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Old 05-23-2018, 05:04 PM   #1
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What do you do when leaving "home"?

This question is for those that are not full-timers, but take off for a few weeks a year and many long weekends...

We would obviously stop mail, cycle lighting and radio and arrange for yard to be mowed. Although we have an alarm system, we live on acreage and so do all our neighbors. What do some of you do to insure that your primary home is taken care of? A house sitter?

Family lives too far away to stay at our home while we travel. Not being from the area we live in, we have no long-time friends living nearby. Have any of you used a service?

Thanks for any insight. Looking to have all our bases covered as we very anxiously await this next phase of our lives!
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:23 PM   #2
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Do you know any of your neighbors that you could ask to keep an eye on things. We have kids who live in the area so we have them drive by while were on a trip. There has been times when they went with us and we just left, much like you have prepared. If you are really worried you could put in a camera system where you can see and hear what's going on, on your property when you are away. You can see it on your cell phone. They even have systems where you can turn on/off your lighting systems. We have everything on timers, so it still looks as if we are coming and going.

I don't usually tell the neighbors we are going out of town. You never know who they will tell unintentionally. We only have a 1/2 acre which is a good size lot for where we live. We only have 4 houses on our street so it is really obvious when we leave as we keep the MH at our house. But nobody knows whether or not our kids are there. There's only so much you can do, so far so good.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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I leave about 6 months/year.

The mail is delivered daily to my mailbox which has the bottom cut out, so that the mail accumulates in the bottom of the structure, which is about 30" x 30" x 5' tall. I get a daily email from the USPS with a scanned copy of the 1st class envelopes being delivered daily. This is called Informed Delivery and it is Free. I like Free. All bills and utilities are handled on line. I have the insurance dates in my cell phone and a copy emailed to myself. (in case I loose my phone) I turn the water to the house off but leave the landscape water system on. I set the furnace and hot water heater on it's lowest setting. Leave one light on inside. I have a neighbor check on the house once a month and I have made arrangements with a friend who is a handy man to handle any issue that may come up. I have a battery tender (from Costco) connected to the car/s I leave in the garage. I travel with a document that has all our medical info including Prescription drugs, dosage, pharmacy info, med history, Drs and phone numbers, blood type and vaccinations. Saran Wrap over the tops of the toilets will keep the toilet water in place longer and prevent odors if the water gets too low. Just don't forget it's there when you come home. I do not have a security system or camera system. All I have is Home Owners Insurance. I would rather not be home if I'm robbed. Been doing it this way for 10+ years w/o a problem.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
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I turn the water off. Had a friend that had a water pipe break while they were gone.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:03 PM   #5
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Up u til this year we have had the kuck to have a cop next door. He would walk the property, rattle doors and pick strawberries every night. Other than that I have notified local PD and turn off the water heater. Because we irrigate the yard we leave the well pump on.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:07 PM   #6
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We have a web cam in the house that records a rolling week into a cloud service, several lights on smart switches that are programmed and I can manually change the program or play with the lights manually from anywhere with my iPhone. We also have a smart, programmable thermostat that I can check temp and humidity in the house, as well as change settings. Our nephew has a pool service business, so he comes by every week or so to check the pool. Best of all we have a wonderful next door neighbor that comes in every day or two to feed our Conure and check things. I put a hold on our mail with the USPS. Almost all our bills come via email and I pay them online. We have a yard service year round to take care of the yard. And as another just said, we have good homeowners insurance. I really donít worry about it much when we are gone for a month or two or so.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
I turn the water off. Had a friend that had a water pipe break while they were gone.
X2. We arrived home to a foot of water in the basement, the drain had stopped up and caused the water to backup from the leaking water softener. Next day I installed a 1/4 turn valve in the main line to the house.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:08 PM   #8
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I plan on leaving a small TV tuned to a 24/7 channel and pointed at a outside window with volume up loud.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:12 PM   #9
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I turn the water off to the hot water heater and turn the circuit breaker to it off. I have a great neighbor who looks after the house while we're gone.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:36 PM   #10
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We travel several times a year typically for 1-3 months.

Reduced maintenance by removing lawn and installing low water use plants. Dose areas with weed killer before leaving. So no lawn care service needed.

Have an alarm system and several motion activated cameras inside and outside that we can remotely view. A couple inside lights are on timers. Some outside lights are on dusk to dawn, others are motion activated.

Local police notified we will be gone so they put the house on an occasional drive by check.

Mail forwarded to a mail service.

Water turned off.

Son lives not too far away if needed.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:32 PM   #11
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Mail is stopped, doors/windows locked, garage doors pad locked, thermostat off, water shut off at the main, arrangements made for lawn mowing, local sheriff will do a house watch, alert neighbors we'll be gone so they keep watch on the house too. They have our cell numbers. A few of the ladies are well known for keeping an eye out for what goes on in our neighborhood so there's no chance they'll miss anything odd going on at our home.

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Old 05-24-2018, 04:04 AM   #12
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Live in pet/house sitter, camera & alarm system, lawn service, and have friends drop by to check on sitter and house at random intervals.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:27 AM   #13
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We are luckier than most. We live in a gated community with multiple security guards through out the complex who do perimeter and home checks twice every night as well as early morning.


We also have a house keeper who is there every day and if we are traveling and have to leave our furry kid at home she will stay 24/7


So we leave when we want and don't worry about things at all.


One of the Bennies of living in he Caribbean.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:24 AM   #14
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Hi Gregg & Dale! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

We are fortunate to have family living here that can check on the house regularly. We have the mail and paper held for our pickup on returning. We have a very sophisticated security system, including cameras that we can monitor remotely.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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