Over the years dealing with probate estates I have seen many that have incurred significant damage costing the estate on average $10,000-$30,000 that could’ve been avoided. Many had unnecessary utility expenses in addition to damage. The reason, I have found, is that when one is in such a devastating situation that the last thing they would even think about is securing the real estate.
THE FIRST STEPS THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN ON A VACANT PROPERTY:
- Notify home-owners insurance to update to “vacant” or “unoccupied insurance” or “vacancy permit”(Check the current policy, many WILL NOT cover loss to a vacant home)
- Check all utilities for payment status and make current
- Forward mail
For my affiliate partners, I offer exclusively a FREE Vacant Home Audit. I will provide a written report of my recommendations of what should be addressed if further action is needed. If repairs are suggested an estimate from my contractor will be provided. If repairs are approved I will manage completion and provide a report.
VACANT HOME AUDIT
To ensure the home is secured and take measures to prevent damage from occurring while the estate is in probate.
- Check HVAC for proper functioning set thermostat to 55 winters/70 summer
- Check locks, windows, and doors for function, flashing, and seals
- Check downspouts and gutters for proper drainage
- Check faucets/toilets for leaks or running
- Check for roof damage or missing shingles
- Check all doors and windows for proper closure
- Check trees for overhanging
- Check exterior drains for clogging
- Pick up rugs (limit cloth from sitting on the floors to prevent mold from growing)
- Check chimney close flue
- Clear window wells
- Close blinds
- Turn off water
- Unplug, drain, open appliances to prevent mold/leaks
- Remove anything blocking vents
- Notify police that the property is vacant
- Weekly drive by to check the property and pick up mail/newspapers/trash
For properties that will remain vacant for a significant amount of time, I will arrange for Property Management services. I can arrange to have the home professionally managed to secure the asset from unnecessary expenses and degradation.
- Turn off the water (main, hot water, and external)
- Drain sink drains and toilets flush with antifreeze/open faucets
- Drain and turn off hot water heater (turn off at fuse box too)
- Check chimney (install chimney guard screen-caps to prevent infestation).
- Remove trash/food
- Remove any bedding
- Seal windows
- Test sump pump
- Wrap pipes
- Bi-weekly cut the grass/plow as needed
Call me for your free Vacant Home audit
Ryan Garrison (360) 328-7888
Sound Transition Team
400 Union Ave, Suite 200, Olympia, WA 98501