Take a Vacation From Worry With a Well-Managed Second Home
Having a second home in Asheville provides many perks: You have the flexibility to stay for extended periods. You can come and go whenever you’d like. You can bypass the hotel or short-term-rental route. And you can create a personalized retreat, one that’s all your own. But a second home or vacation property also requires special management and maintenance that takes into account the periods when you’ll be absent from the property. Following are a few steps to keep your second home humming while you’re away.
Get a handle on utilities
With the advent of smart homes, it’s easy to monitor your second home’s heating, air conditioning, lights and other utilities from a remote location, using your smartphone. Installing one of the many smart-home systems available today can cut down on the costs of unnecessarily running climate-control; they can also help you make your home look lived-in by regulating things like lighting and window shades.
If you will be gone from your vacation home for an extended period, it’s wise to unplug all electronics and appliances. Turn off all water, and shut off gas to your stove or fireplace. Now is also a good time to replace air filters.
Curb the odors
Before you head out for a stretch, it’s important to make sure what awaits you upon your return is a clean-smelling second home. Even something as little as a few dirty dishes in the dishwasher or a leftover container of food in the fridge can turn into a smelly welcome-back upon your return.
Make sure to take out all the trash, not forgetting bathroom cans. Clean and run the dishwasher and garbage disposal. Empty and clean the refrigerator, and don’t forget to wipe down the oven and microwave. Wash all the linens and towels (remaking the beds to ensure an even more enjoyable, easy return).
Landscaping and security
The key to second-home landscaping is to keep it looking good all the time, even when you aren’t there. Avoid overgrown lawns in the spring and summer by hiring a service to maintain and mow. Choose landscaping plants and foliage that require minimal maintenance: Think natives, drought-tolerant plants, long-lasting blooms, and ground cover that can suppress weeds when you’re not around. Install sprinklers on timers if necessary.
Since you may be away for long stretches, it’s important to know your second home will stay secure in your absence. You can invest in a home security system, or install cameras that you can access from your smartphone. Install motion-sensitive outdoor lighting. Get to know your neighbors, and if you’re close enough, entrust them with a key to your home in case you need someone to check on things. Also make sure to lock all windows, doors and garage before you leave.