Vacation Home 101

June 30, 2022

School is out and summer is officially in session. Living on the east coast means summer also brings lots of trips to the Jersey Shore, the Poconos, to the Chesapeake, etc. And many families choose to spend their time at a vacation home or secondary home. Here are some tips and precautions to be aware of as you arrive and also some tips to make sure things remain secure at your primary residence while you’re away.

Arriving At Your Second Home:

When returning to your vacation or secondary home after a long period away, check for:

  • external hail damage, broken windows or doors, or other water-intrusion points
  • water stains on the ceiling or probable water leaks that might have gone undetected; Broken pipes, hoses from the water heater, or problems with the plumbing in the sink or toilet.
  • Turn the water on carefully to avoid damage.
  • interior things knocked over or drawers left open – anything out of place that could be a sign of theft.
  • debris or leaves that may have gathered in gutters.
  • animals nesting in crawl spaces, gutters, porches, or other portions of the structure.

Leaving Your Primary Or Vacation Home:

Whether you are leaving your primary home for vacation or leaving your secondary home vacant for part of the year:

  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway and pick up any newspapers
  • Stop mail delivery.
  • Refrain from sharing on social media that you are moving to a new house because this could tempt burglars to target your house while you are gone.
  • Maintain the outside of your home as if you were there by scheduling tasks like grass cutting, leaf raking, or snow removal.
  • Install timers on your interior and outside lights.
  • Before you leave, make a note of important details about your home, such as pictures of the roof and ceilings to ensure that there is no damage already there.
  • Inform the authorities of your absence so they can help with a random drive-by of your house.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors are operational and set any necessary alarms for your home so that any intruders or fires can be discovered as soon as feasible.
  • To prevent water damage to either property, think about installing a water shutoff system. Your trip to your second home or holiday destination should be enjoyable.
  • These procedures should be followed both when you arrive and when you depart to help preserve those pleasant memories.