How Do You Take Care of Your Vacant Home When Travelling? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-13-2017, 12:00 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
.. If think you'd like to travel for several months at a time you'll need to do some research. ...
And that research should include a call to your home insurance company to make sure your policy stays valid while the house is unoccupied.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:10 AM   #42
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This thread is of great interest to my wife and I. We discuss this topic quite a bit. Unfortunately we live on 3.5 acres and it takes me over 1.5 hours to mow and that's with a 61" mower deck. The yard is also VERY hilly and can be dangerous to mow if not accustomed to mowing it.

Our kids moved out long ago and have very busy lives with their jobs and kids. We are just not comfortable with house sitters. It would be different if we had a efficiency appt for them to stay in but not comfortable with peeps in our house.

So that leads us to limit our trips to 2 weeks max and come back to long grass. This works because our employer won't allow longer vacations anyway.

But unfortunately we Love our house and we are faced with the reality to sell and move to a more "lock n go" house upon retirement to fulfill our retirement traveling dreams. We simply cannot afford a mowing company to mow at $200 a week while we travel for months on end after retirement. We'd like to do this 8 months a year for years and years till we are wore out lol.

I've always been a country person and never lived in a subdivision. I don't know how well I will adjust to that life. But we are currently looking for that perfect lock n go house to downsize to.

Our dream is extensive wandering in a FGRV after retirement but I've very mixed emotions on the house resolution and compromise to make that happen. I agree a smaller lot in a neighborhood is best for this lifestyle. But we love our privacy and dread that bad word "neighbors". IDK very frustrating this topic....
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:20 AM   #43
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just take off

we notify the p/o to hold our mail, notify a relieable neighbor to check our house and water the plants. since we live in the country not much to do except worry while we are gone.

we have been gone to Europe for as long as 6 weeks several times nothing happens.

I don't think our insurance co. gives a lick either, so we just accept something may happen and nothing to be done until we get back home anyway!

we have done long trips for 41 years and nothing happens!!

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Old 11-24-2017, 09:25 AM   #44
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In my area which has a lot of boaters there are quite a few private mail box services. They rent you a mail box so that you have an address. But for travelers who are gone sometimes a year or more or take a lot of shorter trips they offer a specialized type of forwarding service. With modern technology this is a very different kind of forwarding experience compared to in years past.

You can request that they scan what is not obviously junk mail and email that scan to you. You can then choose to have them hold it in storage, trash it, forward it or even have them open it, scan the contents and then email or text that scanned document to you. Or you can even have them read the mail to you mail over the phone.

There are lots of people around who do house sitting for a small fee or even just for the housing. Much depends on how much work you expect them to do for you. With rents being so high many folks are grateful to have the opportunity for longer stay house sitting. It works best to find them as friends of friends and then do a background check. Try to find someone who is employed in the local area. A person with basic handyman type of skills be they a male or female is useful for emergency situations such as minor plumbing problems, etc.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:37 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by JWScarab View Post
This thread is of great interest to my wife and I. We discuss this topic quite a bit. Unfortunately we live on 3.5 acres and it takes me over 1.5 hours to mow and that's with a 61" mower deck. The yard is also VERY hilly and can be dangerous to mow if not used to it.

I've always been a country person and never lived in a subdivision. I don't know how well I will adjust to that life. But we are currently looking for that perfect lock n go house to downsize to.

Our dream is extensive wandering in a FGRV after retirement but I've very mixed emotions on the house resolution and compromise to make that happen. I agree a smaller lot in a neighborhood is best for this lifestyle. But we love our privacy and dread that bad word "neighbors". IDK very frustrating this topic....
You have more than two choices. After living on 5 acres for many years, we moved into town. We do not live in a subdivision. Instead we live in a smaller vintage home (1934), downtown in a small community (10,000 people). We walk everywhere! Walk to the library, walk to city hall, restaurants, stores and more.

A house that could be perfect at one stage in your life could be a burden at another stage.

