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Home Security Options

by Mark Rieger, Duke Warner Realty
 

 

There are many effective security options that protect your family and home and give you peace of mind. From inexpensive Do-It-Yourself methods to pricier security systems with monitoring centers, here are a few different home security products and methods to consider.

  • Installed Security Alarm Systems with Monitoring Services

These systems are the most expensive, typically costing $25 - $50 per month. You pay for the installation and the equipment as well, which is generally in addition to your monthly fee. Many of the companies that provide these systems also require you to sign a contract, which can keep you committed from 3-5 years. Although, you may be able to find companies who will negotiate month-to-month options.

In the event that you need assistance, you have direct access to help once the alarm is activated. Maintenance of such systems should be minimal, and most of these systems are accompanied by a warranty.

If you enter into a contract for a security alarm system, it can be difficult to get out of without paying a large fee. Also, unintentionally activating these alarms can cause problems if you aren't home to turn them off, resulting in annoyed neighbors and a possible visit from your local police department.

  • DIY Security Alarm Systems

Much less expensive than the monitoring systems are basic sensor alarm systems. You can usually install these alarm systems yourself with the ability to connect the system to your phone lines to dial preselected numbers if the home's security is breached. Many of these systems allow for a number of points of contacts at various doors and windows around the home. These security systems typically have alarms and flashing lights to alert anyone nearby of a potential problem.

Since these systems don't have monitoring services, they rely on those in the home or around the home to contact the police as well as the reliability of the dialer to dial preselected emergency contacts. Many of these systems have warranties, and you typically don't sign any contracts.

  • Surveillance Cameras

The cost for a full video surveillance system for many homeowners can be pricey, but if it's something you'd like to consider, it should be used as a backup device to a basic home security alarm or installed system. Cameras can only deter someone from breaking in. Also, many people who have security cameras around their home neglect to actually monitor and record the activity around the home. There have been many reported thefts from homes with surveillance systems that were never resolved due to the fact that the homeowners could never refer to any footage because the cameras weren't recording. So, if you choose to install surveillance cameras, make sure you use them properly.

  • Man's Best Friend

Although you wouldn't get a dog for the sole purpose of protecting your home, Fido can be a great alarm system when anything or anyone suspicious may be threatening your home.

  • Simply Advertising an Alarm

it's not a necessarily an effective or reliable source of protection in the event of an actual burglary, but sometimes simply placing an alarm system advertisement outside can be enough of a deterrent to keep anyone away who may consider breaking into your home.

  • Reliable Locks on all Windows and Doors

Use sturdy, dependable deadbolt locks on all your doors. Keep windows locked when they're not in use. Block your sliding doors or windows from being opened from the outside by measuring the window track when the window is open, and purchasing a piece of wood that will fit in the slot yet is sturdy enough not to break with force.

When leaving your home or going to bed, always ensure that your doors and windows are securely locked. Keep your home well lit, especially from the outside. Also, let your neighbors know if you are going out of town so you have someone aware of any suspicious activity happening around your home while you're gone.

   

Positive Real Estate Forecast for 2011

by Mark Rieger, Duke Warner Realty
 

 

National Association of Realtor's Positive Forecast for 2011

 

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is optimistic about home sales in 2011. Pending homes sales in November increased 3.5 percent, which indicates a gradual recovery for this upcoming year.

NAR chief economist Laurence Yun said, "All the indicator trends are pointing to a gradual housing recovery. Home price prospects will vary depending largely upon local job market conditions. The national median home price, however, is expected to remain stable even with a continuing flow of distressed properties coming onto the market, as long as there is a steady demand of financially healthy home buyers."

Low mortgage rates, high housing affordability, and a little economic growth are pushing the housing market toward a slight recovery. The high number of foreclosures is still keeping the market from recovering more quickly, however.

Other NAR projections for 2011 include:

  • New home sales are estimated to rise 24 percent;
  • Existing-home sales are projected to rise about 8 percent;
  • Housing starts are expected to rise 21 percent;
  • The unemployment rate is expected to drop in 2011.

We should expect some peaks and valleys, but it's important not to panic. In general, the trend is expected to be an increase over the next few years.

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