Jacksonville Seasonal Residents: Options for Your Vacant Home
The Jacksonville, Florida area is home to thousands of snowbirds, seasonal residents who live half the year in the north and half in the south. What should you do with your home when it is empty for six months at a stretch? Here are some options.
The Jacksonville area is home to many seasonal residents. Many of whom live here during the winter months when their northern states are covered with snow and ice, but then they move back to northern homes to avoid the worst of the Florida summer heat and humidity. Although this method gives residents the best of both climate zones, it also poses the problem of leaving a home empty for half of the year. Instead of having to leave your home empty while hoping nothing happens to it over the summer months, consider other options for making your property safer and better maintained while you are gone.
Hire a Property Management Company
The Jacksonville area has an abundance of property management companies that will take care of all your maintenance and rental needs while you’re gone. Seasonal residents do not have to worry about finding tenants, collecting rent, or taking care of vacant property when they hire one of these firms. A property management company specializes in finding reliable tenants for the amount of time you are gone, and the company will take care of lawn care, property maintenance, and even hurricane preparation so that you do not have to worry about it. The company will charge a monthly fee for their services, and many of them have a variety of package deals from which to choose.
Find a Tenant Yourself
This method takes a bit more work, but it has the advantage of saving money. Similar to subleasing an apartment, finding a rental tenant for the short term is a matter of advertising to the right people and doing diligent background checks. Writers and other artists, families, and those who simply want to try out the Florida lifestyle will want to experience Jacksonville for a few months before striking root or going back to their former homes. Consider getting an attorney to assist you with drafting the rental agreement.
Rely on Neighbors
If you have lived for a long time in a close-knit community, as many Jacksonville residents have, you may be able to hire a neighbor to care of your property until you return in the fall. Teenage children in need of summer work are ideal candidates for the job. If you do not mind having your friends in your home while you are gone, leave a set of keys so they can check out the interior about once a month while the younger family members mow the lawn and care for garden plants once a week. Have the neighbors open and close curtains and adjust the lighting regularly to give passersby the impression that your home is occupied.