Before heading to your next getaway, read this homeowner’s vacation checklist to ensure you leave your house in order!
Going on a well-deserved vacation is definitely an exciting prospect. But as a responsible homeowner, ensuring that your residence is safeguarded during your absence is vital.
This brings us to the indispensable homeowner’s vacation checklist: a comprehensive guide to guarantee peace of mind while you bask in the sun. The American House is here to ensure that no crucial detail is overlooked.
Our list is the key to a worry-free escape, from securing doors and windows to setting up smart home features for added security.
So, before you embark on your next adventure, join us in exploring the ideal homeowner’s vacation checklist, where your home remains a sanctuary even in your absence.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #1: Keep up with landscaping
Do you know what makes an excellent hiding spot for burglars while they’re in your home? Overgrown large trees, brush, and hedges.
By trimming these greens as short as possible before hitting the road, you’ll be destroying these hiding places and making it more likely that the burglar will find a different target.
If you want to truly get sneaky with this homeowner’s vacation checklist item, plant bushes with thorns underneath your windows. Why? A few brief, painful stabs will dissuade any prospective burglars.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #2: Secure your valuables
Whether or not your most treasured possession is your grandmother’s earrings or some kind of high-end gaming system, it’s smart to hide them out of view. It’s essential to protect items of high value or importance.
And for an extra layer of protection, place items like cash and jewelry in protected, safe or hard-to-find areas, like the basement or attic.
Otherwise, you’ll risk not only financial loss but also emotional scars and the trauma of victimization. Targets can have real psychological trauma as a consequence of their homes being violated.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #3: Turn off your water
How much damage could a bit of water actually cause? Well, wait until you come home from a wonderfully relaxing vacation to a house that’s entirely flooded. A recent survey showed that about 80% of homeowners ignored the threat of costly water leaks while on vacation.
Insurance companies say that internal water leaks are the leading cause of property damage. And trust us: repairs are costly. In the past two years, 57% of homeowners who experienced a water leak claim spent $5,000 or more on clean-up and repair costs.
To protect your home when going out of town, you should turn off your main water supply, install a water leak detection device, clear your gutters of any debris, and check all your appliance hoses. A busted washing machine hose is the top homeowner insurance claim.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #4: Don’t leave your garage online
Garage door openers can pose a threat even when you don’t leave them in your car. Depending on the brand you have, some garage door openers can be hacked and unlocked with universal remotes, according to experts.
Take your door opener offline so that no tech-savvy criminal can gain entrance. Many brands have a “vacation mode” setting, which turns off the remotes and stops the door from being opened from the outside.
If your model doesn’t have this feature, you should unplug it before you leave for your vacation.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #5: Get a smart keypad lock
Can you recall every pet sitter, service person, neighbor, and family member you’ve given copies of your keys to over the years?
Experts recommend upgrading to a smart keypad lock, and you can give each person who needs it a unique PIN and remove access when visiting hours are over.
When you leave, you can simply put your keypad lock on vacation mode, which means that all user PIN codes are disabled until you return home to turn this mode off.
This ensures that contractors, cleaning companies, and anyone who has a code for your home can’t enter while you’re away. It’s also helpful in alerting you when those who have access are entering.
For example, you’ll know exactly when your plants are being watered, or your dog is being walked. You’ll also get an alert if a door is accidentally left unlocked. Also, the keypad can be combined with your innovative alarm system for enhanced home security.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #6: Secure your sliding glass doors
The most common entrance to your patio, sliding glass doors, can make your home extremely vulnerable if you’re not careful. The simple locks and latches are relatively easy to bypass.
Also, they’re often located in the backyard, which means an intruder simply needs to hop over your fence to have all the privacy they need to see what’s inside and shatter the glass.
Experts recommend installing heavy-duty aftermarket locks at the top and bottom of the door to fortify existing latches and laying a wooden dowel or security bar on the slider track.
A glass protection film that’s made of transparent polyester will strengthen the glass, making it virtually shatter-proof, even with repeated forceful blows.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #7: Stay off social media
In today’s world, half the fun of traveling is posting your adventures on Instagram or Facebook. But you shouldn’t be giving out too much information about yourself. You might be causing worse havoc than you realize.
Providing a play-by-play of all the fun adventures you’re having on your vacation can warn a burglar of the fact that your home is completely empty, says a home security service pro that offers cloud-based solutions.
Fight the urge to post photos of your vacation activities until AFTER you get back home.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #8: Take care of any maintenance issues
Before you leave for your vacation, you should try to resolve any known home maintenance and repair problems that have the possibility to go from bad to worse while you’re gone.
A door or window that leaks when the rain hits from just the right direction, a slow drip under your sink, or any other problems you’ve been meaning to fix can cause some major damage while you’re not home, and it can get worse quickly.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #9: Install security cameras…even if they’re fakes!
The best way to ensure your home is never broken into is to have a security camera at each entry that’s obvious and that any potential threat can be seen. But here’s the thing: you don’t need an ACTUAL surveillance system or an alarm.
You don’t even need anything for your security camera. It doesn’t even have to be an actual security camera. Fake security cameras exist for a reason. If someone notices that there’s a chance they might be recorded, they won’t break into your house.
The trick is ensuring everyone can easily see the camera, even if they aren’t actively looking for it.
Homeowner’s vacation checklist item #10: Make your entire home smart
Let’s face the facts: Gone are the days when you leave town and wonder what’s going on back home. Nowadays, you can combine all your home’s “activities,” check in whenever you’d like, and make the situation much harder on any potential burglars.
For example, maybe you don’t want to waste money on electricity, but you also don’t want a dark home that invites unwanted attention.
Well, now you can use an app to set a schedule that automatically turns on your smart lights while you’re away to make it look like someone’s home. This can help discourage criminals looking for an empty home who don’t want to risk encountering anyone.
You can also control garage doors, video doorbells, outdoor security cameras, and even your thermostat through the same app. Here’s our favorite video doorbell from Amazon: PLACUY Wireless Doorbell Camera
Can you think of anything else you would add to your homeowner’s vacation checklist? Be sure to let us know in the comments section.
Meanwhile, American House always has the best tips and tricks for your home. For instance, we also recommend reading: The Best Home Maintenance Checklist for ALL 12 Months of the Year