First, check your insurance coverage by calling the insurance company or talking to your insurance agent. When we leave our house in cold weather, we set the thermostat for 55 degrees. What are the risks of owning a vacant, unoccupied house? A few well-placed pieces of quality furniture can help connect … Leaving the house empty. The key is getting lots of help. Typically, they won't pay for any damage resulting from a lack of whole house heating. … This article received 21 testimonials and 99% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Unfortunately, neither felt we had enough items of value to make it worth their effort and expense. Even if you had the capital or income to cover this period, leaving a house empty for such a long period is not a good idea from a security and maintenance point of view. It’s understandable that after moving all day, sellers may be too tired to spend a lot of time cleaning, so its a good idea to move one day and clean the next, leaving an extra day before closing when possible. This article has been viewed 689,979 times. When properties are left vacant or are unoccupied, steps should be taken to prevent or mitigate losses due to heating system, electrical system, water damage, vandalism or other causes. Not only is your vacant house far more likely to be vandalized and burgled but your home and contents insurance becomes null and void after your home is empty for 30 (or sometimes 60) consecutive days. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Leaving your house empty for over 3 months? % of people told us that this article helped them. You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. An empty room is really just four walls and a ceiling. But there are several preventative measures that we recommend you put in place to reduce the risks to your home. Aside from enhancing security, shutters will, along with drapes, blinds and curtains, keep carpeting and fabrics from fading. If you must keep frozen food, here is one method for determining if your freezer has warmed during the winter: freeze a container of water solid, then place a coin on the surface of the ice; if the coin has sunk into the ice when you return, then the freezer warmed, letting the ice melt and then refreeze. We were so touched and grateful for friends and even strangers who came to get items and spontaneously pitched in to help us. Ceiling fans (if left on low) use very little energy and will ensure that the air is being circulated. The Royal Lepage website advises against leaving a house totally empty, because it makes it more difficult for potential buyers to envision how they might arrange their things in the rooms. So we moved on to other options: A senior move manager or professional organizer might have been helpful but would have charged a fee; plus there were none near my sister’s home. Once these things burst, there is nothing to hold back the large stream of water which will start to flow. Approved. Make sure that your insurance coverage is adequate for being absent during winter. If a tenant is renting under a 6 month fixed term AST, is there anything to stop them moving out after, say, 4 months and leaving the house empty until the end of the contract? Delegate and manage time. In fact, currently, I’m really both. Yes, you do. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 31+ Years. Leaving electronics to bake in your house can actually decrease battery longevity, and Gibbs notes that in colder weather, turning off a thermostat increases the danger of coming home to frozen pipes. Don’t let the yard get run down. It is made for winterizing anything you don't want to freeze. If you’re like most people, you prefer to come home to a cool house in the summer and a warm house … Here…, ‘Caring for Mom and Dad’ — a Documentary Hits Home, Top 10 Superfoods That Pack a Nutritional Punch, Get Involved: Learn How You Can Give Back, The CARE Act: Helping Family Caregivers From Hospital to Home, New Tools for Family Caregivers—the Promise of Telehealth, Driven to Desperation: Caring for Someone With Alzheimer’s, Simple Hearing Device Makes Big Difference for Dad, Caring for Mom Shouldn’t Mean Losing Your Job. Standard home insurance policies typically cover an empty house for 30 or 60 days, but the time frame can be longer, or shorter – so check your policy wording to be certain. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Just follow the steps for the most part. Still trying to sell your home? Stock Up Your Refrigerator. Follow Amy on Twitter   @amygoyer   and on   Facebook . In general, ‘normal’ house insurance policies don’t provide coverage if you leave your home empty for a long time. To learn how to winterize a kitchen in a vacant home, scroll down! We talked with both an auctioneer and an estate sale company. Plus, who wants to return from paradise to a … Juggling work and caregiving for Dad made it a difficult balancing act. My nieces came and took the items they wanted. Sure, if the cops offer such a thing. If you have no desire to sell or rent your property, you … Short-term. Mostly common sense for a long-time homeowner, but great reminder for the new vacation, "Very informational about each step to take. Leave house plants outside or with a neighbor, because having someone water the plants will add moisture to the air in the house. the moisture in the house. There was the paperwork, of course — her will, finances, home mortgage, etc. Thorn Tree forum Interest forums Gap Year & Round the World Travel. My dad lives with me (as do my sister and her two sons at the moment), and I also travel for work, about a week every month. Staging: A seller might have to stage the house and incur an additional expense for home staging. 1  More Reasons to Stay in the Home When Selling Staying generally outweighs leaving.