What to do with the house whilst we are away

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BobtheBass, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    We are new to motorhoming, indeed we don't even get our first motorhome until 1st March next year being a new build, but one thing that's on our minds is what to do with the house when we are away.

    Like most of you on here, its our intention after we get the hang of things to progress to longer trips abroad, but not having any kids, or relatives close by cant ask anyone (other than friends) to watch the place whilst we are gone. The possibility of short term tenants, paying house sitters (do such things exist?), lodgers etc have been discussed, but we are no nearer to a solution we are happy with. What do you guys do for peace of mind? Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything using the search facility.

    Cheers,

    Bob & Sue
     
  2. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

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    We just lock the front door, make sure the taps are all turned off and go. We are never gone for more than a month and the idea of renting the house out never occurred to me.
     
  3. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    If you have house insurance you need to check the providers T's & C's. House insurance will often be voided if the dwelling is left unoccupied for longer than 30 days.

    Similarly many popular travel insurance companies also stipulate a time limit during which you can be away in any one period.
     
  4. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    We'er away for 7 weeks in New Zealand and did wonder, luckily our youngest dauther her husband and 2 grandchildren are looking after our house for us, other wise we would have just told our neighbours to watch the house, locked the door and not worried to much. :thumb: :thumb:
     
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  5. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    In the winter put mouse poison out, if the property is unoccupied and mice get in they can wreak havoc in a few days. :Eeek:
     
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  6. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    We have good neighbours round us and each watch one another's property. We are usually away for no more than a fortnight or so at a stretch, so no problem with the house insurance, but our policy with Tesco is one of the few which allows up to 60 (rather than 30) days away.
     
  7. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    You certainly need someone to do the basics that make the property lived in - clear the post away from the door - out of sight of any nosey person peeping through the letter box - remove any of those collection bags that are often left outside for charity clothing etc. get the lawn mowed. If you are going to be away for more days than the insurance stipulates try and get a family or friend to stay overnight for one or two nights - the unoccupied period starts again then provided you can prove they stayed. I have not seen it now for a while but there was some form of driveway swap where you allowed a fellow motorhomer to camp on your driveway with EHU for the period of your holiday effectively looking after your property and maybe your garden.
     
  8. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    We have 2 sets of local friends who come in regularly to clear mail.water orchids,check heating (in winter) etc.Our insurance is for 180 days.
    We regularly are away for 3-4mth periods.
    We e-mail them when Gas and Electric readings are required and they e-mail readings back to us.
    All bills and Banking is/are done online.

    Mike
     
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  9. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    Comfort Insurance do motorhome, travel and extended home insurance - we use to be away 6 months.
    Comfort Insurance
     
  10. estcres

    estcres Read Only Funster

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    I do not want to appear flippant or abusive in any way, but , from what I have read on here over several years is that when someone gets a new van it usually has to go back in for repairs etc. quite quickly after delivery. The van then seems to spend long periods off the road whilst these faults are rectified.

    This appears to happen after the van has been out for a couple of campings whilst the owners get used to it and find the faults.

    I shouldn't worry to much about being away from home for a long period until your van is fully servicable and fit for purpose.

    Have you got neighbours nearby who could pop in, say once a week just to check everything is OK.?
     
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  11. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Perhaps that's a perception you have because such events tend to get lots of exposure on the forums. I suspect folk are less likely to post that they have a new van with no faults.

    When we bought our new van three years ago there was no need to return to the dealer until the first habitation service was due at the end of the first year of ownership.

    Mike
     
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  12. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Oh, and to respond to the OP's question - we go abroad for up to 30+ days at a time and just lock up and let the neighbours know. They keep any eye out for us but, fortunately, they haven't needed to contact us with anything untoward up until now - fingers crossed. :RollEyes:

    Having said that, I might be a bit more apprehensive if it was mid-winter and we were away for that long. Tends to be a couple of weeks at a time maximum in January and February - off to the Canaries without the van usually. If the forecast at home is severe frost, we leave the oil-fired central heating on low.

    Mike
     
  13. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    We sold ours it was too much hassle worrying about it while away. We live fulltime in the Motorhome now and have done so for 4 years. Summer in UK and head south when it starts to get cold. Today we are on an Aire at Cartagena in Spain. Its 13c here at 11:00am.
     
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  14. big bertha

    big bertha Funster

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    Its 11c here in scotland at 11 30 am:BigGrin:
     
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  15. laneside

    laneside Funster

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    We sold ours also, it just seemed too much hassle and expense when we were away from it for eight months of the year.

    The only annoying bit is we borrowed at a sensible 14% to buy it and now we are lucky to get 3% now it is in the bank.


    What a crazy silly world we live in.
     
  16. wanderer

    wanderer Funster

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    You could try house exchange, it doesn,t always have to be similtaneous we registered last year and have had 41 enquiries from all parts of the world . Some of the exchangers have 2 properties, last week we were offered a month in Brazil in a beach house. We are currently in Perth WA on a six month exchange which includes car and caravan . I,m still astounded that Aussies want the Uk in our winter but they love it .
     
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  17. kglblue

    kglblue Funster

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    Long trips

    My wife and I wanted to do 6 month trips touring Europe, but we have had to settle for 2 x 2month trips next year. This is because our house insurance becomes invalid if the house is empty for more than 3 months. We asked about leaving it empty for longer but the cost more than doubled. We decided on the shorter trips next year going in April for 2 months then in September for a further 2.

    In 2015 we plan to let, and are researching letting for a year, advice so far is that unfurnished is easier to let than furnished. You need a properly drawn up contract if you have a tenant, so you can get your house back! A letting agent sorts all this out, for a fee and or a percentage of the monthly rent for your house. If we choose an agent we reckon it will cost us about 20% a month deducted from the rent. We think this is our best option as the agent will take out references and vet prospective tenants, get a deposit, collect the rent etc. We will try to let it at least part furnished, if we put our furniture in storage the cheapest we have found is £40 a week plus vat.:Eeek:

    To just accept the extra insurance costs left us feeling vulnerable as word may get round that the house is empty, then the scumbags will do their thieving thing. Even if this doesn't happen there might be water leaks or other such mishaps, Leaving us with a lot of regret.
     
  18. SteveandSue

    SteveandSue Funster

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    House sitters

    You could always try looking at House sitters, we looked after a house for 10 days while we were touring New Zealand a few years ago- maybe if you use it for shorter trips first you would get to know reliable sitters.

    /
    www.housecarers.com/

    http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/

    Hope this helps
    Sue
     
  19. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    We are blessed with wonderful neighbours who look after the place, even cut the grass. Heating left on frost setting in winter, we arrange for our neighbor to turn it back on the day before our return
     
  20. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    What to do with the house whilst we are away

    I was going to be flippant and suggest you leave it where it is but ..... :Blush:

    We are away probably 12 weeks or so each year but never more than 5 or 6 weeks any one time. Never bothered about the 30 days insurance bit or whether it is even in our policy. Should anything happen how do they know when we left or got back?

    We do have a son who pops in once a week (at least he says he does) but failing that we have neighbours who have had the key for the day when we have to leave the dog and would do the same over an extended period were we to ask them. It helps that we had their dog for a fortnight this year so that opens up tit for tat possibilities.

    We leave lights in the lounge, hall and bedroom to come on with timers. Too regular if observed by ne'er do wells maybe but we're happy that we're showing signs of occupation. We make sure the hedge and grass is cut before we go and son probably does it just before we're back. :Doh:
    We used to worry but have long since given up, inconvenient if something untoward does happen but life is too short to worry about something that can be replaced.


     
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