These days, vacant homes are everywhere. Whether you are you attempting to sell your vacant house while it sits unoccupied or are simply trying to keep it maintained until your return, keep these tips in mind.
Consider the climate.
Depending on the location or climate of the home you’re leaving unattended, you may have to think about winterizing your vacant home or preparing it for warmer weather.
If your home is sitting empty throughout winter or is located in a colder climate, you’ll want to winterize your home by:
- Draining pipes and toilets
- Disconnecting outdoor hoses
- Turning off the water, gas and electricity, depending upon whether you are planning to show your house or not
- Investing in snow plow service to ensure that your drive and walkways are cleared for mail carriers and potential buyers
In warmer climates, consider:
- Hiring landscapers to water lawns and gardens
- Investing in an irrigation system to keep greenery thriving
- Keeping empty fridges and freezers propped open to minimize moisture and potential mold buildup
Keep curb appeal in mind.
If you’re keeping your house on the market, you should ensure that the exterior of your home is ready to show at all times. Arrange to have your lawn mowed, shrubs trimmed and weeds pulled regularly. Also remember, even when you have the mail stopped, you’ll occasionally get free newspapers, phone books and advertisements left on your doorstep. Arrange to have someone discard these for you.
After major storms or blizzards, have someone check the exterior of your property for:
- Loose limbs
- Loose gutters
- Other exterior damage
Tend to the interior.
You may not want to shut off the gas, electricity or water entirely. Just keep the heat or air conditioning at a moderate temperature to keep the house from freezing or getting damp and moldy. Invest in motion detectors or timers for both your indoor and outdoor lights.
If your vacant home is being shown to potential buyers:
- Make sure all light bulbs, battery-operated smoke detectors and other devices around the house are in working order
- Keep a stock of toilet paper, hand soap and towels in all bathrooms for potential walk-throughs
- Every few months, have someone run water in all sinks, flush toilets, turn on showers, let tubs drain, and even run dishwashers and washing machines, etc., to keep pipes from getting dried out
Protecting your home is important whether you’re living in it or not. Whether you’re looking for insurance for a vacant home or the house you currently live in, find affordable home insurance for the home you own from a trusted insurance provider today.