Home Watch and House Sitting Services
When planning a vacation (short-term or extended stay), or a business trip, there are many things to consider: transportation arrangements, rentals, food, excursions and trip duration. One detail that is often overlooked is the care of your home or suite while you are away. What happens if severe weather causes damage to your house while you are gone? What if there is sewer or heating problems? What about security breaches? What about complying with insurance regulations? These are all questions you must consider.
Many people do not have the time or the money to hire a full-time housesitter while they are away so, hiring a professional Home Watch company may be a good alternative. A neighbour or a friend may say they will watch your house while you are away but many people forget to diligently check on the house or may not check on the things that really matter. Your pets may get fed or your plants may get watered but what about checking your sewer system or your house’s perimeter? Using a professional home watching service will provide you with the services you request, at the time and frequency you request them.
Hiring a professional company to watch your home while you are away is a great way to ensure your own peace of mind.
Home watch companies provide services such as:
- Perimeter checks- these are important to ensure that your home’s security has not been breached or compromised by intruders, severe weather damages or other causes (both externally and internally)
- Utilities check- running of the water taps, flushing of toilets, electricity, heating system and other utilities should be checked while you are gone in case of malfunctioning of any of the systems
- General upkeep- you want your home to look ‘lived-in’ while you are gone so as to deter intruders or vandalism. Tidying of the yard, mail pick-up and yard maintenance are part of most general packages
- Lawn and garden irrigation- you don’t want to have to worry about your lawn being overgrown or brown when you return or that your plants have died
Other basic services may be included, each package from a Home Watch company may be different and include various components based on where you live, insurance regulations, and the services you need while you are away.
Some additional services that may be provided include pet care, cleaning services, pool or hot tub maintenance, landscaping services, car care, shopping assistance, and other requested services. For the business traveler home watch agencies provide specialized services that may not be included in your rental such as daily cleaning, specialized errand services and basic maintenance you may not have time to complete because of your hectic schedule.
The service that a Home Watch company provides is perfect for ‘snowbirds’, short-term vacationers, business travelers and professionals who are absent from their homes on a regular basis. Make sure to choose a company that requires its workers to be bonded, the company has a good reputation and is insured. In most cases you can set up a free initial consultation where you can discuss and decide on an appropriate service package for you. Rates will vary as will payment options. Look for a company that will go above and beyond if an emergency occurs such as having a list of available contractors if repairs need to be made on your home while you are away. Ask for discounts for services over an extended period of time and look for ways to package specialty services.
Making the decision to use a Home Watch service could be one of the best decisions you make. You will be able to relax and rest easier knowing your home is well taken care of while you tend to business or that well-earned time off.