought a ground floor unit in a small building and they were broken into the first week they lived there. Afterwards they immediately installed the above security measures and have had no problems since.  Better to be safe than sorry.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.