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Help I Moved Into a House with Alarm System Already Installed

A lot of people move into a home with an already existing alarm system. It is seen as an attractive feature in purchasing a new home. Many people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars every day to install an alarm system themselves or to have an alarm system professionally installed into their home. It is obviously a major advantage to have the equipment and components already installed many times professionally at no actual cost to you! The question is what do you do to get monitoring service and learn how to use your system properly? What are the capabilities of the existing equipment, and how do you tailor this existing equipment to meet my needs and what I expect from an alarm system?

Moved into house with alarm system

Do Your Research

Learn what type of equipment you have already installed in your home. Is it an older system or a newer system? Is it capable of performing the services that you want? An older system may not have the capabilities to perform the tasks you need or desire. Some of the services that you might consider or think about are connectivity to smart technology, home automation, interior and exterior cameras, telephone landline connectivity versus radio or wi-fi monitoring, and accessibility to emergency services.

You can look up the type of equipment that is already installed in your home with a simple “Google” search. If you can find the brand name or the previous owner’s alarm company’s name, you can usually find the specifications and capabilities of that equipment fairly easily. You can usually easily find videos online using “Youtube” that show the capabilities of your system and demonstrate how to access these features.

When you do find out what type of system you have and what its capabilities are, you must decide for yourself what features and capabilities are important to you. You must decide your expectations for an alarm system. You must consider whether or not you are familiar with an alarm system and how it works, what your expectations for the alarm system are going to be in terms of features and capabilities, and what features you are really looking for in a given alarm system.     

Shop Around

You are not obligated to use the services of the previous alarm company. The previous alarm company may try to make you feel like you are obligated to use their services, but the contract that they had was with the previous owners of the home, not you. You should probably find out what they can do for you, and what the cost would be to sign up for service with them, but keep in mind, that if you can get those same service or the same services at a lower rate, you are in the driver’s seat. This can take some time. You may need to do some research online or make a few phone calls. Any internet search engine should be able to assist you in this search. Do not just go with the first results that show up from the search. Contact multiple companies by e-mail or telephone.

Local Alarm Companies

Check in with other companies. Whether they be other local companies or national companies, find out what they have to offer and at what rate. No matter what they tell you, it is you that have the power and authority. They may try to make you feel obligated to their company and services in order for them to divulge their fee structures, but remember, you are not. They are the ones that are vying for your business. They are the ones that serve you, not the other way around. The advantage of a local alarm company is that they know your area. Many times they live in the same communities that you do. By doing business with them, you are keeping your business and money local.  

National Alarm Companies

There are also national company options available as well. These companies are not usually the most personable. They are really good at getting in the door, and make everything sound great and are very smooth and well-packaged,  but once you read the fine print of the contract, you’ll see that they are going to charge you more than you realized, and they are going to ratchet-up the prices for their services over time.

These are the “name-brand” companies that you see commercials for on television and listen to the radio. When you type in almost any alarm related key-word into a search engine, these are the companies and advertisements that are listed first. These companies pay the search engines a lot of money to be listed first. Just because a company is listed first does not mean it is the right one for you. In certain applications, these companies are a great fit. They are well known and accessible. The problem with them is trying to get someone, a real-live person on the phone when you need help or if your system is not functioning properly.  

Do-It-Yourself Monitoring Companies

The other alternative to consider is the do-it-yourself market. There are several national do-it-yourself monitoring companies that offer the same services that both the local and national alarm companies offer, usually at a significant discount. The local and even national alarm companies will try to deter you from considering a do-it-yourself monitoring company by telling you that these types of companies do not have a personal connection to the customer and are impersonal in terms of service.

If you do your research, you’ll find that many of the local and national alarm companies use monitoring centers that are located all over the country. You may be living in Richmond, Virginia or Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and your alarm may be monitored in Pensacola, Florida for example. You’ll find the same types of services in the do-it-yourself market. All of the services such as alarm system monitoring, connectivity to your smart devices, home automation, connectivity to emergency services, and cameras are all offered by the national do-it-yourself companies. 

Do-it-yourself alarm companies have great tech support that can walk you through the installation, connectivity, and set-up of any components of your alarm system. They offer helpful advice and access to easy-to-follow videos that show exactly what you are trying to accomplish. 


The choice is yours. You have many wonderful and exciting options and opportunities at your disposal when you move into a home with an already existing alarm system. When I made this decision, I went with the “Do-It-Yourself” route. My transition was smooth and easy. I had the system up and functioning in under an hour. It was very straightforward and the videos online were very helpful. I initially had some anxiety about doing it myself, but when I was finished, I realized that I was able to save myself at least several hundred dollars, and I had top notch protection.

Thanks for reading. We hope this blog has helped answer your questions about what to do when moving into a home with an already existing alarm system.

Would you like to learn more? Contact us today to have your questions about alarm system answered.