Homeowners are changing the way they vacation.
Instead of shelling money out for hotel rooms, which come with worries about reservations and poorly-kept accommodations, more people than ever are purchasing vacation properties that let them get away how they want, when they want and even generate income when they’re not using the space.
According to the National Association of Realtors, there are now more than 8 million vacation homes across the country and sales are rising by 20 to 30 percent each year.
But managing a second property — both when you’re on vacation and at home — can be time-consuming and stressful; not exactly how you want to feel about your tranquil retreat. The solution? Smart home technology. Here are a few reasons why your vacation home should be automated.
When you’re away from your vacation home
For most homeowners, it’s not possible to live at their vacation property year-round. This means that during the off-season — typically late fall through winter and early spring — you won’t be there to maintain or secure the home. The last thing you want to deal with when you finally arrive are broken windows, overgrown plants and general disrepair, all which has to be addressed before you can start relaxing.
Using a home automation system, you can keep tabs on your property even when you’re miles away. It all starts with your home security system. Glass break sensors will allow you to know whether or not you’ll need to repair a broken window before you head up to your vacation home. Not to mention, the video and security systems that will keep an eye on your home, and alert you if any issues occur. Water leak sensors further help keep tabs on your home by sending you a text if water leakage is detected. To put a quick stop to this, you can even cut the water supply right from your phone.
Once installed, the system communicates wirelessly, allowing you to access it at anytime, even when you’re not there, using your mobile device. This makes it easy to check in on the property at any time and receive a heads up if there are any problems.
If your vacation home does need repairs and you’re not there to open the door, home automation lets you give access to cleaners, landscapers or repairmen with digital door locks. Give access to your home by creating a unique code, which you can set to work only at the times when those you’re assigning it to would need to be there for repairs. You can keep an eye out using your cameras, to make sure all work is done properly and on time, then lock up and turn on the alarm remotely when they leave.
While you’re staying in your vacation home
Home automation also offers benefits when you’re relaxing at your vacation property. For most vacation owners, the big benefit of having a home in their favorite spot is the ability to get out and enjoy the great outdoors — maybe it’s the beach, hiking trails or even a nearby town or city. But what happens if you forget to lock the doors or turn on the alarm when you leave for the day? If you’re two hours into an all-day hike, turning around puts a real damper on your fun. With home automation, you simply bring up your mobile app and with a few quick button presses the doors are locked and the alarm is set.
You can also expand your home automation system to include thermostat controls, which let you set the temperature anytime, anywhere. If you’re just heading out on a hot day, adjust the air conditioning so you don’t waste energy. On your way home, get the system cooling so you’re not stuck sweating in the heat when you arrive.
When you’re dealing with vacation home rentals
Vacation rentals are quickly becoming a popular source of second income for many homeowners. Whether you list with a rental service or strike out on your own, you get to pick and choose when the property is up for rent and when it’s your turn to rest and relax. But not all renters treat your property with the same respect. Home automation and security tools let you make sure that any agreed-upon rules are followed and that your vacation home is left in reasonable condition after renters depart.
Better still, you can hire a cleaning service and let them in with the push of a button, or set up scheduled vacation door lock codes for guests — which you can then delete when their stay is up. Take things a step farther by creating a “vacation program” in your Digital Life app, which links multiple actions at the tap of a button. For example, when a rental is over, your program can simultaneously lock all the doors, turn on the alarm, activate the video cameras and turn down the thermostat. This helps avoid security issues caused by well-meaning renters who forget to secure the property when they leave.
Your vacation property offers peace of mind, a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Keep this peace year-round; home automation protects your investment no matter if you’re near, far or anywhere in-between.