Whether it's a weekend getaway or a longer holiday, your vacation is a time to explore new places, make new friends, and create amazing memories. But when you get back home, you want it to be the same as you left it. Every year people find their properties damaged by accident or through break-ins taking advantage of an empty house. Following these 5 tips will help make sure you return to your home sweet home with no worries.
1) Close & Lock Your Doors and Windows
The first step in making your home secure while you're away is closing and locking all of your doors and windows. This may seem obvious, but there are a lot of households that leave that one window in the bathroom or laundry room open to get some fresh air. Even if it might mean there isn't as much circulation while you're away – especially if you don't have central air – it's key to ensuring there isn't an opening for would-be thieves or bad weather to enter your home.
2) Put Deliveries On Hold
One step of your vacation planning should be putting your mail and any subscriptions on hold. A buildup of unclaimed mail or newspapers, or a package sitting by the front door is a sure signal that no one's home. As long as you give them a few days' notice, most services include a complimentary pause while you're away. For any parcels that absolutely have to be delivered during your vacation, see if you can direct them to a trusted neighbor or family member instead of your home address.
3) Tell Trusted Neighbours and Family You'll Be Away
While you don't want to put your plans on the front page of your community paper, you will want a few trusted people to know you'll be away from home. Let a few people know your travel dates so that they can keep an eye out for any irregular activity on your property. It's even better if someone is able to check in regularly to make sure doors & windows are still secure, faucets are off, and there are no signs of leaks or damage.
4) Use Timers For Lights
With more and more "smart" home technology, it's easier than ever to program your lights, sprinklers, thermostat, and even music to make it seem as though the house is being lived in. Keeping up a routine of lights turning on and off at appropriate times and some ambient noise can be a deterrent to potential break-ins. Monitoring heat, water and other utilities from a distance can help with early detection of a problem and allow you to get in touch with the person watching your home for further investigation.
5) Don't Post On Social Media Until You're Home
Even though it might be exciting to share your vacation memories as they're happening, you also need to consider whether everyone on your friends list (and everyone on their list, because of how social media works) should know that you're away. The reality is that most of us don't completely lock down our accounts and so there's a possibility that someone searching for opportunities will have access to the information that your home is empty. Plus, going through your photos a day or two after your vacation will keep those great memories top of mind when you're headed back to work!
At Auxilium, we believe that a house is more than just a roof over your head; it's a home where memories are made. In the same way, we don't just wave you off when your mortgage is done; you become a part of the community, and we want to give you the support and knowledge to succeed.
Auxilium Mortgage Corporation is based in Victoria, BC and works with clients locally and across Canada. The Auxilium team has over 100 years of combined financial experience and access to dozens of lenders to help you meet your goals.