Joe Kulle and Katie Riley - Heritage Homes Real Estate



Posted by Joe Kulle and Katie Riley on 4/8/2018

Preparing your home is one of the most important things you can do before leaving for an extended period of time.

Whether you have a vacation home that you spend your summer months in, you travel for work, or you simply have a second property that will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, itís vital to take the steps to preparing the home for the elements while you are gone.

In this article, weíll talk about winterizing, preparing a home for heavy rains, and protecting it from a number of external forces. That way you can rest assured that your property will be safe while youíre away, saving you money in costly repairs.

Winterizing

Many Americans spend the winter months in a warmer climate. Similarly, it has become quite common to purchase vacation homes and cabins in the northern part of the country to visit during the summer months. Regardless, these homes will have to be winterized to avoid damage.

First, and most important, be sure to turn off the water at the main supply sources. Next, open up your faucets and drain all of the lines that carry water throughout your home and yard. Drain, and put away your garden hose, to protect it and your fittings from damage.

Now that youíre protected against water damage, youíll want to protect against potential fires. Turn off and unplug all appliances. Not only is this a way to avoid fire, but it will also help you avoid needlessly spending on electricity.

Itís a good idea to turn your thermostat down so that your home is kept above freezing, but not at a needlessly high temperature.

Preparing a home for extended leave

Even if your home isnít facing the winter cold, there are still measures that should be taken during an extended leave.

Cleaning your refrigerator out completely and then washing the interior will help avoid odors from spreading throughout the house.

Other odors can arise from the drains in your home, especially if itís likely to get hot. To prevent this you can cover up your drains with painterís tape.

Youíll also want to remove any food from your cabinets that could attract mice, ants, or other pests. While youíre cleaning, wash and put away any linens that you wonít be using for some time.

Be sure arrangements have been made at the post office for any mail you receive at your home. You could set up mail forwarding, have neighbors take in your mail, or purchase a PO box for the time youíre away. Regardless, itís a good idea to not have mail piling up outside an empty home as it could attract the attention of those seeking to benefit from your house being vacant.

Before leaving, make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Remove any spare keys from obvious locations around your home, and make arrangements for someone, such as a neighbor, to check on the home and report any problems to you.




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Posted by Joe Kulle and Katie Riley on 9/10/2017

Youíve visited a city and absolutely love the area. The food, entertainment, people,culture and sights attract you each time you stay in the city. Itís no wonder that youíre thinking about buying a vacation home in the area. But, you wonít be living there year round. Because of that, consider these points before you invest in a vacation home.

Weather

What is the weather like in the city, particularly during off peak seasons? Are winters harsh, dropping forty or more feet of snow a year? If so, that could put significant wear on the roof of your vacation home. Yet, harsh weather isnít a reason to turn away from buying the house. You could protect your house from hard weather conditions by installing storm windows, inspecting and repairing roofing and patching sidewalks and driveways before you leave at the end of summer.

Home Owners Association Rules

If your vacation house falls under a Home Owners Association, meet with association leaders to ensure that you understand applicable rules and fees. Get clear about rules and fees before you buy the house.

Count Up the Costs

As with other real estate, there will be property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs associated with your vacation house. Are you ready to take on these extra expenses, in addition to covering expenses at your permanent residence, expenses like food, clothing, entertainment and commuting costs? If not,staying at a hotel or resort may work better for you.

Furnishing Your Vacation Home

Unless you buy a house that comes fully furnished, factor in how much money youíre willing to pay to furnish the home. Keep furnishings to a minimal, steering clear of putting too many valuables in the house, as it could reduce the amount of money youíd be out of should the house get burglarized while youíre away.

Neighborhood

Get to know the neighbors. They could keep an eye on your vacation home while youíre away. Youíll also want to make sure that you get along with your neighbors. A good way to learn more about your neighbors is to stay in the city for a week or longer several times. Attend local events and stay abreast of local news the same as you would if you were going to live in the city year round.

Income Options

Rent out your vacation home while youíre away and you could generate income off the property.Check out local renting laws first. Also, run a thorough background check on people youíre thinking about renting the property out to.

Other points to consider include how much time you expect to spend at your vacation home. If you only plan to stay in the area for two to three weeks during the summer, it may not prove to be a smart investment unless you rent the house out while youíre away. Definitely install a security alarm at your vacation home and post signs on windows and doors, letting people know that the house is under surveillance.




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