How to maintain a vacation home from afar

Published Date: January 6, 2023

Palm Springs Pool with two buildings
When you’re in the market for a vacation home, you’re probably looking for a change of scenery – maybe the beach, wine country, or the mountains. But no matter your dream destination, there’s one thing future second home owners need to consider: the complexities of maintaining a vacation home from afar. Whether your vacation home is across the state or halfway around the world, it can be tricky to keep your property in prime condition when you’re not living in it full-time. Here are five tips for easier care and maintenance of a vacation home. 

1. Choose a low-maintenance place

When it comes to maintenance, not all second homes are created equal. Location and individual home characteristics can make a home either more or less work to maintain. For example, homes in moderate or temperate climates likely require less maintenance than homes in areas that get a lot of snow or experience huge seasonal shifts in weather. And newer homes typically won’t require as much maintenance as older or period homes. The type of home matters, too. Single-family homes can require a larger effort than condominiums, where exterior maintenance is usually taken care of by the homeowners association. 

2. Get local help

Many owners of vacation homes employ a local property management company to maintain their second home when they’re away, whether they rent it out or not. Property management companies can do everything from securing renters to arranging landscaping and housekeeping services, but keep in mind that they can charge a pretty penny to be your local boots on the ground. If a full-fledged property manager isn’t in your budget, consider having a monthly housekeeper clean the home and do a basic operational checklist. 

3. Take a proactive approach

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the old saying goes. While it was probably referring to your health, that adage applies to homes as well. Staying on top of regular, preventative maintenance can help extend the life of the home’s major systems, plus give you early warning about potential issues. Whether servicing your heating and air conditioning system or doing regular maintenance on your appliances, prioritizing preventative maintenance is key to avoiding costly headaches down the road. 

4. Use it as often as possible 

Just like cars, homes stay in tip-top shape when they’re used regularly. When homes sit vacant for long periods of time, unexpected problems can arise. Regular use of heating, cooling and water systems, along with occasional use of appliances, can help keep everything operating smoothly. After all, the last thing you want is to arrive at your second home for a relaxing weekend, only to find you need to do repairs and maintenance. 

5. Add smart home technology 

Technology helps keep an eye on your vacation property, no matter how far away you are. If you plan on being away from your second home for an extended period of time, consider adding some smart home gadgets. Security cameras with Wi-Fi let you keep an eye on your property, while smart lighting apps program your lights to come on at various intervals, making it seem like you’re home even when you’re not. And a variety of smart home gadgets can alert you to potential maintenance issues, from failing HVAC systems to water leaks. 

An easier option

Time spent at your second home should be relaxing, not checking off a to-do list. When you co-own a Pacaso second home, you focus on enjoyment while we take care of the furnishings, maintenance and property management. All you have to do is slip into full-on vacation mode.

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Jen Lyons

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