Looking for a new house can be an exciting time but it’s important to keep a level head especially when it comes to security issues.
Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT, says there are crucial security questions you should ask before handing over that offer to purchase.
“You are well within your rights to ask about crime in the area, what kinds of incidents have happened and whether there are security providers operating in the surrounds. While you might pose these questions to the estate agent it is also good to speak to people living in the community to get a perspective,” she says.
She recommends speaking to the home owner, neighbours, residents’ associations, domestic workers and even security officers that may be manning booms in the area, for example. “It’s worth asking whether there are monthly contributions that will need to be made to a security scheme in the area.”
It’s also key to assess security aspects such as booms, road enclosures, guards, officers on patrol and access points to the suburb. “If you are thinking about buying in a complex take note of the security procedures when you enter and exit the complex. Also have a look at how easy it is for pedestrians to get into the complex,” she adds.
Moving on to the actual house, have a look around and evaluate items such as burglar bars, security gates, electric fences, alarm panels, beams and so on.
“Check what condition these items are in and whether you will need to upgrade or replace any. These costs should be factored into the price you are paying for the property. Another aspect is your perimeter security. Is the wall or fence, access gate and intercom system in a good state? This is an important question as perimeter security is your first line of defence.”
She recommends getting a professional in to evaluate the property and identify security risks that may be an issue.
“Calling on an expert will give you a good idea of any weak areas in your security and the costs involved to correct these. It’s best to know up front so not only can you budget for any security purchases but also put a plan in place prior to moving in,” she says.
“Buying a house is a big investment and commitment. Make sure you take security and the associated costs seriously,” concludes Hattingh.