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Property News South Africa

Buyers place a premium on peace of mind – security features that add value

Most South Africans place a premium on security in the home.

In a country where security is paramount, homebuyers place a premium on properties that have features that will offer peace of mind. Home security is not only a must-have, it can also add value to your home, says Bradd Bendall, chief executive officer (interim) of BetterBond.

“Done properly, home security can add considerable value to your home – as much as double the initial investment of the installation.”

There are measures you can put in place that will immediately put prospective buyers at ease – electric fencing, cameras, solid boundary walls or a well-lit and visible entry point protected by an automated gate.

Many buyers, especially those with families, will opt for homes in a secure lifestyle estate that offers perimeter walls, 24-hour manned controlled access and sophisticated surveillance systems.

Combining security and ROI

Bendall takes us through the steps to combine security with a return on investment:

  • The basics: It’s not enough to just install burglar bars. Although the criteria vary from one insurer to the next, burglar bars are usually the minimum requirement to qualify for home insurance. Some insurers will insist on security gates for sliding doors, or an alarm system linked to an armed response company. Much of this will depend on the area’s crime statistics.
  • Proactive steps: Enhance security in and around the home with strategic lighting. Make sure that spaces near the doors, main gate and garden are well-lit. Lights with motion sensors work well to deter intruders. Consider using solar lights as well to ensure that spaces remain lit even during load shedding.

    If you have an alarm, make sure the alarm light indicators are visible. Burglars will think twice before attempting to gain access. Place panic buttons linked to armed response in accessible places throughout your home. Beams that activate if breached are an effective way of protecting the home without detracting from the overall aesthetic.

  • Extra protection: CCTV cameras provide an added layer of protection. Being able to see who is ringing your doorbell, without having to go outside, is definitely an advantage. It’s also helpful to have footage should an intruder manage to gain access to your property.
  • Avoid extremes: While some visible security provides welcome reassurance, excessive measures may have the opposite effect. Homes that resemble a fortress may prompt potential buyers to question the neighbourhood’s safety. Rather opt for security measures that enhance rather than detract from the area.

    You could invest in a decorative security gate that combines function with design, or clear burglar bars made from polycarbonate to provide unobtrusive protection. If you have spikes on your boundary wall, cover them with foliage.

  • Home automation: Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to secure your home with the swipe of an app on your smartphone. Home automation that includes security features such as smart locking systems will appeal to buyers looking for convenience and safety.
  • Security in the home will always appeal to prospective buyers. It’s therefore important to balance peace of mind by installing features that will also add value to your home, concludes Bendall.

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