Make sure your home stays safe and sound during your vacation.

How can you make sure your home is ready for your upcoming vacation? Here are 10 tips to ensure you don’t come back to any unwanted surprises:

1. Lock all of your doors and windows. This may seem like the most obvious tip, but it can still be forgotten—especially locking the windows.

2. Clear out your mailbox and put your mail on hold. This includes any magazines, newspapers, or other subscriptions you have. Subscription boxes (e.g., meal deliveries) tend to be forgotten about the most, so make sure you put those on hold as well. You don’t want these boxes sitting on your front step letting people know you’re gone and/or spoiling because you’re not there to take them in.

3. Use lights to create the illusion that someone is home. With the advent of smart lighting, you can control some of your house lights with your phone. You can also use old-school timers—anything to make sure lights are coming on and off and creating the illusion that someone is home.

“Wait until after you get back home to upload any pictures or videos to your social media profiles.”

4. Keep your yard maintained. If a landscaping company takes care of your yard, make sure you keep that service scheduled while you’re away. Before you leave, you could also do some extra clipping around the yard so things don’t look overgrown while you’re gone.

5. Leave a car in the driveway. This creates the impression that someone is home and lessens the chance that your home becomes a target for burglars.

6. Hide and lock up your valuables. Nothing should be in plain sight. If you have someone checking on your home while you’re away, have them double-check that your valuables are secure and stored away.

7. Don’t broadcast your plans online. Going on vacation is a lot of fun, and it’s only natural to want to share your experiences with people you know, but wait until after you get back home to upload any pictures or videos to your social media profiles. Also, think twice before checking into places online. You never know who’s checking that type of thing—especially if your profile is set to a public setting.

8. Activate your security system (if you have one). If you don’t, perhaps try setting up some cameras. Even as decoys, they can act as deterrents. You don’t need to place your cameras inconspicuously, either. Put them out there so people can see that they’re there. Again, burglars are less likely to target your property if they think a close eye is being kept on it.

9. Adjust your thermostat. If you have a smart thermostat, that can be set from your phone.

10. Do what you can to prevent water damage. If you’re traveling during the summer, it might be OK for you to turn off your water main. If you’re traveling during the winter, you probably don’t want to do this.

As always, if you have questions about this topic or would like to know more about our local real estate market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.