How do you prepare your house for your summer vacation? Here are a few tips I've learned over the years:
- Give the allusion someone is home- use timers for a few lights that go on and off at different times of days. Don't let mail and newspapers pile up. Be sure to let the Post Office and your newspaper company know the dates of your travel. If you will be gone more then a week, hire someone to mow your yard.
- Arrange to have your Plants watered- If you have plants as I do, asking a neighbor, or hiring a neighbors son or daughter to water your plants is a great way to ensure your plants stay healthy and someone checks on your house during your vacation.
- Adjust the thermostat to save on energy
- Unplug appliances- toasters, stereo, TV, computers. Fires can start very easily. Summer is also a time of thunder storms. My cable box and external hard drive just got fried two weeks ago from a summer storm.
- Unplug your garage door opener. If you have an automatic door opener, the codes are easy to crack, so its best to unplug that feature when you take a vacation.
- If you have an alarm, be sure to call your alarm company with dates you are on vacation. It might also be a good idea to let a neighbor know you will be away and ask them to call the police if they hear your alarm go off.
- Turn off washer/dryer water valve. You can also shut off the water main with 1 lever to be extra safe. Remember: parallel to the pipes is open, perpendicular is off when it comes to water valves. If you do shut off the water main, be sure it won't interfere with your sprinkler system for yard and house.
- Arrange for Pet sitter- Perhaps you'll take your pets with you, perhaps not. Cats are ok for a few days on their own, but much longer, its best to have a neighbor come change the litter and provide fresh food and water. Dogs and larger animals will require a reservation at doggie daycare, or a local pet sitter to visit your home during your vacation to properly care for your pets.
Hope you can get out and enjoy the hot days now that your house is ready for your family summer vacation.
Joelle Spear, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage