Home watch services at Lake Tahoe can be valuable (Opinion)
Special to the Tribune
From October to April, many owners of Incline Village real estate close their properties while they reside in warmer climates.
There is the potential whenever a property is vacant for a long period that some type of damage or problem can go unnoticed. If a broken pipe or other major issue is not corrected promptly it may escalate dramatically resulting in a huge expense and headache to repair.
The purpose of a home watch service is to inspect the interior and exterior of your property on a regular basis and check for damage, leaks, broken windows, unlocked doors, invading squirrels and other issues that could cause concern.
While condo owners may feel they are immune to this sort of problem, most homeowner’s associations will only look for visible damage from the outside of a property. No one will tell you if the furnace or boiler is broken and the heat is off or if a faucet is leaking.
For absentee owners of houses and condos, employing a home watch service when you are away for extended periods of time could be very valuable.
If you have a security alarm system, consider adding a freeze alarm and a redundant fire alarm system to provide backup for your smoke detectors. The freeze alarm is especially helpful in the event that your heating system goes out while you are away. It can take just a couple of very cold nights for pipes to freeze and burst creating an enormous amount of damage inside your property.
While home watch services can help with your peace of mind, electronic monitoring devices such as a freeze alarm provide an added layer of confidence for absentee owners.
There are some firms in our communities that in addition to doing landscaping and other maintenance services can perform the home watch for you. Some property management firms offer home watch as one of the menu items on the list of services that they provide.
Whether you choose to have the service performed all year round or just from autumn to spring will depend upon your personal schedule and use of your property. You can also stipulate that the home watch service provider pay special attention to particular attributes of your property especially if you have some unique features that could be overlooked by the untrained eye.
The prices and services provided can vary greatly so it is advisable to interview a few different companies and see who will be the best fit for your particular situation.
Some home watch service providers can also be named as the primary contact in the event that your alarm system goes off. This ensures that a local person can quickly visit your property and remedy the issue as soon as it arises.
Best of all, a good home watch service can give you peace of mind when you are away for any length of time so that you are not constantly worrying about what could be happening with your property at Lake Tahoe.
Please contact us if you would like a referral to a local home watch service provider and we will be happy to assist you.
Don Kanare is the founder and Sabrina Belleci is the owner and broker of RE/MAX North Lake in Incline Village. You can follow their blog at http://www.InsideIncline.com.