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Old 05-30-2014, 09:07 AM   #1
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Leaving a house vacant for a period of time


Right now I'm in the process of selling my current home. I'm looking to downsize and I have found an ideal next home at a great price. I would like to buy it, but would not be able to occupy it full time until November/December. I'm wondering how bad it is on the house if I were to purchase it and leave it unoccupied for 4-5 months. It is is a nicer area so I am not concerned about vandalism or damage to the property. I know renting it out would be an option, but in the time period it would be vacant I plan on doing some remodeling so it's ready to go when I'm ready to move in. I would likely be at the home about once or twice a week to mow the lawn and work on improvements. Anyone have thoughts on this? Is it bad for the house to not use plumbing, electric or have regulated temperatures for an extended period of time? It is located in SE Wisconsin.


Last edited by PixelPaul; 05-30-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:14 AM   #2
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Leaving a house vacant for a period of time


Not going to hurt anything.
Water may need to be run a while to flush out the lines and get fresh water in the heater.
Open up the windows while your there working to air it out.

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Old 05-30-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
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Leaving a house vacant for a period of time


If it were winter, in SE Wisconsin, I'd certainly be concerned, but summer, as long as you're there to catch anything once a week or so I imagine you'd be fine. Might be best to shut off the water -- it's unlikely but just in case your water heater or a washing machine hose went or something while you weren't there for several days.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:41 PM   #4
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Leaving a house vacant for a period of time


Be careful with your insurance company. They do not like to insure un-occupied homes. You may be required to sleep there once a week or month.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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Leaving a house vacant for a period of time


No problem. Turn the water off as well as the hot water tank
Check with your insurance company though. Most have a maximum period of which they are allowed to be left vacant, but I'm sure it's a year or more.

P traps will dry up if left unattended for too long so you need to run the water in all the sinks/toilets/showers every couple of weeks. Don't forget to dump some water down the basement floor drain as well.

If the place is to be left vacant in the cold then you may want to have an alarm installed with a cold alert system. It can be a bloody expensive repair if the furnace shuts down and goes unnoticed for a period of time in the cold.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
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Leaving a house vacant for a period of time


You need to talk to the insurance company. Many don't want you to leave you house unchecked for that 1 or 2 days. When you go on vacation you are supposed have someone going in to check things.
They may also have a special rider for unoccupied homes. I know my cottage policy has this. They know it is unoccupied during the winter months.

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