Whether one is heading out of town for the holidays, for a few weeks or for the cold, winter season, it’s always a comforting feeling to know that property, pets and home are safe and protected. That is precisely what Selbyville resident Barbara Hobbs is offering through her new pet-sitting and concierge service, Home Minders.
“My husband and I enjoy going on vacations,” said Hobbs, “and we’ve got a cat. When you’re away from home, you don’t want to always have to worry about the house and your animals. People don’t like always imposing on their neighbors to check up on the house, grab your mail, let the animals out. That’s how the idea came around.”
Hobbs, who has spent 22 years working for a Baltimore financial institution and recently at a local bank in Sussex County, has developed valuable social skills and a friendly personality – qualities that come into play with her new project.
Home Minders is not limited to any particular types of dwellings, either.
“You see a lot of people here at the beaches with condos, too,” she said. “If you have a condominium on the third floor, and you have a water leak during the winter, it’s not just affecting you. You have to worry about the people below you, too. If you lose electricity, you’ll want to know about it. These are all things that Home Minders can help with.”
In addition to checking for frozen pipes and leaks, Home Minders can check up on the heating system and are even available to let in service-people, such as plumbers or electricians.
“Even if you’re not out of town,” said Hobbs, “there are times when you have your own schedule and can’t always be waiting around for someone to show up at your home. Sometimes, when people say they’ll be out tomorrow, you don’t always have a good idea of when that is. Is that my ‘tomorrow’ or your ‘tomorrow?’ We can be there to let people in while you’re at work or running errands.”
Home Minders can even sit in for caretakers, so they can enjoy their day, too.
As recent weather has demonstrated, rain and wind can become a hazard to a home.
“With storm damage,” Hobbs said, “you don’t know what you’ll end up with.”
Home Minders can make sure that unsecured property on porches and front yards are not harmed and report yard damage and storm debris to absent owners.
Over the past few years, some local towns and areas have also seen a small increase in break-ins and uninhabited homes.
“Most people, like ourselves, moved down here because it was nice and safe,” said Hobbs, “but some places have seen more crime lately, and it’s not just vandalism. You never want to be away for a week, or the whole winter, to return here and have your home vandalized or broken into and your things gone. That’s just not the way to start your vacation.”
And, for people returning to their vacation homes for the holidays, or as warmer weather rolls back around, the last thing they want is to fight the crowds at the grocery stores on a Saturday morning.
“If you’re coming back down to a beach house for the weekend or a week, and you’re not getting down until Friday,” said Hobbs, “you’re not going to want to go out the next day and worry about your groceries for the week. You can make a list and Home Minders can help stock your cabinets and pantries, so everything is waiting for you.”
Clients of Home Minders’ concierge services don’t necessarily have to be out of town, either.
“There are a lot of people in the area who can not always get around as easily as they need,” Hobbs said. “We can run grocery errands for shut-ins or the elderly, if they need.”
A pet-lover herself, Hobbs knows how much animals mean to their owners.
“If you’re heading out of town and you put your dog or cat in a kennel,” she said, “they could be surrounded by sick animals, and your pet might not be in the best environment.” Being outside of the comfort and familiarity of home can also induce stress in pets, Hobbs noted. Home Minders will feed, walk and clean up after pets.
“With Home Minders,” she said, “you have a nice, friendly service who you can meet and trust. We can make sure your home is in good hands and protected when you can’t be there, and keep all the stress and worries away.”
For more information about Home Minders, contact Barbara Hobbs at (302) 436-7574.