Buying A Vacation Home? Three Tips For Handling Off-Season Responsibilities

You've worked hard, lived on a budget, and invested wisely, and now its time for the big reward: the purchase of a vacation home to enjoy on long weekends, holidays, and summer vacations. But becoming the owner of a vacation home is a big responsibility, maybe even more so than owning a primary residence, because you won't be there every day to attend to maintenance, upkeep, and security needs. If you have recently purchased a vacation home or plan to do so in the near future, and have concerns about taking care of it when you cannot be there, the following three tips can help. 

Invest in routine servicing of the home's systems 

Water leaks, hot water heater failures, and furnace problems are just some of the maintenance issues that can cause damage to a home. When issues like this happen in an unoccupied vacation home and no one is there to notice, extensive damage can result, including flooding, frozen pipes, or fire. While nothing can completely prevent these problems from occurring, having regular routine servicing and maintenance checks performed on the home's major systems and components, such as the HVAC system, plumbing pipes, and appliances, can help to limit the potential for damage. 

Find someone trustworthy in the area to make periodic checks 

Another excellent way to watch over a vacation home during the times when you are not using it is to find someone in the area to watch over it in your absence, such as a trustworthy neighbor or friend who lives in the area. When arranging this, first make sure the person you choose is familiar with the home, its layout, and any systems they may need to use in an emergency, such as:

  • the alarm system
  • gas and water shut offs
  • the electrical panel 
  • the heating and air conditioning systems

In addition, make sure they have a working key to the home and contact information to ensure they can reach you, night or day. 

Hire a reputable property management specialist

Another excellent way to watch over your vacation home when you cannot be there is to place it in the hands of a reputable property manager. Not only will a property manager be able to handle maintenance and repair issues in an emergency, they can also work with you to set up seasonal rentals so that the property produces income. A property manager can also assist with arranging cleaning services, lawn care, snow removal, and any other care needs the home may have, as well as checking on the home and contacting you, should an emergency occur. There are many property management services you can work with, so check with a few to find the right one for your needs.