At 1st Choice Home Watch (FCHW), we use the term Home Watch with some trepidation. Home Watch seems limited and doesn’t really capture the level of service we provide. The truth is, we are much more than a 'Home Watch' company; we offer a complete range of home repair and property management services. However, Home Watch is a commonly used term to refer to as a scheduled evaluation of the condition of a vacant home or building , which are an important part of what we do, so it’s paramount to understand the difference between 1st Choice Home Watch service and the typical home watch services offered here in the Fort Worth Texas area.
Our home watch evaluations provide peace of mind through scheduled evaluations at your vacant property while you are away. 1st Choice Home Watch site evaluation as “a visual evaluation of a home or property looking for obvious issues.” During the evaluation, we are looking at the overall condition of the home for various problems, including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other items that could become major expenses if not found early. Our goal is to find obvious leaks, pests or mold before they grow old! Potentially, one adverse event could pay for years of Home Watch evaluation!
Although our home watch checklist is designed to cover the important aspects of your home, it can easily be customized to meet the needs of our clients. We strive to bring flexibility to our scheduling and home evaluations. If there is a need for us to evaluate your home at a certain time, on a certain day; we will do everything in our power to meet that need. Again, our future depends on your satisfaction.
Should the walk through uncover a problem, 1st Choice Home Watch will immediately notify our client to discuss options to address the concern (see Sample Report). If it is within our scope of practice, we will gladly work with our client to resolve the issue. We can also provide a wide variety of qualified tradespeople to assist the homeowner. The homeowner can then instruct 1st Choice Home Watch on how they would like to proceed. Home Watch evaluators add security to your vacant home by creating the illusion of occupancy. We remove junk mail, flyers and other debris from your yard that indicate to the criminal element, “this home is vacant!”. We are fully insured. Our services can be modified to meet your needs and we offer frequent communication providing clients with peace of mind.
Do you have additional needs that are not listed below? Please contact us at 817-607-9000 or email us at email@example.com
While we cannot speak for other Home Watch Services, at 1st Choice Home Watch, we have developed a 60-point checklist, below is an example overview of many of the type of items we inspect, every time we visit your home:
Walk the interior of the entire home, performing a visual check of ceilings, walls, doors and windows for any signs of vandalism, forced entry, insects or rodents, or mold as well as make sure windows and doors are secure and locked.
Inspect electrical panels to make sure no breakers are tripped due to power surges or outages.
Check for unusual sounds or odors.
Clean the doorway and store or recycle newspapers or fliers and store mail out of sight in a predetermined spot, or forward to another address (at client request, extra fees apply).
Select lighting to leave on, or place timers.
Open and/or close drapes at client request.
Check for signs of water leakage from interior sources, such as the hot water heater, dishwater, clothes washer hoses, irrigation connection, and under sinks.
Turn air conditioning or heating on/off, if requested. Temperature is recorded each visit and filters are evaluated periodically.
Flush all toilets, checking for normal function, and check for leaks.
Check and run all faucets and showers to make sure that the P-trap is full to avoid sewer gas from coming into the home, and to keep washers, gaskets and seals moist.
Check smoke detectors and replace batteries (for a small additional fee + cost of batteries).
Check for garbage and remove (extra fees may apply if large amounts are required to be disposed of).
Report on home condition or cleanliness, if home was being used by authorized visitors.
Run garbage disposal to prevent failure.
Check that the icemaker is turned off and empty.
Make sure the chimney flue is closed to maintain heat and keep out pests.
Check the garage or carport for general cleanliness and report any issues.
Visually check for stains, signs of water leaks; ceilings, windows and doors.
Visually check signs of pest intrusion.
Check windows for signs of mold and verify they are locked.
Check decks for standing water and dry rot.
Check the refrigerator and freezer and adjust settings accordingly.
Check the thermostat, run heating and air conditioning to verify operation.
Visually check for signs of mildew and mold.
Remove newspapers and flyers.
Set the alarm system and lock doors upon departure of the building.
IMMEDIATELY report to the client of any abnormalities found.
Perform an exterior check around the entire home and property.
Check gates and fences and all doors, screens and windows around the home for obvious signs of damage, breakage, forced entry and vandalism.
