Your vacation home still requires significant maintenance over time, just like your primary residence. There are ways to keep your vacation paradise in good condition, even if you’re not there all year to check on it.
Hire a Property Caretaker or Manager
Install Keyless Entry
Installing a keyless entry system to your vacation home can be really helpful. This allows repairmen to enter in case of an emergency, or cleaning people to make the place spic and span before your arrival. Painters can come in the off-season to freshen the home’s look. Keyless entry also allows HVAC personnel to enter if you want the furnace tuned up just prior to winter, or the air conditioning inspected before your summer vacation, which otherwise would need a physical key and things can be delayed.
Check on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
You want to ensure your air conditioning works on the hottest days of summer and that you can rely on heat in the midst of winter. Your HVAC contract should include an annual inspection and maintenance agreement. Get a report on your unit’s condition when the inspection is completed, so major repairs or replacements can be completed before you use the home.
Research Local Repair Services
Keeping a list of local repair services—plumbers, electricians, septic providers—can be very handy! Ask locals or other vacation homeowners for recommendations or just google it. Make sure you read the reviews. If your community has a Facebook page, join it so you can get information about the best home technicians available.
Master Opening and Closing
If you don’t have a property manager or caretaker, opening and closing the home each season becomes your obligation. These are also occasions to inspect the property carefully and note any necessary repairs or items requiring replacement. When opening the home, take a good look at all water fixtures for evidence of leaks. Check for signs of termites or other infestations. Opening day is the best time to replace your smoke detector batteries and filters in the furnace.
Here is a basic checklist for closing your home at the end of the season:
Take in outdoor furniture and other items you do not want to be left out.
Shut off and unplug appliances and electronics.
Set your furnace at the proper temperature.
Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked.
Turn on your alarm system.