Sheri's Palm Springs Area Blog

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Entries in Owning - Homeowner Tips & Resources

Summer Tips for Maintaining Your Desert Home

For Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

Watch this one minute video on how to keep your home healthy and maintained during the summer months in the desert.

Summer Tips For Palm Springs Area Seasonal Homeowners

If you’re like most Palm Springs area vacation homeowners, you likely spend less time in the desert during the warmer summer months. And while we are seeing more and more full-time residents, the desert continues to be a top pick for seasonal home buyers from colder and wetter areas of the U.S. and Canada.

Summer Tips For Your Vacation Home When You're Away

Whenever you’re away for extended periods of time, and especially during the summer months, be sure to remember these key points:

  • Have your AC serviced twice each year (usually at the start of winter and summer).
  • Don't turn off your AC during the summer and keep the temp set at 85º F (29.4º C) to protect your furniture and contents, especially wood from drying out.
  • Do not stop your pest control service (treating the perimeter of your home).
  • Consider using a home check company when away for extended periods of time. 

There are services and companies that will check your home once or twice a month, and it is worth looking into these services. They will also run water in each sink and shower and flush each toilet so that sewer gases don’t smell up your home when the water in the drain traps dry up (this is the desert after all).

Tips From A Palm Springs Air Conditioning Professional

We’ve seen some homes where the owners while away for the summer months choose to set their home thermostats at 90º or higher. I asked long-time expert Todd Shaw, owner of Desert Air in Palm Springs what he recommends.

“Personally, when my family and I are away in the summer we set our thermostats at 85º F and I would not set mine any higher. The little savings in electricity will likely be offset by higher maintenance bills for your home, and it’s contents,” said Shaw. Desert Air opened in 1954 and Todd is a third-generation family member running the business.

Selling Your Home During The Summer Months

Our Sheri Dettman & Associates realty team visits desert homes for sale all summer. Just last week one of our team members took clients to a home that had the air turned up to 90º while the sellers were out of town. The potential buyers walked in, turned around, and walked out, remarking that they had no interest in seeing any homes that were uncomfortable. And who could blame these potential homebuyers? If your home is listed for sale during the summer months we suggest setting the thermostat to 79º F (26.1º C).

Disclosure: We employ Desert Air to service our personal home and office but receive no compensation for mentioning them here.

What You Ought To Know About Rental Property Insurance

PGA West, La Quinta

Many home and condo owners choose to rent their properties to short-term renters (less than six consecutive months). While this can be a great income opportunity, you'll want to check your homeowner policy for coverage. If it won't cover your home for short-term rental usage you'll want to look for a policy that does.
 
In speaking with Richard Cox of The Cox Insurance Agency in Palm Desert, Richard said, "We can now cover most rental homes and condos for short-term rentals at a very reasonable cost. Representing a first in the industry, this Comprehensive Property and Liability Insurance Program was created especially for homes and condos that are being used as short-term vacation rentals."

Short & Long Term Rental Coverage
Richard further said, "This new program can be used by those who book their homes year-round or by those who only book a few days, weeks or months per year. Owners can now have peace of mind knowing that they are properly covered at a reasonable cost."
 
So, even if you think you are properly covered, you'll want to review your policy, or have your agent review your policy. "Most vacation homeowners are simply not covered for the risk of short-term rentals."
 
Richard Cox can be reached at (760) 797-1800.
Email Richard

Does Your Insurance Carrier Consider Your Vacation Home Vacant?

The Vintage Club, Indian WellsI mentioned in a previous post that if you choose to rent out your vacation home or condo, you should let your agent know. But what is considered a vacant home? We checked in with local agent Richard Cox of Cox Insurance to get the scoop on this subject.

“Insurers know that vacant homes have a much higher occurrence and severity of damage,” Richard said. “Most companies want the homeowner to be in the home every 30-days, but will accept a visit from friend or even a hired property watch type service.”

“There are many official and unofficial services of this type offered in our desert.  Most carriers will accept this type of service.  Many of these services will feed cats, walk dogs, flush toilets and even run sinks and water plants.  Some will even send or email a ‘property check report’ to the homeowner at a very reasonable cost. These documented reports are perfect for showing insurance carriers that the property was not abandoned in the event of a claim.”

“Short term rentals are often the most miss-categorized property.  Second homeowners really need to let their insurance agent know if they are renting it for periods of less than six months.  There is almost nothing worse than finding out there is a problem when you are filing a claim.”

Many of the local property watch services charge as little as $30 to $35 per visit to check a property. Thank you Richard for this important information. Richard  Cox can be reached at (760) 797-1800