Real Estate

Do You Need a Home Watcher? Here’s What One Could Do for You.

Leslie Young has a message for new second-home owners: That house of yours isn’t going to look after itself.

Ms. Young, a longtime resident of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, a leafy town on the state’s southern coast, is well acquainted with some part-timers who tend to be on the scene in June, July and August, when the weather is at its best. When they close up their homes on or around Labor Day at the end of their rookie season, they look ahead to next summer, naïvely unaware of the damage that could soon be wrought by strong winds (power outages!), prolonged cold (frozen pipes!) and cracks in the foundation (hi, mice!).

This is where Ms. Young comes in. She is a home watcher, though she prefers the term “home check person.” “My husband and I have renovated two houses,” she said. “I know what to look for.”

“Crouching is a big part of the job,” Ms. Young said. “You have to be agile.”Credit…Greta Rybus for The New York Times

For fees that range from $45 (for weekly service) to $51 (for twice-weekly visits), Ms. Young, a retired police officer, does reconnaissance on the exterior and interior of clients’ homes, going back to front and room to room to room to see if anything looks wrong or out of the ordinary. “I give them peace of mind,” she said. “If there’s an alarm at their house and it goes off, I’m just a phone call away.”

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