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Beth Fedor, REALTOR

While our Springtime weather is still so beautiful, it’s hard to imagine the heat that will soon arrive, and with it, the departure of many SaddleBrooke residents for cooler climes. Before you snowbirds fly away, there is preparation involved and because of our severe summer heat and monsoon storms, extra precautions are warranted. Whether you’re leaving for a few weeks or several months, we’ve created a checklist to ensure your house is in the same condition when you return.

1-2 Weeks Prior

  1. Arrange for mail forwarding and stop regular deliveries.
  2. Put your phone/cable/internet service on hold if leaving for an extended period.
  3. Conscientiously prepare meals by using perishable food supplies in the fridge and freezer.
  4. Make arrangements for service checks with pool, landscape and pest services.
  5. Notify the HOA you’ll be gone and provide a forwarding contact.
  6. Put valuables – jewelry, important papers in a safe deposit box.

One Week Prior

  1. Don’t drain the hot tub – turn off the heater, but leave water circulating.
  2. Remove or cover anything from your yard that could collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitos in the summer.
  3. The Arizona sun will bake your patio furniture – cover it or store it in the garage to protect from the sun.

A Day or Two Before

  1. If you have a golf cart, put distilled water in the battery up to (but not over) the water fill line and unplug it.
  2. Unplug the garage door opener.
  3. Remove any propane tanks and combustible/flammable chemicals from the garage.
  4. Seal up any non-perishable food you are leaving behind.
  5. Replace back-up batteries to smoke detectors and irrigation timers.
  6. Arrange with a neighbor or service to check on your house weekly to remove flyers, check for leaks or storm damage

Before You Walk out the Door

  1. Turn off the main water valve to the house, making sure you don’t accidentally shut off landscape water as well. (It’s easy to have a plumber install a dual shut-off.)
  2. Close all drains or cover. Don’t forget the overflow holes as well – you don’t want to return to a roach infested home!
  3. Turn water heater to vacation mode – no point keeping 50 gallons of water hot all summer!
  4. Close blinds and make sure windows and doors are secure.
  5. Leave all interior doors open to promote airflow.
  6. Set the security alarm.
  7. If leaving a car – disconnect the battery.
  8. Unplug everything you can – the range, televisions, clocks, and small appliances. If you unplug the (empty and clean) fridge, make sure you leave the doors open or you may return to a smelly, moldy mess.
  9. Leave the doors open to washer, dryer, dishwasher and any appliances that typically seal up.
  10. Set your thermostat at 85 degrees – The Arizona heat is harsh and you don’t want your art and furniture to dry out, or those leftover bottles of wine to go bad!