Some common vacant property myths:
As we progress to the summer migration, it’s time to review a few myths about leaving a property empty.
Here are some of my favorites that have proven themselves time and again:
Myth: I have cameras so don’t need anyone looking after the house.
This is a huge misconception among the tech savvy. Installing cameras has some positive points that should not be ignored. But what is the purpose? If it is security, you need to have someone watching the cameras all the time. Sure, you can go back and find where someone broke in to the house on your recorded data, but that does nothing to contact the authorities, etc. If the purpose is to ensure the safety of the house, you have the same problem. A fire that is recorded is cute but ineffective. Will you be able to see mold grow? Will you be able to see broken windows? Mildew in closets? A slow leak that is creeping through the living room carpet? A failed appliance? Videos can only assist in monitoring an empty home, they are not the answer.
Myth: We’ve never had a problem just closing it up for the season.
This myth requires more investigation but comes out totally false. When you actually inquire of homeowners who have left their property completely unattended, they will tell you a fire has never burned down their house nor have thieves broken in. But when you ask about air conditioning failures, bug infestations, bad odors when toilets dried up, and similar examples, the stories will start to flow. The reason they believe they have never had problems is that they assume all these issues that come out are actually just part of owning a seasonal home. If it’s normal to them, it is not a problem. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Myth: My house cleaner looks after the property.
This myth has several parts. First, most house cleaners do not own their own home. So they probably do not have the experience to manage yours. They have no method of recording what they look at, they just walk around and look for fires and floods. How often can you document their efforts in your home? Who will you call when the house cleaner is out of town? They all take well-deserved vacations, whether for a few days over a holiday to a couple weeks with the kids. How will they take care of your property when a disaster strikes knowing their home will take first priority? And finally, what is their motivation? Do they agree because they are afraid you will drop their service if they don’t agree? Not the best motivation for someone to manage a property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. And of course, they have no insurance…
There are many myths about leaving a property for the season. This is just the shortest of lists.
What myths have you uncovered?
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