Women are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the Austin home buyer population. When you’re a single woman planning to live alone or about to start a family looking for single family homes, you want to pay special attention to the safety and security of the area. Here are some tips for women home buyers to be aware of while they’re searching for an Austin home.
Security and Safety are Top Concerns for Women Home Buyers
Women want to feel safe and secure in their homes. Make sure you check for these things when shopping for your next home.
Attached Garages with Electronic Door Openers
Attached garages with electronic door openers allow you to pull into your garage and shut the door behind you. Then, you can take your time unloading groceries without having to worry about someone watching you.
Secure Entrances and Gated Communities
Gated communities help keep people that don’t belong in your neighborhood from being there. For enhanced safety, get to know your neighbors. Know who they are and what they look like. This way if you do see someone that doesn’t look like they belong, you can let the police know.
Street Lights and Motion Sensor Lights
Some neighborhoods around Austin don’t have street lights. Look for neighborhoods with street lights and check back in the middle of the night to see if the lights are still on. No matter where you live, its always a good idea to install plenty of motion sensor lights around your house. This will help deter unwanted guests from loitering around your home.
Getting a fence around your backyard will not only give you privacy, but a degree of security as well. If you decide to lock your gate, make sure to have some way of getting out in an emergency or fire.
Not Near an Alley
Alleys are great places for intruders to hide. Make sure your home does not back to an alley or any other places where people can hide.
Effective Locks and Door Jams
Make sure all door locks are functioning properly and use the locks. You can also install dead bolts that only lock from the inside for added security when you’re home. Also, make sure you install either a rod or a PVC pipe in your sliding door jams to ensure they can’t be forced open.
There are several companies and security products available on the market today. Call and speak with a few companies to decide what systems may work for you.
Clear and Well Lit Entrance Ways
Make sure you have a well lit entrance way and keep your front porch light on.
Well Trimmed Plants Near Entrances
Keep all brush and hedges cut back so there aren’t any easy places for people to hide. The less inviting you can make the front of your home to unwanted guests, the better.
Window Locks and Sliding Door Stops
If you have sliding windows, make sure to install the window locks so you can open your window enough to bring in air, but not enough for someone to fit through. If your window slides left to right (similar to a sliding glass door), install a piece of PVC pipe so it cannot open far enough for someone to fit through.
Stay Clear of Railroad Tracks
Though this one is probably more of my paranoia from watching too many crime shows about The Railroad Killer, I would steer clear of railroad tracks. Not only is it noisy at all hours of the day and night, they are an easy way for people with no other means of transportation to get from one place to another.
Check the Neighborhood’s Safety Record
Its also a good idea to check the safety record of the neighborhood. The police department keeps plenty of statistics and are a wealth of info. Also, knock on some of the neighbors doors, explain you are an interested buyer and ask them how safe they feel. You’d be surprised how forthcoming neighbors are with information.
Walk the Neighborhood at Night
Don’t just drive around. Actually get out of your car and walk several streets in the neighborhood when its dark. This will really help give you a sense of the area and whether or not you feel safe.
Choose a Home You Will Love Living for Some Time
Real estate is a long term investment. Buy something that you can see yourself living for a while to maximize your investment. If you plan to leave it when you start a family or get married, its best to buy something you can easily rent (duplex, Downtown condo, single family home in a great school district, etc)
Looking to Buy a Home in Austin?
If you’re a single woman looking to buy a home in Austin, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation. We can help you evaluate your situation and determine if now is the best time for you to invest in Austin real estate. In the meantime, check out our Austin Home Buyer Representation Program for more home buyer tips.