I think your neighbor just needs some confidence. We've all been there, sometimes learning the hard way. I agree with Mike, I would get the builder to prewire properly with EOL resistors at the ends and slap your own panel in the closet. If he is really is going to get into HA, and he has a dedicated alarm panel, he will have no choice but to spend more money to put a dedicated HA controller or go to less reliable PC stuff. And how competent is he to setup a pc properly along with the right SW and keep it all running? If all sensors are prewired, phone wired into an RJ31X it is really easy to put an Elk M1 in. Pretty much connect the sensor wires to the zone inputs, connect the speaker and siren to output 1 and 2 and the keypad wires to the bus, oh yeh and AC power. I think if he looks at the big picture, in the long run this will be cheaper and actually easier. Programming is easy with RP and Elk offers great support. I had an existing system that was put in actually after the home was built and all I did was pull out the old and put in the new. Pretty easy if all the wiring is there and labeled. Also, he can pay like $9 month for monitoring with NextAlarm vs like $20 or more for the big guys, plus he can monitor an Elk himself with voice as a backup. Even if he needs to find a competent installer on the side to hook it up after the fact I think it is worth it. If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely go an Elk or similar route.