Which U.S. counties boast the highest number of second homes? It’s not your imagination: the Sunshine State cleans up in this contest. According to the National Association of Home Builders, Florida hosts six of the 10 top counties for second home ownership: Palm Beach, Lee, Broward, Miami-Dade, Pinellas and Collier. As summer approaches, many “snowbirds” depart these second-homes for cooler spots up north, leaving legions of Florida residences in the hands of…whom exactly?
Taking care of a second home from afar is a challenge. Experts advise a number of strategies to make sure your investment stays sound, safe and well-maintained as it awaits your return. First, retain an experienced local representative to periodically inspect your residence. Many property management companies exist for this purpose, while independent local caretakers are often more economical. It’s tempting to manage your home yourself remotely and plan to visit occasionally, but many distant owners just can’t squeeze in those check-in treks.
Further, on-site representatives can identify and respond to emergencies – a water heater breakdown, a broken pipe – immediately. Equipping your envoy with a comprehensive home service plan such as those offered by Service America not only keeps smaller problems from becoming expensive repairs, it rapidly handles those sudden, sometimes catastrophic, problems. Service America, for instance, offers FasTracÔ Same-Day Service that quickly identifies the nearest technician in your home’s service area and sends him or her to your residence as fast as possible, and always on the same day. Home service plans also provide crucial regular maintenance such as A/C tune-ups that ensure your vacation hideaway is all systems go when you return next winter.
Other tips for those maintaining second homes from afar:
Are you one of nearly 10 million Americans who own second homes? There are 30 percent more of you since the year 2000, making these getaways a very popular investment. Protecting your investment while you’re away ensures many happy returns in the future.
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