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Old 01-29-2018, 05:36 PM   #1
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Maintenance of S&B while traveling

We will retire in 60 days. Dreaming of purchasing an RV and traveling.

But what do we do with our home? How to you handle lawn care and security of your home while on the road for 3 or more months?

We live in TX where we must water frequently. DH worries that automatic sprinkler will break and leave water running down the street. Etc.

Do you hire yard care while you are gone? Or, have you found low maintenance plants / ground cover?

We started looking at purchasing a condo. Have any of you gone that direction?

Thank you for your suggestions!
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:44 PM   #2
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We got the condo before the MH but it has worked out well. We stop the mail, shut down water and water heater and go.
The downside is that we can't store the MH on site. I don't miss mowing, raking or shoveling one bit
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:51 PM   #3
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This is one of the main reasons we bought a lot in a RV Resort where we built a smaller coachhouse on. The maintenance of our past home was a big concern while we were on trips. We did the yard maintenance by hiring a yard crew, but they ruined our yard plus they killed our fruit trees. The maintenance was killing us when we got back home from even a 4 to 6 week trip. We wanted to take longer trips, but we knew we could not with our past setup.

Now we can go as long as we want to without worrying about the sprinkler system or the grass mowing. This is all included in the resorts HOA fees.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
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reubenray

May I ask where you purchased and built?
Been looking ourselves.
If I had read a bit closer I see you are in AL at Lake Osprey. We took a look there but like the west better, a bit humid for me. Even being southern born and raised.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:10 PM   #5
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We started preparing for retirement and being half time RV'ers a couple three years before the date. We usually go out for 1-2 months at a time, but have been gone for 6 months.

Single family residence and a couple out buildings on half acre in a small city.

Got rid of recurring maintenance needs. Decommissioned and filled in the swimming pool. Removed the front lawn and replaced with low water need suculant plants. We just let the rear yard go without water and it goes dormant.

Installed security system and cameras - remotely controlled, alerts, and viewable on smartphone.

Local police have a vacation check service. My son lives about a half hour away and goes inside house and out buildings for a check every couple three weeks and is available for emergency needs. Another friend lives nearby and does drive-by checks.

Mail is handled via forwarding to mail service. They scan and we can view online - and forward to us if need be.

As times goes on and desires, abilities, etc. change we may buy something differing and maybe in a differing area. But for now the existing setup is working very well.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:31 PM   #6
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We currently have a single family home with about a half -acre. We have a lawn service that mows every 7 - 10 days. We put the mail on hold and it is delivered to my daughter locally about once a week in a package.

Have a security system with outdoor cameras and a few indoor cameras and I can view everything from my phone or computer.

I can also view the thermostat settings, turn the heat or a/c on or off, and adjust the temp from my phone or computer. We have a few indoor lights on timers.

I tell the neighbors we'll be gone and for how long, and the kids drive by when they can - they're all close.

We're thinking condo at some point, but it's nice to have the RV parked next to the house, plugged in and ready to go when we are.

We don't go away for more than 4 or 5 weeks at a time. I'm retiring in Feb, so maybe more trips in the future, but we're not full-timers.

When we get back, I can resume my own lawn mowing - if I feel like it.....
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:13 PM   #7
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Check your insurance policy, some won't pay if home is left vacant for more than 30 days.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:11 AM   #8
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Thank you for your comments! Very helpful. Since our yard is high maintenance, we probably need to go the condo route.

Like the home security install! Nice to visually check-in!

Also good thought on insurance. I recall we had to make adjustments in insurance on my mother’s home after she moved to assisted living. We used it as our family hotel, for when they came to assist with her care.

Also like the process of moving to condo, then purchase RV.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:49 AM   #9
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We leave our WI home from early Oct to mid May with just a sensaphone that will call us if the heat, power or unusual noises are detected. We call occasionally just to get a report. Snow removal is contracted out and a yard crew comes in to clean up the gardens before we get back home. Also have a grandson a block away that checks when we want. We leave our AZ home from May till Oct with a security system that reports to the police dept, fire dept, or me depending on the alarm. We also have our cleaning person come in to check and run the dishwasher once a month. A pool service takes care of the pool. Just stones, desert plants and five fruit trees with automatic watering system.

There are many ways to take care of your S&B home while you are gone. I would not move into a condo just because you will be gone for a few months unless you were intending to downsize anyway. We like coming back to our homes with all of our "stuff" and the room to enjoy it.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:22 AM   #10
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We're part of those that have down-sized in retirement. Got out of the big S&B's home and moved into a much smaller town home property that is managed through our Home Owners Association (HOA)

Having an HOA take care of all the exterior, lawn care, trees, roofs, etc. makes it easy to lock up and leave for extended periods of time plus we have the convenience of good neighbors who can watch over things for us to include periodically collecting packages for us which they take to our mail forwarding service provider (a UPS store) and as well, have keys and can go inside to check on matters.

We turn off the water at the main, set the thermostat to a desired temp setting, do our temp mail forwarding address changes with the USPS, stop the newspaper deliveries, and empty out the refrigerator (of items that will spoil) then hit the road.
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