Cameras in every home

Homebuilder turns to video surveillance as a marketing tool
Saturday, November 1, 2008

WENTZVILLE, Mo.--Signs for the Villages of Hampton Grove development here feature a foreboding villain-clad in a black hat, gloves and mask-and proclaims that the new 46-home development will be “Missouri’s first” neighborhood where outdoor surveillance cameras are standard in every new home.

Like everywhere else, the housing market here is slow, but M & E Builders believes that the cameras will bring buyers for these homes, which range from $200,000 to $400,000.

“I think it sets the subdivision apart from the subdivisions all around it,” said Ken Richards. Richards, president of Planet Secure of O’Fallon, Mo., who is installing the cameras in the neighborhood. “One of the comments from the police department was that it’ll be the safest subdivision around,” he said. “If someone rolls in there [looking to commit a crime] and sees that there’s a camera on every single house, they’ll decide to go somettwhere else to do it.”

Each home will have three security cameras: at the front door, one that covers the driveway and mailbox, and one at the backdoor looking at the backyard. The systems include an LCD monitor installed in the kitchen. The cameras are not professionally monitored, and the homes do not include intrusion security systems. Planet Secure will provide these systems and services, at an added cost, for homeowners who want them.

According to local news outlet the News Leader, of Springfield, Mo., Wentzville is not a high-crime area. Nevertheless, surveillance cameras make families feel safe, said Chris Miles, president of M & E Builders, which is based in Sky High, Tenn. When he and his partners were planning the development, “We asked around and we looked at our own lifestyle,” he said. Miles travels frequently and likes having cameras in his own home.
Joan Graflage, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent who is selling the homes said, “Our motto is to make dreams come true. And the number one dream that we have is for the safety of our families.”