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Using some common sense when traveling back and forth between your properties July 10, 2010

Posted by mkuhbock in Arizona Vacation Property.
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Now that you have purchased your dream recreation or vacation property there are a couple of simple things to keep in mind but are far too often overlooked.

When you are not using your vacation property:

  1. Make sure the blinds are closed, and that the instructions to the cleaners are to close the blinds upon finishing their work. Never assume they will…
  2. Unplug small appliances (just in case)
  3. Unplug your router so that it cannot be hacked into
  4. Adjust the thermostats so that the pipes don’t freeze in the winter or things don’t get too hot in the summer and everything starts melting. I have seen candles and paint do strange things at 100+ degrees F.
  5. Add some vegetable oil to the toilet bowls, slows down the evaporation.
  6. In dry weather climates put out a pail of water, it helps, but I am not certain what for other than keeping the humidity up a little which probably helps on wear and tear of the house and furniture.
  7. Unplug your TV’s, some of the models still draw power and have a small fan running full time.
  8. Unplug your cable box, it is always drawing power regardless if it is on or not.
  9. Get some timers for your inside lights and/or radio or some light sensitive night lights. I had a neighbor call me one night as he though there was someone in our vacation home and wanted to make sure one of the owners wasn’t there prior to calling the police, he is a great guy, and he soon learned that it was our light sensitive night lights.
  10. Turn down your hot water heater.
  11. Buy and install some security stickers.
  12. Get someone to pick up your mail on a weekly or once every 2 weeks.
  13. Lock everything including your electrical panel and exterior water if you can, believe it or not people will steal your water.
  14. Check with your insurance agent about your policy and how long the property can be vacant without some dumb ass clause kicking in that stops your coverage.
  15. See if a neighbor will use your driveway for one of their cars.
  16. Don’t advertise to the world that you are not at one of your homes, somethings should just not be posted on Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. You wouldn’t post your credit card number as you never know who will hack into one of your social website accounts and are just waiting for you to announce where you will not be for an extended time period.
  17. Make sure you either throw out anything that might go bad, that includes dry goods in the pantry and for that matter use sealed bags to store everything. This keeps the ants and cockroaches out of your house and lives.
  18. Hire a landscaping company, management company and or a security company when needed.
  19. Hire a pest control company or make sure you give the entire inside and outside facing entries to your home a good spray with a pest control product. We use Orthomax which runs about $14 and lasts 6 months. I spray the entire frame of the doors and garage door plus the patio doors and main floor windows inside and out. I also spray any vents, water and electrical outlets inside and out of any exterior wall plus all the floor areas around the kitchen and bathrooms where pipes and drains allow access. We never have had a bug problem since we started doing this. It only takes 15 minutes for a 3000 Sq Ft house. Supposedly the product is good for 12 months and will kill anything that crosses the barrier and is safe for mammals once it drys.
  20. Hire someone to go through the house every couple of weeks (typically when they pick up mail) and flush toilets to refill them if needed. It helps the place look less abandoned or vacant.

There are a few other things that I am probably forgetting and please comment if you think of any of those points that I have missed.

The above should also be done for your principal residence when you are away on an extended vacation also.

Hope everyone is enjoying the heat of the summer! 🙂

Cheers,

Michael

Check out my video and slide presentation, An Introduction to Joint Ownership, at www.azjointownership.com

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