It’s vacation time! Tips on keeping your home safe while you’re away!

Schools out for summer and it’s vacation time for many! If you are planning on leaving for a week or so, here are helpful hints to make sure your home stays safe. Many people overlook preparing your home for vacation because we’re just too excited about all the other things that we have to do. The last thing you want is to come home to find something’s gone terribly wrong with your house.

1. Get a home monitoring system.
Home security is absolutely essential and there are many options and to choose from, so make sure you opt for one that fits your home. Some home security systems even allow you to view live video remotely from your phone, so you can see what’s happening in real-time. This small investment is well worth your peace of mind! Also, having a security system will most definitely deter burglars, so advertise it! You can even buy a security sign or stickers, if you haven’t been able to implement your security system before your next trip.

2. Keep a low profile on social media.
It’s well-known that you shouldn’t advertise vacations online (or anywhere, for that matter) before taking off your trip, but maybe even more importantly is double-checking your social media sites to ensure your address is not readily available to anyone seeking it. It’s all too easy to do a quick Google search and link a phone number to an address!

3. Turn off your main water supply
Leaks happen and they can happen while you’re away. Nothing like returning from a good vacation to a flooded home. Turn off your main water supply if you’re going to be gone for a week or more. If you forget and a leak does happen, your homeowners or renters insurance should cover that type of water damage.

4. Unplug all electronics

Even if they’re not on your electronics are energy vampires. Unplug your TV, microwave, toaster oven — anything that needs to be juiced — to save on your electricity bill.
As a plus, you’ll also help prevent an electrical fire.

5. Invest in a timer and outdoor sensor light.
It’s simple to install for those of you who aren’t tech-savvy and you can pick one up for $20-$50. Motion-sensor flood lights can also prove to be useful year-round for general home security whether you’re home or not, and often are equipped with technology to have them turn off and on at certain times of the day.
Put timers on lights in different rooms. Set them to go on and off at various times throughout the night and no one will know you’re not actually there.

6. Adjust your thermostat
If you live in a place where AC is a must during the summer months, adjust the thermostat a bit to save on your electricity bill. A good rule of thumb is to keep it a few degrees (-4)than normal. By not turning off the AC completely, you’ll keep enough air circulating to control humidity and mold.

7. Pour baking soda down your drains and toilets
Baking soda is amazingly useful. And, when you combine it with vinegar, it freshens your drain (and helps clear clogs too). Pour about a cup down your drain and toilet to avoid wondering “what that smell is?” when you get home.

By taking the right steps before you go, you’ll be ready to enjoy your vacation and will bring you that peace of mind.

Caron Koteles Riha is a licensed Real Estate Broker with Real Estate One.
Email, Text or Call Caron at (248)379-6651 or

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