What is a Home Watch service?
A Home watch service can be described by several names: house watch, home concierge, house check, caretaker, property monitor, absentee house service, and so on.
Irrespective of the name, a Home Watch involves routine inspections of vacant or empty properties while the owner is away. The National Home Watch Association describes home Watch as “a visual inspection of a home or property looking for obvious issues.”
These inspections shall include the basic checking of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, together with the general condition of the property. Home Watchers scrutinize a house or condo with a skilled eye to make sure everything is in the right condition.
Not only do we keep watch homes that are completed/ built, but the Coachella Valley Home Watch team also keeps an eye on Construction sites and can act as a property management team for local investors too.
We check for leaks, rodents, and mold, all of which may be found in homes left unattended for even the smallest amount of time.
If the home watcher finds a problem or a potential issue, the homeowner will be immediately notified. The homeowner will, therefore, instruct the home watch service provider on the next course of action to take.
Home Watch services provide a degree of security to the vacant home by collecting junk mail and leaflets and establishing a presence in the empty house. Home watchers, therefore, serve as an eyepiece for the homeowner to monitor their property in absentia; thereby giving them a peace of mind.
A brief history of Home Watching Services
Home Watch is a service provided to people with multiple homes. This is quite common in places with a high number of seasonal residents such as North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, and of course all of the Coachella Valley cities including Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indio, La Quinta and Indian Wells.
Originally it was referred to as assistance by “Neighbors Doing Favors.” These were people who lived and worked in the community all year round, so they gave a bit of help to their snowbird neighbors.
As popularity increased, many began to get paid for it and started advertising home watch as a business.
Unfortunately, these people did not run it as a proper business; they could not secure insurance, or have a legal contract with the homeowners. Therefore, they were dubbed “Hobby Home Watcher.”
However, things started to change in 2008, when home watch services started gaining ground.
The first commercial agencies were launched, as well as companies offering specialist training and consulting services.
Seasonal homeowners then learned how to evaluate a company before handing over the keys to their investment property.
The relevance of home watch services
It is unsafe to leave a home vacant for too long. A lot might have gone wrong before the next time the homeowner will come visiting again. Some minor issues that could have been fixed easily can escalate due to a lack of attention.
However, this is completely avoidable if a home watcher is hired to monitor the house. Therefore, homeowners ought to consider the best maintenance for their home based on the Home Watcher’s experience of potentially horrible circumstances.
There are now many trained and qualified home watchers operating businesses but here is why we stand out. Our job is to carry out a routine, thorough home inspection, and detecting any abnormalities. Our trained home watch experts are equipped to access damage at an early stage before it becomes a mess. We have relevant tools needed to fix most of these problems.
When Hurricane Irma struck South Florida in 2017, there was a turning point in the Home Watch world.
The storm was reported to have destroyed at least $ 50 billion, rendering Irma the most destructive hurricane in the history of Florida, exceeding Hurricane Andrew.
Similarly, in the Coachella Valley in February 2019, a massive storm swept through the area bringing unprecedented floods and damage to countless homes in the Valley.
Quite a large number of people didn’t hire a home watch service. The ones that had hired went to a company that didn’t know how to prepare homes before the storms; or were unprepared to help after the storm.
These incidents propelled recognition and the need to hire reliable home watchers.
This then brings us to how you can identify a good home watch company.
Things to consider before hiring a home watch company
Because homeowners entrust their entire property to the home watching company that they hire, it is important that they choose the right company. A good home watch company will pay attention to the property, make sure everything is working properly, give regular feedback to their clients, and report any sign of break-in to the police.
Homeowners must do thorough research on the company they are hiring. They can’t just let anyone into their homes.
1. National Home Watch Association
The first thing you want to consider is if the company belongs to the National Home Watch Association. This body provides accreditation for home watch services based on certain criteria.
The organization awards accreditation to businesses following insurance and bonding requirements. Also, they check if their home watching services are in line with agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and if they seek to adhere to the association’s code of conduct and mission statement.
In general liability insurance provision, a home watch service should have a minimum of $1 million, and potential clients should ask for evidence of insurance.
3. Request for references
Another important step is to request and contact references. Check to see if people are happy with their home watching services. You’ll be able to find out if they do precisely what their clients want. This way, you won’t be having any surprises.
4. Background in construction or property management
Having a background in construction or property management will make it easier for home watchers to recognize issues and find reliable vendors to fix the problems.
5. Security Backgrounds
It’s not often that you will find a Home Watch Company where staff have backgrounds in security or policing. Our own Louis Moreto has experience as a police officer, where he worked in all areas of law enforcement and rose through the ranks to Chief of Police. This experience has given him the skills and a trained eye to identify problems or areas of concern. When he visits your house, he can point out those things to make your house safer. He can provide you peace of mind that your house is safe when you are away from your desert property.
6. Is the home watch provider licensed to provide handyman services
Many home watch companies also provide additional services like preparing a home for the owner’s return, getting groceries and stocking the fridge, handy work, pet sitting, putting up hurricane shutters, or other tasks.
Homeowners must verify whether a home watch provider is licensed to do handy jobs and other work that needs licensing.
Some homeowners might require home watch services to better control a recurring pest problem.
So, these are the reasons why you may want to be using a reputable Home Watching service here in the Coachella Valley. GIve us a call on tel:7602052072 and let us show you how we can help you