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Old 11-04-2015, 10:45 PM   #1
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What do you do about your house when traveling?

Apparently I didn't come up with an effective search term so I'll risk reopening a topic that may have been discussed before.

So far I've only been able to head out with the RV for a couple weeks at a time. I would like to go on more extended trips and eventually even full-time for a year or two. The thing is, I'm not sure what to do about my house while I'm gone. It's not just a security issue although that's certainly part of it.

How do members handle this situation? Hire property managers? Rent out? Family? Looking forward to some thoughts on this.

Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:59 PM   #2
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Turn off water
Turn off water heater
Summer time 85' Winter time 60'
Have a couple of lights inside on timers
Lock the doors and windows
Turn on the alarm
Let 2 responsible neighbors keep an eye on the place and have our phone numbers just in case.
Don't advertize you're gone in email, facebook, twitter or any of the other social media, period.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:25 AM   #3
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Good list from Cliffy.

We are preparing for a future of part timing, traveling for a couple three months at a time a few times a year. To save expenses and reduce upkeep we decommissioned the swimming pool and put in low water usage low maintenance landscaping.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:25 AM   #4
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We also have IP addressable cameras located throughout the house AND an IP addressable thermostat. We can monitor the house through the internet and monitor/control the heating/air conditioning of the house (a real energy/cost saver) when we're on the road.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:26 AM   #5
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Plus we call the Sheriff department and let them know. They increase their drive-by frequency and will come up our rural driveway to question anyone on the property (like my Son In Law cutting the grass).
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:12 AM   #6
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We seemed to have a struggle getting rid of our two adult kids (ages 27 and 24). Two months after we purchased our coach - our oldest came back after his housing situation went south when his roommate (and owner of the house he was living in) decided to get married and announced that his fiancÚ would be moving in. Our youngest moved back after college. Being that we don't plan to sell the house for another year or so - we're turning it into a WIN/WIN. The kids are picking up the tab for the monthly utilities - and taking advantage of a much nicer living situation than they could ever afford on their own. We in turn have reduced our monthly nut and are able to travel without having to worry about leaving our home unoccupied. It's certainly not going to be a "forever" solution - but for the time being it's allowing us to transition into the RV lifestyle without having to deal with unloading the house at the onset.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:18 AM   #7
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We changed the locks so kids could not return. Added Lorex Security Cameras with 1TB recording and smart phone and police alerts.
Of course the obvious as well, water off, A/C set to 82 and great neighbors and lawn care service.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:19 AM   #8
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You might want to check with your insurance agent. Some policies have stipulations about a residence being unoccupied after a certain amount of time.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:55 AM   #9
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I thought I had enough to worry about and then something like this comes up I never even thought about it.
I'll look into it.
Thank's,
Tim
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:55 AM   #10
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Thanks for all your great responses!

One of our adult kids is sometimes available to stay at the house when we travel but often as not she's gone at the same time we want to be.

We do have IP cameras but I hadn't though of looking into other smart house IP addressable functionality - that's a keeper.

Our property is rural also and honestly, in more that 30 years of living here I don't think I've seen the sheriff just do a cruise by more than 3 or 4 times.

The social media issue is another good one to remember. I'm not a Luddite but I may be a curmudgeon - I don't have accounts or do any social media unless you include things like irv2 forum. While I wouldn't publish particulars about my travel plans, someone reading the forums might be able to deduce that a member was not home by the manner in which they participate. My wife has a Facebook account just to keep track of friends and kids doings but she's pretty much just a lurker.

Our kids (and I don't just mean my kids - all our kids) on the other hand are a different story. They tend to post anything and everything. So when there's something that requires some discretion we make a point of insisting that they refrain from comments about our affairs.

Property management is likely to be the biggest issue for us. I would like it if our landscape was low (or at least lower) maintenance like vsheetz but it's not. Both my wife and I like working in the garden. Which is a good thing because it's pretty big. Between the two of us we easily average 20 hours a week out there. We also have a honking huge water feature that can't really be turned off. So if we travel in the summer we'll have to hire someone to take care of the yard.

I think initially we were tending toward a snowbird type approach since it's really nice here during the summer. Getting away to somewhere sunnier and warmer during the winter certainly has an appeal though.

The thing is, we want to see more than just the sunny South.

Anyway, all your feedback has been very helpful and given me a lot of food for thought. Thanks again! This forum is awesome.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=djbmsu;2812911]We changed the locks so kids could not return.


I love it! Though we would never fulltime we let our kids know by the time they were in their mid 20's the Mom and Dad motel was closed and if they needed a place to live there were plenty of motels in town
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:45 AM   #12
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Like Stealth1.

I run the Honeywell wifi thermostat up and down as humidity increases in the house. I like to stay about 45%. This is SW Florida.

Also have a Fujicam from Amazon.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:39 PM   #13
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We take our house with us.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:47 PM   #14
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Just to add to the list, if you have a trusted neighbor or nearby family, not a bad idea to leave a key to the house.
I am however glad that we have a good relationship with our kids that I wouldn't have to even think about changing the locks to keep them out.
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