City living is the wonderful—you’ve got access to the best restaurants, events, and spots all at your front door! But city living also comes with some inherent risks. Simply put, living in a large city is less safe than living in the suburbs. When it comes to looking at rental apartments and condos, safety is a top priority.
To keep you and your home safe and secure, we’re come up with a list of factors that you should consider when condo or apartment hunting in Boston.
Thieves aren’t as creative as you think. A thief is more likely to come through the front door of your building than down the fire escape. In fact, the first thing many thieves and burglars do is check the front and back doors.
If you’re living in a multi-unit building like a brownstone, the first thing you should check is the security of the entry. Make sure that the front and back doors to your apartment or condo building are secure. Look to see where the doors open up to—do they to a secluded alley? Is the alley well lit? Is the door frame in good condition or is it worn down? Push against the door to see how secure it is. Each major entry to your home must be outfitted with a deadbolt lock. If the integrity of the door or frame is questionable, it’s a security risk.
Apartments which require visitors to be buzzed up are great for security so test it out before you sign a lease or close on a sale. If you’re renting, be sure you get that system up and running or replaced as a condition to your lease agreement. If you’ve purchased a place that doesn’t have this pre-installed, it’s not too late to get one. You’d be surprised how much peace of mind you’ll have knowing who is at the door before allowing them into the building.
Not a lot of Boston apartments and condos have good natural light, so it’s exciting when you find one that does. Before you relish in the sunlight, make sure the windows are secure. Take your time and check each window in the unit. Each and every window each should have a separate lock that works. Just seeing the lock with your eyes isn’t enough—check the windows to make sure the locks work!
Peepholes at on your apartment doorway are a major plus when it comes to keeping yourself safe and secure. Although the entry system to the building might be safe, if you life in a multi-unit building, there’s always a chance that one of your neighbors can let someone in. Always use your peephole before opening the door, especially if you live alone. Make sure that you can see through the peephole, as they can often get cloudy with age.
Location, Location, Location
Sure, the geographic location in the city is a huge factor. Putting that aside, take a close look at how your unit is situated because breaking and entering frequently starts with window shopping. If your unit is positioned in such a way that the inside is easily visible from the street, extra precautions need to be taken. Install curtains, even sheer ones, or place valuables out of sight of passersby. This is especially important if your unit faces a back alley—allies are easy places for burglars to scope out an apartment with valuables in sight. If you don’t want the threat of a possible theft to dictate your home decor, then a safe for your home is another way to secure your valuables.
Trash and Recycling
With trash pickers running rampant in the city, it’s essential to know what your waste disposal situation is. Best case scenario, you’d be in a place that has garbage inside the building, but with rats and mice, that’s hard to find. A safe building will have trash barrels or dumpsters that are only accessible through a locked shed for residents.
If your dream apartment happens to have outside garbage, it’s not the end of the world. No matter where the garbage ends up in your building, as long as you are mindful and shred documents with personal information before chucking them, you’ll be that much safer.