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Unoccupied House Over Winter

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Would appreciate some tips.... my gran's house will be unoccupied over winter, pending a sale in the spring. Any tips for protecting it from the weather, burst pipes etc? The latter is my main concern - do we need to leave heating on low, or just turn off water supply?

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Also check out the insurance. Some require that people stay there a minimum number of nights or its invalid.

Yeah have done the insurance ... extra premium to cover non occupancy

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Turn the main water supply off and then run all taps till empty. If any central heating is installed with a timer, then set it to turn on for one hour at 4am every morning (if temp drops indoors below 5C say) to counteract the coldest part of most 24 hour intervals and this helps to keep the fabric of the house from becoming damp and very cold..

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Would appreciate some tips.... my gran's house will be unoccupied over winter, pending a sale in the spring. Any tips for protecting it from the weather, burst pipes etc? The latter is my main concern - do we need to leave heating on low, or just turn off water supply?

Price it right and sell it now.

You either drain the heating down and then get people pissed off who need it checking for their mortgage to be approved.

Insurance will be a problem.

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Turn the main water supply off and then run all taps till empty. If any central heating is installed with a timer, then set it to turn on for one hour at 4am every morning (if temp drops indoors below 5C say) to counteract the coldest part of most 24 hour intervals and this helps to keep the fabric of the house from becoming damp and very cold..

+1

Friends of mine have a holiday home in Spain and they basically go and live there in the winter BUT they return to the UK every 6 weeks for 4 week stay because their insurance is invalid if the house is empty for more than 6 weeks.

It is different with each insurer but basically it is about 40ish to 50ish days usually.

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Price it right and sell it now.

You either drain the heating down and then get people pissed off who need it checking for their mortgage to be approved.

Insurance will be a problem.

That depends on the local market. In rural / seaside locations you make the sales in the spring & summer.

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That depends on the local market. In rural / seaside locations you make the sales in the spring & summer.

Erm it'll sell at the right price at any time of the year. Are you advocating high house prices?

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Also check with the local Council what constitutes an empty house - i.e. you don't pay Council Tax if the house is empty but empty can mean different things to different Councils.

Usually it is no furniture whatsoever - but furniture could be things like sofa and beds but it could also include stuff like a fridge, washing machine, etc.

You would then need to tell the Council it is empty and get them to OK no Council Tax payments.

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We have had a relative's house empty over the winter - slightly different since it was actually on the market - but personally I would leave the heating on, albeit at a lower level than if anyone was living there. Burst pipes are one thing, but things like curtains can get damp and maybe start to get mouldy and the place may begin to smell musty.

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Erm it'll sell at the right price at any time of the year. Are you advocating high house prices?

Gasp! What are you accusing me of Sarah?

Absolutely it will but that right price is higher in the summer in those locations. The housing market like so many other things is seasonal by the seaside :)

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Price it right and sell it now.

You either drain the heating down and then get people pissed off who need it checking for their mortgage to be approved.

Insurance will be a problem.

Insurance sorted, house can't be sold until cleared of contents.

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Gasp! What are you accusing me of Sarah?

Absolutely it will but that right price is higher in the summer in those locations. The housing market like so many other things is seasonal by the seaside :)

So when push comes to shove you'll do whatever you can for higher house prices?

(sorry that's a bit below the belt)

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So when push comes to shove you'll do whatever you can for higher house prices?

(sorry that's a bit below the belt)

It is a bit!

It's always been a seasonal market, it was when house prices were low and remains so when house prices are high. A seasonal market doesn't cause price inflation in houses any more than it does with convertible cars.

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Again myths put about by the Kirsty and Phil mob.

I think he means he needs time to go through his grans stuff to decide what to keep rather than dumping everything unseen... not sure what the "Kirsty and Phil mob" has got to do with it. :rolleyes:

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I think he means he needs time to go through his grans stuff to decide what to keep rather than dumping everything unseen... not sure what the "Kirsty and Phil mob" has got to do with it. :rolleyes:

It takes a week to go through a house. Unless the house is so full of clutter you can't get in.

Actually dealing with the stuff takes months if you want to sell it off bit by bit. But compared to the amount of money the house is worth it's probably not worth the effort.

If it's not gone through probate yet then that has to be taken into account.

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Again myths put about by the Kirsty and Phil mob.

The house is full of my late gran's stuff, the family are slowly working through it and disposing of it in the best way possible. Not a quick job, regardless of the state of the housing market.

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Insurance sorted, house can't be sold until cleared of contents.

We were advised to leave most of the furniture etc. in place until after a sale was agreed, since completely empty houses can look very forlorn and unloved. Clearing a house is horrible, though - so many things you can't bring yourself to chuck for sentimental reasons, but just don't have room for. One tip - when we cleared my mother's my SIL had the bright idea of posting an Open House afternoon on the local Freecycle - it was amazing what people came and took away - things we would probably have hesitated to take to a charity shop.

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It takes a week to go through a house.

For somebody with zero emotional attachment maybe, but not for someone related who cared about the deceased and where personal memories are involved. It took me a year to clear out my parents' house (and it was not "so full of clutter you can't get in").

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Would appreciate some tips.... my gran's house will be unoccupied over winter, pending a sale in the spring. Any tips for protecting it from the weather, burst pipes etc? The latter is my main concern - do we need to leave heating on low, or just turn off water supply?

I leave the central heating on, set for about 5 degrees, and ask one of our kids to stay the night every two or three weeks for insurance purposes.

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Clearing a house is horrible, though - so many things you can't bring yourself to chuck for sentimental reasons, but just don't have room for. One tip - when we cleared my mother's my SIL had the bright idea of posting an Open House afternoon on the local Freecycle - it was amazing what people came and took away - things we would probably have hesitated to take to a charity shop.

Unfortunately the house is in a freecycle no mans land (mostly OAP population, surrounded by rural areas), so very hard to get rid of stuff on there. Plus I'm acting as an intermediary between my mum who lives near the property, and the people collecting, so rather convoluted. I'm a 200 mile round trip away, so can only do the odd day here and there of intensive activity, rather than keep popping over for small jobs.

On the home straight now though, and there is a chance a friend of a friend will want to buy the property. Fingers crossed.

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