Being that those of us in the New York metropolitan area live in the cold and snowy Northeast, many of our clients travel to warmer states for the winter months. That means their northern homes remain unoccupied from anywhere between 3 to 5 months. This is a time when just about anything can happen. We can help mitigate those risks by watching your house for you.
House watching is a cousin of house sitting but with one significant difference: a company offering a house watch package does not send someone to live in your property while you are away. When you have a house sitter, you have someone physically staying in your home. Other than that difference, house watching and house sitting are almost identical.
House watch packages vary in terms of what they provide, but some of the more common services include the following:
- Checking to ensure all doors and windows are secure
- Checking on thermostats; changing your filters when necessary
- Flushing toilets and running water in sinks to prevent odors
- Checking key areas where insect and rodent infestations might occur
- Checking for potential damage after a storm
- Removing advertising fliers from doors and mailboxes
- Calling the police in the event of criminal activity
- Meeting insurance agents or service providers who might visit after an emergency.
All of the services listed here would be intended for clients who are away from their properties long-term. But house watching is not confined just to snowbirds heading south for the winter. Short-term packages can provide added peace of mind even if you are going away for just a week to 10 days.
The Advantage of House Watching
So why would a client choose house watching over enlisting a friend or family member to house sit? For starters, remember that a professional service provider typically has knowledge a friend or family member will not possess. Your house sitter may not know to check first-floor windows when leaving for the day to make sure everything is secure. A house watch provider does.
Second, a house watch program calls for personnel to visit a client’s property on a regularly scheduled basis for the entire time you are away. House sitters do not necessarily follow a routine schedule because they are going about their daily lives as though they were living in their own homes.
Third, a professional service is capable of acting as an intermediary on your behalf in the event something does go wrong. You might not find a house sitter so willing to do that. We have already mentioned meeting with insurance agents, but there are other possibilities. Perhaps your water tank springs a leak, your furnace goes out, or an ice dam on the roof causes water to leak into your home. The house watcher can be there for the entire time service providers are working in your home, just to ensure nothing is amiss. The house sitter may not have that kind of time.
As a senior and a snowbird, you deserve the opportunity to get away without having to worry about your property here in the North. You may already have friends in your Southern community who keep an eye on your second home during the summer months, why not work with somebody to provide the same coverage here as well?