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Old 02-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #1
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Who takes care of the house?

My husband will be retiring the beginning of March and we want to start using our 1 year new Montana High Country. We would like to start by takes trips of up to one month long. We have 2 dogs, one tall and one small. Do you take them with you and how does that work out? Also, who watches your house while you are away?
Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:03 PM   #2
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We take our 2 Dachshunds with us. As long as they behave there should not be a problem. Our kids all live close so they watch the house,pick up mail and paper.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:16 PM   #3
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Our longest trips have been no more than 3 weeks at a time. We have never had more than one dog at a time, but have always taken them with us. Older Golden Retrievers that have been about as calm and layed back as dogs can be. If we wanted to go somewhere for 2-3 hours we take them for a long walk first. Then they would curl up in a dark corner of the bedroom and still be there asleep when we return. But that doesn’t work for all dogs. We have camped beside people whose dogs would begin barking as soon as they left and continue until they returned. Don’t know if they made messes inside or not. I have mentioned the barking to owners a couple times but they didn’t seem interested.

We have some very long time friends as next door neighbors who keep watch over things outside. A neighbor across the street who is sorta the neighborhood watchdog. And another lady, who cleans our house once a week, who comes inside several times a week to check the inside. So we are covered pretty well.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:24 PM   #4
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We are Florida snowbirds. Have a lawn service, keeps the place sparkling. And looking lived in. Have alarm system and good neighbors. 15th season. Never had an issue.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:28 PM   #5
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the house

I am not retired (yet - Grrrrrrrr!) but we have done several 3-month long relocations for my work - both in winter and summer.

Generally I stop the mail and have the post office hold it. I do all of my bills on line so I don't need the paper copies in the mail. Most of the mail is junk anyway - except we do expect to win the publishers clearing house sweepstakes any day now...they promise!...and I would hate to miss that notification in the mail - but we take our chances. In summer I set up garden hoses on several timers to water the plants and trees that DW says need the attention. I just let my weeds/lawn grow and deal with it when I get back. We live in the country so there is no neighborhood group/HOA rules to abide by or face penalty of death.

We take both dogs with us (a young Australian Shepherd 70 lbs male and and old Border Collie mix female 50 lbs. They are good travelers.

Our youngest son lives in the city 40 miles away and he will make the drive and check up on the place if needed/requested...we buy him a tank of gas for making drive! Texas had the coldest weather of the winter (so far) during the first week of November (2018). We were doing a week in Houston for my work. I forgot to leave the house heat on and temps were expected to drop into the 20's. I called my son and he went out there and turned on the fawcets to drip and the furnace heat! Problem solved!
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by piperterri View Post
My husband will be retiring the beginning of March and we want to start using our 1 year new Montana High Country. We would like to start by takes trips of up to one month long. We have 2 dogs, one tall and one small. Do you take them with you and how does that work out? Also, who watches your house while you are away?
Thanks for any advice.
Sold ours. (The house not the dogs). Sometimes they travel sometimes they stay with our granddaughter.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:55 PM   #7
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Our neighbors across the street. They clear the snow off the driveway in winter, check the house, collect the mail, and in the summer when we take trips, they mow the lawn. We pay them for this.

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Old 02-07-2019, 03:50 PM   #8
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Stop the mail and stop the paper. I put out seven timers...lights on/off both morning and night, and a radio playing music at night. The lights go on/off in the bedroom, den, and living room. M/W light timer set to come on in the AM. Turn the whole house water off, set heat low in winter and A/C high in summer, put hot water heater on "vacation," turn the ice maker off, unplug TVs/Wifis, remove cable from TVs, and lock the garage door opener. Arrange for lawn to be mowed in the summer. Don't forget to tell the neighbors and encourage them to use your driveway for themselves or visitors....we don't get snow, so that's not a problem. We normally go for a month at a time.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:51 PM   #9
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Wife and I are still in the Rat Race but we use our campers as much as possible.
We are both at a point where we have lots of vacation and we use every single second of it. We are normally only gone a couple weeks at a time but every other year we head out west for a month or so. We always take our Dogs. We have an 85lb one year old Irish Setter that is turbo hyper. He's our third one and we knew going in it takes them longer to mature. With about two solid years of patients and training they become the most wonderful dogs.

Our neighbors watch the house, check the mail and even mow our grass if needed. We return the favor or pay them if they will accept it. Good neighbors are invaluable. We are fortunate we have several.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:29 PM   #10
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Dogs always with us. Son checks on house once week or so.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:34 PM   #11
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Went went full time, took the cats and told the new owner he had to take care of the house.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:23 AM   #12
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I have good neighbors and give him a key. He even mows my yard. I give him $100 a month. My other neighbor parks his car in my driveway.

