Cristal's Blog


July 8, 2024

Back to Articles

The need for robust home security measures cannot be overstated in the affluent and tranquil enclave of Montecito. Amid serene landscapes, luxury homes abound here, like my Extraordinary Mediterranean Estate listing, Casmar, pictured below. Whether you're a new homeowner or have resided in the area for years, safeguarding your property is essential to protecting your investment and ensuring your own peace of mind. Here's an in-depth exploration of the latest state-of-the-art home security systems and home security tips to keep your property secure.

A luxury Mediterranean estate at dusk, dramatically lit from within and with the sunset in the background above the hills.

The Importance of Home Security Systems

Did you know that a robbery is reported in the United States every 14.5 seconds? For luxury homeowners in Montecito, partnering with a reliable home security provider and installing an effective system is paramount. Homes without security systems are statistically 2.7 times more likely to be targeted by burglars. The mere presence of an alarm system can often deter intruders, emphasizing the importance of proactive security measures.

According to experts, burglars spend, on average, less than 15 minutes inside a home, targeting items such as cash, jewelry, electronics, and prescription drugs. The conviction rate for home burglaries is surprisingly low, around 15%, underscoring the need for preventive security measures rather than relying solely on post-incident legal recourse.

Celebrity Home Security Extravagance

Celebrities understand the significance of home security. While you may not find it necessary to adopt the extreme measures favored by some A-listers, here’s an insight into the extravagant security precautions some employ:

  • After being robbed at gunpoint in Paris in 2016, Kim Kardashian and her former husband, Kanye West, went to great lengths to protect their family. They invested in two $1.2 million Dartz Prombron Iron Diamond armored vehicles reputed to thwart kidnappers, hijackers, and various other threats.
  • Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre has reportedly installed moats around his expansive 22,000-square-foot Los Angeles residence.
  • Top of Form
  • Bottom of Form
  • Tom Cruise employs a sniper to safeguard his home, and all guests must undergo an extensive background check before gaining access to specific "zones" within the Cruise estate. Perhaps equally noteworthy is the $7 million bunker Cruise constructed at his vacation home in Colorado.
3 home security cameras atop the corner of a building, with blue sky in the background
Creative Commons

Why Install a Monitored Home Security System?

In addition to the advanced security measures above, celebrities depend on a monitored home security system to provide constant surveillance and swift response capabilities. These features are essential for managing emergencies, even from afar, offering invaluable protection.

ADT home security items including cameras, a smart in home alarm system, sign and more.
Courtesy of ADT

5 Top Home Security Monitoring Companies

Here is a list of 5 of the best to companies to consider when it comes to protecting your family and belongings:

1) ADT
The two most important factors to contemplate when choosing a home security system are equipment reliability and service quality. ADT offers both, which is why it has become the country's number one authorized premier provider. It all starts when an experienced installation technique installs your system. After that, homeowners can relax knowing they have chosen a security company that provides exemplary service after installation.

2) Vivint
Vivint Smart Home is another leading smart home company in North America. The company delivers integrated smart home systems with in-home consultation, professional installation, and support from Smart Home Pros. You can also count on them to provide 24/7 customer care and monitoring. Dedicated to redefining the home experience with intelligent products and services, Vivint serves more than 1.4 million customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

3) BrinksHome
BrinksHome Security provides top-tier home protection services and is renowned for its award-winning solutions tailored to individual security needs. Whether looking for state-of-the-art security cameras, a user-friendly home app, or 24/7 monitored home security, the company ensures comprehensive coverage. It boasts a legacy of 160 years in safeguarding homes and families. Its commitment to excellence and innovation continues to set industry standards, making it a reliable choice for modern homeowners seeking peace of mind.

4) Frontpoint Security
When the Frontpoint control panel receives a tripped alarm signal from one of the sensors, it immediately sends a secure signal via the cellular network to the monitoring center. That signal is encrypted, meaning it's almost impossible to disrupt. Plans are available for several contingencies, including burglary, fire, and more. You can also add door sensors, window sensors, glass break detectors, smoke detectors, and more to your system. The monitoring service provided by ProtectAmerica covers you all day, every day.

5) SimpliSafe Home Security
This is one of the most popular DIY security providers, known for its professional alarm monitoring. Select from a range of home security solutions from three different package options. SimpliSafe’s equipment is modern and easy to install. All packages include security basics like motion sensors, while the more advanced packages include enhancements like video surveillance or key fob control. The monitoring plans include environmental monitoring, mobile alerts, security camera recording, and more.

Investing in a state-of-the-art home security system is not just about protecting property; it's about ensuring the safety of loved ones. Whether purchasing a new home in Montecito or considering upgrades for your current residence, prioritizing security measures enhances property value and personal safety. For the latest intel and reviews of the most popular home security systems, visit This Old House.


One more word on home security. A string of hidden cameras have been found in the yards of California homes, including right here in Santa Barbara. According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, these devices typically include a battery pack, a power cord, and a camera equipped with a memory card.

Potential burglars conceal these cameras to monitor their victims' routines and exploit opportunities when homes are unoccupied. Law enforcement advises residents to remain vigilant around their property boundaries and promptly report any such devices they discover to authorities.

Also, it is crucial now more than ever to thoroughly vet anyone you hire to work in your yard, including gardeners and other professionals. Ensuring their credentials, reputation, and background checks are up-to-date can help safeguard your property and peace of mind. This precautionary measure not only protects against potential theft or property damage but also ensures that those working on your premises are trustworthy and reliable. Verifying their qualifications and references can prevent unwanted incidents.

As a luxury realtor in Montecito, I recognize the significance of prioritizing home security. Whether you're interested in buying or selling here, I can integrate cutting-edge home security systems technology into your real estate transaction, ensuring your property is protected the minute you move in. For further details or to discuss all your real estate needs, don't hesitate to contact me at (805) 886-9378 or Your safety and satisfaction are my foremost concerns.

Of Related Interest:

Back to Articles

Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch