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What to do before you leave a home unoccupied for an extended period of time,

1.     Find a service or trusted neighbor or family member to watch your property while it's unoccupied.

2.     Check with your insurance agent about what coverages you may need while the property is unoccupied.
Some carriers will void all coverages after 60 days of vacancy.  Some will insure for fire and windstorm but void other coverages like vandalism and glass breakage.  You will want to have a detailed conversation with your insurance professional of what to expect and what coverages you may need.  You may need to switch entirely from a homeowners policy to a vacant dwelling policy.   That will depend on your situation.

3.     Have your home repairs done before you leave.   If you suspect any water leaks or repairs needed,  have a contractor make those repairs before you leave to avoid a large water leak later when the home is vacant.   Get your trees trimmed, gutters cleaned, etc.

4.     Remove any signs of vacancy like leaving furniture, using light timers, forwarding the mail and newspaper and requesting a mail hold from the postal service.

5.     Change your thermostat and shut off your water if you do not need it on.   Turning off the water will eliminate the fear of a large water leak. 

6.     Cancel your unnecessary utilities like cable, trash service, etc but check for start up and termination fees first.

7.     Securitize your home with a good monitored alarm system that can dispatch to you or your designees.   Use timed lights and window locks.


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