Owning a home can be a lot of work. When you own a second home — for vacations, on the coast — it’s important for your own sanity to learn how to keep the cost of maintenance down for that particular home, in that particular location.
Every home has its issues. Appliances will break, roofs get damaged, and foundation can crack. Not to mention all of the upkeep a house needs, including lawn care, keeping the house clean, and pest control. This can be more difficult to manage when you’re not at your home full-time. It helps to find the right people who can help you take care of things when you’re not there.
All of this can be very costly. And there are many other things to consider when your vacation home is on the coast.
Here are some tips to help you keep your coastal vacation home maintenance costs to a minimum.
Hire Local Caretakers
Instead of hiring a property manager, it can be less expensive to hire locals to help you take care of your coastal vacation home while you’re not there.
Ask around for referrals. This way you can hire trustworthy people so you know your coastal vacation home will be in good hands. It will be helpful to have a steady handyman and someone who can clean your home frequently. As well as someone who can keep your lawn — if you have one — looking beautiful during the spring and summer months. Be sure to check that these folks are insured before you decide to hire them.
You could also plan an arrangement with a neighbor to check on each other’s houses from time to time at no cost. And you’ll definitely want to have a relationship with at least one of your neighbors in case of an emergency.
Protect Your Home from the Elements
Since your vacation home is on the coast, there is a good chance it will be hit by a hurricane at some point. If your home doesn’t already have them, it would be wise to install hurricane shutters. You can install them yourself or hire a local company to install them for you. Check with various companies and compare costs. Hire whichever company can offer you the best value.
If your coastal vacation home has a garage, it would also be wise to have a reinforced garage door installed to help decrease the chance of property damage. This is not only a smart thing to do in case of possible home invasions, but it will also be beneficial during hurricane season.
Make Sure Your Home is Insured
Your coastal home will be more exposed to the elements than any other type of home. This makes it that much more important to have it insured. Again, you can shop around various coastal home insurance companies to find the best deal.
Having your coastal vacation home insured will save you money on costly damage in the long run, so it’s important to take care of this now.
Check for Moisture Damage
Homes next to the beach endure lots of moisture due to the humidity and being so close to water. This can cause mildew and rot to the outside and inside of the home.
In order to avoid any damage from mildew, which can end up being costly, make sure windows and doors are properly sealed when you are not home. Check your coastal vacation home for any leaks from the rot that mildew may have caused. Take care of these leaks right away, as they can become even more costly down the road if not taken care of immediately.
Apply Salt-Resistant Materials
The sun and salty air on the coast can cause erosion to homes. If you want to avoid this and the high costs that this type of damage can do to your home, take measures to protect your home upfront.
Apply a protective sealant to any wood on the exterior of your home. You should also power wash the exterior of your home periodically — or hire someone to do it for you. Doing so can remove things like dirt, salt and mildew. This will keep your coastal vacation home in tip-top shape so that you can avoid major costs down the road.
Owning two homes can be stressful, but if you take care of some things right away — before they become worse or overly costly — you can save yourself a lot of trouble. If you own a second home on the coast, be sure to utilize these tips, and you’ll be set.