Planning a vacation puts the focus on the destination, but it’s important to also remember what you’re leaving behind: your home. Safely securing your property promises peace of mind so you can fully enjoy your time away. Here are some important pre-travel home-prep tips:
Give the illusion of occupancy – Break-ins are less likely to happen if it looks like someone is home. Leave a few lights on, put lamps or sound systems on timers, or invest in a smart-home system where you can program lights to turn on and off. (These systems can also do things like raise and lower window shades remotely for an added illusion of occupancy.) Motion sensor or programmed lighting on the exterior of your home and in the driveway is also a good idea.
If you can, leave a car in your driveway. Or better yet, ask a neighbor to park there: The activity in your driveway will likely prove a strong deterrent to would-be intruders. Just make sure any vehicles parked there are securely locked, with no valuables left inside.
Lock in your spare-key plan – While you’re away from your home, it might be helpful to have a trusted neighbor or friend at the ready to enter in case of emergency. However, it’s never a good idea to leave spare keys in obvious outdoor locations (under doormats or in potted plants). Rather, give the friend a spare key, or consider storing that key in an exterior lockbox with a security code.
On the topic of locks, it may seem obvious, but make sure all doors and windows are securely locked, even upstairs ones. And don’t forget garages and sheds that may hold valuables.
Deter damage – It’s important to ensure your home will be in the state you left it when you finally return from holiday. Prevent flooding from pipe bursts by insulating those located in vulnerable areas like attics and basements. In temperate climates like Asheville’s, where frozen pipes are less of an issue, it makes more sense to turn off your home’s main water supply valve while you’re away.
Power surges can strike at any time, frying your home’s pricey electronics. Before you leave, disconnect computers, televisions, stereos and other electronic items. Alternately, you can safely leave your electronics plugged into outlets or power strips equipped with surge protectors.
Keep up appearances – If you’ll be gone for an extended period, hire a landscaping service to keep the lawn mowed and trees and bushes trimmed. Avoid an overflowing mailbox by temporarily suspending your postal deliveries. Ask a neighbor to retrieve any packages left on your front porch.
It may be tempting to document your daily travel adventures on social media, but doing so also broadcasts the fact that no one’s home. Because you can never be sure who’ll end up seeing your status, wait until you get back home to post those vacation photos.
Search: Asheville Area Real Estate