If you own multiple properties, keeping them in shape can be a problem. You won’t always be on hand to notice maintenance needs, and security can be an issue when a home is unoccupied. To make sure your second home is ready for you to arrive and enjoy it at any time, here’s what you or an estate manager can do.
How to Care for Your Second Home
1. Hire a Property or Estate Manager
This is a professional responsible for maintaining your property, so you don’t have to make the day-to-day decisions. A property manager is usually concerned with the physical property itself, and might hire contractors for maintenance or even do hands-on work to ensure the home stays clean and in good repair.
An estate manager oversees larger households with their own staff such as housekeepers and private chefs, and is likely to do more administrative work than a property manager. If you’d like someone to organize interior design, vehicles, and other matters not directly related to the house or landscaping, as well as caring for the property, then you want an estate manager.
2. Establish a Maintenance Schedule
Many tasks around your second home need to be done on a predictable schedule. For example, the roof and the HVAC system both need a professional inspection once a year, the exterior needs a fresh coat of paint every two to three years, and most carpets should be replaced every five to seven years.
Keeping up with this kind of maintenance will often extend the life of appliances and fixtures, saving you money in the long run; and it will help make maintenance and repairs predictable, so you can plan your travel schedule more easily. A property manager can work with local vendors to ensure your second residence stays up to date.
3. Install a Security System
Thieves often target empty homes, hoping they’ll be able to steal without being seen. Just having visible security measures, such as cameras or signs for a security company, can scare them off because security increases the risk they’ll be caught. Cameras also allow you to check up on the property remotely and spot other problems, like broken pipes, so they’re a good place to start.
Alarms on the windows and doors ensure a fast response from a security company or the police when they’re set off. Add electronic locks to your doors; they often allow you to set up multiple codes and to change or revoke the codes as needed. This gives you tight control over who can enter the home and allows you to “change the locks” on short notice without physically installing a new door handle.
To hire staff for your second residence, including a property or estate manager, contact Aunt Ann’s In-House Staffing in San Francisco, CA. Serving the Bay Area for over 60 years, they work closely with each family to match you with a fully vetted candidate who meets all your qualifications. To get started, call (415) 749-3650 or reach out online.