Before you head out the door to your favorite summer vacation spot, take a few minutes to run through this checklist and prep your home before you leave; it could make your return just a little bit sweeter.
- Light it up – the kitchen (usually in the rear of the home) is a favorite break-in spot. Move a lamp into the kitchen and arm it with a timer that you can set to come on at random times. Also illuminate the main exterior entrances of your home with outdoor timers as well.
- Keep it Quiet – Don’t post pictures on Facebook until you are home and don’t change voicemail greetings to say that you are out of town.
- Keep it Cool – Don’t turn off your homes AC, mold and mildew can grow in a few days with warm temps. Instead set the thermostat to 82 Fahrenheit and your home will stay cool enough to prevent both.
- Power it down – A power surge can damage small appliances or cause fires. Unplug all items that are not plugged into a surge protector, such as a toaster and coffeemaker; and turn all surge protectors to off.
- Flush it – Flush the toilets and leave the lid up (just this once) so you won’t come home to icky, stagnant water.
- Clean it – Run the dishwasher to clean all dirty dishes. Remove them and leave the door open. This will allow the interior to dry completely and it won’t smell musty when you return.
- Trim it – Prune tree branches that extend over your house, especially if they are dying or are dead. Doing this will help prevent expensive damage if a storm hits while you are away.
- Stop it – Have your mail held while you are gone and suspend your newspaper deliveries.
- Lock it – Most burglars will use force to gain entry, but they often look first for open windows and doors. Double check that all are locked (even on the 2nd story), replace any broken window panes, and bring in any hidden keys.
- Arm it – Set the alarm and notify your security company that you will be away. Give a relative or friend the security code, the company name, your itinerary, and your contact numbers just in case. Also test your smoke alarms before you depart to make sure they work.
- Get help with it – Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home every other day if possible and to bring in any unexpected deliveries like a phone book or circulars. Make sure you give them a key.
Taking time to prepare your home can help give you greater peace of mind while you travel.
Go on, relax and have fun!
Take a look at these Homeowner Survival Skills for more tips on taking care of your home.
Looking for a career as a Maryland or Pennsylvania Real Estate Agent? Visit our Real Estate Careers website for more information.