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Old 03-18-2011, 11:39 PM
 
220 posts, read 499,999 times
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HI -

I'm taking a job in another state for six months (April - September). I don't want to rent out my house here yet and am leaving most of my things where they are in the house. So the house will be humanless a long time.

My neighbors will come over and mow when they do their own yard and generally watch out for strangers/vandalism etc. Other neighbors will park their 2nd car in my driveway, so it will look like there will be someone coming and going.

What else do I need to think about when leaving a house empty for 6 months?

What utilities should I leave on or have turned off? (of course phone/internet/dish will be turned off)

Should I have a plumber come "bleed" the hot water heater?

Any thing else I should have neighbors do? (this is a small town, no property management types exist here)

Thanks for your advice!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:48 PM
 
929 posts, read 455,040 times
Reputation: 495
Defiantly shut off the water & purge the lines. Then shut off the gas because you wont need it to keep the pipes from freezing if the pipes are empty. Maybe even hook up a de-humidifier with a drain hose to prevent any possible moisture problems that can cause mold.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:38 AM
 
29,990 posts, read 21,072,568 times
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Since you mention your home is in a small town you might consider telling the Sheriff that the home will be vacant. They may be willing to have an officer check your doors every few days just to be certain everything is still secure. Some large city PDs even do that for a small fee. Since it is a small town word will likely get around that you are gone anyway, it may even get back to you before you leave (as news in small towns travels fast)!

Unplug all small appliances (microwave, clock radios, etc...). I had a friend who's home burnt due to a faulty clock radio when out of town.

If it were me I would remove any valuables and things that cannot be replaced, family photos, etc... and store them elsewhere, or in a "fireproof" safe that is bolted to the floor.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
7,840 posts, read 3,564,939 times
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My parents do this every year since they're retired now. To prepare, they bleed the water lines, turn off non-essential services (i.e. cable), unplug electronics and appliances, empty fridge and keep doors open, stop newspaper delivery, forward mail, and have neighbors/friends do welfare checks on the house. Dust is actually kept to a minimum since the house is closed up and the air/heat isn't running. However, keep in mind that your location can have a lot to do with moisture and address that accordingly. Also, open all of your doors, including your closets to keep down on any potential mustyness issues.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,805,281 times
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If the fridge is shut off you have to leave the doors open. It'll get funky really fast if you don't!
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Kansas City North
2,095 posts, read 2,948,990 times
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Pour a cup or two of bleach into toilet bowls after your final flush then cover bowls with saran wrap to minimize evaporation. Close drains on sinks.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,899 posts, read 10,202,388 times
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motion sensor outside lighting would be a good idea.....
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,958 posts, read 8,612,506 times
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Ask one of your neighbors to walk through the house once a day to ensure all is ok. Give one of your neighbors a house key & a notarized letter authorizing them to act on your behalf should something go amiss in the house. The trusted neighbor then becomes your "caretaker" representing your interest in the property.

While you may not like doing this exactly this way it will pay big time should there be an incident in your house or on your property.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,805,281 times
Reputation: 2243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okey Dokie View Post
Pour a cup or two of bleach into toilet bowls after your final flush then cover bowls with saran wrap to minimize evaporation. Close drains on sinks.
Good one... I forgot about traps drying out and how bad that can smell.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
2,095 posts, read 2,948,990 times
Reputation: 1764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Ask one of your neighbors to walk through the house once a day to ensure all is ok. Give one of your neighbors a house key & a notarized letter authorizing them to act on your behalf should something go amiss in the house. The trusted neighbor then becomes your "caretaker" representing your interest in the property.

While you may not like doing this exactly this way it will pay big time should there be an incident in your house or on your property.
We left one time for two months and didn't know any of our neighbors very well nor did we have family nearby. We did give our cell phone numbers to one neighbor and told him to call us if he felt there was something we should know about. If he had called and we felt he needed to investigate further, we then would give him code to garage door opener and location of house key in the garage. Not as good as having a walk-through each day, but better than giving open access to someone you really don't know too well.
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