Prep Your Home for a Winter Vacation in 8 Steps

Missouri winters can be unpredictable and many Lake of the Ozarks homeowners plan a vacation during our coldest months. If you’re hoping to relax and escape the Ozark chill, a winter getaway should do the trick - and when you’re miles from home, the last thing we want you to worry about is the safety of your home. Fran Campbell Team knows homes, condos and everything in between – let us share some simple tips to prepare your home for a vacation.

Hold the News

You don’t want to worry about a pile of newspapers in the driveway, it’s a sure sign of being absent from your home. If your mail is delivered to your home, contact your newspaper delivery company and stop service while you’re gone. Furthermore, contact your local post office and have them hold your mail.

Light It Up

A dark house stands out, especially in a neighborhood when all the other homes are lit up with activity. Before you leave, consider purchasing a timer and install it on a lamp in your home. It’s not a bad idea to install a motion activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight that will be triggered should someone walk buy it. If you have a trusted neighbor you could ask them to turn on a light for you in the evenings.

Keep it Clean

During the winter you won’t be worrying about the grass growing but snow may be a concern. Depending on the weather, you may need to contact a snow removal company and have them schedule your driveway into their rotation in the case of snowfall. If you’re going to be gone longer than a week, you won’t want to overlook this.

Unplug to Unwind

We want you to have a worry-free vacation and by unplugging small appliances and electronics before you leave will help you do just that. Not only will you save energy, you can rest easy knowing that appliances that are still active even when turned off, won’t be an unpredictable problem. Before you leave, unplug those items that won’t be used while you’re gone (coffee makers, toasters, espresso machines, etc.). This is also a good time to ensure all smoke detectors are working properly throughout your home.

Turn Down the Thermostat

Your thermostat makes sure your home maintains a specific temperature throughout the day. Before you leave, set the thermostat to a lower temperature if the house is going to be empty. This will help conserve energy while you’re gone. If you do choose to turn down the thermostat, be sure to keep you home at a temp that will keep plants, pets (if home) and furniture protected.

Let Your Water Heater Take a Vacation

Many water heaters heat water throughout the day, even when you’re not using water. Before you head out on a vacation, put your heater in a vacation mode as well. It may have a setting labeled – VAC, which indicates “vacation mode.” If not, turn the settings down. If you plan to be gone during the coldest part of the year, it may be a good idea to turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and any sinks. The last thing you want to come home to is a broken pipe.

Tidy up

This is especially important if you home is currently on the market. Before you leave for vacation, clean out the fridge and dispose of anything that might spoil. Run some vinegar down the sink and eliminate any bad smells being harbored there. Make sure you take out the trash and or recycling. If an agent schedules a viewing of your property you won’t want the potential buyers to come into a smelly house.

Let Someone Know

You’ll want to leave emergency contact info with your family and neighbors before heading out. It’s also a good idea to inform your real estate agent if your home is on the market. Let a trusted neighbor know you’re going to be out of town and for how long. Provide them with any information they might need in the case of an emergency.

Your friends at Fran Campbell Team want you to have a relaxing and worry-free vacation. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare your home before you leave on any long trip. For answers to any of your real estate questions please contact an agent at Fran Campbell TeamREMAX Lake of the Ozarks. Our team is qualified, professional and ready to get you results!


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