So you just moved out and you are worried about leaving your house vacant, that's good, you should be. You have a lot of things going on and your vacant house being secure is one of the last things you want to worry about. So how do you go about keeping your house, garage, carport, or storage units all locked up? Here are 9 ways on how to secure a vacant house.
Lock All Doors And Windows
We are always looking at vacant houses, that's what we specialize in here at Illinois Real Estate Buyers, and it is surprising how many homeowners skip this basic step on securing a vacant house. All doors and windows should be securely locked and then verify that all locks actually work. Go around to each door and window, put the key in the lock, and unlock the door or window from the inside. While you are at it how about caulking any drafty spots around your windows? This is a simple step on how to secure a vacant house but one of the most important ones.
Change The Locks
Another basic step on how to secure a vacant house is changing the locks. Never have just one set of keys for your home, if someone does manage to steal one key they will have access to all of your property inside. If you lived in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association many times person will give you an extra key or an extra fob to turn on the gate. This is how criminals gain access and how many of our investigations start. Get a new set of locks with both key and fob access cut at your local hardware store, then go ahead and change all of your exterior doors as well as your garage door opener.
Install A Security System
A basic step on how to secure a vacant house for sale is installing a security system like SimpliSafe. If you can't stand the sight of those little sensors after they have been installed don't worry about it! I am sure there are some signs out there that will say "This Property Protected By Viper Alarm" or something pretty close to that, but if you want more of a subtle approach how about these self-stick 4 by 4-inch security sensors that are magnetic? I have seen quite a few vacant homes with these on their doors, how about you?
What if you live far away from the property? Well, there are plenty of things that can be done from afar thanks to technology being so advanced. You have two options here whether you want high-tech or just simple and basic steps on how to secure a vacant property. One way for how to secure a vacant house is using a remote shutting device, this allows someone who doesn't even live in your area access via their smartphone or tablet which lets them lock up all doors and windows.
Post No Trespassing Signs
You can find them at your local home improvement store or grab some wood and make one yourself. We would recommend getting several large ones for around the main entry areas of your vacant house, just hang them up high enough where criminals cannot take them down easily. Also, place one near each side of your garage door that faces the street. If you have any sidewalks leading up to the driveway or front entry area how about placing a sign there as well.
Have A Neighbor Keep An Eye On It
We love this one, it's free and effective, just ask one of your neighbors to keep an eye on the place. It could not hurt to have a neighbor do drive-bys every 3-4 days, bring them something for their troubles if you would like. If you constantly leave town how about finding a neighbor that could come over and pick up your mail while you're gone? Having someone always coming and going is a great way to keep a vacant house secure by giving the impression that someone still lives there.
Leave A Light On
I am constantly telling people when their house is for sale or vacant, how they need to watch out for traps on how criminals get inside vacant homes, and how they should turn on lights when away from their property. If you add one extra step of how to secure a vacant home by simply leaving a light on would you believe me if I told you it won't cost anything except maybe a couple of dollars each time? Would this help save your home from burglary looking for an easy score? This is a step we always take when we are rehabbing a vacant house since it is a simple way to secure a vacant house.
Report It Vacant To The City
If you plan on having a vacant home long-term it is a good idea to report it to the city. This is how your neighbors and police department will know the home is vacant rather than occupied. This way they can report any suspicious activity they see there right away! Many municipalities require you to report and secure vacant houses, failure to do so can result in hefty fines.
Get Pest Control
Although most people when they think of how to secure a vacant house they are worried about robbers and thieves don't forget to keep critters out. If you go away how about getting some pest control put down before you leave? We usually see the most rodents in vacant homes, because of how how to secure a house like this can be overlooked. A rodent in your house can cause major damage to the walls, electrical, and floors. Make sure to hire pest control to keep unwanted guests out of your vacant house.
Just Sell It
Yes, we do like it when homeowners sell their houses fast to us but often times this is the best step if you no longer need the house. We see so many houses that sellers did not look into how to secure a vacant house and got in trouble. They hadn't reported it vacant to their city, got broken into many times, and then just sold the house anyways. Always stay ahead of problems and cut them off before they become bigger. Instead of asking how to secure a vacant house? Ask, Who buys vacant houses? Spoiler We buy vacant houses!
In Conclusion, How To Secure A Vacant House
A vacant unsecured house can be a major liability. If you have a vacant house make certain that you secure it using some or all of these tips on how to secure a vacant house. A vacant house attracts, squatters, thieves, animals, and others that you don’t want in your house. All these issues can cause damage and dramatically lower the value of your house and cause you a headache. Hopefully, this article answered your question of how to secure a vacant house. If you have a vacant house that you need to sell, Contact us by filling out the simple form below. Illinois Real Estate Buyers is a local cash home buyer and we can help you sell your house in a week, even if you live out of town.