Caretaker Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Homes In Transition (HIT) Caretaker?

A HIT Caretaker is a highly valued, responsible person or family that provides for the care, maintenance and show condition of the HIT house in which they reside. Caretakers in the HIT program have a wide variety of needs:

  • People looking to reduce their living costs while living in a great house.
  • Those that are dividing their household and need a good safe place to reside.
  • Families moving to the city that need some time to check out the great neighborhoods our cities offer before they buy.
  • Families that have been forced form their house, have great furniture and the understanding of living and managing a house but are on a tight budget.

Is Homes In Transition Ligitimate?

In today’s world there is an endless supply of scams, fraud and deceit and you would be foolish to not ask such a question about a program like Homes In Transition. From first glance the HIT program seems to be “Too Good To Be True”, offering a great deal for very little cost! The fact of the matter is – for most of our Homeowners there is NO COST – for Realtors there is NO COST, and for Caretakers, an amazing LOW COST arrangement.  Since 2009 HIT has been a Better Business Bureau A+ rated company!  A few things you should know and can verify:

  • You can Contact Us and come by our office to see we are real people.
  • We have a City of Albuquerque Business License.
  • Our Company and Qualifying Broker are registered with the New Mexico Real Estate Commission.

What is a Caretaker Property?

A Caretaker Property is a vacant house that is on the market for sale. We check out each house before we offer it to our Caretakers to assure its inhabitable but it is offered in “As Is” condition. Caretaker Properties come in a variety of sizes, locations and have a wide variety of amenities.

How much does it cost to live in a HIT house?

Before you get started there is an Application Fee that is payable to process your application and perform a background check. Upon signing your Agreements to be a HIT Caretaker you will pay the balance of your first month’s rent.  You will also pay a Security Deposit and a portion of your last month’s rent which varies by property. If you have pets, or select one of our optional programs, additional fees will apply. All told, you can enjoy all the benefits of our program for less than it will cost to get started in a small rental house. And unlike a small rental house, most all of our fees are refundable!

A detailed list of costs to be a part of the HIT program can be obtained by requesting your Pre-Application Information by returning to the Caretaker Page and providing us with your name and email address.

How much do I get paid to be a Caretaker?

There is no monetary compensation made to the Caretaker for performing the various responsibilities required of our Caretakers.  Rather, you and your family get the opportunity to live in a great house for about the cost of a studio apartment!

How do I become a HIT Caretaker?

  • Return back to the Caretaker’s Page and supply us with your email address and your name.  We will respond with complete information including a Pre-Qualification Checklist, how to get your online application and what we will need from you and where to send it.
  • Applicant must meet or exceed the Minimum Qualifications out lined below. If you are not sure, please review the partial Application Refund Policy also outlined below.
  • Submit your Application and be ready to pay for your Background Check.
  • Provide detailed pictures of your tasteful furniture.
  • Once we have your Application, background check complete and pictures of your furniture our Caretaker Coordinator we will contact you to answer any questions and get to know you and your needs a little bit better.

What are the Minimum Qualifications?

  • Must possess an attitude of accommodation toward those viewing your house or providing direction during your occupancy — while demonstrating an appreciation for the opportunity.
  • Must have a job, proof of income or funds to pay Caretaker fees and other expenses.
  • No criminal record for at least the past 5 years.
  • Must have clean rental history.
  • Must have credit score of 550 or better with no outstanding collections.
  • No previous evictions or rental collection issues.
  • Must be a NON SMOKER.
  • Must be willing to relocate in the event of a quick sale and closing of your HIT house – usual notice to move is 30 days or more!
  • Must complete and submit an application to our office with a check in the amount of $45.00 per adult over the age of 18.
  • Must provide pictures of furnishings to be used to furnish the assigned house or pictures of those furnishings intended to be rented.

What if I don’t Qualify?

The best way to ensure your qualification is to use the Pre-Qualification checklist to determine if you will pass or not.  If your credit score is well below 550 or have other factors that will create a negative report please Contact Us and we will be happy to discuss those issues with you before you take the time to apply.

We encourage you to review your Credit and Background records prior to submitting an application, credit reports are free to consumers one time per year. Details about free credit reports are available from the US Government at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm

What if HIT can’t find us a house?

