We tend to think of burglars, storms and fires as the main threats to our homes and belongings, but sometimes the biggest threats to your home are within the home itself. Simple oversights like leaving a window open, leaving a stove-top burner on or failing to lock the front door can have terrible consequences.
Your home is your most valuable investment. You may already be taking good care of the exterior, but you can do a lot more to ensure your investment is well protected.
1. Install smart technology throughout the house
Advances in technology allow homeowners more options for home security than ever before. Smart smoke detectors, for example, can determine whether smoke is the product of overcooked food or a legitimate fire. Smart door locks can be unlocked only with a digital code, and smart appliances and lights can be managed through your phone, letting you create the illusion that you are home even if you’re out-of-state. You can also install closed-circuit cameras, which allow you to check on your home from anywhere, anytime.
Smart technology isn’t cheap, especially when you are installing it on a large scale. But when it comes to spending money on your home, remember that you aren’t just throwing your money away – you are investing in your home and building equity. If and when you decide to sell the place, you could be looking at a higher selling price than what you paid for it.
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2. Make sure your belongings are protected
If you have a mortgage, you’ve already got homeowners insurance. But generally, these policies will have limits on what they pay for losses. If you’ve got a priceless collection of antiques or individual pieces of jewelry that are worth a fortune, you may want to consider insuring those items individually.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re protected from common natural disaster threats in your area – hurricanes, earthquakes and floods may all be additional – and necessary – coverage, depending on where you live. Consult with an agent to determine what coverage you need.
3. Install a security system
A security system is the best way to protect your home from burglars, keeping your home, possessions and family safe. Many new security systems also incorporate smart technology for ease of use. Remember that it only takes a moment for a thief to break into a house, so even if you’re just running a quick errand, arm your security system.
4. Eliminate hiding places
You may love the tall shrubs in your front yard, but anything that shields you from being seen by neighbors or passersby will also provide cover for a thief. If you have shrubs growing against your home, trim them, and look for other areas of your yard that may allow strangers to break into your home without being seen.
Your home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make in your life. With a little common sense and advances in home protection technology, protecting your investment has never been easier.