Because you can't keep an eye on it all the time, you want your second home or rural property to stay well-maintained and protected. There are many things you can do to keep your land and buildings safe and prevent problems that can arise when a property is unattended.
Invest in a smart home security system:
Security systems these days are advanced and comprehensive. Smart home technology has made it easy for homeowners to know and even see in real time what's happening on their property, even from miles away. Many systems can trigger automatic alerts to both the homeowner and emergency personnel. Some even offer 24/7 live support. But even if you don't go for the fancy stuff, a good alarm system, motion sensor and timed lights, and video surveillance in key places can go a long way towards giving you peace of mind and a way to keep tabs on the place.
Hire a property manager:
Not only will a good property manager regularly inspect your property in person, they will also know how to take care of and prevent common problems that occur when homes go unoccupied for part of the year. They can keep the sidewalks clear and the lawn mowed, make sure the pipes don't freeze, and deal with those branches that broke off during a recent storm. In addition, a property manager can prepare your home for your arrival; warming things up, purchasing basic necessities, and turning the lights on for your arrival.
Schedule maintenance while you're away:
Every home and property needs regular upkeep. But there are some systems that can suffer when they're left unattended for long periods of time. Scheduling regular maintenance throughout the year and especially when you're away can keep your property in tip top shape, but it can also be another way to stay in touch and identify potential problems. Consider having your trees trimmed, your roof or heating system inspected, or just hiring the kid next door to rake the leaves and regularly shovel the walk.
Share the wealth:
If you only spend a few weeks or months a year at your second property, consider renting it out or sharing with friends and family. If you do the former, there are certainly risks involved but the benefits of gaining a passive income and having the home occupied more often might make them worth it. If you don't need the money, making a second property available to close friends or family can help you to get the most out of your investment and also give you the security of knowing someone's there.
Update your insurance:
Make sure your insurance policy accurately reflects the value of your property, outbuildings and any other valuables or assets on site. This will ensure that should something happen, you will be protected from any important losses. You should also review the policy for any requirements or restrictions on occupancy (for both your family and guests), which may invalidate your coverage if you don't follow them.
For all of your home insurance questions, call or contact Arndt-McBee Insurance Agency today.