When it comes to condos and townhomes for sale in State College, PA, smart home security features have become part and parcel of the average buyer’s checklist.
Technological advances are making it easier for homeowners to set up a security system that gives them more control of their properties. Here’s what to look for in a smart home security system during the home search.
What to look for in a modern security system
An effective smart security system offers multiple components that work seamlessly together and which can be manipulated and customized accordingly. Here are some things to look for in a security system:
- Automation – Examples include the lights turning on whenever motion is detected, doors automatically unlocking when an alarm goes off, or cameras capturing footage when an alarm or sensor gets triggered.
- File storage and documentation – Some security systems store CCTV footage locally on a solid state drive or SD card while others use cloud storage.
Locally stored footage is often recommended for DIY smart home security. Just be careful not to overwrite any videos that you may need to review or turn over to the police later on. Cloud storage, however, makes it easier for homeowners to store and access video recordings though it can be costly depending on your subscription. There are smart home security systems that offer both local and cloud storage.
Your best option would be a dedicated storage drive with DVR capabilities, including time-lapse recording, which makes it easier to go back and identify a video event from a specific time or day.
- Remote access – A modern home security system can be controlled or accessed using an app on your smartphone, which serves as your personal command center. This enables you to set rules, receive push notifications, arm or disarm the security system, and add and delete various components no matter where you are.
Some home security apps also allow homeowners to view both live and recorded footage, change thermostat settings, and lock and unlock doors, just to name a few.
The more advanced smart home security systems typically have a wall-mounted panel with a touch-screen display. This serves as a communications hub, allowing you to do everything that you can do on the app. The display also lets homeowners contact a professional monitoring service provider when an alarm gets triggered.
Choosing the right smart home security system
Deciding on the right smart home security system can be pretty straightforward based on your budget, security concerns, and the size and layout of your home.
Your home security options include:
- DIY smart home security – You can buy components and install and operate them yourself.
- Alexa and Google Assistant-compatible smart home security systems – You can set up a security system that you can control via smartphone apps and features.
- Professionally installed smart home security – You have the option of hiring a professional security system installation company, which likely offers service contracts and provides optional monitoring.
The pros and cons of DIY and professional security system installation
You should choose DIY smart home installation and app-enabled security if you want:
- A relatively simple and fuss-free system with a few door and window sensors
- Just one or two indoor security cameras
- More control over your schedule
- Zero installation fees but moderate to high upfront equipment costs
DIY systems are usually easy to install. These systems are often sold in sets or kits that can be configured to your specific security requirements. As your security needs change over time, you can simple order additional components and expand your smart home security system at your convenience.
Go for professional installation if you want:
- A dedicated sensors for every door and window (recommended for large properties)
- Multiple indoor and outdoor CCTV
- Professional installation and security assessment with an expert
- Installation fees with lower upfront equipment costs
Depending on your location, there are security system installation companies that provide same-day installation. This lets you gain access to a complete smart home security system much sooner than waiting for different components of surveillance equipment to come in the mail.
No matter the size of your property, there are many scalable options in the market, some with zero to low monthly fees to systems with around the clock live professional monitoring.
If you’re in the market for a new home in State College, PA and nearby areas, contact the Heritage Realty Group, Inc. to get started. You can also speak with our agents at 814.231.0101 and RLHoman363(at)gmail(dotted)com. We’ve been serving buyers in Pennsylvania since 1987. We’re committed to your satisfaction and well-being.