We don't want a dog so I am free to go where we want. I got bit by a dog last year at a camp ground. I watch those little dogs. Next one that tries to get a chunk will find out how far it can fly. If the owner has a problem with that he may have to fly also.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:55 AM   #13
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We travel a lot and spent almost a year on the road when traveling to Alaska and six months on our trip last summer to Montana. All our bills and banking are done on line. We don't take a printed copy of the newspaper, e-edition only, mail gets stopped every 30 days and a neighbor picks it up if the post office delivers it in-between stops. For really long trips we have had our mail forwarded to one of our son's. That can cause its own set of problems when we come home. Heat set to prevent freezing pipes in the winter and the a/c is kept fairly high in summer. It will switch itself from heat to a/c if we span a season. A yard service cuts our grass; some neighbors park in our driveway when needed, lights on timers and some really good neighbors who just generally keep an eye on the place. We don't have pets.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:17 AM   #14
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We travel with our dog on 2 to 6 week adventures, from Spring to Fall. Our yard has a sprinkler system to keep it going and neighbors are aware of trips. I use a couple of systems to monitor my house beside an alarm company. The Nest cameras monitor inside the house, along with the Nest thermostat and Front door Ring. The outside has a system wired in to monitor the perimeter of the house. I get notifications frequently with animals passing through. Unfortunately the downside to everything depends on the quality and dependability of your WiFi system, excluding the home alarms, which is on an independent source. There's peace of mind to see what is taking place and to contact someone close by if needed.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:46 PM   #15
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No dogs or cats here but travel 3 to 6 months a year.
Several sugestions,
Talk to your mail man and get to know him, he may hold your mail longer that the normal 30 day max.
Give a key to a trusted neighbor for emergency(if no relative)
Leave a light on in the house or use a timer.
Have the water to your house turned of at the street.
Enjoy you time on the road.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:03 PM   #16
Mark N.
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Why we don't have pets...

Years ago, we decided not to have pets after we retire and travel. This is the basis for that decision. We would walk through the National Park campgrounds, listening to the incessant barking of dogs left in moturhomes and trailers for the day while the owners are gone for hours and hours having fun where they can't take pets. They didn't have to listen to them all day long, but the neighbors certainly did. We weren't willing to be tied down in our activities by pets and and it isn't our way to own pets leaving them alone for hours on end. If your lifestyle isn't one that seperates you from your pet, then it'll work. Ours is an active lifestyle. We're usually gone for hours and hours each day, biking and hiking, shopping, movies, dinners and playing Pickleball or beach combing or something. Seldom sitting around during the day. If you are at all active, somebody will suffer. Probably the pets and the neighbors. As for the house, nobody needs to come in. I just put it to bed in my absence. No live plants in my house for this exact reason. I hire someone to mow, edge and trim the lawns once a week. I cancel the mail and shut off the water inlet valve. I pour some vinegar in the toilets to prevent scale. I turn off the water heater totally. Arm the alarm and walk out for however long. Never a problem.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:36 PM   #17
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We take the dogs and let ADT & Ring guard the house. Lawn guy cuts the grass and all bill have been changed to email billing. We also use a VPN (ExpressVPN) on our laptops which make paying bills on the road a bit safer.

We also turn off the water to the hot water heater. If anything weird happens, hopefully a neighbor will call.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:51 PM   #18
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We take trips of 2-3 months duration. We don't have pets but see many who do and they seem to travel well. We have great neighbors who do the "neighborhood watch" thing for us. Security system is armed, water heater to vacation, water turned off where it enters the house, thermostat set to 55 in winter and off in summer. Enjoy your retirement.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:24 PM   #19
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We take our two dogs with us- we stop about every 200 miles for collective potty breaks. We used to take our cats with us. All travelled very well. THE USPS allows you to sign up for emails which tell you what is coming in the mail. So we hold the mail and when we see a bill in the daily email we look it up and pay it. We also prepay some of our normal utility bills. We installed security cameras and a house alarm system and have not had a problem- we do take our patio dog door out which also eliminates issues. My wife's parents used to check the house but he is 95 now so we have our neighbors keep an eye out. Last we have several interior lights on timers and our light by the drive way is as well. So far no problems. Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:41 PM   #20
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a lot of RV parks limit # and size of pets, we set timers, have alarm system and good neighbors, post office will not hold mail over 30 days, so we supply neighbor woth large prepaid envelopes, she sends stuff that looks important
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