Donít let a house keep you from living your dream.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:54 AM   #46
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Joe we too had a country acreage which needed a lot of care. Fortunately our kids were still home at the time. A career change including a return to school made it necessary to downsize and move far from home. Now after retiring a second time we moved half way across the country to be close to one son and family of four grandchildren, buying a older renovated bungalow in their small town. We go away a maximum of two months at a time and hire a neighbour teen to cut the grass, his dad clears our snow even when we are at home, our son checks the mail, house, houseplants, etc. We stopped planting a vegetable garden except for a few tomatoes. There's not much mail anyway since all bills and banking stuff done online now.

Still there are responsibilities with house ownership so our next move is likely into a rental apartment, then we can use house proceeds to perhaps buy a new Escape and head off for longer periods.

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Old 11-24-2017, 02:49 PM   #47
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Joe, we live on 2.5 acres as well as our neighbors, and are about 5 miles from town with hospital, doctors, repair shops, etc. and only have to trim trees and bushes once to twice a year. We stay at home in the winter months enjoying our weather, then travel during the summer/fall months. You can have your acreage and leave it to.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:56 PM   #48
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Re, Joe's Egg Camper Journal!

Joe look for a place in the bush or mountains or ski resort, if your gone for 6 months rent the place out then when your coming back they are gone and your back in or build a place with a nice suite in it that you can rent out, make a deal with the tenant to have them keep the porch clean and the mail box clean while your out and what ever you do don't plant a lawn. I had a place in the mountains where I mowed it twice a year July and August just to keep the weeds down to a tolerable size, yes there was lawn in it to but 3200' it did not grow that fast.
I know longer have it and I miss it but now we Motorhome our travels, Trailer is gone, Class B is gone, now we have gone through several MH's I think in my lifetime that is left the one we have now will be it. What my wife does after I'm gone is up to her.
Joe you just have to get something you can live with and enjoy when home or when on the road.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:01 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by JWScarab View Post
This thread is of great interest to my wife and I. We discuss this topic quite a bit. Unfortunately we live on 3.5 acres and it takes me over 1.5 hours to mow and that's with a 61" mower deck. The yard is also VERY hilly and can be dangerous to mow if not accustomed to mowing it.

Our kids moved out long ago and have very busy lives with their jobs and kids. We are just not comfortable with house sitters. It would be different if we had a efficiency appt for them to stay in but not comfortable with peeps in our house.

So that leads us to limit our trips to 2 weeks max and come back to long grass. This works because our employer won't allow longer vacations anyway.

But unfortunately we Love our house and we are faced with the reality to sell and move to a more "lock n go" house upon retirement to fulfill our retirement traveling dreams. We simply cannot afford a mowing company to mow at $200 a week while we travel for months on end after retirement. We'd like to do this 8 months a year for years and years till we are wore out lol.

I've always been a country person and never lived in a subdivision. I don't know how well I will adjust to that life. But we are currently looking for that perfect lock n go house to downsize to.

Our dream is extensive wandering in a FGRV after retirement but I've very mixed emotions on the house resolution and compromise to make that happen. I agree a smaller lot in a neighborhood is best for this lifestyle. But we love our privacy and dread that bad word "neighbors". IDK very frustrating this topic....
We like to lock and go also. We have an acre. It's not a neighborhood so to speak. We live in a small community with only one neighbor close. We are about 2 miles from the nearest small town and 6-8 miles from a larger town of about 17.000. It is possible to have space and still live close to stuff. We live in a high mountain 5,000 feet desert town in Colorado. Since we don't have a lot of rain we only have to mow about once a month. Don't give up your space yet. Keep looking.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:11 PM   #50
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I would not sell out on a lifestyle you know you enjoy to pursue one you are as yet unsure of. My mother traveled extensively after retiring, but she loved her property and its extensive gardens. So, she took short trips during the growing season and long trips only in the winter.

Start with that, and over time, if you gradually find yourself less interested in mowing grass and yearning to travel during the summer months, then it might be time to sell.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:15 PM   #51
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I would not sell out on a lifestyle you know you enjoy to pursue one you are as yet unsure of. My mother traveled extensively after retiring, but she loved her property and its extensive gardens. So, she took short trips during the growing season and long trips only in the winter.

