Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Gardens Home Management Services

Are you going away for an extended period during snowbird season? Do you have a vacation home in Florida where you spend the season sailing or just cruising around enjoying the summer heat? If your primary residence is not in Florida, and you cannot use a property service for your peace of mind, what can you do to prepare your primary home for snowbird season?    

Always Be Ready For Emergencies

There will most likely be an emergency at your principal home while you are away. What can you do to prepare for such an event? 

  • Ask a trusted relative, friend or neighbor to look after your home and be available for emergencies. If you are away for an extended period, use a home management service for everyday matters, and ask your friend to be available only for emergencies. It maintains good relationships. 
  • Notify the police department that the property will be vacant and provide them with emergency notification numbers.
  • Check that the smoke detectors on all floors are working and install a system that automatically notifies the fire department of an emergency.  

Check With Your Insurer If The House Will Still Be Covered While Away

If you are leaving your primary home for an extended period in a warmer climate, check with your insurer if the house is still covered while you are away. Standard home insurance policies generally state that if a home is vacant for weeks or months, it is not covered against damages caused by fire, burst pipes, theft, vandalism and more. Purchase vacant/unoccupied home insurance as protection, but make sure you are not paying for two policies at the same time. 

Checklist Before Leaving Your Primary Residence

Give yourself plenty of time before you go away, to go through a basic checklist and prepare the primary residence for your long-term absence. What should the checklist include?

  • Stop newspaper deliveries
  • Forward your post to your snowbird home
  • Clean out the refrigerator and get rid of perishable food items 
  • Turn off the water supply at the water valve after flushing the system
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances
  • Check that surge protectors for electric items you cannot switch off are working 
  • Schedule pest control services
  • Clean out gutters and drainage
  • Test the alarm systems.

Get Someone To Park Their Car In Front Of Your House

Most people get annoyed when strangers or neighbors park in front of their homes. The one time this should be encouraged, however, is when you are going away for an extended time to your secondary residence. Request someone to park their car in front of your house on a regular basis. The movement will make the home look occupied, and the driver will immediately notice if something is wrong on your property.  

Ask A Neighbor To Switch Lights On And Off

Lights that go on and off in the evening and early morning are another sign of an occupied home. Ask a neighbor to switch lights on and off or invest in lights on timers. Timers for light switches are available in plug-in models, where you set the period manually, and digital models that allow you to program a lighting schedule for each day of the week.

Why You Should Consider Home Watch Services for Your Primary Residence and Vacation Home in South Florida

Is your house in South Florida a vacation home or your primary residence? Why not use the Home Watch service offered by Gardens Home Management Services to look after your property when you are away? It includes a weekly inspection by fully licensed, bonded and insured specialists that check the interior and exterior of your home. Once the inspection is finished, you receive a report with pictures and a checklist of the completed inspection.  

Gardens Home Management Services (GHMS) offer estate management services to full-time and part-time residents in the Palm Beach region of South Florida. Do you want a trusted company to watch your home while you are away? Do you need landscape maintenance or pest control services? Whatever home maintenance and management services you need, outside or during snowbird season, contact Gardens Home Management Services today.