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Old 08-19-2017, 08:14 AM
 
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Isn't there something about home insurance and a vacant house?
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,879 posts, read 1,409,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
Isn't there something about home insurance and a vacant house?
My parents were snowbirds (NYC to Savannah) most home owners insurers don't like vacant homes but truthfully my parents really didn't consider their house "vacant" at least once a week someone was there to check on it. they always went in, checked around etc etc. they were also in a row home so had great neighbors on both sides.

I don't think they even notified their insurance company
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:54 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,440 posts, read 1,676,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61nyc View Post
My parents were snowbirds (NYC to Savannah) most home owners insurers don't like vacant homes but truthfully my parents really didn't consider their house "vacant" at least once a week someone was there to check on it. they always went in, checked around etc etc. they were also in a row home so had great neighbors on both sides.

I don't think they even notified their insurance company
We let our insurance company in NY know and they have no problem with it being empty part of the year.. Maybe it depends on each insurance company and how they define vacant.

Here in FL some insurance companies will drop your policy if your roof isn't replaced at the 15 year mark and others may inspect it, but don't require replacement at a set date.

Companies and their policies vary, so check with them to make sure.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I have Samsung smartcams in each of my houses. My high tech solution for monitoring temperature is to put a big patio thermometer in view of one of the cameras. I check the unoccupied house once or twice a day.
That's a great idea. We have those Samsung smartcams, too.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:35 AM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,912 posts, read 964,687 times
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We are "Sunbirds".....our stick-and-brick is in Florida and we take off in our camper for 4-5 months each year to escape the Florida heat.


Luckily, we have someone who goes to the house every three weeks to get our mail. I got a FedEx account and filled out a bunch of envelopes in advance. Anything important goes in the FedEx envelope and sent to wherever we are. The charge goes on my card.


If using USPS forwarding, be aware that if you just use the free temporary forwarding, they won't forward anything that says "return mail requested" or "do not forward". The envelope will be returned to the sender. If that's your insurance company, they might consider that you have moved. My insurance company was getting ready to cancel my account but I got it straightened up. If you use the "premium" forwarding service, you'll get EVERYTHING, including the junk mail. It's pretty pricy, too.


Our insurance company considers anything less than six months away doesn't constitute an "empty home", so that's not a problem for us.


Be sure to notify your local police station that you will be gone. Usually they will swing by occasionally to eyeball the place. If you're on good terms with your neighbors, give them your cellphone number to call you if they see anything out of normal (broken window, etc.) or a package left at the door. Perhaps they will park one of their cars in your driveway occasionally to make it look like someone is living there.


Pop the circuit breaker to your water heater, turn off the water to your washing machine and toilets. Since we're gone for so long at a time, we actually have the water cut off. It's cheaper to pay to have it cut back on than it is to pay the minimum charge for five months and we're not worried about leaks. Unplug your modems, tvs, etc. to guard against power surges. We set the air conditioning at 80; that seems to be adequate to keep the humidity down.


Be sure to stop the newspaper delivery, if you get it. Nothing says "Hey, c'mon in and steal the TV!" more than a pile of soggy newspapers in the driveway. Put your jewelry in a safety deposit box at the bank. Put one lamp with a low-watt bulb on a timer to turn on and off a couple times during the evening.


Because we're gone during hurricane season, we take in any patio furniture, hoses, etc. that could be blown around. Leave closet doors open so they don't get musty unless you have air conditioning vents in them.


Healthcare? Medicare and a good supplemental policy covers us wherever we are.


Best of all.....don't worry. You have a 99.9999% chance your house is going to be there when you get back.

Last edited by jamary1; 08-19-2017 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:09 PM
 
30,158 posts, read 47,386,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
Isn't there something about home insurance and a vacant house?
Yes...in FL the insurers deal with different degrees of absentee owners...
If you are gone for 6 mo of year in row...like come after Halloween and leave in April you are in one group
If you have more frequent visits but are still gone half the time or less you fall in another
To be considered "resident" you have to be in house at least one day a month...
So someone who travels and spends only 1 day a month or a week at home but is there each month is more a full time resident than someone who is there every other month every day...
At least that is how I remember it was explained to me...

We had toilet overflow Mother's Day when we were at our FL house and do considerable damage before we realized the problem...insurance covered repairs
The crew who came out to hook up the dehumidifiers told us about job they worked in town nxt to ours where people went away --don't remember if it was for cruise or for maybe the summer--and had refrigerator water line leak...came back to find mold all over the house...
Their ins company refused to cover any damage because they had no one come in to check on house while they were gone...
Many people or companies will come in to check on your house while you are gone...
We bought nxt to our daughter and husband and they check on house for us.

We owned two homes in TX several yrs ago just few minutes from each other...
Lived in one but the other was vacant for about a year...
We told insurance company when we moved and they wrote the policy for unoccupied...
We went over and checked every week but still had a big problem when AC condensate line was blocked and secondary line was apparently never hooked up the entire time (20+) we lived there...
Lot of water damage but State Farm honored the coverage because we had had policy changed to cover unoccupied status...

Someone who,lives behind our FL house has home in Maine...he said they had rotten wood problems from plumbing that froze and water leak developed...
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:57 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,239,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
You need to have someone go into the home once a week to make sure that it is ok. The idea of using cameras and other internet devices was a good one.

Turn off the water to the home, hot water heater and similar items.
Arrange for outside maintenance of home.
You have to buy a health insurance plan that is nation wide.
Good advice. Air Conditioners that have backed up condensation lines can wreak havoc and cause all kinds of damage if the sensor doesn't kick in and shut the entire a/c down. My uncle who snowbirds had his upstairs bedroom flood that way - $16k damage due to a bad sensor and backed up condensation line.

Have heard of water/flooding problems at other homes here in FL where PVC lines leak and caused major flooding while snowbirder was north.....gotta turn off the main h20 source.


Where I live, there are several home watch services. This past summer I paid for that while RVing for 3 months from FL....$10/week wasn't a lot in my opinion to collect mail, check the house for major issues (flooding, leaks, etc). I never need mail forwarded - all bills are auto or electronic.

Last edited by BucFan; 08-21-2017 at 04:16 AM..
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Upstate, NY
609 posts, read 262,868 times
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Good advice here. What do people do about clothes and other items needed for everyday life? Do you buy for each place or do you transport it all? Do you fly and have auto/s transported? I would not want to drive from NY to Fl and back each year.
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,967 posts, read 5,317,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfas View Post
Good advice here. What do people do about clothes and other items needed for everyday life? Do you buy for each place or do you transport it all? Do you fly and have auto/s transported? I would not want to drive from NY to Fl and back each year.
Most I know have 2 complete households. Some keep a car at both places and fly with just a carry on.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:41 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,649 posts, read 40,020,325 times
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Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
Most I know have 2 complete households. Some keep a car at both places and fly with just a carry on.
That's what we do, Fly with a carry-on only, get a ride to the house (Uber or similar) and keep a cheap car in each location.

Both areas have great thrift shops for special treasures.

Car insurance gets transferred to the vehicle in the area we are at. When flying back and forth frequently. I use a storage unit nearby airport ($50 / month).

Downsizing could be a challenge (eventually), but likely will donate most stuff back to the thrift stores.

Tractors, bulldozers, dumptrucks, and machine shops at each location is a bit extensive and expensive, but 'someone' is gonna have a GREAT estate sale! Followed by... "Party Time!"

For the East Coast, I have heard folks very pleased with the "Auto-train". Not worth the bother / expense for me... I am quite content with a $100 car at either place. Mine seem to run forever. (They are all diesels, so have no issue with sitting for months or yrs at a time)
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