There’s not much more exciting than owning your own vacation home. And, while you know how to maintain your main residence, it’s a bit harder to do the same with a vacation home that’s presumably miles away.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to do once you have an idea of what will be required of you in order to keep your vacation home in tip-top shape. In order to make the task a bit easier, here are XX of the best ways to maintain your vacation home, even when you’re not there.
Install an Alarm
This is perhaps the most important precaution to take in order to protect your vacation home while you’re not there. Chances are, you’re not the only one at the beach, in the mountains or on the lake who is only using your home as a getaway destination. This means other people won’t be around to discourage thieves from trolling the neighborhood or, even worse, breaking in.
Installing an alarm system will alert you and local authorities if someone enters the property without permission. The alarm system should also include a fire detector that’ll contact the local fire department if it’s set off, too. And, if you’re really far away, you can probably find a local contact who will be in charge of handling any infractions.
Prepare For Seasonal Changes
If you know you’re making your last trip to your vacation home before winter creeps in, then take some preventative steps in order to make sure your property can handle the cold. They’re likely the same steps you’d take to get your main home ready: things like caulking any leaks, drawing window curtains and turning water off so pipes don’t freeze and burst can save you money and later maintenance.
Leave Everything in a Sparkling State
There’s nothing worse to coming home to a mess. That disappointment will be compounded if you find the mess next time you come back to your vacation home, a place where you should be relaxed rather than stressed.
Before you leave, clean everything up that you’ve dirtied on your getaway. This includes mess-ups beyond normal trash, dust, dirt, etc. For example, if you’ve stained an upholstered piece of furniture while on vacation, take the time to remove the stain while it’s still fresh and before it becomes permanent. The labels on your furniture will tell you how to tackle the stain, with a “W” meaning that only water-based cleaning agents can be used while an “S” signifies that the fabric is safe to clean with solvents.
Don’t Rely Solely on Keys
What happens if you need someone to come over to your vacation home while you’re hundreds of miles away? A hide-a-key is one option, but it means someone else might be able to locate the key to get into your home. Instead, outfit one door with a coded entry lock that allows anyone with the secret password to enter. This improves your home’s safety and functionality, since you can’t always zip off to your vacation home at the drop of a hat.
If All Else Fails…
Sometimes, you can’t do it all. And it’s okay to admit that, despite all your preparation, you simply can’t maintain your vacation home all by yourself.
If your property is in a popular vacation spot, you’ll likely be able to find a property management company with lots of experience maintaining the look and security of vacation homes while owners are away. If you’ve chosen somewhere off the beaten path, you’re sure to find local cleaners, maintenance workers, etc., who you trust to keep up your property when you’re not there. Local staff is often a cheaper option, too.
The steps you take ahead of time to maintain your place will be the difference between enjoying your home for years to come and dreading going back to deal with the clean-up, maintenance issues and security breaches. None of that sounds much like a vacation, so do your best to plan ahead and, most importantly, to enjoy the home you’ve worked so hard to buy. That way, your vacation time will remain just that — a vacation.