Summer is finally here, and it’s time to hit the road!  Many families will be going to beaches, the mountains, on cruises, and more. There is a lot to plan for to make sure this summer vacation is one to remember.

But while rest and relaxation might be on travellers’ minds everywhere, it’s just as important for Homeowners to think about the state of their Strata that they’ll be leaving behind. It’s important to know how to prepare your home for an extended time away.
If you work with a professional property management company, you can reach out to your property manager for vacation preparation tips specific to your community. But no matter where you live, here are some very simple tips to help ensure your home is safe and well maintained while you are off enjoying the summer sun.

Dont Make It Obvious No One Is Home.
Nothing ruins a great trip like coming home to a burglarized property. Thankfully, there are several ways to discourage potential criminals who might be lurking near the neighborhood, observing people’s behaviors for clues that Residents are away. Use your garage for loading the car so no one can get the hint you are planning to be away. You should also consider stopping mail and newspaper service while you are gone, so that it doesn’t pile up.
Set your answering machine to answer on the second ring, and turn down your ringer volume. A phone ringing off the hook is a good indication no one is home. Be very careful about broadcasting your travel plans on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, regardless of your account privacy settings. That’s a dead giveaway you are out of town and are unable to respond to a crime at your home. Also, if many neighbors are travelling at the same time, Residents can contact the local police department and your Strata Manager so extra eyes can be on the neighborhood.

Keep Energy Costs Down.
There are many ways to conserve energy while you are out of town, which will do wonders for your summer electric bill. You don’t want to leave your home completely dark because that’s an obvious sign you are away. But you also don’t want lamps, TVs, and other appliances running unnecessarily. Instead, set your lights and TVs with a timer so that they are on at appropriate times and turn off when you would be going to bed. Leave your blinds slightly open so that lights and flashing TVs inside the house shine out.

Ask For Assistance.
Having a friend that you can trust on your block or in your building can help you relax while you are gone. Make sure you leave a key with this person and an emergency contact number in case you need to be reached while you’re on vacation. Have them check on your home now and again to make sure everything is in order. Ask them to put out your trash so it is not sitting around. Be willing to return the favor when your neighbors are away, and bring them a gift or token of your appreciation for taking time out of their schedule to give you peace of mind. This way, you build a reliable trust network together, form a stronger friendship, and know that any time you have to leave town, you don’t have to worry about what’s going on around your home.
Following these simple tips can help you save money and energy, keep intruders off your property, and bring you peace of mind while you’re enjoying your time away from home. If you’d like learn more about this topic or to receive advice from a professional property management company, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leading property management company.
Tuesday June 24, 2014