How Much Home Security Do You Need? A Primer On Both Low Cost And Top Tier Protection For Your Home... And How To Pay For It!
This article contributed by Bankrate.com
A home burglary happens every 23 seconds in the U.S.
If that sounds like a lot, it is — but it still pales in comparison to the burglary rates of years past. In fact, FBI data shows that burglaries have dropped by 37% since 2008, and property crimes overall? Those are down a whopping 50% since 1993.
But that decline didn't happen by accident. One reason for the drop in property crimes is the increasing accessibility (and affordability) of home security devices. From self-installed video doorbells and phone-activated alarm systems to motion-detecting lights and even just better privacy fences, the number of home security options are now endless.
Since these items can often improve both the value and appeal of real estate in today's market, there's even more reason to explore security options as a homeowner.
Are you thinking of increasing the security and privacy of your property? This guide can help.
The value in home security
Obviously, the big benefit of installing a home security device is that it can better protect your home, your belongings, and your loved ones. But on top of this, your home security choices could enhance your ability to sell your property for top dollar down the line.
If you're making big security changes, like upgrading to a taller, more secure fence or installing a full-scale security monitoring system, you can also increase the perceived value of your home, making it more marketable and easier to sell.
As an added benefit, upping your home's security might also qualify you for certain home insurance discounts, so check with your insurer once installations are complete.
How to determine if your home is at risk
Any home is vulnerable to break-in, but certain properties present more risk than others. For example, statistics show that homes in rural states see more crime than those in more metropolitan ones. Properties in New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have the highest rates of burglary in the country.
Additionally, burglaries are more common in the middle of the day and in the summer months. If your home is regularly left unattended during these time frames, your property may be at higher risk. You also might want to consider your neighborhood crime rates, as well as the belongings you have in the home. If you live in a particularly high-crime area or keep cash, high-dollar jewelry, electronics, or other valuables on the property, taking extra security measures can be a smart way to protect your investment.
Fortunately, if you are going to take that extra step to protect your home, you have lots of options. Let's break down a few now:
Physical security measures
There are a number of easy, low-cost changes you can make to your doors, locks, and other entry points to make your home more secure. Some of these include:
Technological security measures
Thanks to advances in technology, there's a slew of devices you can use to better control, monitor, and secure your property. Many of these even allow for remote use via a mobile phone or tablet app. Some technology options you might explore are:
Outdoor security improvements
There are a number of exterior changes that can increase the security of your property as well. These include things like:
Financing your home security updates
Protecting your home and improving its marketability will come at a price — but that doesn't have to mean draining your bank account and spending those life-savings. There are many low-cost ways to up your home's security, as well as a few financing options that can help lighten the load. For example, you can utilize:
Just remember that in the end, it's important you choose your projects wisely. Focus on ones that either improve your home's marketability or increase its appraised value. This will ensure a return on your investment when it comes time to sell the house.
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