IS YOUR HOME SAFE AND SOUND?
We don’t want you to have nightmares – a la Crimewatch – but have you ever lain awake at night after hearing an unexpected bump or a creak and wondered if there’s someone downstairs.
Worse, if you’ve ever been burgled, you’ll be very much aware of the indignance and frustration it can generate – often mixed with impotence, anger or an acute sense of violation.
But what did you do as a result? Did you spend a bit of money on ramping up security around your home or did you simply curse your luck and the likely hike on your insurance premium.
If it was the former, then you’ll probably be happy to know the action you took could be rewarded when it comes to assessing the value of your property. Security alarm systems, deadlocks and chains on doors, lockable windows, motion-sensitive security lighting or a gravel drive which amplifies the sound of footsteps are all features your estate agent can point out to a potential buyer, helping to reassure them that your home is secure.
But, if you’ve just put your home on the market and you’re reading this thinking you’ve missed a trick, don’t worry. There are some relatively simple and inexpensive things you can do which will help to make your home a little harder to penetrate – and thus a little more attractive to a security-conscious buyer – without turning it into Fort Knox.
- For a start, drilling a hole and installing a spyhole lens in the front door isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg and neither will fitting a chain.
- There are simple, battery-operated, motion-sensitive entry alarm systems available in most hardware stores that will serve as an acceptable stop gap until an integrated security alarm is fitted.
- Have you thought of installing a fake alarm box or CCTV camera on an external wall visible from the road? It won’t help if you are broken into of course – but it’s certainly a deterrent.
- Motion-sensitive security lights don’t cost that much. If you have an enclosed rear garden which isn’t overlooked, having one installed should be relatively simple. If you prefer, solar-powered lights can also help to drive back the shadows in the garden.
- Are your gardens surrounded by trees and shrubs? Cutting them back a little to make your property more visible to passers-by or neighbours will make your home harder to break into. If a new owner prefers a bit more privacy, they have the option of allowing them to grow back once they’ve moved in.
- If you have a remote security device linked to an app on your phone, mention it during a viewing. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a good idea to mention where devices are located or the room/rooms they monitor (http://www.esaleuk.com/better-safe-than-sorry/) but you could certainly discuss ease of use, cost and where you got it from.
- Heavy-duty padlocks won’t stop a determined thief but, again, they’re a deterrent. Why not fit them on any doors or gates that allow access to the rear of the property as well as to any outbuildings or sheds you may own?