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10 Tips To Protect Your Home While on Vacation

Brad Allen

The ART of Real Estate was founded with one question: What if buying and selling real estate could be a great experience? I've been asking myself that...

The ART of Real Estate was founded with one question: What if buying and selling real estate could be a great experience? I've been asking myself that...

Sep 30 5 minutes read

There is no doubt why most South Carolinians take vacation in the summer, there is so much to see and do within a 3 hour drive of our great city.

Before you pack up your noodle float, and SPF 70, is your home secure?

We have compiled a few steps that we think will keep your home drama free:

1. Cars

Try to keep a car in the drive way, but remove all valuables from it. There is no need to leave expensive items just hanging out on the front seat.

2. Animals 

Obviously make sure they are taken care of either with a house sitter, or boarding company. Let us know if you need any recommendations. As for your house..

  • Lock all gates with pad locks, lever locks won't hold people out, just animals in.
  • Close all dog/cat doors and secure them. You don't need some skinny thief squeezing through or random squirrel finding a new home.
  • If you really want to step up your security game, I installed this auto locking dog door that will only let your pet in, and nothing else. 

3. Lights

It is always best to make it look like you are home when you aren't. There are several ways to use the lights in your home to deter bad guys:

  • Z-wave Switches
    • Do you have a smart alarm panel? If so you can have Z-wave switches installed to be able to remotely turn off and on lights from anywhere you have internet. If you are handy, you'll be able to knock this out in a few minutes; if not, we have electricians we can recommend.
  • Iris Smart Switches
    • Want to take down the geek meter a notch? Here is a link to the Iris home wifi switch. You just plug your fixture into it and connect to wifi. 
  • And to really "dumb down" the automatic light game, go with the old outlet timers. They are cost effective, just not random. 

4. Water

Water is not your friend nor is it nice to your home, especially when you are out of town.

  • Turn off the water main to the house. Some newer houses have a quick access in their garage, others will need to go to the street meter. Worried about doing this? Then at-least turn off the fixtures under your sink, toilets, and washer machines. 
  • If you really want to take it to the next level, install a whole home leak detector and automatic water shut off. This will sense leaks and instantly shut off the water to your home. Now you will probably want to hire a plumber to install this. If you need a recommendation let us know.

5. Good Neighbors 

It is always best to make friends with your neighbors, they tend to look out for you. However, if your neighbors are annoying or your don't know them, ask a trusted friend/family member to...

  • Pick up the mail and bring inside.
  • Scoop up any Amazon deliveries.
  • Take your trashcans in and out.
  • Open and close curtains, randomly.
  • Move your car around the driveway.

6. Garages 

These tend to be easy access points. Did you know that you can lock your garage doors so they won't open with the remote?

  • Disengage the garage door opener
  • Lock the garage door to the frame.

7. Tidy Up 

Nothing is worse than having a great escape from your normal life and coming back to a smelly, dirty house. Take a few minutes and do these few items to ensure your homecoming isn't mieserable. 

  • Take out the trash so your home doesn't stink or invite unwanted critters.
  • Take all of the expired food out of your fridge. Stinky food will just circulate in a sealed fridge and could ultimately embed itself in your fridge, forever.

8. Talk About Your Trip AFTER you go 

In this age of social media, people love to talk about their upcoming trip. This is like putting a virtual target on your home. Try not to let the world know you will be leaving. Instead, when you come back post all of those great photos and videos.

9. Rely on the Police 

Did you know you can call the Police, not 911, and let them know you will be out of town. They will have a bunch of questions like: what cars will be in the driveway; is anyone supposed to be there; etc. And they will come by your home several times a day and even walk around it. Look at those tax dollars hard a work; but seriously, this is a great resource most people don't even know about.

10. Common Sense

Lastly don't get in a rush when leaving. 

  • Check all the windows and doors to ensure they are properly locked. 
  • Turn on your outdoor lights
  • Set the Alarm.
  • Don't leave the dishwasher, washer or dryer running.
  • Remove all spare keys hidden outside 
  • Lock up all valuables.
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