Time and again, buyers on the hunt for a home rank neighborhood safety as one of their top priorities. To dig deeper into this sentiment, Trulia teamed up with Kwikset, a leading residential lock manufacturer, to survey more than 800 recent homebuyers about how they think about home security when searching for a new home.
According to our survey results, a whopping 76% of respondents said that neighborhood security was very or extremely important to them as they looked for a new place to live and six out of 10 respondents felt that they could do more to make sure their home was secure. In fact, 78% of respondents felt it was very or extremely important to replace or rekey their new house’s locks after moving in, and 48% wanted to install a security system.
Given home buyers’ safety concerns, Trulia pulled together a three-step checklist to ensure buyers are doing everything possible to make their new homes as secure as possible.
Make safety a search priority
To protect against learning your newly-purchased home is in hotbed of crime, make researching local crime rates an early and integral part of your home-search process. Online tools, like Trulia’s Crime Map, help house hunters by providing an easy-to-digest overlay of publically reported crime as a starting point for evaluating neighborhood safety. The crime map also provides block-level details of reported incidents, if made publically available by local law enforcement. Homebuyers can also reach out directly to local law enforcement agencies to learn more about safety in a particular neighborhood.
Address your home’s security risks
Once buyers close on their home, their first cautionary step should be to assess the safety precautions that are already in place and what else is needed. Don’t put this off – 60% of homebuyers surveyed felt they could do more to make sure their home is secure. Simple upgrades, like installing new locks and smoke detectors, are quick ways to ensure safety and security. Kwikset products with SmartKey are a great solution for recent homeowners, as they protect against common break-in methods, and can be rekeyed in seconds. On a larger scale, investing in a new security system or getting a dog is also worth considering. Roughly the same amount of respondents said they would invest in professionally monitored security systems (38%) or get a dog for their home security needs (33%).
Know your neighbors
Getting to know your neighbors can go a long way in increase the safety and security of your home and neighborhood. For example, after you get to know Bob and Sue from next door, they’ll be more likely to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. You can even take it a step further by joining or starting a neighborhood watch program – which only 30% of respondents said they currently have. Yet 80% would be willing to participate in such a program. If you don’t already have group in place, kick start your own. You might be surprised by how many people will join you.