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Buying or Renting Your Summer Home: Maintaining Your Summer Home

Taylor Yates  |  July 8, 2024

Buying or Renting Your Summer Home: Maintaining Your Summer Home

Owning a summer home offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it also comes with the responsibility of maintaining it. Whether you're a homeowner or renting out your summer retreat, ensuring that the property remains in excellent condition year-round is crucial. In this post, we will discuss essential maintenance tasks, budgeting for upkeep, the pros and cons of hiring property management services, and how technology can aid in remote maintenance.

Essential Maintenance Tasks for Your Summer Home

  1. Regular Inspections: Schedule thorough inspections at least twice a year, preferably at the start and end of the summer season. Look for any signs of wear and tear, water damage, pest infestations, and structural issues.
  2. HVAC System Maintenance: Ensure that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are serviced annually. Clean filters, check for leaks, and ensure the thermostat is working correctly to maintain indoor air quality and comfort.
  3. Roof and Gutter Upkeep: Inspect the roof for any damaged shingles or leaks. Clean gutters to prevent water buildup, which can lead to roof and foundation damage.
  4. Plumbing Checks: Check for any leaks, dripping faucets, or running toilets. Winterize the plumbing system if the home will be vacant during colder months to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  5. Pest Control: Regularly inspect for signs of pests and take preventive measures such as sealing cracks, storing food properly, and maintaining cleanliness to avoid infestations.
  6. Lawn and Garden Care: Maintain the landscaping by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and removing weeds. Ensure the irrigation system is functioning correctly to keep your garden healthy.

Budgeting for Upkeep and Maintenance

  1. Create a Maintenance Fund: Set aside a dedicated fund for maintenance tasks. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 1-2% of the home's value annually for upkeep.
  2. Plan for Seasonal Expenses: Anticipate higher costs during peak maintenance seasons. For example, allocate more funds for HVAC servicing in the spring and fall or for snow removal in winter.
  3. Prepare for Unexpected Expenses: Maintain an emergency fund to cover unexpected repairs such as a leaky roof, plumbing issues, or electrical failures. Aim to save at least 3-6 months' worth of expenses.
  4. Regular Assessments: Review and adjust your budget periodically based on actual expenditures and any changes in maintenance needs.

Hiring Local Property Management Services


  1. Local Expertise: Local managers are familiar with the area and can address issues promptly. They know the best local contractors and service providers.
  2. Convenience: They handle routine maintenance, emergency repairs, and tenant management if you rent out the property, saving you time and effort.
  3. Regular Monitoring: Property managers conduct regular inspections and can quickly identify and resolve potential problems.


  1. Cost: Property management services can be expensive, typically charging a percentage of the rental income or a flat monthly fee.
  2. Finding Reliable Providers: Not all property managers provide high-quality service. It's essential to research and vet potential managers thoroughly.

Ensuring Reliability:

  1. Check References and Reviews: Look for reviews online and ask for references from past clients to gauge their reliability and quality of service.
  2. Interview Multiple Managers: Conduct interviews with several property managers to compare their services, fees, and approaches to maintenance.
  3. Clear Contracts: Ensure the management contract clearly outlines the scope of services, fees, and responsibilities to avoid misunderstandings.

Utilizing Technology for Remote Monitoring

  1. Smart Security Systems: Install smart security cameras and alarms to monitor your property remotely. These systems can alert you to any unauthorized access or suspicious activity.
  2. Remote HVAC Controls: Use smart thermostats to control your home's temperature remotely. This helps in maintaining energy efficiency and ensures the home is comfortable when you arrive.
  3. Water Leak Detectors: Place smart water leak detectors near potential problem areas like sinks, water heaters, and basements. These devices can alert you to leaks before they cause significant damage.
  4. Automated Lighting: Smart lighting systems can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times, giving the appearance of occupancy and enhancing security.
  5. Remote Access and Monitoring Apps: Utilize apps that provide real-time updates and allow you to manage various aspects of your property, from security systems to HVAC controls, ensuring your summer home is well-maintained even when you're not there.


Maintaining a summer home requires careful planning, budgeting, and the right mix of professional services and technology. By prioritizing essential tasks, budgeting wisely, choosing reliable property management services, and leveraging smart home devices, you can ensure your summer home remains a peaceful retreat for years to come.

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