A vacation home can be a great investment that can provide you with some much-needed summertime fun. However, during the off-season, it’s very likely that you won’t be spending much time at your vacation home. To ensure that it remains in peak condition until the next vacationing season rolls around, here are four things you should do to protect your home.
Turn Off Your Utilities
If no one is staying in your vacation home, you don’t need to have the utilities on. In most of the areas where the weather gets quite cold during the off-season, you’ll hear homeowners talking about preventing against freezing pipes. While it’s vital to shut off the water in those areas, it’s also a good idea to completely shut off the water in warmer environments as well. Water pipes can leak at any time during the year. You don’t want to leave the water on to find out that there has been a leak for most of the off-season that has damaged your home.
If your vacation home is only used by your family, you may hesitate cleaning the home when the off-season rolls around. Still, you should take the time to do a thorough cleaning of the property. Take out all the trash that is left in the home. Take all the food out of the fridge and freezer. Things like old sponges, candles, and soap can all be food for vermin, such as mice and rats. Therefore, you don’t want to leave any of these items laying around during the off-season as it could result in a vermin problem.
Pay Your Bills in Advance
It’s sometimes hard to remember to pay bills for a home that you’re not doing anything with for months on end. Do yourself a favor and take care of paying any remaining bills that you owe on the property when you’re preparing it for the off-season. This is very easy to do in minutes with things like an online property tax payment and online billing for utility companies. If you forget to pay one of these bills, it’s likely that you won’t find out until you return to the home in the summer months. At this point, there will be late fees that can drastically increase the original bill amount.
Lock Everything Twice
Before you decide to say goodbye to your vacation home for the winter, lock everything up. Check every single window and door of the house to ensure that each lock is properly set. Then, double-check every access point to the home to ensure that it’s locked correctly. You don’t want to accidentally leave open a window or basement door for months on end.
Keeping your vacation home in good condition starts with having a proper checklist of maintenance tasks to do. The above four tips should be the start of your maintenance list. Do your best to take your time and properly prepare your vacation investment for the harsh winter months.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg