"Buying a Home with a Security System"
10 March 2011
Summary: if you are buying a home with an installed security system, make sure it is included in the purchase contract and tested at settlement walkthrough.
More and more homes have a security system but they are often overlooked by a homebuyer.
The assumption often made by a home buyer is that other than entering a code in a keypad to arm and disarm the system, there is not much else to know or care about a security system.
Homebuyers often do not specify that an installed security system be operational in a purchase contract.
Ok, so you buy a home with an installed security system but it is not included in the purchase contract as a required functioning system.
You then discover your homeowner's insurance will give you a discount if the security system is functional.
Or you decide it would provide some peace of mind if you could arm the system while you were away for extended periods of time.
Not a good time to discover the security system is unplugged from house power and a tangle of wires.
Not a good time to discover the access code the previous owner left you in a pile of papers on your new home does not work.
Not a good time to discover it is going to cost $75 - $150 for a security company to come and look at your installed system.
Not a good time to discover your local security company does not want to deal with your installed system and wants to install a whole new system with a required multiple year monitoring contract.
Oh, but you say, I can fix it. Well, maybe you can and maybe you can't. Depending on who installed the security system originally, the system may be "locked" such that only the original installer and change any system programming.
If you are buying a home with a security system, make sure it is working and you know how to work it before you move in.