Our home was our summer home. It was a small 600 sq foot cottage at the beach in NH that we have expanded to 1800 sq feet; it is nothing special except to us. For the last 11 years we have left the house, keeping it powered when we are away.
Our house is heated by natural gas. We turn the heat down to 50 degrees. We have a $20 temperature monitor on the porch that turns on a Red light
if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. This lets a neighbor know there's a problem. She can call the gas company and they come out and fix the problem. (We have a $130 a year contract with them for parts and service.) In 11 years it's happened a couple of times. Also beach houses are really close togther and the red light
is obvious to her.
NH is a realitively safe state with the lowest poverty rate in the nation. Though there is crime in 25 years we've never experienced crime in our neighborhood. On our street of the 10 houses nearby, more than 1/2 are empty in the winter.
Our house does get some use while we are away, particularly in the summer. We probably have a dozen house keys out to various relatives. People will come for weekends to weeks.
Though electric, gas and water bills are minimal while we're away, it is expensive to have the home costing us about $10,000 a year to keep the home. It does make Ginny happy though 2 years ago she said I could sell it... maybe when the economy recovers.
When away in the summer we have someone cut the grass ($65), it's a small lawn. This year we have decided to pull out the flower beds so they don't get overgrown with weeds when we're away, turning these areas into grass making the lawn easier to cut and neater.
You can see we don't do much that's special.