Home Watch

Signs of Life

At one time or another you have come home from a day at work to find something has happened at your house while you were away. An unexpected package left on your doorstep, something has knocked down your garbage can which is now rolling around the driveway, or a palm frond has come down in your front walk. You quickly deal with it and move on, not giving it much thought. But what if this happens while you are gone for an extended period of time? That package or branch acts as a beacon for any opportunistic thief in the area. It shouts out loud that the owner is away and the house is vacant.


Imagine sitting in your living room and suddenly noticing a bee buzzing around your head. You chase it out the window and sit back down only to find two new bees in the room. Within minutes you have a dozen bees and a crying toddler with a stinger in his foot. This actually happened to us a few years ago. We quickly identified the access route the bees were taking (between the walls, coming out through a light fixture in the ceiling) and sealed it. We then contacted an exterminator and took care of it. We were told the bees were setting up camp and beginning to create their hive. Imagine IF this had occurred while we were abroad and we came home three months later to a 10,000-strong bee colony.


In Florida, everyone knows that Air Conditioning is King. It is not just for our personal comfort. Even while we are out of the house we must keep the AC on to keep down the humidity and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. But what happens if the AC stops working? If the filters are not properly changed or cleaned it will often lead to frozen pipes. The discharge valve backs up and drips directly into the house. If you catch it within a few days you can minimize the damage. But if it drips that way for two weeks, or two months, you can lose everything.


South Florida has a very high rate of absentee owners. We are a tourist mecca and a winter haven for the entire continent and this means residents are used to seeing changing faces and strangers coming and going at all times. In recent years this has led to a rise in ‘seasonal squatters’. These are people who figure out when snowbirds have gone back north and take advantage of the empty house for several months until the fall. They break in and then call a locksmith to change the lock and from that point they do as they please.

We customize our inspections and tailor them to your needs. We check the property, both exterior and interior and treat it as our own. We will take care of mail, pamphlets, papers and loose debris, anything that indicates to a thief or squatter that the home is vacant. Our visits are at different days and times to avoid setting a pattern. We have a full checklist of items to look out for, from the AC to the kitchen sink, from signs of intrusion to signs of infestation and everything in between. If anything is amiss we will advise you immediately by phone and in writing and work out a solution. Full and detailed reports follow each inspection for your peace of mind and so you know exactly how your property is doing.

Fully licensed, bonded and insured

Home watch is a visual inspection of a home or property, looking for obvious issues.