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Protect Your Vacant Home and Yourself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

The housing recession/depression and the long number of days on the market, means that many people need to move to a new location, before they sell their home.  If you are facing this situation, please be aware of some special problems and concerns regarding vacant property before you decide to move on and leave your home behind.

  1. Insurance.  Insurance companies place a higher risk, therefore cost, to insure vacant property.  As many owner’s have also discovered, vacant homes are targets for thiefs, vagrants and vandals.  In addition, vacant properties are more likely to suffer damage from fire and water.  Add in the higher liability of “No one lives there…let’s play” and it is no wonder that the cost to insure a vacant home is substantially more expensive.   Talk to your insurance agent, before you move out, to determine the best protection for the money.
  2. Protect Your Property.  It’s a good idea to install a monitered security system in a vacant property.  If the service moniters fire, smoke and theft, it can lower your insurance premiums.  Also, don’t forget to install new batteries in all smoke detectors.   You should also have a friend or neighbor check the property on a regular basis. 
  3. Create the Illusion of Occupancy.  Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway.  Stop mail and newspaper service, or make sure someone collects it.  Install timers on lights.  Leave some window treatments and furniture in the home.  Keep the lawn, landscape and home exterior maintained at all times.   
  4. Rent it Out.  Renting the home will insure it is occupied and the rent will offset the costs of carrying the property.   The insurance will need to change to a rental policy, but rental insurance is much cheaper than the premium for vacant homes.
  5. Let a Friend Live in the Home.  If you don’t want to tie the house up by renting it, consider letting a trusted friend or family member live in the home until it sells.  If you don’t know anyone, hire a housesitter.  Either way, the home remains occupied and vacancy problems are averted.
  6. Don’t Sneak.   If your home is vacant for longer than your insurance policy allows, you could save a ton of money by sneaking.  But, don’t.  First, insurance fraud is a serious matter.  Secondly, if your vacant home is damaged or totaled, the insurer can and will challenge your claim.   Don’t commit fraud.  The little bit of money you may save is just not worth it.

Thank you for visiting, a Free Homes for Sale and Rent website.  The market is certainly showing some positive signs.  We have better than expected sales across the entire country, price declines have lessened, rates are low and banks are lending.  If you need to buy or sell, is the place to be.