Category Archives: Community

Home Matters: Safety

Here is a dreaded question that makes just about every person in the property management world shake their head: “Is it a safe place to live?”  It is a great question.  It is a needed question.  It is a question that professionals wish they could confidently and accurately address.  However, it is a question that every person must answer for themselves because only you know when you feel safe.  As you are considering a place to move into, whether you are renting or just squatting with a good friend, there are some steps you can take to reassure yourself you have chosen wisely.

  1. Call the police department and ask for a record of the activity in the area you are contemplating moving to.  They will give you a lengthy report that you will need to assess for yourself.  You may ask for another record for a neighborhood/area different from your first choice to give you a comparison.  But here too, you will need to make your own determination.
  2. While you are talking to the police, ask them what type of patrol they routinely conduct in your area.  While crime is a movable target and our servicemen have to drop regular beats to take care of emergencies, there is a planned schedule they work from in the quiet times.
  3. Visit the website Family Watchdog to see if there is a registered sex offender in the area.  That may not be an issue for you, but you have the legal right to know.
  4. Ask, ask, ask the neighbors their opinion of what it is like living in that area!  They know better than anyone!!
  5. Visit your place at night.  What type of street lighting is available?  What type of parking lot lighting?  What type of neighborhood activity happens?
  6. Understand that steps of prevention do not guarantee safety.  For example, gated communities may deter crime, they do not prevent crime.  You may be careful to always close the gate behind you, but there may be another resident who is very comfortable leaving the gate propped open for their buddy to come in later that evening.  Know that living in community brings the challenge of people’s differing interpretation of what is “right”.
  7. Check your own locks regularly for proper function-the locks on your doors and windows. Before you rent, check the locks that are available and be sure you think they seem secure.  Consider where you feel the most vulnerable in your home and spend some time securing that area.  You be in control of your feelings of safety.  And as silly as this sounds, lock your doors!  It’s a habit that you will be glad you formed.
  8. Establish your own routine for safety.  The Crimson Choice program at the University of Alabama encourages students as well as townspeople to cultivate an awareness of their surroundings before they walk from their car to their home or store.  Visit their website for some more of their suggestions.
  9. Consider joining or establishing a Neighborhood Watch Program.  It’s a great way to know the people who live around you and be on the offense rather than the defense.  If there is not a program already in place where you live, click here to get more information. Or call the Tuscaloosa Police Department at (205) 349-2121.

Feeling safe in our homes is important but only we can determine what that is like. With proactive steps we can make certain we have done what we know to ensure safety.  It is a responsibility you should take because your Home Matters.


*This post is the first from guest columnist Mrs. Fleta Edwards, Vice-President and Realtor for H.A. Edwards. We are pleased that she will bringing her expertise to our rental blog.

Do You Know Your Neighbor? “Will” Power

As part of our ongoing series, “Do You Know Your Neighbor”, we would like to highlight Will Nevin.  Will maintains the blog Duct Tape Wedding Ring that chronicles his journey to become half a man.

You may ask what it means to become half a man, and Will is all too happy to tell you how he went from 350 lbs to his goal wieght of 175 lbs.  That’s where the title “Will” Power comes from, because he accomplished his goals by making a commitment to healthy eating and exercise.  His blog now chronicles his commitment to maintaining that healthy weight and lifestyle.

Sounds pretty unbelievable, but this author who personally know Mr. Nevin can attest that his story is entirely true. Please head over to his blog and read his witty, frank, and often poignant accounts of what it is like to lose a massive amount of weight by making a drastic life change. He is an inspiration to anyone who sets a goal to accomplish something whether it is losing weight, training for a marathon, learning to dance, keeping a clean house, climbing Mount Everest, you name it!

Say hello to Will the next time you see him!

Do You Know Your Neighbor?

So often, we go through our busy lives without ever taking the time to connect to the stranger living next door to us.  Since we at H.A. Edwards believe in the importance of community and family, we would like to start a series on our blog to introduce you to some of your neighbors who are doing neat, unique, and extraordinary things. 

First up is Brian Smith.  You may have seen him around the neighborhood biking on his Catrike (Click the word to find out more information).  If you don’t know Brian, watch the following interview by Olivia Grider, research project coordinator with the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility.  If this interview doesn’t make you want to meet this charming, witty, and intelligent young man, we don’t know what will! Way to go Brian!

If you know a neighbor that fits the profile, send us a facebook message, email at, call at 345-1440, or drop by the office and nominate them to be profiled on our blog!

À la prochain,