Frequently Asked Questions
1. Tell me about the service that you offer and why it is beneficial?
The basic home monitoring service consists of walking through the home and yards weekly, performing specific checks/actions (details on the services page). The benefits are many; however the most important to clients is their "peace of mind" knowing someone they trust is looking after their home while they are away. Secondarily, when significant issues are detected, the homeowner recieves immediate notification, so it can be addressed before it escalates into a bigger problem. Further we have worked hard becoming a solutions provider to owners. More specifically, over the last 7+ years, we have formed an alliance with and/or developed an excellent group of contractors. Therefore, if maintenance, repairs, deliveries, or handyman work is required it can be performed in the owner's absence, with confidence it is a tried and true company. This allows the homeowner to dedicate their vacation/holiday to enjoyment, rather than the time consuming distractions and hassles associated with scheduling and being present during these activities. With us living in Estrella, clients know we are right in the neighborhood, addressing significant issues "real time", not some company located an hour away unfamiliar and disconnected with the community. Additionally, homeowners receive the "bonus" of us passing by their property, whether that be for walks, bike rides or heading out for shopping or running errands.
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2. What sets Estrella Home Monitoring Services above the rest?
We are not at all interested in having the largest business in the area. Rather we are interested in running more of a boutique business for a limited number of clients, providing the best value while establishing strong relationships with each client. We focus exclusively (100%) on the Estrella market (Mountain Ranch, Montecito & Canta Mia).
The whole idea behind Estrella Home Monitoring Services is delivering to its clients "peace of mind while they are away". Whether they be out of town owners that vacation here, residents going out of town for extended vacations or owners of a vacation rental property, they can relax knowing their home is being cared for in a manner consistent with their needs, delivered at an excellent value. This is accomplished through a standardized monitoring process and full reporting after each visit. Further, we make a point to get to know our homeowners and work to meet their unique needs.
3. What misconceptions do residents have about their home when they are away?
Many homeowners think when they close the door and leave for extended periods of time "all will be well". However, particularly for new owners, who haven't experienced the year round growth of vegetation in this part of the country, they do not recognize their landscaping requires attention while they are away. Overgrown trees, shrubs, plants and dropped leaves/branches create unsightly conditions and can provide a place for unwanted creatures to hide/nest. Left unattended, this can also lead to potential Home Owner Association citations and fines.
Having appropriate settings for irrigation frequency and duration is important for homeowners who are away for extended periods of time. This becomes especially important as the seasons change (i.e., too much water in the winter; too little water in the summer). Hiring a landscaper on some frequency (monthly, quaterly, etc.) can save homeowner headaches and costly landscape material replacement.
Some homeowners think that by placing buckets of water throughout their home will combat the issues associated with Arizona 's ultra dry climate. While this can add a small measure of moisture, keep in mind airconditioning removes moisture. Buckets of water does not address the drain traps (i.e., sinks, tubs, showers, etc.), which need to maintain a level of water to avoid unwanted gasses entering the home. Therefore making arrangements with a person you trust and is reliable to periodically run your interior faucets and flush toilets, will best address this issue.
One other consideration is checking your insurance policy or with your agent if you are going away for several weeks or more. This is important, as some policies have an "exclusion clause", which limits coverage if a home is left unattended for extended periods of time.
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4. What type of things do residents 'forget to do' when they leave town, which makes their home vulnerable to criminal activity?
Believe it or not something as simple as checking every window and door to ensure they are fully closed and "locked" has been overlooked frequently. It is important that a homeowner does not assume that a window which is closed is actually locked, even if the lock is appears to be applied. Check windows by attempting to open each, testing your locks to ensure the catches have been engaged.
Overgrown landscaping can also be a sign of a vacated home and provide a great screen for unwanted persons and/or critters. Therefore, we recommend if a homeowner is leaving town for an extended period of time, it is important to have landscaping trimmed/maintained in their absence.
A lock (i.e., padlock or similar) would be a strong suggestion for yard gates, especially for those with pools.
Newspapers and advertisements left at the property are signs to potential perpetrators the house is vacant. Therefore, having those removed in your absence on a regular basis can eliminate this issue. Again, this is a service we do, which is included in the Monitoring Service.
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We have made a significant commitment to the community as evidenced by our building a home in GreensPointe and having served 7+ years on various Estrella's Committes. While serving on these committees is very time consuming, we are proud to be serving the community and being instrumental in the accomplishment of the many significant community improvements realized during this time. Our hope is that by giving back to the community, our efforts will have a positive impact to the quality of life in Estrella.
We possess a unique combination of extensive business and retail hospitality related experience/skills, honed over a collective 55 year period. Steve worked 38 years, prior to retiring from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, holding various positions in retail, sales & marketing and executive positions. Sarah worked 17 years in retail sales management for WH Smith, a London based operator of book stores & gift shops, located within prestigious hotels and airports throughout the world. Sarah, a natural in the service industry, gets great satisfaction "delighting" our customers, many of which have become personal friends.
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