According to the US Census Bureau in their 2021 Annual Community Survey, there are well over 2.64 million second homes in the United States. These are seasonal, recreational, or occasional use homes. These homes are sometimes left unoccupied for extended periods of time, making them vulnerable to undiscovered damage, like water and mold, infestations, and even criminal activity. Home Watch is a risk mitigation service that visits unoccupied homes to provide a presence and real-time reports, with pictures and videos, to the homeowner. The National Home Watch Association (NHWA) was founded in 2009 to establish insurance requirements, best practices, policies and procedures, as well as ethics for this new service industry not yet officially recognized by any federal, provincial, or municipal government in the US or Canada. NHWA Founder and Executive Director, Jack Luber, shares this: “Well over two percent of all homes in the US are secondary homes. They represent trillions of dollars in real estate that goes unchecked unless the homeowner employs a Home Watch professional. With an increase of severe weather across the continent, along with hurricanes and tropical storms wreaking havoc on unoccupied homes, insurance providers are suffering tremendous losses and becoming insolvent. Home Watch is a risk mitigation service that may reduce the number of claims and losses involving second homes.”
To raise awareness of the Home Watch service industry, the NHWA is announcing that March 2023 will be the first National Home Watch Month.