Unless we’re doing an exchange, we always rent our home when we travel for more than a week or so, and we usually firm up a rental agreement at least 4-6 weeks before we leave. But last year, we could find a tenant only for the first month of our two-month stay in New York. Panic! Anxiety!
It wasn’t about the money, although we certainly needed it to help pay the rent on a Tribeca loft. It was about the house. An empty house raises lots of middle-of-the night questions: Is the watering system working? What if there’s a break-in, or a broken water pipe?
In the end, all was well – at the last minute, we found a tenant for the second month. But it made us think about what to do if that happened again. One thing we came up with to arrange for a college student or friend we knew well to be on hand to house-sit. We’d have someone we trusted living there to bring in the mail and watch over things. We also thought about asking a trusted neighbor, friend, or one of our kids to come by every couple of days to empty the mailbox and check on the house, or to pay our housecleaners a small sum to do the same thing. Those solutions wouldn’t help subsidize our trip, but knowing our home was secure would alleviate our anxiety so we have a better time while we were away.
Have you found other ways to keep your home is secure while you’re away?