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Five Ways to Get Your Home Vacation-Ready Main Photo

Five Ways to Get Your Home Vacation-Ready

Posted: May 19, 2015 by Coldwell Banker River Valley

Vacation season has arrived. For homeowners, planning a trip goes beyond finding the best airfare: good planning means making sure your house and property are maintained and secured while you’re gone. As you plot your next great adventure, take steps to prepare your home for your absence. 

#1 Remember plants and pets. Gigi the goldfish may not need to cuddle, but she’ll need some basic care while you travel. Trade vacation caregiving with a neighbor or friend, and offer to take your plants and low-maintenance pets to their home. Write instructions for the care of each item—direct sunlight? Water once a week? Feed every morning? Be specific so you can come home to a happy Gigi. If you can’t take your furry pets along, check with local vets for ideas on boarding your canine and feline friends.

#2 Be safe. Keep your home from being a target with some simple strategies. For instance, the first sign of an unoccupied house is the buildup of uncollected paper outside. Ask a trusted neighbor to gather your correspondence, or call the post office and have them hold your mail. Plan for lawn care to avoid the impression that you’re away. You might even consider having neighbors park their cars in your driveway.

#3 Clean. From an emotional standpoint, coming home to a clean house is lovely. Slipping into your own freshly made bed after a couple of weeks of sleeping who-knows-where, filling a clean fridge with fresh food and using a sparkling bathroom will help soften your return to the daily grind. Logically speaking, a clean home will help prevent unwanted guests—think bugs and rodents—from making themselves comfortable in your absence.

#4 Prevent. Leave your house key with a trusted friend and ask for a walk-through. Your friend should double-check that your freezer and fridge are still running effectively and that all windows and doors are secure. Then you’ll never be the one telling the story about the time your power went out and you returned eight days later to a freezer full of spoiled steaks and inedible edamame.

#5 Unplug. The United States Department of Energy says appliances that are plugged in while not in use can increase your electricity bill by ten percent. Before you walk out, unplug non-essential appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters and radios. It’s a good idea to set at least one household light to a timer (available at local hardware stores) to give the impression that your house is occupied. However, the rest of your lamps should be unplugged so they, too, can take a break while you‘re on vacation. Setting your thermostat at a warmer temperature during summer and your water heater at a cooler setting can also save dollars while your house is empty.

Some preparation up front can help you clear your mind for a well-deserved break and prevent unexpected vacation expenses at home.

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