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Precaution is better than cure. ~Edward Coke
Safety is a cheap and effective insurance policy. ~Author Unknown
Safety never takes a holiday. ~Author Unknown
Danger never takes a vacation. ~Author Unknown
While on a ladder, never step back to admire your work. ~Author Unknown
OK, I admit it. The last quote doesn't have much to do with my topic today of safety when you move to a new home – but it did make me laugh and I'm hoping you are chuckling too. The rest of the quotes, all via Quote Garden, DO have something to do with my topic – safety is important even during the moving process. Whether you are moving into a new home in the local area or across the country or even to another country, safety is important.
I am a big believer in insurance, as are most of our mortgage holders. Make sure if you are leaving your old home vacant while trying to sell it or during the escrow, that you have adequate homeowner's insurance on it. Call and talk to your agent and explain how long it might be vacant for. You might even need to shop for a new policy for the interim. Also, if you move after the house closes escrow, ask how to be sure your belongings are still covered on the move to the new home – whether a rental or a new purchase. Different insurance companies may have different policies and your moving company has its own rules – so ask, write down, and follow up!
When I sold our home the last time we moved, it ended up sitting vacant for about 2-3 months while it was on the market, and then in escrow. I had heard this tip and called my agent. I was quite happy that they were able to work with me and keep it covered. It helped that I was in the local area and could check on it regularly, along with my wonderful neighbors. If necessary, I could even have spent a few nights there, but in that particular case it wasn't necessary.
Bankrate has an excellent article on this topic explaining options for a variety of circumstances. Elizabeth Weintraub of About.Com Buying / Selling writes with a sad example of what NOT to do, along with several excellent tips of what TO do.
If you are preparing to move out of a home and there is a chance it will be sitting empty for 30 days or more, (or have already done so), remember – silence is NOT golden in this situation. Call your homeowners insurance company as soon as possible and find out what, if anything, you need to do to protect yourself, your family and your investment. Taking wise precautions in advance equals a good safety practice.