Homeownership has a couple of “eternal” aspects to it…eternal vigilance and eternal maintenance…that many homebuyers don’t consider when they make the move towards homeownership. Eternal maintenance because something is always breaking and needing repair. Eternal vigilance because something will always break and need repair in the future.

Those “eternals” leave many homeowners with a fear of going away or FOGA.  What happens if someone breaks into our house?  What happens if the pipes freeze?  What happens if the roof leaks?

According to the Insurance Institute, 98% of annual claims come from property damage, such as water damage, and the average claim is $10,000. How to get around that property damage whether the homeowner is at home or away? The Insurance Institute encourages all homeowners to protect their homes with smart devices and lighting timers.

When away from home, whether for the evening, a weekend or a two-week holiday, the most important thing a homeowner can do is minimize the appearance of being away. Do not put any notes on doors for deliveries or mail. Buy smart plugs to turn on/off lamps on a varied schedule. Turn off the water supply to toilets, washers and dishwashers. Ask a neighbor to check on things and give them a set of keys. Get smoke alarm alerts.

Wirecutter.com has a list of assorted devices for lighting, security cameras doorbells, thermostats to avoid frozen pipes and much more to both protect your home while you’re away and deter unwanted visitors.

Here are just a few of Wirecutter’s suggestions that may give you piece of mind while home and when going away so you and your clients will not experience the “fear of going away,” FOGA.

  1. Smart locks from Yale Assure SL Committed by August
  2. Smart doorbell cameras from Ring Video Doorbell 2 or Nest Hello
  3. Smart thermostats from Ecobee 3
  4. Phillips Hue or LIFX bulbs
  5. Nest Cams both indoor and outdoor

Do It Yourself devices include:

  1. SimpliSafe
  2. Abode
  3. Ring Alarm