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Old 12-09-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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My husband and I own a home in Indiana and we are going to buy a home in probably North Port or Port Charlotte. We are going to stay in Indiana six months and Florida six months. The problem is we're not sure what precautions we should take? I know a lot of people do this but it worries me to leave a house for six months with no one living in it. What about mail? Can you have your land line shut off then turned back on six months later and keep your same number? I've also heard if you have a gas water heater you should drain it before you leave? There is so much to think about and I'm not sure where to start. Can anyone share some advice?
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Mail:Just fill out a change of address form
If you know when you are coming back you can mark temporary and the date to resume delivery.

Phone: What I prefer to do is put the phone/internet and TV on 'vacation' mode. It stays on at a much reduced price.
Most companies will forward calls if you want.

We do drain the plumbing system and water heater so there is NO chance for frozen/busted pipes.

The heat will be left on very low and there are Freeze Alarms available that will make phone call(s) if the temperature inside drops below a certain degree.

The gas is also shut off at the tank ....in our case, propane. I assume I assume natural gas has an outside shutoff.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,938 posts, read 6,002,944 times
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My parents are reverse snowbirds, they are here fulltime but return to their home in Chicago for the summer. They have a family friend maintaining the home while he stays there... They have their phones shut off and turned back on. THey also have all their mail forwarded just as the previous poster has said..

Whatever you do, rent first before you make a purchase. North port has been going downhill from what I hear..
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:33 PM
 
14 posts, read 29,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Mail:Just fill out a change of address form
If you know when you are coming back you can mark temporary and the date to resume delivery.

Phone: What I prefer to do is put the phone/internet and TV on 'vacation' mode. It stays on at a much reduced price.
Most companies will forward calls if you want.

We do drain the plumbing system and water heater so there is NO chance for frozen/busted pipes.

The heat will be left on very low and there are Freeze Alarms available that will make phone call(s) if the temperature inside drops below a certain degree.

The gas is also shut off at the tank ....in our case, propane. I assume I assume natural gas has an outside shutoff.
Great tips! I didn't know about Freeze Alarms, I'll have to check in to that...and the vacation mode.

Thank you Old_Cold
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:45 PM
 
14 posts, read 29,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobie119 View Post
My parents are reverse snowbirds, they are here fulltime but return to their home in Chicago for the summer. They have a family friend maintaining the home while he stays there... They have their phones shut off and turned back on. THey also have all their mail forwarded just as the previous poster has said..

Whatever you do, rent first before you make a purchase. North port has been going downhill from what I hear..
What do you mean "going down hill?" Are you referring to crime, the lack of jobs? Also are you familier with Port Charlotte? If so, what is your opinion of that area?
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Venice Florida
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On the southern end you want to make sure your storm shutters are up and the items in the yard and lanai are stored inside. Turn your water off at the main, you don't want a broken pipe or hose to bust and flood the place. Have a humidistat installed so you can maintain 65% humidity inside during the time your away.

I don't think North Port is "going down hill" there are a number of foreclosures, but the city is a long way from where it was just 5-6 years ago. The construction industry just stopped a couple of years ago, and all the people that moved into the area to help rebuild after Charlie have moved on. That's why real estate is sooo affordable now.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,304 posts, read 2,891,506 times
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My family has a cottage near Lake Erie in PA. Each year, we take steps to prepare the home for the winter months (winters are very cold near the lake). For the utilities,we take the following steps:

Heat (natural gas) we turn the thermostat down to 50 degrees. Too many precautions need to be taken when turning off the heat with aerosol cans, paints, any floor adhesives. Extreme cold can wreak havoc upon many interior furnishings, etc.. We set the water heater into "vacation mode"

Water... We turn the water off at the inside meter and drain the lines. Disconnect and re-connect fees are usually only slightly more than keeping water on year-round.

Electricity... We keep this on for security and for furnace blower. We empty refrigerator(s), unplug, and leave doors open.

Cable... Disconnect (fee to reconnect is minimal)

Phone.... We stopped using a land line when we purchased our cell phones; most people will contact you via your cell phone when you have 2 addresses anyway.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:11 PM
 
14 posts, read 29,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLBob View Post
On the southern end you want to make sure your storm shutters are up and the items in the yard and lanai are stored inside. Turn your water off at the main, you don't want a broken pipe or hose to bust and flood the place. Have a humidistat installed so you can maintain 65% humidity inside during the time your away.

I don't think North Port is "going down hill" there are a number of foreclosures, but the city is a long way from where it was just 5-6 years ago. The construction industry just stopped a couple of years ago, and all the people that moved into the area to help rebuild after Charlie have moved on. That's why real estate is sooo affordable now.
Did Charlie hit in 05? I was in Sarasota visiting my aunt, when I think it was Charlie that they thought was going to hit Sarasota but it made a sharp turn and hit Punta Gorda. Was there a lot of damage in North Port? I'm guessing I would probably need flood insurance in North Port, is that correct?

The humidistat sounds like a good idea. We turn our dehumidifier on in our basement here in Indy in the summer. The air here is dry in the winter so we turn it off in the winter months.

Thanks alot for your help.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Great advise Retiredcoach! I love this forum!
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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Can anyone tell me what airport I would fly into when going to North Port? I couldn't find one in North Port.
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