If you are closing up your Lake Martin home and heading away for the holidays and/or the entire winter season, allow us to share some tips on ensuring that your home is safe and secure while you’re away! As Lake Martin real estate agents, we help many homeowners buy both permanent and summer homes on Lake Martin, so we understand what needs to be done when leaving your summer home for winter.
Here’s a checklist to follow:
1. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry and dispose of all perishable goods or anything that will be expired by the time you return to the home. If you’re unsure, dispose of it or bring it with you wherever you’re going. Empty out all the trash cans. You don’t want to come back next summer to any undesirable odors or insects!
2. Unplug everything that doesn’t need to be plugged in. Unplug your router, your TV, your microwave, everything that doesn’t need to be plugged in while you’re away. The less you have plugged in, the less likely any sort of electric or fire issue will arise. Plus, electronics use up energy even when not in use but plugged in, so you might as well save where you can!
3. Keep your heat turned on, but low. You don’t want your pipes bursting if the weather temperatures fall very low this winter, so make sure your heat is turned on, but low, so you’re not wasting energy. This is easy to forget if you pack up on a beautiful fall day! You may want to also have your furnace inspected before you leave, and your furnace filter replaced, to prevent any issues while you’re gone.
4. Clean your gutters so that rain and snow can melt and drain properly off your roof and away from your gutters and home. Failing to do so could lead to gutter damage at the least, roof damage and leaks at the most! If leaves are still falling around your Lake Martin home, consider hiring someone to come do this again after you leave.
5. Have a maintenance/security plan in mind. Either ask a friendly neighbor or friend in town to keep an eye on your house, or hire someone to go inside every so often to check on things, keep your lawn maintained, etc. Use a code on the front door so you don’t have to worry about keys going missing. You could also opt to purchase a smart device that monitors power, temperature, etc. in your home and texts or emails you if anything seems off.
6. Send your mail to your winter address and stop any newspapers or magazines from being delivered. You don’t want it to be obvious that no one is home all winter! Consider motion lighting outdoors as well, and a security system.
7. With lake homes, make sure you properly store your boat for winter as well! Drain the gas and cover the boat, or store it somewhere else. Store away all of your lake toys and gadgets.
If you’re leaving the area for winter, the Lake Martin community will miss you! See you next summer! If you’re sticking around, keep up with our blog posts and Facebook posts, where we fill you in on local events and activities to enjoy year-round.
Becky Haynie, Associate Broker / Realtor
Lake Martin Realty