Don’t neglect to budget time and money for opening your Long Beach Island vacation home before the season starts.
When it’s time to visit your LBI vacation home for the first time, or start renting it out for the season, you’ll need to get it ready. A summer retreat by the shore might call for cleaning patio furniture and staining the deck.
Much depends on how well the house is maintained throughout the year. Opening your LBI home could be as easy as stocking the pantry, or if the house was neglected in the offseason, you could have multiple repairs on your hands.
A well-maintained vacation home shouldn’t take more than a day to get in shape for the season, assuming no major repairs are needed. Here are some typical opening chores:
· Turn on utilities
· Clean and stock kitchen and bathrooms
· Look for evidence of plumbing and roof leaks
· Cut and trim shrubs/trees
· Clear walkways and driveway
· Set up outdoor furniture
· Change lightbulbs and smoke detector batteries
· Replace furnace filters
· Check for signs of pest infestation
If you live far from your vacation home, you may have little choice but to hire local help. Ask owners of nearby vacation homes for referrals. Look for a property manager or caretaker with good references who has been in business locally for an extended period of time. And no matter who you end up hiring, be sure that anyone coming onto your property to do work is bonded and insured.
A less expensive alternative is hiring a local housecleaner or handyman to open and close your vacation home, and keep an eye on the property during the offseason. A good rule of thumb for calculating cleaning fees is to budget $20 for each bedroom and bathroom, so a 3-bed/2-bath home would cost $100 to clean.
Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.