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Question DetailsAsked on 1/10/2016

I am looking for home maintenance service while I am away.

I am going to be stationed overseas for work for quite a while (approx 1 year). I don't want to sell my house. I am looking to someone trustworthy to provide a maintenance service. Pretty much to "look out" for my house while I am away. That someone will need to get inside my house, do a inspection if there is anything needed to be fixed. Lawn maintenance, general clean up, etc.

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Property Management would be the normal Search the List category for this. Many real estate brokerage offices also run property management/maintenance services for people on extended travel and when houses are vacant during sale listing.

You might also be able to get referrals from your company Human Resources department if this is a common event from your office (and they may pay the management fee, though not any actual repair costs needed), or your base Troop Support or Family Housing office if military.

Another option, though you would have to consider the reliabilirty factor and what happens if THEY are on vacation or extended illness or such, is a trustworthy neighbor, friend, etc who you pay for the service.

One serious consideration, especially if you may be out-of-contact (particularly military), is providing them with a properly executed Power of Attorney or Management contract that authorizes (and limits) what work they can have done on the property without your express consent - and be sure what method of consent for larger work items is acceptable - text, email, snail mail only, or what.

And - if not a formal property management firm (which will bill you or sometimes hold an adance "security" deposit against such costs), how costs will be paid - say for a plumber for instance - if using a friend or such you can't expect them to pay for it and get reimbursed, so you need to provide a checking account or credit card (which you keep a close eye on) for them to use to pay for such things.

And don't forget periodic airing out and cleaning (dusting/vacuuming/toilets etc), locking away (maybe securer storage unit) your more valuable/stealable items (both from common burglary and possible lifting by any workers let into the property), and possible installation of more advanced water leak, heating or power failure, etc alarms to notify your agent of situations which, if caught early on, can limit damages - particularly from water leakage, heating loss, fire, etc. It might be a web-based system or formal security company contract would be in order, depending on the property, local theft/break-in risk, etc.

And don't forget you probably have to rider your homeowner's policy for unoccupied - generally, if vacant for more than 30 days or so, normal coverage is void - you have to pay more for unoccupied homes.

Also - auto if not being shipped to you - periodic running so it does not rust up in the engine or have the battery (and car alarm system) die, and moving around a bit so tires to not go flat on one side. And add gas stabilizer if not going to be driven significantly during that time.

Federal Government and US military websites can be googled for checklists of things to pre-arrange or safeguard when on overseas assignments. And good luck to you.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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