pre-wired motion sensorsThere are a number of home improvement projects that a homeowner can tackle to boost property value (for wither equity or for resale). Unfortunately, some of the bigger and more popular projects, like renovating a kitchen or a bathroom, can cost tens of thousands of dollars to complete. When the cost of these renovations is compared to the potential return, unless they aren’t absolutely necessary for function, they may not make the most fiscal sense.

A simple way to improve property value, that often gets overlooked, is improving home security. Many home security improvements can be quickly complete without expensive permits, without thousands of dollars in materials or equipment and even without hiring a contractor.

Here are a few simple improvements that are low cost, high reward when it comes to ROI.


The lights that surround the home, particularly around the entrance ways, are a big part of creating a safe environment. Installing new porch or entryway lights, new lights on the garage and lights to brighten the walkway leading up to the home make the entire property much safer.

Quality exterior lights with pre-wired motion sensors or “dusk to dawn” sensors can be purchased from a home improvement center. Installation for these fixtures is often quick and easy – some pathway or entry lights can be completely solar powered with no requirement for wiring at all.

No burglar likes to work in an area that they can be clearly scene from the street or sidewalk. Having bright lights at or around potential entrances would require that criminals work in plain sight and could very well cause them to pass one home by for another that offers better cover of night.


Big, tall trees; high hedges and full bushes attract potential crooks similarly to dark or dim entryways. This cover of foliage allows a thief to work quietly in secret for as long as they need to get inside of a home.

Cutting back branches, trimming hedges and pruning bushes to allow for a clear path of sight form the street to entryways is an excellent way to improve home security. Combining these clear, open entryways with the bright lights from the last point is an excellent, low cost way to keep potential criminals away from a home.

One of the best parts of this method is that it likely won’t cost a thing. If a homeowner is willing to put in a weekend’s worth of manual labor with a saw and some trimmers, this home improvement project can likely be done without spending a dime.

Installing a Home Security Alarm System

While there are DIY kits available, this is one project on the list that a homeowner might want to leave to a professional. That being said, many very reputable security companies offer low cost installations and low cost (or even free equipment) to go along with the monthly monitoring contract.

This improvement will cost a little more than adding a few lights and trimming a few trees, but it goes a very long way toward keeping a home and family safe. A home security alarm is a clear and direct signal to potential burglars to stay away. The sign on the lawn and the sticker in the window alert would be thieves that broken glass or a breached door will send out a loud alarm and provide direct connection with the appropriate authorities. This is often more than enough to keep the bad guys moving in search of another, easier target.

Home security alarms can also be set up to send out alerts if any event occurs. This means that a homeowner will be notified via text or e-mails (or both) if an alarm is set or disarmed, if a motion sensor goes off or if an entrance is breached. If cameras are part of the system, the homeowner can even get an up close look at what is going on inside the home from their phone or PC.

Many security systems also link fairly seamlessly with home management systems. This is a tremendously advantageous feature as it allows the homeowner access to adjust interior and exterior lights and the home heating and cooling system. This can not only make the home more comfortable and more inviting, it can help to dramatically reduce utility bills.

A home security system may not be the “head turner” that a brand new kitchen or bathroom is, but when all the facts are examined it seems like a very logical choice. This group of improvements has a very low initial investment but can have a powerful and immediate impact when it comes to other expenses (lower utility bills, lower insurance premiums, etc.). Maybe even more importantly, a new home security adds something that no new bathroom fixture or tile kitchen floor can provide – peace of mind.

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