There is no better feeling than leaving your dark, dreary homeland behind for a few months while you enjoy the perfect weather of Arizona from late fall to early spring. Yet, there is also no greater disappointment than pulling into your Green Valley home to find it flooded, invaded by pests or otherwise not in tip-top shape. You need to prepare your Arizona home for long stretches of emptiness, especially if you can’t check on your second home during the more intense stretches of summer and winter. Here are a few simple steps for protecting your home against break-ins and break-downs until your next snow-bird flight.
Purchase Appropriate Insurance Packages
Just as you have homeowner’s insurance on your primary residence, you need appropriate protection packages covering your Green Valley property. Most insurance providers offer affordable packages designed to protect seasonal and vacation homes, so you can avoid enormous surprise expenses caused by perils. In Arizona, the most common perils are floods, lightning strikes, explosions, fires and sandstorms, so you should try to find a policy with these named. Depending on your coverage, some or all the damage caused by sudden and accidental physical losses might be paid for by your insurer, helping you recover faster and enjoy your seasonal home for more of the year.
Additionally, you should consider purchasing an Arizona home warranty. Unlike insurance, home warranties protect you from expected expenses on critical systems around your home, like your HVAC, plumbing, roof or kitchen appliances. Because not using your systems for much of the year can result in disrepair, it is useful to have a service on standby to restore or replace broken-down parts. Then, you can spend more time exploring Green Valley and less time tinkering with your fritzing home systems.
Install Affordable Security Cameras
If you are so inclined, you can purchase a home security package from local or national providers. Often, these systems come with door and window sensors, motion sensors and alarms to alert neighbors and authorities about potential home invasions. However, because crime is notably low in Green Valley, such an expensive and extensive system likely isn’t necessary.
Instead, you should consider investing in simpler and more affordable home security in the form of smart security cameras. These devices can be as affordable as $150 per camera and provide you with direct access to key locations around your home. Typically, smart cameras turn on during scheduled times to capture images of people or animals roaming around your home. However, if you purchase a camera with live view capabilities, you might also position a camera to capture famed Arizona sunsets, so you can enjoy your property even while you’re away.
Register Your Home With the Pima County Sherriff
Though the quaint size of Green Valley doesn’t necessitate a dedicated police service, the town is watched over by the Pima County Sherriff’s Department. You can contact the Sherriff’s Department to request regular checks of your property’s perimeter while you are away. Typically, these checks are performed by registered volunteers as opposed to deputies, but if a volunteer recognizes signs of a disturbance, you will be contacted straight away.
An even better option is relying on a local neighborhood watch or a home watch service. Neighborhood watch programs are fully embraced by the Pima Sherriff, so you should feel confident in your watch’s ability to keep your home safe. However, if your neighborhood doesn’t have a watch, you can subscribe to a home watch service, which puts a qualified inspector inside your home at regular intervals to look for all types of damage, not just the type detected from outside.
Maintain Your Home While You’re Away
Whether it is the odd burglar looking for an easy score or a natural disaster like flooding or fire, your home is more likely to attract damage when you aren’t there to defend it. Therefore, you should strive to keep your seasonal home looking lived in even when you aren’t enjoying the Arizona climate. Here are a few easy ways to ensure your home looks well-loved:
- Hire a gardener. Even xeriscaped Arizona yards need tending. A gardening service can trim plants, remove weeds and keep your lawn alive when you aren’t there.
- Stop mail delivery. Piles of mail and newspapers are obvious signs that no one is inside your home. You should contact the post office and newspaper delivery to halt service during the months you are away.
- Install timed lights. Light timers are inexpensive and easy to install, and they make it look like someone is inside your home every night.