Home operating costs: Besides your mortgage, property taxes and insurance, there are many other ongoing costs related to operating your home. They include maintenance and repair, costs for services such as security alarm services, snow removal services and gardening or lawn services (if you wish to pay for these). If you have a condominium or strata, some of these expenses may be included as part of your monthly maintenance fee.
Make Sure Your Home is Fully Secured
- Change all locks when you buy a new home
- Add deadbolt locks and window locks where necessary
- Consider getting a security system. Your property insurance rate may be lower if you have one.
- Use outdoor lighting. You can get light switches that turn lights on automatically every evening or motion-sensor lights that come on when someone walks by. However, use outdoor lighting judiciously to be more energy-efficient.
- When you are away from home, use lights and radios on automatic timers and arrange to have your mail and newspapers picked up or discontinued. This way, people won’t be able to tell that you are not home.
Lock your garage door if you have a locking feature on your automatic opener, or make sure the door from the garage into the home is locked.
Get to know your neighbours and keep an eye out for each other.