If you're thinking about getting a burglar alarm, join the ranks! About 1.8 million electronic security systems are installed in homes across the United States each year. And it's no wonder -- a house without a security system is three times more likely to be broken into than a residence with one, according to Simon Hakim, a professor of economics at Temple University in Philadelphia.
On average, you'll pay between $100 and $1,200 for a burglar alarm, plus a monthly monitoring fee of about $35. There are many good options. Look for a system with a separate control panel and key pad. Those that have both of these in the same unit can be easier for an intruder to defeat before the alarm notifies a monitoring center.