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The Home Security Upgrades That Boost a Property’s Value

Key takeaways

  • Indiana, New Hampshire, and Maine have the most secure homes for sale.
  • The average price per square foot of a home with at least one security feature ($270.49) is almost $38 more than that of a home without any security features ($232.67).
  • Over 25% of Americans prioritize home security features when looking to purchase a new home.
  • Americans’ most prioritized home security upgrades are security cameras (48.7%), smart locks (43.0%), and outdoor lighting (41.4%).
Vivint Smart Home Pro installing an outdoor security camera.

The value of safety

Have you considered adding new security features to your home but still haven’t taken the leap? We’re here to help you decide.

We’ve listed 12 easy upgrades for you to ponder and surveyed over 1,000 Americans about how much they value each one. We also researched home values across the U.S. and evaluated their security to determine how these features can affect a home’s selling price. Let’s find out what even just a single upgrade might mean for your home’s security and value.

Buying a secure home

Below, we’ve listed some of the easiest security upgrades to give you ideas for protecting your home. But how common are they across the U.S.? Let’s see which states have the most secure homes listed on the market.

Information about which states have the most secure homes for sale.

We defined a “secure home” as one that includes at least one of the following:

  • Landscaping
  • Security alarm
  • Gated exterior
  • Door/Window screens
  • Security cameras
  • Doorbell camera
  • Motion sensors
  • Smart locks
  • Surveillance system
  • Home automation

Landscaping was the most common security feature of all the home listings we studied. But while hedges and shrubs make for an attractive yard, make sure they don’t offer hiding places for burglars. Keeping yards and lawns trimmed and tidy also ensures your home looks occupied and cared for, which can deter those looking to break into abandoned houses. Maine had the most homes listed that adhere to these tips.

But Indiana may have the most secure homes on the market overall. Of the homes for sale there, 43.6% had at least one of the features listed above. It was also the state with the most homes listed as having security alarms installed. Meanwhile, Nebraska homes could potentially use some security upgrades; only 3% of the homes there boasted any of our listed security features.

The impact of home security on home value

Looking to sell a home? You may want to add a security feature or two, and you’re about to find out why.

Information about which home security upgrades most increase a home's value.

If you’re selling, security features can command a higher home price — up to $38 more per square foot compared to a home without any. And of the ones we studied, the highest-valued homes were more likely to include security features as part of the package. More than one-quarter of homes worth $500,000 and up had at least one of these features, while the same could be said for less than 8% of those under $100,000.

Informtion about how home security impacts a home's value.

Homes with at least one security feature had higher listing prices in 43 of the 50 U.S. states. The difference was especially noticeable in Wyoming, where the average price increase for a secure home was more than 124%. Secure homes in North and South Dakota could also fetch significantly higher prices than their non-secure counterparts: at least 45% more, on average.

But some states showed the opposite trend. In Washington, a seller might get more than 16% less for a home with security features versus one without. Likewise, homes listed without security features in Tennessee, Minnesota, Iowa, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia had lower selling prices than the more secure homes in these states. Hopefully, the buyers can shell out a little extra to increase their security once they move in!

Americans’ thoughts on home security

What is it about home security that makes these homes worth more? The answer may not surprise you: Buyers want secure homes. But how many Americans feel this way, and which features do they covet most?

Information about how Americans prioritize home security.

More than one-quarter of the Americans surveyed said that they prioritize homes with security features when they’re house hunting. Baby boomers were the most likely to say so, as were those earning $50,000 or more per year. Those with lower incomes may feel they have less to lose or may be hesitant to invest in their home’s security.

But securing your home isn’t just about peace of mind — it might earn you a return on the investment (ROI). Almost 40% of the people surveyed felt that smart locks have the highest ROI. Think of the time and money you could save by not having a key made every time you need to give someone access to your home or changing the locks to keep one of them out.

Smart locks were also the No. 2 security upgrade that Americans were interested in (43%). The top pick was security cameras, which 72.6% of respondents would spend over $100 to install. Outdoor lighting completed the top three most desired upgrades, which indicates that most Americans might be looking to improve visibility on their property as a safety measure.

Seeking safer homes

It turns out that many Americans place a high value on their home security. In fact, a home with security features could win you a significantly higher selling price on your home, depending on the state you live in. If you’re looking to sell, consider adding features that improve visibility around the property since that’s likely to be the most attractive to security-minded buyers. But aside from installations, a well-manicured lawn can make a difference as well — and not just aesthetically. So, at least keep the lawn mowed and the hedges trimmed!

Looking to move, but having trouble finding properties that meet your security standards? You might be able to take your security system with you and even have it held by your service provider while you’re in between residences. Otherwise, you might qualify for a referral credit if your previous home’s new residents activate your old system for themselves, making it easier for you to set up a new one in your next home.

Let’s be neighbors.

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For this study, we gathered for sale property listings data across all 50 states. Specifically, we pulled 10 listings from 50 of the most populated ZIP codes within each state. Each property’s description and metadata were text analyzed to determine the property list price, size, and security features. In total, we analyzed 24,558 properties.

Additionally, we surveyed 1,034 Americans about their thoughts on home security when purchasing a new home. Of the respondents, 20.9% were baby boomers, 27.5% were Generation X, 28.2% were millennials, and 23.4% were Generation Z.

Fair use statement

Did you find a useful security tip here or some helpful pointers for selling a home? You’re welcome to share our findings for any noncommercial purpose, so long as you include a link to this source in doing so.

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