How to prepare your home for a long-term deployment
Deploying for any branch of the armed forces is an honorable deed. However, for those with a home to care for in their absence, there are many considerations that must be addressed to ensure all possible issues will be handled in their absence.
Consult with homeowner's insurance about your coverage
It might turn out that you need extra coverage while you're gone. In the event there's damage not attributed to you or an act of God, it's wise to check in to make sure that you have enough coverage for the unexpected.
Also, keep in mind that if your pipes burst during your absence, you may be held responsible depending on the circumstances behind the damage. Some insurance companies require you to follow certain steps every winter to avoid, as best as possible, having this happen. Talk to your company about how to handle this situation if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing.
Consider renting it out
With all the different ways to rent out your home available in today's sharing economy, you should consider how you can best take advantage of it. You may want to take extra care in screening your applicants or have a property management company do it in your absence. If you hire a property management company, see if they're willing to set up a call on a semi-regular basis to update you on how the home is looking and functioning, even if it's just to give you the all-clear for your own peace of mind.
Designate a caretaker in your absence
If you're not renting out the home, consider having a family member or trusted friend "house-sit." This way your home will have someone there to attend to any possible HVAC, plumbing, or other issues that may arise. Even if they're not staying in the home full time, someone could still stop by every couple weeks to turn on some faucets, check if the heat is working, and take care of any time-sensitive matters.
Get your HVAC system checked
The last thing you want is for your HVAC system to break down in the middle of summer or the cold winter months and have no one around to fix it. Your system should be checked by an experienced professional regularly, but the cost of one-time maintenance before you leave will help keep you feeling confident.
Leaving behind your friends, family, and loved ones can be difficult. The last thing you want to worry about it your house. Making sure your investment is cared for properly during this time will help ensure a happy return.