It’s that time of year, when we all need a break from winter and going stir crazy in our homes, on vacation we go. With all of the preparations that are made to go on a vacation, it is easy to forget what you are leaving behind. Your home is your greatest asset. It holds all of your belongings, important documents, valuables and more. But it is truly the last thing you think about when you head out for great adventures.
So you may not want to go all out and hire a house sitter, or perhaps you have no one close you trust. If you own pets you may have no choice but to hire someone, unless they are traveling with you. Assuming you don’t want to have someone sit around your home for the duration of your trip, you leave your home exposed to unfortunate events.
Your home doesn’t have to be a fortress in order for you to leave to go on vacation, but it shouldn’t scream “lived in but currently vacant home” either. Below are some basic tips to help give you peace of mind while you are away.
- Make sure to lock all entries to your home – doors, windows, and any operable skylights.
- Remove or store any objects that may allow access to upper areas of your home like ladders.
- Outbuildings and garages should be secured as well. Many items we store in these areas are costly to replace.
- Use multiple timers for lights in your home. Set them at a variety of times, so if someone is watching your home they don’t pick up a scheduled pattern.
- Alert the post office and put a hold on mail. A build up of mail is a sure sign to a potential burglar that they have free reign to tour your home.
- Even if you don’t want a full time house sitter, see if someone you trust would stop by a few times during your absence; someone you know well and feel comfortable handing a key to. Chose wisely.
- If you have a safe that will fit them, place any valuables into it and lock it up. Just because you lock your doors doesn’t mean and intruder won’t get in. So keep your stuff safe.
- Install cameras. Many cameras these days are compatible with smartphone apps so you can see live what is happening in your home. Or place cameras to record, if someone does enter your home you have it all on video.
- Considering vacations are costly, you might not be able swing this, but have a security system installed. This way an automated system can notify you and the local police that a break in has occurred. It will also help monitor and report any incident of fire.
- Watch how much you are posting on social media. If you post to Facebook, tweet, or Instagram your every move, you may be sending out too much information to unwanted individuals. Check your security settings and know your friends list. Are these people you should be sharing your current out-of-town location to or should you hold off on posts until you get back?
Save yourself the heartache of a break-in and even worse the feeling of violation that comes with it. Be proactive in securing your home before taking any vacation. While you may not be able to do everything possible, at least you can feel comfortable that you did something.
Enjoy your stay!
Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com