Home upgrades are value adds to the total value of your home. Some are more obvious, such as granite countertops in your kitchen, or travertine tile in your bathrooms, but there are other upgrades that you may not see that also add value to your home and to your bottom line, as well as increase your enjoyment of your home while you are living there. One of the most comprehensive upgrades you can make to increase home security is a good alarm system. The mere presence of such a system is a visible deterrent to any home intruder.
Other improvements that can be made to your home security include rekeying your exterior door locks. If you’re moving into a brand-new home or an older home, taking the time to rekey the locks is a smart move as dozens of other people had access to your home during the sale of the home and before you moved in. Previous housecleaners, pet sitters and neighbors could have keys to the home without your knowledge. Even if you moved into your home years ago, rekeying your home provides an extra layer of security. Rekeying averages $125-$150 for a home with two to three exterior doors.
Something to note is if your door locks are more than a few years old, you may want to consider getting your locks replaced to prevent “lock bumping”. Newer technology in locks prevents this tactic by home burglars who insert special keys into locks, striking them with a hammer which causes the pins in the lock to move slightly and permitting the door to be opened. Your local locksmith can help you to determine whether your current door locks are bump-proof.
Another access point to your home for home burglars is your garage door. Savvy burglars will force open a small crack between the garage door and frame of the home, or break a window in the door, and will use a wire hook to grab the manual door-release cord hanging down from the electric garage door opener. To foil this maneuver, consider either removing the opener cord completely or tie it to the opener frame with a zip tie (which can be cut if you need to access the cord later). If the burglar is able to get into your garage another way, be sure to keep the door into your house dead bolted to make unauthorized entry even more difficult.
Finally, if you are listing your home for sale, determine if your alarm system service is transferrable to the buyers of your home. This may be another value add that will be relevant in the listing documents.