5 First Steps For New Homeowners

5 First Steps For New HomeownersAs a new homeowner, now is the time to take control and organize your house for safety and security. The following first five steps should be carried out in the first few weeks if possible.

1. Change The Locks

There’s no way of knowing if the previous owners gave copies of the house keys to a friend, neighbor or cleaning staff. The very first thing you should do when you take ownership is to re-key the locks on all the doors, including the garage and any outbuildings there may be on the property.

Alternatively, you can install brand new locks. Either way, a locksmith can take care of this for you.

2.  Locate Shut-Off Valves

Don’t wait until a water leak to run around searching for the main shut-off valve. Instead, take a few minutes to locate all the shut-off valves for your new home. Write down their locations and post the list next to your circuit breaker.

3. Label The Circuit Breaker Switches

As the new homeowner, you’ll want to know what each circuit breaker switch controls. Work with a family member to methodically go through and flip each switch off and on to figure out the controls. Then carefully label each switch so you never have to guess again.

4. Place Fire Extinguishers

Be ready for a small fire emergency by placing fire extinguishers in each room of your new home. For the kitchen and garage especially, be sure to purchase the correct type of fire extinguisher. The labels on the extinguishers will guide your decision. Even bedrooms could have at least a small extinguisher handy, in case of an electrical malfunction.

5. Survey The Land

It pays to walk the land around your property to visually survey it. You’ll want to know about potential issues, such as poison ivy growth or a broken fence panel. You might also find some happy surprises like a hidden rosebush or a nest of birds.

Taking the time to do these five steps will assist in making your new home more enjoyable for your family. They will also help you to familiarize yourself better with your new property.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact us today.

5 Important Tips To Protect Your Home From Burglars When You Are Away

5 Important Tips To Protect Your Home From Burglars When You Are AwayAny family would feel violated after coming home to a ransacked house. Burglars look for specific things when choosing a home to break into, and many homeowners are unknowingly inviting criminals through the front door.

Below are five ways you can avoid drawing the eyes of thieves and deter your home from becoming a target.

Beware Of Selling To Strangers

If you’re wanting to sell items on Craigslist or another internet-based classified ad website, attempt conducting your transactions outside of the home.

If you must meet at home, screen the person over the telephone to ensure that they are truly interested in the item you’re selling. Thieves have been known to make appointments just to check out your home.

Be Careful If You Tweet About It

Not all of your friends protect their social media information, or may not have the most virtuous acquaintances. If you share your upcoming vacation or big event, then a mischievous friend of a friend will know the perfect time to forcefully check out your home.

Learn how to limit your social media posts to only your trusted contacts.

Mind Your Trash

Be careful when it comes to taking out the garbage, especially around holidays. Criminals will drive around nice neighborhoods and specifically look for empty boxes of high-price items. Then all they have to do is wait for you to leave the house before they force their way in and nab the goods.

Break down boxes and conceal them in garbage bags or trashcans.

Prepare For Your Vacation

Make sure when you leave on vacation that you put a few lights on timers and have someone collect your mail. A home that is obviously vacant is every burglar’s dream.

And if you’re on an extended holiday, ensure you also hire someone to take care of the lawn – overgrown grass is a no-one-is-home indicator.

Secure The Safe

Just because you put your valuables in a safe doesn’t mean they’re secure. If the safe isn’t installed in a wall or bolted to the floor, then a burglar can just carry it through your front door. They can figure out how to break into it later.

Make the additional time investment to ensure your safe can’t walk out the door.

With a little common sense and by following the advice above, you’ll reduce the risk of your home being targeted by burglars.

What Does The Future Hold For The Security System In Your Colorado Springs Home?

What Does The Future Hold For Home Security SystemsImagine walking into your home and turning off the alarm, locking your doors, opening the windows and starting your coffee maker, all with a few taps of your finger on your smart phone?

What if you had a home security camera that you could monitor from anywhere and a motion sensor that would send you an email when your kids come home from school? What if you could open your blinds or unlock your home for a visitor, even from halfway around the world?

The technology that powers our home security systems is getting more and more sophisticated and in the future, our homes will be more responsive than we could ever imagine.

Rather than a simple line of defense that keeps out burglars, it will be a completely integrated and custom designed automated system that responds intelligently to your needs.

Here are a few of the upcoming technology innovations:

Smart Home Technology

At the moment, prototypes are being developed for integrated home security systems that have individual Internet protocols that can address everything from a fridge to a window to a door.  Even your home appliances, like your refrigerator, air conditioning systems and lighting systems may be able to be managed remotely through a smart phone.

This connectivity essentially gives everything in your house an Internet address, so that you can control them and monitor them digitally. Once the system is linked up it can be controlled remotely by Blackberry, Apple or Android.

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year showcased a number of smart phone apps and devices designed to control everything within your home so that you can master the household with the click of a button.

The Future Is Still On Its Way

Although the technology is being developed, there is still a long way to go until we all live in automated houses like on The Jetsons. One underlying and yet unsolved issue is the security systems inability to function in a power outage or with bandwidth and connectivity challenges.

There are also many different conflicting operating systems, setups, standards and approaches that will need to be worked out before the dream of a fully automated Colorado Springs home can become a reality.

Even so, the technological advances being made in home security and management systems are impressive and exciting to learn more about.