Finally having your own home away from home, or a second property, can be very exciting. However, it is important to make sure that your second property is maintained as well as your primary residence. So to help you do this, here are some things to consider and tips on caring for a second property.
Determine How Much You Can Do
The most cost-effective way to maintain your second property is to do it yourself. How much you can do will depend on how close you live to your second property and if you plan on being there often. For example, if you live in a warm area, you need to determine if you can visit the property at least once per week to take care of the lawn yourself and gardening. Or, if your second property can be used in the winter, has it been winterized and will you have access to go yourself and shovel the snow, the roof and ensure that the water pipes don’t freeze.
For the things you cannot do, you will need to hire help. This may include lawn care, snow removal, and cleaning services. While you may not feel it is necessary to keep the driveway clear of snow or the lawn perfectly mowed, consider what your property will look like after an entire winter left vacant. Investing money in these services will be worth it in the long run and trusting some local friends or neighbors might also prove to be helpful in case of emergency.
Get the Right Insurance
If your second property will be a vacation or rental home, getting the proper insurance is extremely important. This can cover both your building and belongings from damages due to both natural disasters, or bad tenants. It will protect you from common problems that occur on a vacant property, such as fallen trees, and water or oil escaping from a water heater or other appliances.
Get a Security System
If you are going to be away from your second property for long periods of time, it is highly suggested that you install a home security system. Vacation homes are often targeted by burglars, as they known that they are vacant in the off-season. A home security monitoring service will alert you over the phone when someone breaks into your second home.
If you have a vacation home or investment property, it is important to keep it maintained, even during the times you are not there. These tips should help you do just that. The first thing to consider is what you can do yourself, and what you will need to hire help for; this way you can evaluate the costs-per-year and ensure that a second property is right for you. Also, keeping up with insurance, security monitoring and ensuring that your second property is save and maintained can result in many years of heartache free benefits.
Article and insights provided by Brooke Chaplan.