While all homebuyers have their own personal criteria on which they base their home buying decisions, there are a number of common concerns all South Africans share when it comes to choosing a home…
Security is high on the priority list and this is reflected in the booming popularity of security estates in the country. But which security improvements add the most value to a property? “When improving the security measures in and around your home with a view to add to the value of the property, highly visible security systems should be prioritised,” notes Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Property experts estimate that home security measures could add twice as much to the value of the house as the initial capital outlay on the security measures. So, for example, if an alarm system worth R5 000 is installed, it could add as much as R10 000 to the value of the property. Examples of such highly visible security measures include a boundary wall with spikes or electric fencing, with a single entry point protected by an automated gate, clearly visible and operated from inside the home. The areas around the gate, the garden and the front and back doors should be well-lit with bright lights. Alarm system light indicators in strategic places will not only provide advance warning of an activated alarm to family members returning home, but will also warn criminals of an alarm system on the property. Armed response security warning signs and CCTV cameras are also visual cues of tight security. Burglar bars and security gates are often a pre-requisite for insurance cover, so these are essential. “While tight security is important, security measures should not detract from the overall appeal of the property.
Overbearing security that creates a prison-like home might well have the opposite effect on buyers – leading them to question the safety of the area. Fortunately, modern security features have evolved from stark, cold reminders of the safety and security challenges we face to appealing features that can actually add to the value of your home,” says Goslett. Choose security measures that will add to the curb appeal and value of your home, for example, an attractive electronic gate with an interesting design, or perhaps crafted from wrought iron. Metal spikes on a wall can be camouflaged with synthetic leaves. Modern burglar bars and security gates are available in an astounding range of designs and colours to blend with the architectural style and look of your home – for example, unnoticeable burglar bars that match the pattern of cottage pane windows, clear burglar proofing made from virtually unbreakable thermoplastic or expandable and retractable trellis-type security gates sized to fit windows.
“Homeowners who spend some time to find the most suitable and attractive security measures for their homes will not only enjoy greater peace of mind while they occupy the property, but will also add significantly to the value of their homes. Remember to keep all invoices, receipts and manuals for the security measures installed – it will add considerably to the value perception the buyer forms of the property,” concludes Goslett.