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Old 12-02-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
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south for winter

As winter approaches and the Escape has been parked for a while now,I really miss it and camping .So my thoughts are going to ,maybe not this one but next winter going south to warmer weather for a few months.Then I am wondering just what do people who do this ,do with their houses?Do you just leave it empty ,or do you rent it out?Or?And what ever you have done ,what kinds of problems ,if any ,have you had to deal with.Basically any advise on going south for the winter,and how you go about it,would be appreciated.Just dreaming at this point,but the idea sounds so inviting.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
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Me too. Me too.

Arizona? California? I know nothing except, I don't want to be awning to awning with 400 other trailers, and I don't golf. Won't golf.

What I do know is that your home insurance probably requires somebody to check on the house every three or four days while you are away ( in case a pipe bursts, for instance ).
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Since this is our first winter with our little cow (cottage on wheels,) we've been thinking about this too, and may be heading south in February. Fortunately my son lives in the suite in our basement so he can cover for us for now.

Down the road we are thinking about the whole home exchange idea. It could be a non simultaneous exchange - we'd be off in the trailer while our house is being used & taken care of, then use our exchange at another convenient time when we have someone locally who can check our home for us. This might work really well for those expensive European vacations we want to take but don't want to afford, and can't take the cottage with us anyway.

Just planting a seed...

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Old 12-02-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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The first time you leave the house unattended is the hardest.You have to stop the mail and papers, turn off the water and hot water tank.Plus have some one stop in at least once a week and water plants and check on things.And if you have pets either you take them with you or put them up in kennels and that can be costly.Dogs can be $20:00 a day or more.
But it does get easier every time you do it. And more routine it will become and all you do is phone your house sitter once a week and check in.We've been gone as long as 4 weeks but plan on increasing that to 8 and even 12 weeks.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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Me too. Me too.

Arizona? California? I know nothing except, I don't want to be awning to awning with 400 other trailers, and I don't golf. Won't golf.

What I do know is that your home insurance probably requires somebody to check on the house every three or four days while you are away ( in case a pipe bursts, for instance ).
Not my style of camping either side beside 400 others,and I don't play golf either.I would probably move around exploring Arizona ,Texas ,Nevada and California.That would keep me busy for a while I suspect.I have heard that about ones home insurance though.

Does anyone know if there is any type of a company that you could hire to look in on things.I hate imposing on neighbours and friends .If not, that might be a good business idea for someone.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:33 AM   #6
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The first time you leave the house unattended is the hardest.You have to stop the mail and papers, turn off the water and hot water tank.Plus have some one stop in at least once a week and water plants and check on things.And if you have pets either you take them with you or put them up in kennels and that can be costly.Dogs can be $20:00 a day or more.
But it does get easier every time you do it. And more routine it will become and all you do is phone your house sitter once a week and check in.We've been gone as long as 4 weeks but plan on increasing that to 8 and even 12 weeks.
Why would you ever want to go anywhere without your dog??
But - for those of you who can retire, going someplace where you don't have to shovel snow would be delish.
Jenny
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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A friend of mine goes south every winter for 4 months. He rents his house out to people from Saskatchewan. Good deal for all involved!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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Woodie

I know of a Property Management company at Whistler that has recently introduced a service that does exactly that. Places like Whistler and Big White for example, are certainly locations that an inspection/check in service is needed as most owners are not full time residents in their places. A burst pipe or heat failure in the winter is not good for anyone.

I imagine that Property Management companies elsewhere may office a service like that.

As for frequency of inspections required, that may be dependent on the insurance company. I had heard that it was at least once a month but could certainly be more frequent. I would guess a minimum would be once a week.

Here is a link to show what home care services they are offering in Whistler.
home care services | WRM
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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My brother does property management as part of his construction company (well, he did, the company folded last month) - they checked the houses on the schedule the owners requested and spent a couple of days getting them ready for the owners visit. This was on Nantucket, an island where many of the homes are seasonal.

As to traveling south, I'm ready to try it next winter. I have been visiting the southwest in the summers then returning to the northeast for the winter for the last two years. I guess it has finally sunk in that there is something wrong with that plan!
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Instead of south for the winter, we travel north in the summer. We used to think that a three week trip was long. In the last few years we have taken off for the summer months, three to four months at a time, to get out of the South Texas heat.

In the house we turn off the water and water heater, unplug unnecessary items. We put our mail on a temporary forward to our son's address. Our neighbors watch the house, but no one has needed to come in. When we get home all is well and we are always ready to head out again.

We've had our Escape for 18 months. With 23,000 miles on our trailer, it has proven to be a great home on wheels.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #11
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Our neighbors watch the house, but no one has needed to come in.
You should check your home owner insurance. I know that mine requires somebody to enter the premises and check it over every few days. If you can't prove that that was done and something goes wrong, you may not have insurance.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:40 PM   #12
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Yes, all my home insurance policies say that someone has to actually enter the home to inspect no more than three (or maybe four, I forget) days apart.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:32 PM   #13
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Woodie, you can see if there are house sitter businesses in your area. If not, you could look for pet sitters who might just house sit. You need to determine that a business is a legimate registered business with insurance. Most of all, you need to have references from people who you find believable that the business owner is reliable. As JohnB and baglo and Jim said, the home insurance policy company can be particular about it also.

I once saw that a woman had a computer set-up where she could look at the house interior from anywhere, on her computer. She did and saw people were there. The police caught them. I have tried to find such a system but have not found one I like, so far. Anyone using one of those?
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:49 AM   #14
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I was in my local Costco tonight. They sell a motion detector floodlight and video capture camera unit for $100 that takes 200 20 second videos and saves to a 2 gig SD card. Good way to film intruders. Otherwise you need a full wifi integrated surveillance system ( approx $600 at Costco as well).
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #15
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Would you install it on your trailer?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:48 PM   #16
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You could do that. People with pets might like it or anyone worried about the trailer. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few people with big motorhomes or trailers have such systems.

Don, thanks, I will have to check those out.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:08 PM   #17
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Woodie, you can see if there are house sitter businesses in your area. If not, you could look for pet sitters who might just house sit. You need to determine that a business is a legimate registered business with insurance. Most of all, you need to have references from people who you find believable that the business owner is reliable. As JohnB and baglo and Jim said, the home insurance policy company can be particular about it also.

I once saw that a woman had a computer set-up where she could look at the house interior from anywhere, on her computer. She did and saw people were there. The police caught them. I have tried to find such a system but have not found one I like, so far. Anyone using one of those?
Bingo, sometimes it's just knowing the right words to look up.There are a couple places in Kelowna area that offer just that kind of service.Snowbird home watch service.I haven't talked to them yet but will wait until it's time to go away somewhere. One place has been doing it for 7 years so will check them out as to how reportable they are
Also wondering if the surveillance system talked about, is acceptable to insurance firms as to cover the stipulation that someone need to check on the home.
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