If you are planning a vacation this summer or anytime in the future, there are certain things you will want to do to make sure your house is safe and secure while you are away. It can make anyone feel a little vulnerable when they know they aren’t going to be home for an extended period of time.
It helps to make a checklist for yourself. There is already a lot on your mind when you are getting ready for travel, so it can be easy to overlook some of your basic home needs. A checklist will help you remember everything you need to do before you leave and while you are away. Here are a few items to consider:
Mail & Packages
If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, you can put a hold on your mail with the USPS. That is easy to do and ensures you won’t get any mail deliveries while you are away. Otherwise, ask a friend or neighbor to come by to pick up your mail or bring any packages inside. Porch pirates are always a concern and thieves notice when there’s a lot of mail piled up in the mailbox or boxes by the front door. These are clear signs that nobody is home. You can also make sure you don’t miss any important deliveries.
In addition to your mail, you may ask your friend or a neighbor to stop by the house at least a few times while you are away. They can just check on things for you to make sure there aren’t any problems or safety concerns. Most people are glad to help out and you can return the favor when they are on vacation. If you are really concerned about the upkeep of your home, you can ask or hire someone to housesit while you are gone.
Don’t forget about your pets when planning a vacation—assuming they aren’t traveling with you. Make sure they have someone to stay with or arrange for a kennel stay. Pet boarding facilities can fill up quickly in the summer season, so book your pet’s stay well in advance. Make sure they have all the necessary vaccinations and meet the requirements for boarding. You can also hire a petsitter to visit your home or take your pets home with them during your vacation. Some pets don’t do well left alone, so find a solution that works best for you.
Turn Off the Water
It’s always smart to turn off the water when you are going to be gone. This can help avoid build-ups of water pressure in the pipes or avoid leaks. It’s simple to turn off the water and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You aren’t going to need the air conditioner or heater blasting when you are away on vacation. Turn the thermostats up or down (or off completely) to avoid wasted electricity. Smart thermostats are great because you can easily control them from the road, just in case you forget to set them manually before you leave.
Make sure your security system is set up properly while you are away. If you have a doorbell alarm/camera, you can monitor that remotely. If you have a housesitter or friend/neighbor coming over to get mail, feed the pets, etc., then make sure they know how to control the system and avoid unnecessary security alarms.
Home Services & Bills
Many people hire landscaping crews, pool cleaners, housekeepers and other regular home services. You will want to remember to suspend these services when you are away from home on vacation. You don’t need extra people around your house if you aren’t there. You can also set up autopay and online billing accounts for utilities and services if you don’t want to worry about any missed bills in the mail. This is a good idea if you are going to be gone for the season or for any period longer than a month.
Lock All Entryways
Before you take off, you want to go through your entire home and lock all possible entryways. Lock and deadbolt the doors and shut all the windows and put in dowels/bars to prevent force openings. Make sure all security systems and sensors are set up and working properly. You can never be too careful.
These are just a few tips to help you prepare your home when you are planning a vacation. For all your real estate needs, The Cyr Team is here to help. Contact us today if you are looking to buy or sell a home in the near future.