Snowbird Checklist for Post-Winter Dwelling

Posted by Jean-Luc Andriot on Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 at 11:25am.

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Tips for Boca Raton Property Owners and Seasonal Dwellers

While some of you are heading to your summer homes a little early because of the Coronavirus, there may be a few left deciding to stay longer. The month of April is hotter this year than previously, but still some cooler days and pleasant weather with a drier season. Besides the weather, you may look to head back home and need the snowbird checklist for post-winter dwellings, giving you a boost of needed organization. These tips are for Boca Raton condo owners and seasonal dwellers.

Make an appointment with the HVAC Service 
* Contact FPL 
* Patio Do’s and Dont’s 
* Remind Your Neighbors and HOA Managers You are Leaving 
* Secure Your Property
* Clean Out Fridge and Cupboards 
* Wrap Clothing to Avoid Unwanted Catastrophe 
* Don’t Forget Your Medication
* Hurricane Season Checklist 
* Homeowner’s Insurance
* Housekeeping and Maintenance While Gone
* Post Office and Deliveries 
* Pet Check 

Make a Date with HVAC Repair 
While these may not be in the exact order, the items in this checklist will help those packers who will head North. The first on the list is especially important and often forgotten. Ask your local HVAC company to make a visit and ensure your equipment works properly. Have them replace all your filters and secure the unit, making certain when you return there won’t be an issue. It is usually good to make the arrangements a few weeks in advance before moving so you aren’t waiting for the next date. 

Contact Florida Power and Light 
Before you leave the winter behind for 2020, do not forget to contact Florida Power and Light to see if they’re offering discounts for seasonal residents. In most cases, you will see a decrease in your bill around 25% which is a nice break for some of us. But they will also offer additional advice, like programming your thermostat to prevent mold from settling. It's also a good idea to unplug any appliances you will not be running for a few months. Do not forget to clean and open your refrigerator and leave doors open to avoid any problems. 

Patio Dos and Don’ts 
Another area often forgot is the patio. Your balcony or the veranda needs to have all furniture and plants secured and if you have hurricane windows do not forget to close and lock them. Unless you are using a service or neighbor to tidy up, be sure to have all these objects vacant from the porch. In the event we have a heavy storm, you will have peace of mind. 

Remind the Neighbors and HOA Managers 
Before migrating back to your hometown, remember to remind the neighbors and the HOA managers you are exiting the ‘Sunshine State’. If there are any pressing items, they will inform you. But, since the managers don’t keep track of when homeowners come and go, they may want to keep you up to date with an email or some other important communication. Make sure you leave the HOA with an updated email to ensure you are available in the event you’re needed. Your neighbors can keep a close eye on the vacant unit and contact authorities if something does not look right. Also, if you rent out your unit or let the family stay while gone, make sure the neighbors know so they don’t mistake them for uninvited guests. 

Secure Your Property
Securing your property seems obvious to most, but for some the responsibility may not be a priority. Things like leaving drapes or blinds open may not be a good idea for those on the lower level or ground level units. Also, get a smart home device installed at the entryways of the property. Be sure to ask the HOA if you can install cameras outside the door before hiring and wiring. Reason being not all HOAs allow this construction. The latest security cameras such as RING work like a charm even when you’re away as you can see who is at the door from anywhere in the world on your cell phone.

Clean Out Fridge & Cupboards 
You want to clean out the fridge and cupboards to allow fresh air to move in and out of these areas and keep unwanted critters from spending time there. If there’s no crowding with things in the pantry animals will be less likely to show up. Also, if you have an ice maker, FPL reminds us to turn these off to avoid breaking the unit. 

Wrap Clothing to Avoid Unwanted Catastrophe
Leave clean clothes in your closets and wardrobes to avoid unwanted catastrophe. Wrap them with plastic bags or ask your dry cleaner for additional wraps to protect your clothing. Also, any jewelry or valuable items should be put into a safe deposit box. These are a few things people forget before departure. 

Don’t Forget Your Medication
Medication is one of the number one things homeowners overlook while prepping for their trip. This should be one of the first things you pack. 

Hurricane Season Checklist
There are quite a few tips found online for the Florida snowbirds, but one that is vital is to read your hurricane checklist. In the event you won’t be in the state this season, remember to follow the advice found by your resources. Things like replacing batteries in the smoke alarm are a good idea along with a list of other vacant home tips. 

Homeowner’s Insurance 
Many of the insurance pros will suggest updating your homeowner’s insurance before boarding that plane. Water damage is one of the biggest claims for people living away from South Florida. Be sure to check with your homeowner’s insurance that it covers water damage and hurricanes. 

Housekeeping and Maintenance While Gone
For those living in a penthouse or condominium may want to have a housekeeper cleaning even while gone. Have the property cleaned just before your return. Either way, be sure to meet with the cleaning staff, in person, prior to leaving for confidence they are trustworthy and will meet your needs. 

Post Office and Deliveries
Talk with your postal carrier and inform them of your leave and return dates. You may want the mail to be placed on hold till your return. Any pending deliveries should also have the information or forwarding address. 

Pet Check
Before departing the great state, have your veterinarian give your pet a checkup. Florida is a tropical state where there are many forms of parasites and skin disorders. If you’re traveling internationally, check with airlines and country for quarantine requirements. 

These are important items for you to keep in mind and will avoid any stressful traveling. In the meantime, you’re welcome to contact our offices for any other concerns. Speak to Our Friendly and Professional Staff for a Home Valuation.

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