When I was getting ready to purchase my very own first home, I remember feeling nervous. Yes, nervous about the move, the change, the expense, but also about finding a place I could feel safe in. I was going to live by myself and it was before my husband and I started dating, I had to be sure to look out for myself as a single woman.
I get this question all the time from my clients, whether they are looking for themselves or looking for a growing family. How do I make sure I will feel safe in my new home? In response to answering that question over and over and from personal experience over the years, I decided to put together some key safety guidelines. Below are four suggestions to keep in mind when looking for a home and safety is top of mind.
- Try to avoid first floor units facing the street in a condo building. My husband is a Marine and my father-in-law is the captain of a police force and the thing they both always repeat to me is “make yourself a hard target.” First floor and outward facing condos are easier to access and make them easier targets.
- Stay away from purchasing a house near busy streets or in close proximity to commercial retail and bars. It’s just a numbers game here, the more people that come in and out of an area, the closer you are to possible safety concerns. When I put together comps, these are also the houses that are typically lower in price and there is a reason for it.
- Get to know the neighborhood. Sometimes bars on the windows can be a sign of an up-and-coming neighborhood that could result in a good deal on a house. Other times, it is a sign that the area has safety concerns and the residents have them there for a reason. To double check, I like to drive by different streets in the same area and see what it appears to be like overall. It takes a little extra time but can really put your mind at ease.
- How do you feel? We have some pretty trustworthy safety alarms hard wired into our brain. Drive by during the day and again during the night before purchasing your home to make sure you feel safe in that area. Trust your gut.
At the end of the day, I would always encourage my clients to trust their instincts if they felt uneasy about an area. You are the one who has to live there and my #1 goal is to make sure my clients are happy and SAFE! 🙂