Clear any debris, newspapers, fliers or mail from around the front entry.
Look for signs of broken branches on nearby trees that could be hazardous to people or the property or if the situation(s) post a fire hazard.
Report on cleanliness issues with exterior home or yard maintenance.
View the roof area, noting any damage, missing roofing materials or signs of gutter leakage and/or blockage.
Check for signs of insect or rodent pests.
Check water taps and irrigation connections for any leaks or drips.
Check that the main water valve is turned off after each inspection (unless otherwise requested by the client – ie. water timers are being utilized).
Check for any unusual odors or sounds and for any overland drainage issues.
Check that the exterior lighting is functioning properly, with no burned-out bulbs.
Collect trash bins from the street if they were left out.
Test the doorbell to ensure that it is working prior to entering the home.
Walk the perimeter of the home and check for overall condition, erosion, signs of water leakage or drainage issues.
Check landscaping for potential problems, in the event a landscaping issue is noticed landscapers will be notified for correction.
Check windows screens and doors for any damage or signs of intrusion.
Check exterior walls and trim for visible signs of maintenance issues.
Check the garage, open and close garage doors.
Check exterior lights, replace bulbs when necessary.
Visually check siding and walls for cracks and water issues.
Check fences and walls both within the interior and exterior of the property.
Check for any visual damage and potential issues on property.
Visually check for any insect or pest intrusion.
Check decks steps and walkways to remain clear.
Check decks for water ponding and dry rot.
IMMEDIATELY report to the client of any abnormalities found.
No stone goes unturned. Along with these standard services, we also provide many of our clients with a complete range of additional services. These include pre-arrival home preparations and cleanings, post-departure home cleanings and closings, triggered alarm response, and flooding notifications, storm preparations and post-storm response. As part of our comprehensive home watch service, 1st Choice is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies such as triggered alarms and storm preparations. Whenever you need us, we will be there for you. When you hire 1st Choice, you can relax and have peace of mind knowing that your home is properly maintained and protected.
Benefits of our Home Watch Services
We feel that there are many reasons our services are different from our competition. However, when it comes to Home Watch, there are a number of distinctions between what we do, and what a typical home watch company will provide.
At 1st Choice, we offer weekly, twice a month or monthly evaluations, while most of our competitors only offer monthly inspections. In our experience, too much can happen in thirty days. A minor leak can turn into major water damage, a small animal or pest intrusion can turn into a full-scale invasion, a broken or malfunctioning appliance can become a fire hazard. During our Whole Home Survey, we will discuss our recommendations for the frequency of inspections for your home. A key factor in determining how often we visit your home is the age and condition of your property.
Because we are a comprehensive home watch service, the 1st Choice team is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies at any time, providing you peace of mind. As the listed emergency contact for our clients' homes, we have called out to homes in the middle of the night to respond to triggered alarms, floods, fire, animal intrusions, loss of electricity, heat, or water, and much more. You can rest assured that we will come anytime, day or night.
We also provide convenience and efficiency. We cover a wide-range of home services including Handyman, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance & Repair, House Cleaning, Construction, Renovation and Remodeling, and we can sub-contract services such as HVAC maintenance and repair, plumbing, carpentry, painting, power washing, window washing, and much more. Most other home watch services are only able to provide home watch. If something goes wrong they can only refer you to another provider and you are on your own. At 1st Choice, you can rest assured that we will get the work done according to your wishes, on time and on budget.
Many second home and rental property owners will decide that they do not need a Home Watch service. They go at it alone, or they will rely on a neighbor or nearby family member to ‘keep an eye out’ and hope that nothing goes wrong. This can have disastrous results. Our team is experienced and trained to spot issues and deal with them in the most effective and efficient way possible. We have served this area for more than 30 years and we know how to identify issues before they get out of control. If you own a home or property, you know that there is a cost in maintaining and protecting your investment. By choosing a professional Home Watch service like 1st Choice, you can be assured that your property will be cared for, maintained and protected while you are away.
If you would like to learn more about Home Watch services from 1st Choice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 817-607-9000, and one of our Home Service Managers will contact you to set up an appointment.