As parts of the country are thawing out in April snowbird season is coming to an end in Arizona. This means many retirees will be heading north shortly to escape the sizzling hot Arizona weather. For those of you snowbirds needing to prepare your home for leaving town during the summer, there is much to know.
My real estate partner, Jack Stevens and I just put on an Explorer Learning sponsored seminar in Sun City West Active Adult Retirement Community for residences preparing their home for being gone at the end of the season. We enlisted some wonderful speakers from the local fire department, Sun City West Sheriff’s Posse and a house watching service company. Got to say, the turnout was terrific. Most attendees were new homeowners in Sun City West wanting to learn how to protect their home from theft, fire, and the weather as they prepare to leave town. This information will be helpful to you no matter what active adult community you live in or even if you are in a family community leaving for an extended period of time. Feel free to modify to your specific community or needs. Here are some key pointers:
A week prior to leaving
The day you leave or the day before:
During our seminar, the Sheriff’s Posse stressed how important it was to not publicize that you are leaving or leave clues. For example, one resident left a note in his mailbox for the mail carrier saying they were gone for 4 months and to stop their mail. Be sure to leave the electricity ON as a dark house is a red flag to a burglar that the house is unoccupied. Finally turn your landline phone ringer off as an endless ringing phone means no one is home and don’t leave a message that no one is home and that you are out of town. For a checklist provided compliments of the Sheriff’s Posse of Sun City West you can print or save click on this link, Snowbird check list for leaving town.
Participants were also interested in house watching services. In all of the Phoenix areas, active adult retirement communities’ house watching services are available at a very reasonable cost per visit. Services are typically available on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis and can cost around $10 to $15 dollars a visit. They can tailor the service to your needs. Most often they check the interior and exterior of the house and yard, flush toilets, run faucets, water inside plants, bring in mail and handbills. In most cases, the owner of the company is a resident of the community or a retiree wanting to earn a little extra money.