Maintenance Tips for Traveling Home Owners - the Snowbird Special!

Join Denovo’s own, Jen Kane, and Double Scope Inspection’s Mark Watson for a conversation about how to prepare and maintain your home for when you’re away. 

Are you wondering, “What even is a snowbird?” 

A snowbird is someone who owns two homes and migrates between them depending on the season. Sunny southern Florida is well-known for our snowbird population; it’s estimated that we have about one million residents who fall into the snowbird category. Find out more about the nation’s surprising snowbird statistics and this on-the-move lifestyle that’s becoming increasingly popular.

All those snowbirds have to leave their homes alone for part of the year to travel and live in the other. That means that there are millions of homes that remain vacant for long periods, vulnerable to theft, harsh temperatures during winter, and scorching dryness during the summer. And homeowners are only around for a portion of the year to care for their properties! 

Here is our Household Maintenance Checklist:

Preparing for Departure:

Heading out for the season involves more than just locking doors. Here are our top tips for snowbird property management

Consider Home Security Measures:

Home security is at the top of our snowbird checklist for leaving home. Leaving properties vacant for long periods of time can mean that some homes become more vulnerable to petty crime.

We recommend investing in a reliable security system to deter intruders and stay vigilant. If possible, inform trusted neighbors about your departure, travel dates, and consider installing motion-sensor lights for added security.

Our friends at Double Scope Inspections provide fantastic snowbird home watch services and are a great resource to double-check your home’s safety measures. Get in touch with Double Scope Inspections to learn more about their home safety and inspection services around Melbourne, Florida.

Mail and Packages:

Remember to forward your mail and reroute packages to your other address ahead of time. This simple step takes some of the stress out of migrating!

Appliance Check:

Give your appliances a longer life by unplugging non-essentials. 

Pro tip: clean out the fridge and leave it slightly ajar to get rid of and prevent any lingering odors. Deep cleaning helps prevent mold from starting and spreading and allows you to take stock of any perishables that might go bad before your return. 

Always Avoid Mold!

Keep the AC on! A well-ventilated and fresh home is a happy home. Ensure you return to a space free from mold and unpleasant surprises with good air circulation and avoiding temperature extremes. Improve air circulation by leaving doors and windows slightly open. Place moisture absorbers in closets and enclosed spaces to keep mold off of clothes and sheets.

To control the humidity inside your home, be sure to set your thermostat to maintain a moderate indoor humidity level. Ideally, we recommend keeping your thermostat between 77 and 78 degrees, but don’t go too hot! Anything 80 degrees and above can actually increase humidity.

If your home is in a humid place, consider using dehumidifiers in areas prone to moisture buildup, like bathrooms.

Protect Pipes

Thinking about your home’s pipes and preparing them properly is essential, especially if you're leaving your home during colder months.

If your home is in an especially cold part of the country where temperatures dip below zero, consider insulating exposed pipes to prevent freezing. Before you leave, be a detective for leaks, drips, and drizzles that could jack up your water bill, or have a professional take a look. Address any potential problems before you leave to avoid water damage. 

Or, just turn off the main water line completely! That way, in the case of a pipe breaking you’ll be able to avoid any flooding or mess.

Don’t forget to turn off the water heater if you turn the water off! Adjust the water heater or switch it to ‘vacation mode’ to save energy. For longer trips, consider turning it off completely, so that the tank isn’t just reheating the same water on repeat.

Don’t Forget the Garden!

It might seem like an afterthought, but giving the garden some much-needed attention is high on our snowbird checklist for leaving home. Taking care of the garden before you go is a lot more than a simple vanity project. Although it’s always nice to come home to a lawn that isn’t overgrown, maintaining large trees, bushes, and vines around the property protects your home.

Prune bushes and trees for healthy growth and to ensure there aren’t any hanging widow-makers ready to make holes in your roof. If you’re leaving your home in the summer heat, implement a drip irrigation system or ask a neighbor to water your plants during your absence.

Keep your Home Clean, Just in Case…

A big motivator to maintain your home is selling it in the future!

Maintaining your home throughout your time living there makes things way easier when owners decide to sell. And even if selling isn't on the horizon just yet, a clean and well-maintained home is a joy to return to.

Always keep records of any home maintenance services and repairs. Detailed records help with future planning and enhance your home's resale value. Please reach out to our real estate expert, Jen, to access our complete home maintenance guidebook!

If you’re new here in Space Coast, Florida, our team of real estate experts is happy to offer a helping hand. Connect with a local real estate professional for market updates and insider advice on selling when the time comes. 

Peruse some of our favorite properties in and around Space Coast, Florida here.

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