Secure Your Winter Home Before You Head Back to Homebase



Spring is here. It's time to pack up and secure your winter home and head to your original homebase. Before you shutter everything up, there are things you can do to protect your identity and home from damages from robbers, break-ins and other vandals while you're away. According to Kevin Coffey, a scholar of thievery, many home burglaries occur on the ground floor. The burglar will usually enter at the rear or side door. The second most common access point is through the garage. Most burglaries happen during the daytime when homes are empty, and when the homeowners are at work.

In addition to securing your documents and finances, look into affordable gadgets and tips to ensure your house will still be around to enjoy for many more vacations to come.

Bare Nothing

If you're the type of person who is chatty with your neighbors both while at home, and at your vacation digs, be choosey with who you talk with about your vacation plans. Have your trusted neighbor pick up packages and mail to make sure your house doesn't look vacant. If you don't feel comfortable with that, forward your mail to your current residence. Protecting your mail and personal documents from those who could use your personal information to obtain your credit card information or other personal information you may receive in the mail. Companies like Lifelock monitor your credit and alert you if fraud is a possibility. It will give you three free credit reports so you can know if someone else has been using your credit or banking information.

Security When You Need it

If you want more protection, getting these nifty and affordable gadgets might also be of help:

  • Light Timer: Using a light timer can offer the illusion that someone is home, so robbers don't think your vacation home is vacant. The timer can be set to have the lights on in various rooms during different times in the day. You might still have to pay an electric bill, but that's a small price to pay, to avoid a break-in.
  • Video Surveillance: Many security services offer some degree of video surveillance along with their alarm system. If you opt to install your own surveillance cameras, be sure to get a professional to install them. There are some things you don't want to take chances on going DIY and, unless you're a professional with surveillance installation experience, it's safer to go with someone who has that experience.

Keeping Up With the Jones'

This next safety tip comes from's Money Section and it involves paying someone to tend to your garden, mow the lawn and make sure your outside is well lit. Yes, it probably will cost you to have your vacation home's landscape upkeep done all year round, but it's cheaper than having the valuables inside of the house replaced.

What items are on your checklist when you are packing up the 2nd home to head back to the homebase?

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