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Don’t relax on your holidays until you read this

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Summer Edition

By: Michelle McPhee, Broker, SRS,SRES

A lot of us wait many, many months for our annual summer vacation. We plan where we’re going, where we’ll stay, what we’ll eat and what we’ll see and do. But are you giving as much time and thought into what you should do BEFORE you leave your home?

We leave for our annual family vacation and usually we just close and lock the door and shout “Yippee” as we drive away. But what are we forgetting to do?

  • Clean your house - or pay someone to do so. There’s nothing like coming home to a sparkly clean home after a holiday. You’ll most likely have laundry to do when you return from your holiday so make sure you don’t leave piles to do before you leave. Run the dishwasher or do your dishes, don’t leave anything around with food scraps or residue on it - gross and just an invitation for creatures, ants, bugs etc. And don’t forget the refrigerator! I know… it’s not a fun chore… but coming home to a fridge with food that’s been sitting in it for a week is not fun either.
  • Tidy up the outside of your home. Does the grass need cutting before you leave? What about your outdoor plants - give them a good soaking with water. Another good tip is to take your baskets down and put them in a kiddie pool that you’ve put some water in and let them sit in the pool and water while you’re gone so they don’t dry out.
  • If at all possible, invite your neighbors to park one of their cars in your driveway - at least at a few different times during the days. Would also be a benefit if they could grab any flyers that get delivered and take them in for you. If you get mail delivered to your mailbox at your front door perhaps they could hold on to that for you till you’re back.
  • Now’s a great time to invest in some timers if you don’t have any! Make it look like someone is home by putting a few lights on timers that come on and go off during the “dark hours”. Confuse would-be burglars by making it look like you’re at home in the evening.  You can use a simple old-school timer or get a fancier one that can be multi-programmed and even controlled while you’re away.
  • Make sure your alarm will take care of the house in an emergency. Ensure the batteries are recharged and depending on your alarm company, let them know you’re leaving. You can change who they notify during an emergency, but some require it in writing, so plan ahead! If you don’t have an alarm, you can buy ones that aren’t hard-wired and can easily be set up in an afternoon.
    Hide the spare key. If you have a spare key under a front door mat, consider tucking it somewhere less conspicuous. Yes there’s always the fake rock option - as long as you sufficiently hide that fake rock!
  • This is an obvious one - check all your windows and doors to ensure they’re all locked.
  • Program your thermostat. Not only will it help with energy efficiency it will ensure you come home to a nicely cooled (or heated) home.
  • Before you leave, make sure to unplug electronics around the house that don't need power while you're gone. Not only will it save you on your energy bill, it will lower the risk of an electrical fire. Unplug things like routers, televisions, computers or unused chargers.
  • This one is a hard one… refrain from “advertising” that you’re away or GOING away. You don’t need complete strangers knowing that your house is vacant!

By following the above tips and practices you’ll ensure you have a restful time away and not worry about forgetting to do something at your home before leaving for your well-earned holiday. Oh and lists are your best friend - I have lists for lists!! Enjoy.

Spring Cleaning Time

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Spring Edition

By: Michelle McPhee, Broker, SRS,SRES

 A helpful guide on how to get your home ready for Summer.

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