We all love to visit our vacation homes in the mountains of Western North Carolina whenever we get some valuable free time. Once you arrive, you usually have an agenda of things to do, and nothing can derail your time like home maintenance and repairs.
In December 2022, The Plateau saw low temperatures that dipped down into the negative degrees. Temperatures stayed below 0* for two or the three days, and power was lost in many areas for an extended period of time. Some homeowners with property managers checking in on their homes noticed pipes had burst and the beginning of what could be horrible water damage. Imagine days, if not weeks or months, where water is pouring into your home creating damage and ruining your personal belongings, not to mention facilitating mold growth. In a vacation home market, such as the Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire and Toxaway areas, we cannot always rely on a neighbor to be able to stop over and check on things, because most likely your neighbor is not on the mountain either. This is the type of scenario where having a trusted property manager is important.
Property managers can be hired to perform a range of activities. Most enter into an agreement based on what services they offer and what you need them to do as the property owner. A property manager could handle the basics, such hiring housekeeping services or coordinating yard maintenance. More advanced agreements could include meeting with utility workers to install cable or have a plumbing issue addressed. Property managers can be first on the list to call if an alarm goes off at your home, and can even stock your kitchen or bar with provisions, so not only do you arrive to a clean home, but you do not have to make that dreaded run to Ingles on your first day back.
Property managers do not need to be handy, but they do need to know who to call and have connections with multiple contractors in order to get a timely response in case of an emergency. If you are on vacation, the last thing you want to do is wait around for the plumber to show up all day. Your time is valuable, and a good property manager can go a long way in making sure you enjoy your vacation.
Even if this is your full-time residence, a property manager still makes sense. Once again, your time is valuable, and often a property manager is a convenience that pays for itself. Property managers are professionals who can find things that are wrong with your home, even if you have yet to notice them. Hopefully, having a property manager will minimize the number of issues that come along with an aging home.
How do you find a property manager in the mountains? If you worked with a REALTOR® to buy your home, it is likely that they a trusted recommendation. At Cashiers Valley Real Estate, we have a list of several property managers that we are proud to recommend. Once you find a few contacts, we recommend interviewing your property manager before entering a contract with them. After all, this person will hold a key to your home, so you need to be 100 percent certain this person is trustworthy. Finally, ask for references. Nothing proves efficiency, trustworthiness, effectiveness and accountability like a good reference from other clients.
Take some time to consider the pros and cons of hiring someone to manage your home. Very few people regret this decision, and diverting just one small disaster could be well worth the money it costs to hire a property manager. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Cashiers Valley Real Estate team.
It should be noted that property managers mentioned in this article may or may not be licensed property managers as recognized by the NC Real Estate Commission. The term “property manager,” simply refers to a person “managing” an individual’s property.