Start with that, and over time, if you gradually find yourself less interested in mowing grass and yearning to travel during the summer months, then it might be time to sell.
Good answer Jon, figure it out in small steps first.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:37 PM   #52
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Great advise from all you guys! I agree with not letting the house get in the way of dreams, and also agree with the small steps as not to regret! I liked everybody's advise! We will keep going - 8 more years to retirement - and find our way I hope in the mean time! Its not easy solution!
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:48 AM   #53
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I sure didn't mean for my reply to hijack the thread! Lets go back to Mikes question - taking care of your "current" house while away!

Currently we lock the door and hope for the best, stop the mail, and let the grass grow....lol. But we are usually not gone that long. We do have an alarm and I think this is a great investment - it will immediately notify police of a break in, or movement in the house. Also just the alarm signs in the yard/windows probably let the person move on to an easier target - we hope! We have also let the local police know of our absence and they do a check on their routine for free.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:08 AM   #54
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I sure didn't mean for my reply to hijack the thread! <snip>
Joe, there's been no hijack here; considering whether to move has been part of the conversations around here too.

I've actually stood down from commenting on the thread as I wanted to see where people would take it.

I have been watching it with great interest and appreciation as folks have posted different perspectives.

It also seems to have engaged some voices that we don't hear from everyday, which is cool too.

I am looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:06 AM   #55
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Wow, a hands off approach to your thread.

That takes some discipline.

It varies so much, depending on where you live. Around here, theft is not much of an issue. Judging by some of the responses, that’s not the case where they live. It’s not much of a hassle to leave a house vacant where I live.
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:51 AM   #56
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Joe, there's been no hijack here.....
Great Mike - thank you!! I was worried it got off topic!! This is a great thread I agree!!
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:59 PM   #57
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One thing I'd be curious about with several acres of land in the country...is it really necessary to mow 3.5 acres? I know different circumstances require different approaches, but if it were my land, and it were possible, I'd mow probably 1 acre and let the rest be natural grassland.

Or at least settle for that while I was away, and go back to mowing everything when I was home.

Especially in the west, there's a movement towards more natural, hands-off landscaping. But of course in the east or other more forested areas, "hands-off" may mean the forest taking back the land that once belonged to it...and you losing your yard. Depends on what you want, I guess. But more natural land doesn't need hours of mowing and care taking. It more or less takes care of itself, with just a little help here and there.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:08 PM   #58
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It really depends on where your acres are located. The size 3.5 might be in one of the developments that are called "horse acres". Many times those communities have covenant restrictions and among them might be a restriction for not allowing the landscape to become a wild thicket of brambles.

A lot of areas of the country have problems with non native species that are very invasive. The Pacific Northwest has European blackberries that take over any square inch of ground they can find enough sunlight to grown on. The South has Kudzu. There are also a lot of "weed trees" the very first ones to sprout up in a clearing, for instance Alder.

Creating a true prairie land area takes a lot of work and supervision until the species that work for that gain a good foothold and crowd out the undesirable plants such a brambles. Even after that it is not easy to keep it up. Here is an good article on the subject: In Midwest, Bringing Back Native Prairies Yard by Yard - Yale E360

You need to remember that the prairies were regularly grazed by large herds who also provided fertilizer. They also were burned by wildfires. Unless you bring in animals to graze your land or else you burn it off now and again then you will need to mow it once in a while.

If you are only going to mow once or twice a year that might work in an area that does not have a lot of rainfall. But on fertile land with sufficient moisture you can't let it go that long. If you do then it would take a good sized tractor to do the work. Most people don't own that kind of equipment and it is expensive to hire someone to bring that machinery in to cut it.

Therefore long term travelers can't always drive off and forget about their acres of land for a lot of months at a time. Unless of course it is already forested.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:38 PM   #59
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How about some sheep or goats to mow the grass for you?
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:27 PM   #60
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Ah, like our 5-acre "horse slums"? We've got a lot of those. Of course being horse slums, the grass doesn't mean mowing
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