Here are the keys to your new home. Now, change the locks!

changing locksI bought a home several years back and called the locksmith to change all the locks. The neighbor seeing the locksmith’s van parked in front of my home comes over, introduces himself and then extends a hand with a couple of keys. “I guess, these won’t be any good now. Joe (the previous owner) had given us a copy one weekend he went out of town and wanted the cats fed.” I had not even met this neighbor until this moment.

For most, moving into their “new” home is a wonderful and exciting experience. You’ve saved your dollars, looked all around, and then made a huge commitment to your future and your lifestyle. All the little details that are wrapped up in moving can be overwhelming. Many times, the details of changing the locks are overlooked.

Don’t trust that simply because the key says “do not duplicate” that is has not been copied. Your neighbors may become great friends over time, but until you decide that, don’t let the previous owner’s relationships dictate your home’s security.  I don’t want to imply that we need to be paranoid about our neighbors but choosing who should have access to the home should be made by the home owner. The new home owner.

Also, even though your home may be a new development and no one else has lived there, you can not be sure how many copies of keys have been made for the home and how many contractors have access.

Changing locks is not difficult. Check out Angie’s List or Yelp! if you want to find a recommended lock smith. You can also check out the many Do-It-Yourself web sites that instruct step by step how to change a variety of locks. Also, don’t forget the garage door code. Especially if it has a key pad entry code.

Welcome to your new home. One of the first steps to making it yours is obtaining control over who has access to the front door. Then laying your head on the pillow and looking around at all that you have achieved will be that much sweeter.

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4 Replies

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  1. Juliette says:

    What a great post. Our neighbors had keys, so did several of the previous owners friends. Changing keys was one of those things we just never got around to until we found out there were keys all over the place to our house.

  2. Victor Bermudez says:

    great post we just had ours change it was so easy re-key’d and we where able to ask for as many keys as i wanted same key works on all doors less than an hour i was impress.. @ closing the Realtor said here is your new keys as soon as i got home called the lock smith this was a foreclosure home who knows who has what.

  3. Neal says:

    True story, when my parents had their 3 bedroom house built, I was 4 and my sister was 7.  The first night they were in the house my sister and I were scared, being small children and all, and were sleeping in our parents bed.  My folks say that in the middle of the night they saw two men in white painters pants and a flashlight enter our rooms, then leave.  my folks were still groogy when it happened, they each thought it was a dream until they saw them leave, and were like, holy crap, that just happened!  So change your locks!