How Much Does a Home Security System Really Cost?

If you believe the hype from folks selling cheap home security systems, you might not think that an alarm is a significant investment. The fact of the matter is that you can get by with a relatively small output of cash if you’re smart about it; however, it’s also true that you get what you pay for. Cheap home security systems will offer some protection for you and for your belongings, but they won’t offer the same levels of protection that a more expensive, monitored system will involve.

How to Compare Home Security Cost

The trick is, ultimately, being able to balance the cost of your home security system against the level of protection you’re hoping for. Accordingly, there are several steps in determining how much your home security system is going to cost:

  1. Determine your actual security needs. If you live in an area of high crime rates, or if you have thousands of dollars of assets such as jewelry or electronics that you want to protect, you need a more expensive system, and probably a monitored system. A monitored system is going to require a service contract with a security company and going to mean a monthly payment to make sure they’re watching your home.
  2. Look into unmonitored systems for the least expensive and most basic home security protection. If you want a system that will alert you that there’s a nighttime intruder, you don’t need much more than a sensor-based system that sounds an alarm.
  3. Consider do-it-yourself home security systems if you want true savings. If you’re not going to have a monitored system and if you have some amount of confidence in your handyman abilities, consider installing your own system. You can save quite a bit going this way.
  4. Install a system that fits your budget. You can spend $200 on a self-installed home security system. You can spend $2,000 on a high-end monitored home security system (plus monitoring fees). Or you could the same high end systems for free with a contract. Really, the key is to figure out what you can afford that  will meet your security needs as closely as possible.
  5. When you’re comparing brands, make sure to compare like systems. Some brands are cheaper than others. Be careful here, because a cheaper system will always lack some functionality that the more expensive ones will have.
Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011