Sure, we’re currently at the height of summer, and winterizing your REO property is probably the last thing on your mind. Before you know it, however, the temperatures will be dropping. If you’re not ready to go, your properties can suffer damage that will cost thousands of dollars to fix—the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do.
In the end, it’s never too early to start preparing for the Annapolis, Frederick and Hagerstown winters, but you need the help of someone who knows exactly what to do, and when. Learn some important tips about winterizing REO property, and where to go to find a service that can get it done right the first time.
Winterizing REO Property
No bank wants to deal with the hassles of owning properties. You want the process of upkeep, repair, and winterizing REO property to go fast and smooth. You can take preventative steps, however, by dealing with plumbing, appliances, cleaning up outside and taking security measures.
Plumbing and Utilities
The first step is to ensure that the plumbing and utilities are taken care of. When the winter cold hits, anything in your pipes can expand, causing leaks and bursts that can do thousands of dollars of damage to a home. It can even result in major structural damage. Make sure you shut off the main water supply, open all the taps and keep the pipes free and clear.
Many vacant homes already have their utilities shut off, but it may not be a bad idea to at least leave the heat on. Turn it down, but keep it around 55 to 58 degrees, which will also help to keep the pipes from freezing up in the winter.
Unplug all your appliances and be sure they’re free from the risk of electrical fires from faulty switches, pest infestations, power surges and storm damage. For some REO properties, this may not be an issue. Keep in mind, however, if you have appliances, unplugging them is a solid safety tip.
Clean up the Outside
Clean up the outside of your property. This means removing debris from around the house, trimming back the hedges and weeds, and removing the garden hose from any external spigots. The key is to remove anything that could cause damage to the home during freezes. You might also consider putting weather stripping around doors and windows inside, to further insulate the house against the cold.
Take Security Measures
During the winter months, squatters are out in full force, looking for a place to stay. Thieves looking for copper to steal are another major danger. Taking security measures means far more than just locking the place up securely. Consider having an alarm system installed. It’s also a good idea to install timers so the lights go on and off at various intervals in the evening. This will make it look like the home is lived-in, and thus less of an attraction to unsavory types.
Hire an REO Services Company
The best way to get peace of mind and ensure your property is properly winterized ahead of time is to work with an established, reliable and trustworthy Annapolis, Hagerstown and Frederick property management company like First Freedom Preservation. We provide complete property management services to make sure your property is safe, secure, and ready to rent or sell at all times. Give us a call for more information today.