The Top 10 Reasons To Have A Home Watch Service While You Are Away.
You’re thinking about getting a home watch service, but you aren’t sure if it is worth the investment. You have insurance on your home, your neighbor has offered to look in on your place, and you have the latest technology to monitor the temperature & humidity on your phone…what could go wrong?
Let me let you in on a secret, you aren’t the only one that feels this way. In fact, I have heard all these reasons from current clients who found me after thinking they were properly covered too.
Inevitable, they experienced one of the items below and rethought their decision. Unfortunately for them, they learned their lesson only after they had to spend thousands of dollars to fix a problem that may have been caught during one of our home checks.
Here are the top 10 reasons you should have a Home Watch Service, even if you have proper coverage, a kind neighbor, and the latest technology.
1. Air Conditioners Fail
You service your Air Conditioning unit 2x a year, what could go wrong, right? I can tell you from experience, I have walked into homes with a brand-new unit only to find the temperature, and more concerning, the humidity up at levels that cause concern. Once your home reaches humidity levels above 50% you are in danger of having mold grow on your walls and furniture. It doesn’t take long for the humidity in Florida to take over and bring a damp musty smell into your home that, if left unchecked, could lead to bigger problems. During our home checks, we always document the temperature and humidity level so that you can be confident that your home is properly cooled and humidity is being appropriately removed while you are away.
2. Neighbors aren’t available
Consider yourself lucky if you have a neighbor who is willing to keep an eye on your home. There is nothing better than knowing you can leave and trust someone else to look out for your home while you are away. One of my clients signed with me after thinking they were in a good position to have such a kind neighbor too until a major life event happened and the neighbor was no longer available to watch the home. You also need to consider what happens when they do find something of concern, now you are counting on your neighbor to not only drop in on your home every once in a while, but you have now burdened them with the responsibility of arranging for a plumber, a roofer, or whatever vendor is required to solve the problem.
When you hire a paid professional to do the job, there is no need to worry about if the home checks are happening or having to ask for a favor when a problem arises. At Good Life Home Watch we use GPS technology to document when we are in your home and provide a report of the visit immediately upon completion of the home check. There is no need to wonder if the checks happened and we are fully prepared to assist with facilitating any repairs required when they are discovered.
3. Roof's Leak
Florida summers are known for their rain, it gives us the lush green grass and the beautiful tropical flowers, and sometimes those tropical rains find a way into your home, causing stains on your ceiling, leaks down the wall, and sometimes run all the way down the inside of your wall and leak out the floorboards. If not addressed quickly, a simple roof leak can lead to major demo and renovation projects that may not have been on your to-do list. If you live in a condo and have an upstairs neighbor, you may not be worried about the roof itself, but you should be worried about their toilets and bathtubs. The last thing you need is a slow leak to become a bathtub in your bathroom that came from your upstairs neighbor.
4. Insurance requirement
Everyone’s homeowner’s insurance is different, but many policies have requirements regarding leaving a home unattended. If you get nothing else from this article, I highly recommend you check your policy to ensure you are in compliance and will not be denied a claim if something were to happen in your absence. This is especially important for condo owners. Many people feel they are covered because the association is responsible for any damage that happens to the outside of the unit and/or damages you receive due to an exterior issue. There is often a clause in your agreement with the association that requires notification of an issue within a certain number of days. When you lock the door and hope for the best for 6 months, you may come back to thousands of dollars worth of damage that are no longer covered by someone other than you.
5. Hurricanes Happen
You’ve got to have the tropical to have the paradise. Hurricanes are a fact of life when living in Florida however when you have a good home watch company watching your
home, this can help minimize the concern while you’re away. It can be scary to watch the weather reports while you’re away from your Florida home not knowing how your home will withstand the high force winds, the rain, and possible flooding that accompanies a hurricane. Having a Home Watch company that can prepare your home for a storm, removing projectiles, facilitate putting up the hurricane shutters, and simply having someone be the boots on the ground can help minimize the stress of the unknown when it comes to hurricanes. When the Tampa Bay area was hit with Irma a few years back we were able to check on and report back on our clients' homes within 48 hours of the all-clear from the state. We were able to alleviate our homeowner's concerns and also help facilitate repairs as needed which was a huge relief to our homeowners.
6. Electricity surges
Along with the rain concerns that come with Florida storms, there is also the lightning. We have all experienced a brief power outage courtesy of lightning or another reason. When you are home and this happens you can quickly see if any appliances have been affected and you can reset anything requiring attention. When you are away, this power outage can mean rotten food in the fridge, interrupted access to your internet, security cameras, or remote access to your Thermostat. Most of these can be a quick fix if you have someone local that can assist, which where a good home watch professional can come in handy. We are available to reset anything required on our next scheduled visit or we can make an additional visit to check on your home or reset your internet if needed.
7. Robbers notice
Even when you have a lawn service maintaining your lawn, there are still tell-tale signs that a home is vacant. The flyers can build up on the doorstep, there is never a car in the driveway, the lighting in the house never changes. These are the types of things people with malicious intent will look for. Having an alarm or a home watch service does not guarantee a break-in will not be attempted, and if that happens, having someone local that can meet the police, file the report, and stay at your home until it is secure can be invaluable. As one of my clients put it “short of getting on a plane and flying down there I don’t know how we would have dealt with the break-in if it hadn’t been for Good Life Home Watch”.
8. Animals nest
Did you know a group of raccoons is called a Gaze? I didn’t either until I learned about the damage these pests can do when they decide to make a home in your attic. They will access the space through your soffit and then make a nest for their babies. If not caught quickly, this can lead to a family of raccoons taking up residence while you are away. Whether is it raccoons or wasps, or anything in between, it is best not to give unwanted critters an extended period of time to make your home their home.
9. Molehills become mountains
I often say it’s the little things that add up and this can absolutely be the case when it comes to leaving a home unattended for an extended period of time. A small leak in your toilet can be easily caught and repaired, but if left unchecked this can cause mold, damage to the floor, or worse. The cost of the repair will go from a plumber visit to a bathroom remodel…not to mention the water bill expense! Though we can’t guarantee we will catch every issue, catching these minor issues early can save your thousands of dollars in damage.
10. Murphy’s law
It is not an if, it’s a when and the longer you leave your home unattended the greater the risk something will happen while you are away. This is why we recommend someone check on your home at least every 2 weeks, if not more often. Having someone to keep an eye on your home will help provide peace of mind and we’ll be there to mitigate any issues that arise courtesy of our good old friend Murphy…
There you have it, the top 10 reasons you should have a Home Watch Service, even if you have proper insurance coverage, a kind neighbor, and the latest technology.
Finally, if you want to make sure you are prepared to leave your home for an extended period of time, be sure to download our Closing Up Your Florida Home Checklist here.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, contact
Good Life Home Watch today at 727-368-6589.