Homeownership comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is keeping your beautiful, hard earned home, all your possessions, and your family safe from the villains and burglars that plot to destroy your investments. Every day you toil away at your job, working hard to provide for your home and give it grand big screen TV's, nice furnishings, and even the occasional splurge like double paned low energy windows. But then one day you hear of other homes who have been broken into and wonder just what a homeowner like you should do to protect your home and you decide that a new home security alarm system is right for you. Follow this checklist and you will not make the 7 common mistakes homeowners make when purchasing a home security system.

1. Don't be impulsive. Yes, half the neighborhood has been broken into and you're shaking in your boots that you are next, but if you act with impulse you will get duped by a sales guy and be unhappy in the end. Research shows that homeowners who are happy with their home security system use their home security system which is why you're buying one in the first place.

2. Don't over shop. Sometimes customers get so caught up in finding the best deal that they just run circles around themselves. While you don't want to make a quick decision, spending time over shopping for an alarm systems waste your time and all the deals will just meld together I your head by the time you decide on a company.

3. Don't trust the sales guy. Hey, he's there to sell you something right? So take what he has to say with a grain of salt. Better yet. When you call the company and get an initial phone quote if all the numbers sound good to you, then just ask them to send of the installer instead. He'll do a better security analysis of your home and won't upcharge you if you decide to add equipment.

4. Don't be uneducated. Learn about security products before you buy them. What does a contact do compared to a motion? What is a glass break detector and will it be a good fit in your home? Find out what's what and you'll be better able to make a decision.

5. Don't be cheap. I know the economy this and the economy that. I get it. Stretching a dollar is number one priority in my house too, but if you cut all the corners off you won't have any quality left. Be realistic about your budget and find a reputable company to discuss your budget and needs with. Maybe there is a middle ground solution where your security needs are met and you stay within budget.

6. Don't become an alarm installer. This goes along with being cheap. There are a lot of DIY alarm systems available to homeowners. While some home projects are manageable for non-professionals, this is just not one of them. Alarm systems are made of several components, wires, signals, and features that a DIY project will never come close to the real thing.

7. Don't forget to read the fine print. Some companies have 2, 3 even 5 year contracts. Some contracts auto-renew locking you in for another period while other companies offer no contracts at all. Some companies offer a lifetime service plan with a trip fee while others will charge you any price they feel like even for simple fixes like replacing a battery. Most companies that ask you to sign a contract also have early termination fees. Find out all the details before you sign on the bottom line. These terms shouldn't deter you from choosing a company you feel great about, but you should know what you're getting into.

Now that you have your checklist in hand you are ready to start interviewing local alarm companies. A great place to start is on the BBB website so you know that the company you're reviewing already has a good standing. Next, don't forget to do your own research on equipment, local alarm standards, and perform your own security analysis. Go out and conquer the bad villains and protect your home and family.

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