As an owner of residential properties, Matthew Rooks knows the anxiety of leaving a home vacant while traveling, or living in another area for an extended period of time.

“You always have the dread of what may happen,” Rooks says. “That feeling is what my company is trying to alleviate … A vacant home is a vulnerable home.”

Roost Home Watch, Rooks’ recently launched business, is designed to give homeowners piece of mind while their residence is unoccupied. During regular visits, a 54-point check of the interior and exterior of a home is completed and a real-time report of the findings is sent to the owners.

The company offers varying levels of home monitoring on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, which range from a basic home wellness membership to monitoring with cell sensor technology and customized concierge services.

The basic home watch membership includes looking at thermostats to make sure they are set as requested, checking for water leaks, moisture and wood rot and for signs of pest infestation. Air filters and batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are also changed as needed.

The exterior check of the home includes looking for signs of vandalism or attempted break-ins, roof and siding damage, snow/ice dams and testing of landscape lighting. If a home has a pool or hot tub, it is also checked on ensure that it is clean and operating properly.

If an urgent concern is found during a home check, the owner is notified immediately, Rook says. And necessary repairs can be arranged with contractors.

For homeowners who want added piece of mind, Rooks offers a home wellness plus membership that provides continuous electronic monitoring with sensors placed throughout the home. These sensors that operate on cellular service collect data on power failure, temperature and humidity changes and water leaks.

If an issue arises during the sensor monitoring, a Roost team member will go to the property to investigate it, as the plus membership provides one emergency visit a month.

Rooks also offers individualized services to homeowners such as checking on homes that are in the process of being sold and holding keys to a property.

Other concierge services of Roost Home Watch include home opening and closing, coordination and oversight of home repairs, grocery and laundry/dry cleaning services, garden and lawn watering and making arrangements for pet sitters.

“We try to offer what the customer needs,” says Rooks.

When coordinating with home owners for individualized services, he meets with them for a consultation in which he discusses options and pricing.

The cost of home watch services is based on the size of a house and the level of monitoring that is required. Homeowners do not sign a contract for the service and can cancel the service at any time, Rooks notes.

Because his home watch service is entrusted with much personal information from homeowners, Rooks says he takes security measures to ensure that all data is kept private and confidential.

Roost Home Watch has an extensive coverage area that ranges from Black Mountain to Maggie Valley and Saluda and includes communities in Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson counties.

Rooks’ home watch service is accredited through the National Home Watch Association, which he says carefully screens members and verifies insurance, bonding and licenses they have.

A native of North Carolina who grew up in Wilmington, Rooks lived and worked in other areas of the country before settling in Asheville a few years ago.

After experiencing big city living in Chicago and Seattle where he worked in the health care management, Rooks moved to Asheville for the amenities is offers.

“I love the outdoors,” he says. “And my dog wants to be a country dog.”

Rooks also has connected with the Asheville community and partners with area non-profit organizations such as Homeward Bound in his business.

For more information about Roost Home Watch, visit the website at www.roosthomewatch.com or call 828-505-1003.

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