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Surprise Locksmith gives tips about buying a foreclosed home.

First and foremost, there are 5 keys that open 80% of any home that has ever been owned by a bank, the number is going up fast. This is in Phoenix as well as most of the country. The same 5 keys! Another ten keys cover most of the rest of the homes. You must rekey or install new locks. The easiest form of entry is with a key for two reasons: First, it's easy and second, when neighbors see someone with a key they assume they belong. Many locksmiths in the Phoenix area specialize in securing these types of properties as they are the fastest growing part of the locksmiths business. Many companies specialize in bank owned properties.

There are locksmiths and handymen who don't know the ins and outs and potential pitfalls associated with these properties. One thing I've seen is a locksmith rekeying a home from one of the 5 magic keys / codes to another one of the 5 magic keys codes, they did that because they found a bunch of keys already cut to that code. Guess Why? That being said most Phoenix locksmiths do a fine job as well as all locksmiths

Second: There is a need to actually recode your garage door remote control after any other person has occupied the home, or even been in the home with enough time to do so. To program a garage remote is fairly simple especially in the internet age; for most homeowners it is a very achievable task. Many locksmiths and licensed garage door professionals can also adjust the doors closing pressure so it doesn't crush a child or is easily bypassed.

Third: Make sure every perimeter door has a deadbolt installed. Not only installed, but make sure that it is installed properly and the bolt fully throws when closed and locked with and without a key. When I have inspected homes in Phoenix, Surprise and surrounding communities I have found 50% of homes have at least 1 lock that was not installed properly.

Fourth: Make your home look lived in. I know everyone says they know this but the mid day burglary seems to be more common then ever. As a locksmith in the field when I am walking up to a scene that I was informed was the site of a mid day burglary I often notice something. It doesn't look lived in. There is no sign of people coming or going, no dog dishes, no sounds or messes to come back to. Dishwashers or washing machines on timers, music, pets, and notes; all of this helps somewhat.

Fifth: There are a lot of out of work carpenters right now especially in Phoenix Az. Many have entry skills due to their knowledge of carpentry and how things are put together; as well as homes that have never been rekeyed from the builder's key or construction key that workers still have. Again people should rekey. Whether they do it themselves or have a locksmith do it, it needs to be done on a home that is new to them. Also, put window locks on every window as well as a pin or block on sliding arcadia doors as these are the two most common bypass areas.

Sixth: Garage doors and openers. If you use your garage for storage and you don't depend on it for a fire exit it might be a good idea to padlock it. At the very least they'll have to walk your stuff around the house. Also on your emergency garage door release cut the cord just above the pull handle or knob. Repo Men used to use a trick to get into garages, and this is still knowledge among some.

Last and probably the number 1 way people are burglarized: Don't give your keys to people you trust! Why? Because people you trust may have children they trust and you shouldn't. Most people trust their own kids.

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About the Author

Scott Stoddart, Stoddart's Lock and Safe
15990 West Christy Dr.
Surprise, AZ 85379

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