Obviously we want to place every Caretaker that qualifies!  However, due to circumstances beyond our control, sometimes we are unable to place qualified Caretaker Applicants.  Usually because of the houses we do have, they do not fit the Caretaker’s wishes.  While we often have an alternative property available that may not fit your exact needs, we will work with you for as long as it takes or as long as you can wait.

Why do I need to provide pictures of my furnishings?

Homes In Transition is like a dating service for your furniture. It is our goal to provide you a house that matches the style and quantity of your tasteful furniture. One of the Caretaker’s goals is to enhance the show ability of each property. This is accomplished through the “staging” of the property utilizing your furnishings and guidance by our IRIS Certified Interior Staging and Redesign Specialist and trained staff. Providing pictures helps us determine the best house in our inventory that will fit your needs.

What are my responsibilities as a HIT Caretaker?

  • During your occupancy, you will be expected to tastefully (at our direction) furnish the home.
  • Provide for the care and maintenance of the property both inside and out. The property will be on the market for sale, during which time you will be required to maintain the property in a clean and orderly manner or what we call a “show ready” condition both inside and out.
  • OK, here is the easy part — no great looking property is complete without the gracious attitude of accommodation which must always be on display towards the company staff and those wishing to visit and view the property.
  • You will be required to pay the usual re-occuring monthly utilities and associated services such as trash collection during occupancy.
  • You will be required to carry at a minimum, a basic renters insurance policy. and of course once the property sells, you must be willing and able to move with as little as 14 days notice.

What kind of “minor maintenance” will be required as a Caretaker?

A HIT Caretaker is required to perform the minor maintenance of the property which will include the regular servicing of the HVAC systems, repairing dripping faucets, clogged drains, toilets when the water keeps running, replacing light bulbs, washing the windows as needed, batteries in smoke detectors, lawn mowing, pruning, minor sprinkler repair and the like. We expect our Caretakers to care for the home as they would their own home — which is why prior home ownership is a highly sought attribute. Major system failures or repairs of electrical systems, plumbing behind the walls and appliances are generally not the responsibility of Caretakers.

How long can I expect to be in a house?

On average our Caretakers are in a house about 6-7 months. However, the duration could be one month or as long as a year or more. There are many factors that determine the duration, such as: an unconventional floor plan, odd colors, location, age, price, etc… can sometimes add to the duration of the homes availability. The one thing that will definitely shorten a Caretakers occupancy is the failure (on the part of the Caretaker) to provide the necessary care and show ability of the property along with the required attitude of accommodation! A Caretaker is contractually obligated to maintain our standards and tarnishing HIT’s excellent reputation is simply not tolerated.

 Kids, Pets and other Expenses?

A Property Owner can place certain limitations on their house so long as it does not violate state and federal fair housing laws.  Pets are allowed in our program on a house by house basis and subject to the Pet Permit process. We realize the hardship in living without ones pet but having no pets will give you a far greater opportunity to take advantage of the HIT program. Pets placed into the program require a Pet Permit at an additional onetime cost.

Children are always welcome!

Is smoking allowed?

NO!
If our Caretaker Inspector discovers smoking in the house, you will be subject to immediate removal from our program for violating the terms of the Agreement. You are ultimately responsible for the prevention of all smoking inside the home, that means friends, relatives, persons accomplishing repairs… anyone at all — no smoking.

What happens when the house sells?

When your house sells you will be given a minimum of 30 day notice at which time you will be given the opportunity to stay in the program or go about your way. If you choose to stay in the program, you’ll move to the top of the priority list for any suitable house available in the program that again fits your needs as well as ours.  Should you stay, your Deposits, and prepaid fees, less any unpaid charges will roll over to the next property. If you leave the program, your deposit less any outstanding charges will be returned to your last known address via certified mail within 30 days.

Typical Caretaker Quotable:

“I can’t believe I am living in such a great house for next to nothing!”

The Homes In Transition program methodically divides the benefits, the responsibilities, the costs, and the burdens between a group of sophisticated Property Owners, hard working Brokers and carefully selected Caretakers. It is the management of this dynamic balance that provides a great opportunity for everyone – we call it a Win-Win Situation!