03 Mar How To Hire The Right Home Watch Company
Who’s Watching Your Hilton Head Home When You’re Not Here?
Hilton Head is truly a special place that leaves a long-lasting impression on its visitors. There’s seemingly always something to do as the island is home to 12 miles of gorgeous beaches, thriving golf and tennis communities, miles upon miles of recreational trails, and so many more amazing qualities that it’d be impossible to list them all.
If you take all of this into account, along with the fact that Hilton Head experiences excellent weather nearly year round, it’s no surprise that the island is a popular location for second homes and vacation properties. But when you’re out of town, how can you be sure everything will be maintained properly for your return?
Did You Know Most Home Watch Companies Are A Side Business?
Luckily, in areas where seasonal properties and vacation homes are common, there are many home watch and absentee owner services available. For an investment as large as a second home, it’s vital that you hire a professional to keep an eye on your property and ensure that it doesn’t incur any damages during your time away.
However, these services come with a catch that many people aren’t aware of — home watching is not a regulated industry. This means that any individual or business can offer these services without any qualifications or training.
There aren’t any licenses required to operate in this industry so many people retire to Hilton Head and start home watching services as a hobby thinking it will be an easy way to pass the time and make a few extra dollars on the side.
For people who pursue this profession as a hobby, they don’t know how much really goes into proper home watching for seasonal homeowners. During visits, many of them use a GPS system to show that they were there, but there’s no telling how thorough their inspection was.
For all you know, they could simply just peek into your rooms. They might not actually inspect your piping, rooftop, HVAC, or other important areas that require attention during your absence. This begs the question: If something does happen to your home, like if mold starts to form or a storm causes a roof leak, how can you be sure that these problems will be taken care of properly before your return?
Don’t Let Just Anybody Protect Your Vacation Home!
Did You Know Many Home Watch Companies Have No Construction Or Handyman Experience?
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In worst case scenarios, some of these so-called “home watchers” may even go as far as occupying your residence or renting it out to other people, knowing you won’t return for months.
Even with positive intentions, many home watchers simply don’t have what it takes to properly maintain an absent property. As you can imagine, it’s important to hire someone trustworthy, who not only knows what to look out for, but someone you can trust to take care of your home if something does actually go wrong while you’re out of town.
Here are three tell-tale signs of an unprofessional home watching service:
They don’t visit on a weekly basis
A lot can happen in a week while you’re gone. Professional home watchers know this fact and visit weekly to ensure that if any issues do appear, they’re solved quickly.
Without visiting weekly, damages that form can worsen over the course of several weeks to a month and will be quite costly to repair. If you see services offering a choice of monthly visits or visits based on a set schedule of your choosing, look elsewhere.
Claiming to have a license, training, or qualifications specific to home watching
As mentioned before, there are no such licenses or training needed to operate in South Carolina’s home watching industry. As such, any person or business can offer these services on a website and make it look legitimate with claims of having a license.
Offering prices that are unrealistically low
Home watching services should reflect the properties that they’re overseeing. On Hilton Head Island, vacation properties can sometimes be several stories high with multiple bedrooms.
For properties of this or any size, you want to hire someone who will be thorough in checking all aspects of your home and not someone who charges prices that resemble a monthly online subscription.
The bottom line is, when you’re looking for a company to take care of your second house or vacation property, you need to take the time to research and evaluate them carefully.
If you don’t take the time to hire a professional, then you’re virtually giving a stranger unrestrained access to your property. Ideally, a home watcher should understand all the aspects of a thorough home inspection and be a part of the local community so in the event that your house needs repairs, they can easily hire the best contractors for the job.
Your Dedicated Hilton Head Island Home Watcher
As the owner of The House Butler, Ike Callaway understands what it takes to be a trustworthy, professional, and thorough home watcher. For over 30 years, Ike has been involved with designing, building, and maintaining the health and beauty of many properties right here on Hilton Head and in the Lowcountry.
Unlike many other home watching services, Ike takes every walk-through seriously and performs them as if it were his own home.
Because of his vast experience with house construction, Ike understands all of the ins and outs of proper home maintenance and knows what to look out for when he’s watching over your property.
During inspections, Ike knows which specific smells to be aware of, where to feel around for water damage, and understands everything else needed to ensure your coastal home is in the same condition, if not better, than when you left it.
Ike’s unique insight into the home building industry gives him an edge over unprofessional and hobbyist watchers who think it’s easy to oversee vacation properties.
Furthermore, as a resident who has lived and worked on Hilton Head for decades, Ike knows all of the island’s most reputable contractors. In the event that your property actually needs repairs, you can be assured that it will be solved quickly and with the best professionals in the business. Being a member of the local community and in the business for years makes all the difference when it comes to taking care of your second home.