Determining the value of a home security system can be a bit complicated, but is a necessary task for many homeowners. The Federal Bureau of Investigations estimates that there were 2,197,140 burglaries in 2007 alone; of these, 67.9% of the victimized properties were residential. For homeowners considering the expansion of their home security, here are ten ways to determine the value of an alarm system.
- Estimate the Cost of Replacing Valuables That Can Be Removed from Your Home – In the event of a successful burglary or home invasion, valuables that can be removed from your property are likely to be lost or irreparably damaged. Having an estimate of how much it would cost to replace these items because the perpetrators were not deterred or apprehended is the first step to determining a system’s value.
- Figure Out a Ballpark Cost of Home Repairs – In addition to the loss of valuable electronics and other belongings, it’s important to also consider the cost of replacing broken doors or windows, repairing damaged walls and furniture, and any other property damage that results in the event of a burglary.
- Weigh Installation and Annual Fees Against Potential Replacement and Repairs – After determining how much a burglary could potentially cost in terms of replaced goods and repairs, weigh that figure against the start-up costs of installing a system and the annual fees for monitoring.
- Factor in Homeowners Insurance Gaps – Many homeowners are under-insured, and are often unaware of the fact. After you’ve determined the potential cost of a burglary, double-check your policy to see if a pay-out would even be sufficient.
- Determine a Peace-of-Mind Value – It’s difficult to affix a price tag to your peace of mind, but the value of a home security system is dependent on how much it affords you. If you live in an area with very low crime rates and aren’t particularly worried about burglary or invasion, a system will not be as valuable to you as if you were dependent on it for your peace of mind each day.
- Acknowledge the Value of Signage as a Deterrent – The signage, window decals and other indicators of a home security system have more value than you might think; in addition to the protection the system provides in the event of an invasion, these alerts to criminals serve as very strong deterrents.
- Calculate Insurance Discounts – Most homeowners’ insurance companies offer discounts for home security system, and often the discount is greater than the annual monitoring fees. Check with your insurance company to see what, if any, discounts you’ll receive as a result of installation.
- Determine Added Home Resale Value – Resale value of homes with functioning, up-to-date security systems can be notably higher than those without. If you’re considering a sale in the future or even if you’re simply acknowledging it as a possibility at some point, this will contribute to the value of the system overall.
- Estimate Total Loss Expenses – Though burglary prevention is what home security systems are often connected with in the mind of a consumer, this is far from their only function. Most also have fire alert systems that can prevent a significant amount of damage in the event of a blaze. If your home were to suffer a total-loss due to a fire because you weren’t able to contact help in time, how much would it cost after your insurance payout?
- Look at the Special Services and Their Value – Many companies also offer specialized services that send alerts to designated mobile phones if specified areas are entered or tampered with. These services include alarms on liquor cabinets and gun safes; for families with children and teenagers that might be tempted to experiment when you’re out of the home, this service alone can be worth the cost of the system.
Carefully researching companies and the services they offer, weighing the costs versus the benefits of a system, and considering the crime statistics of your neighborhood are all important parts of the shopping process. Don’t be swayed into purchasing service packages that are larger than your needs, as this will greatly affect the value balance at the end of your calculations.