3 Negative Aspects of Owning Vacant Property & How to Reduce Them
Sometimes when you move into another location across town, and you leave your existing property vacant, there are a lot of potential risks that at first may not occur to you, but can impact you nonetheless. Once a home has been sitting vacant for 60 days, these risks dramatically increase, so it’s important that you educate yourself about these risks so that you can safeguard yourself against them, and hopefully prevent them from happening.
After 60 days, critical coverages are removed from your homeowner’s policy, and there aren’t many companies out there who are willing to insure a home if it’s not currently being used as your primary residence.
What is the best way to prevent your home from being damaged and vandalized when vacant?
The following are the main risks associated with leaving your property vacant, and the recommended actions for dealing with them.
Damage And Decay
One of the biggest risks for leaving your property vacant for a long period is the damages that can occur from outside weather forces, that weaken the structure and cause the natural breakdown and decay of the home. If you have maintenance issues that are left unchecked, they can turn into huge problems when the home is left vacant, and can dramatically increase the amount of cash due when you finally go to sell the home fast.
Installing smoke detectors that are tied to a centrally monitored fire alarm system is also highly recommended. And, of course, regular maintenance can greatly decrease the likelihood of damage.
Trespassing and Vandalism
Perhaps the biggest risk when leaving your home vacant is that thieves and vandals will be tempted to break in to steal appliances and copper wiring and tubing from the walls, which they can cash in at the local dump for a pocketful of cash.
Speaking of damage, break-ins can result in things such as broken windows or even a burnt-down house.
To keep trespassers away, It’s important to make your property look like it’s occupied. Keep the landscape maintained, install light timers, and have your mail forwarded or picked up regularly.
Notify local authorities that your property is vacant so they can keep an eye out for criminal behavior. Also, install a security system and put up signage in a conspicuous spot.
Liability is a pretty sizable risk, so it’s crucial to ensure your property is devoid of things that could cause injury to anyone who visits the property such as the mailman, maintenance workers, firefighters, or trespassers. Fix broken steps or railing immediately. You also want to make sure that there are no combustible chemicals on the property.
Other Ways to Reduce Loss
We’ve mentioned a lot of risks, but the good news is there are even more ways to reduce loss. You can rent your property out on a month-to-month basis, have a live-in caretaker, or have someone come and check on your property regularly.
Another option is selling the property for cash to a professional home buyer. They buy the property as-is and handle all the repairs. Plus, they can typically close as quickly as seven days.
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