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4 Tips for Maintaining Your Primary Home When You Travel Overseas

Getting to travel overseas makes for an exciting lifestyle, but several considerations should be taken into account to ensure your home stays in top-notch condition. The following tips can help you rest easy on your vacation or extended trip abroad.

1. Hire a Property Manager

When Hurricane Sandy hit in the fall of 2012, Mukul Lalchandani, a real estate agent with The Modern Agent, a luxury real estate brand in New York, was faced with some technical issues. A fridge in one client's high-rise apartment failed to turn on when power returned to the area. The property's owner was based in Singapore, but his tenant needed a replacement fridge for an upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. So Lalchandani worked with the manufacturer, vendor, building owner and client to secure a temporary fridge in time for the tenant's dinner party.

Property managers are useful resources to have, especially when problems such as those arise. Electrical issues and roof leaks are other common problems property managers are equipped to manage because they have extensive networks of specialized contacts, says Craig Barrett, a Destin, Fla.-based broker at NBI Properties, a commercial real estate and property management firm.

Cameras can be placed anywhere on the property and stream both live and recorded video to an individual’s Web-enabled devices, including laptops, phones and tablets.

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2. Consider Alternative Resources

If homeowners opt not to find a property manager, it may be wise to hire a housekeeper and landscaper to perform routine upkeep on the home.

A housekeeper should clean dust and grime off windows once a month and flush all toilets in the home at least once a month to prevent toilet bowl rings from forming, says Stephanie Sims, managing editor of Chicago Agent magazine, a residential real estate magazine in Chicago. In addition, dust and air filters should be changed quarterly, Barrett says.

During fall, spring and summer months, a landscaper should cut the grass and trim hedges to prevent the property from giving the impression that it is in foreclosure.

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Paying for these services is simple with a trusted online foreign exchange provider that can facilitate international bank transfers for foreign payments on a one-time or ongoing basis.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Primary Home from Abroad

Modern technology enables individuals to look after their homes from thousands of miles away. Dropcam's HD Wi-Fi cameras can be placed anywhere on the property and stream both live and recorded video to an individual's Web-enabled devices, including laptops, phones and tablets, Lalchandani says. Anytime a motion or sound is detected, a notification will be sent to the appropriate devices.

4. Think About Hiring an Assistant to Prepare for Your Homecoming

The last thing individuals want to come home to after a long trip are chores and errands. Consider hiring an assistant through websites such as TaskRabbit and Agent Anything, which offer complete errand services.

Assistants can potentially be hired to stock the fridge full of groceries, turn up the heat or air conditioning, switch on appliances or complete any other task needed to make the homeowner's arrival more comfortable, Lalchandani says. "Most importantly, they can set this up all online, even before they return back home."

With the right planning and resources, it's possible to return to a home that feels and looks like its owner was never away.



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