The Most Important Home Security Feature

Security features of a house are one of the most important aspects South African consumers take into consideration when choosing a home.

According to a recent PropertyGenie poll, hosted on behalf of ooba - South Africa’s leading bond originator - most home buyers reported burglar bars and a burglar alarm as the most important home security features they would look for in a new home.

The poll revealed that 25% of respondents consider burglar bars the most important security feature when purchasing a house. This was closely followed by 24% of respondents who cited an installed burglar alarm as most important. Alarm beams / sensors and electric fences were tied with 17% each, while the remaining options, remote control garage / gate, security gates, street lights and sensor lights accounted for the remaining 17%.

According to Jenny Rushin, Western Cape Provincial Sales Manager at ooba, home security and safety is a very strong pulling factor for consumers when deciding on a house to purchase. "The 2010 / 2011 South African Police Service Crime Report recorded nearly 2.1 million serious crime cases in South Africa, of which 25.8% were property-related crimes. As a result, home owners are increasingly taking security features of a home into consideration when deciding where to settle and buy a property." She says that home owners want to feel secure in their neighbourhood and security features, such as security bars and belonging to a private security company, often help individuals to feel safer in their home.

"While personal possessions, such as a laptop or television, are replaceable, a person's sense of safety is not as easily replaceable." Rushin says that even simple, yet effective security measures can impact a potential buyer's decision to purchase a property. Installing extra security can also add to the value of a home. "If the person viewing your home doesn't feel the property is adequately secure then it may prevent them from making an offer."

Rushin offers the following guidelines on how to increase a home's security features:

  • Install a house alarm that can be linked to a prominent security company in the area. While not all potential home owners want an alarm, the fact that there is the option to connect the alarm instantly, might appeal to
  • certain potential home owners.
  • Ensure there is sufficient lighting around the property. A well-lit perimeter will deter criminals from entering the property as they often use darkness to hide. Also ensure trees and bushes are cut back so they don't impair vision through windows. Overgrown bushes can also provide cover for criminals.
  • Secure all possible entry points. Ensure all windows and doors have either burglar bars or a security gate. This includes garage windows and doors leading from the garage into the house.

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