Second home ownership has been on a steady rise since 2014. Today, more than 7.5 million homeowners across the country own more than one property. Having a second home can be great for either vacationing or bringing in some additional income, but how do you know what’s going on at your second home when you’re not there? Is the property safe and secured?
Here are some tips for keeping your second home safe.
Let the local authorities know when you’re away
Informing the local police is a great first step to making sure your property is protected. Give the police a call and let them know the dates you’ll be away. This helps ensure that you get a second set of eyes on the property from a reliable and trusted source.
Install a home security system
A home security system like SimpliSafe can provide unparalleled peace of mind while you’re away. Using SimpliSafe’s mobile app, you can monitor and control your security system and property from anywhere in the world. You can be alerted if a door is opened or a window is broken. Motion sensors trigger the alarm if there’s activity moving around inside the home. A siren as loud as a rock concert will scare anyone off before they can take or damage anything, and the authorities will be on the way to secure the property in seconds. You can install a security camera to monitor your property and livestream the video to ensure there is no funny business going on at your home.
Additionally, a home security system protects your home from more than just potential break-ins and burglars. You can get notified of a leak or flood in a matter of seconds instead of weeks, which can help protect against thousands of dollars in damages! With smoke, carbon monoxide, water, and freeze sensors, you know your property is always protected from the elements and other things that can cause harm to your home.
Make friends in your neighborhood
Having a strong local community is really important. It’s a smart idea to talk to your neighbors about when your property will be vacant. Ask them to keep an eye on the property and let you know if they see anything suspicious. This helps make the whole neighborhood a safer place. The risk of burglary increases for a neighborhood after a local burglary occurs, so it’s best practice to keep an eye out for everyone in the area.
Getting to know neighbors can, of course, be difficult with a vacation home, because you and your neighbors might meet only a few times a year. If you offer to keep an eye on their property, they will be much more likely to help keep an eye on yours. Or, as a group, you could work on hiring a local resident to help monitor the whole neighborhood.
Make it look like someone’s home
Vacant properties are easy targets for burglars, because, well, they’re vacant. The risk of a burglar getting caught in a vacant home is exponentially lower than if you or someone else was home. If you’re able to check-in on the property frequently, it helps to create the perception that someone’s there. Mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and raking leaves are all great ways to make it seem like the property is occupied. If you live far away, you can find someone to take care of these chores to ensure your property is perceived as safely as possible.
The lights are on, but nobody’s home! A dark home is an immediate green light for burglars looking for vacant homes. Consider putting a timer on your indoor lights to make it look like someone is home and install outdoor motion-activated lights to help create a sense of activity in the area. This is a great tool for mitigating risk and deterring burglars.
Also, when you buy a new home, it’s probably a good idea to change the locks as a safety precaution. Who knows how many of the previous tenants kept copies of their keys. While you’re thinking about locks, it’s also important to check the windows and other entrances, so as not to give a burglar easy access.