Ready to Go? Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared for Your Absence
Before you pack your ski gear, sunscreen, and swimsuit, or gifts, make sure your home is as ready for your vacation as you are. Here is a checklist to help you prepare:
- Make sure your house looks lived in. Stop mail or ask a neighbor to pick it up. If you get newspaper delivery, call and suspend your subscription while you’re away. If you’re leaving your car behind, park it in the garage or park at a neighbor’s or friend’s house. This way, would-be thieves/intruders cannot track your movements.
- Light it up! Put a few lights on timers. If you normally get home at 6:00pm and start cooking dinner, time a light to go on in your kitchen at that time. Perhaps set another in your living room to go on at 8:00pm. Try to have the light mimic your actual movements.
- Deter burglars. Install motion-activated sensors outside. These are inexpensive and easily available at box stores, home improvement stores, and online (e.g. Amazon). Pick up a few: burglars hate light.
- Unplug appliances and devices. This will help you save some money on your utility bill - and it’ll help reduce fire risks in your absence.
- “Vacation Mode.” If your water heater has a vacation mode, turn it on. This will conserve energy while delivering enough heat to prevent frozen pipes. If you will be gone for an extended period, turn off the water valves to the dishwasher, sinks, and washing machine.
- Turn it down. You don’t want your pipes to freeze - or come home to an arctic chill - but you also don’t want to waste energy and money. Don’t turn the heat off, but set your thermostat to a lower temperature.
- Check your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. This is good practice. If you need new batteries or to charge them, do it before you go.
- Don’t forget your fish and plants! Luckily, these are easy to please. You can buy slow-release fish feeders and drip plant watering systems.
- Clean your kitchen. Ahhh… you had such a lovely vacation! Then you come home to a stinky house! Not good. Before you leave, clean out your fridge of perishables, take out the trash, and, if you have a garbage disposal, run a half cup of vinegar and some water through.
- Tell a trusted person you’re leaving. If you have a neighbor you trust, leave your emergency contact information with them. If you’re new to the ‘hood, leave this info with a friend or family member.
- Inform your security company. Give them a call to let them know you’ll be out of town.
- Find a housesitter. Still feeling a little uneasy? Ask a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member to either stay at your home or check infrequently.
If you own a rental property, this list can get much, much longer. Not to worry: we’re here to help. We are committed to providing comprehensive property management services so you can get outta town and enjoy. Give us a call and we’ll discuss your upcoming vacation!