By Marti GaciochAfter 27 years as a La Jolla Realtor,
Mary Ellen Morgandecided to start a niche business that fits her skills and experience perfectly:
Coast Home Watch, a service that monitors the homes of people with second homes and high-end rental properties while they’re away.
“A client suggested that I start this service because it’s especially needed in La Jolla where people will stay for five months and then leave for six months and not rent their home,” Morgan said. “When a home sits vacant, it can go into decline.”
With Morgan consistently checking on properties, there’s not a chance of deterioration. After taking on a new client, Morgan familiarizes herself with the property by checking its condition to set up a routine checklist for her future visits. Afterward, she may visit a home once or twice a month, depending on the owner’s wishes.
As Morgan walks through a home, she said she checks for leaky pipes, open windows, security breaches and signs of insect intrusion. She also looks to see how the garden is being cared for. Next, she briefly turns on the air conditioning, dishwasher, washer and dryer to see that they’re working and lubricated.
“When I first start with a house, I’m the bad news bearer,” Morgan said, “but after selling hundreds of homes and following around hundreds of home inspectors, I know where to look for problems, which I report to the owners.”
Within 48 hours of checking a home, she sends the owner a report on their property. If there is something that needs their immediate attention, she’ll call or text them. Morgan’s goal is to keep the home in good working order, so when the owners return, they needn’t spend their vacation time repairing things.
It’s up to the owners if they want to repair the problems themselves, or if they want Morgan to have it done by her licensed, insured, bonded repair people. She will also advise regarding alarm companies and securing home valuables.
Coast Home Watch is now available in San Diego County areas including La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and Point Loma.
As an agent for Gallery Properties, Morgan remains active in the real estate business (she had a banner year in 2013 as her company’s top-seller!), but her energy is also focused on establishing Coast Home Watch.
— For more information about services offered by
Coast Home Watch, call
(858) 254-3602or visit
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