Americans collectively own more than 30 trillion dollars in foreign assets, including vacation homes, which many people use for investment and entertainment purposes.

Owning a vacation home overseas is a dream for many, offering a sanctuary to escape and enjoy different cultures. However, the reality of managing a property from a distance is challenging.

Here are some valuable tips for successfully maintaining your vacation home when you’re far away to ensure it remains in excellent condition and continues to provide you years of enjoyment, without unnecessary stress and worry.

Table of Contents

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Hire a Property Manager (Luxury Option)

Hiring a property manager is one of the most effective ways to maintain your vacation home. A professional service will keep your property well-maintained, secure, and ready for your next visit.

Exterior trim of vacation home being painted

Property managers can handle everything from regular maintenance to emergency repairs, guest services, and rental management. Hiring a competent manager can offer you tremendous peace of mind — for example, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of living in Barbados, or some other exotic location, without the stress of needing to provide hands-on management or decision-making.

Aerial view of beachfront vacation homes with views of brilliant blue ocean water

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Use Your Vacation Home as Often as Possible

Frequent use of your vacation home can contribute to its upkeep.

Bright blue beachfront vacation house with deck

Regular visits allow you to spot and address minor issues before they escalate into major problems.

Modern beachfront vacation home interior dining room with view

Additionally, your presence deters potential intruders and keeps the property looking well-cared for and feeling actively lived-in.

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Lease Your Vacation Home When You’re Not There

When you’re unable to use your vacation home, consider renting it out. This option will allow you to generate income to cover maintenance costs and reduce the risk of vandalism and deterioration by keeping the property occupied.

Backyard of rental vacation home with cafe table and chairs

You can manage short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb or long-term leases with the help of a local agent or property management company.

Interior view of a modern vacation beach house

Renters will keep the property in use and identify any issues that need addressing, key to maintaining your remote home’s overall condition.

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Get to Know Trustworthy Local Help

Enlisting local help is a practical and cost-effective solution for maintaining your vacation home.

Friendly elderly groundskeeper/handyman tending to the garden of a vacation home

Local cleaners, gardeners, and maintenance workers can regularly visit the property to keep it in good shape. Building a trusted network of local service providers will ensure that you can deal with issues promptly and effectively.


Install a Security System with Remote Access

A robust security system is essential for any vacation home, particularly when left unattended for long periods. Installing a modern security system with remote access allows you to monitor your property from anywhere in the world.

Remote security camera images on a mobile phone

Features such as surveillance cameras, motion sensors, and smart locks can provide real-time alerts and give you control over who can access your home.

Many prospective buyers of vacation homes will expect to have a security system in place when buying a second home overseas — an important feature to keep in mind when you decide to list your vacation home for sale.

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Use a Property Management System

A property management system (PMS) streamlines vacation home management.

Symbolic property management system for a vacation home

These systems offer a range of features, including scheduling maintenance, tracking expenses, and managing rental bookings. A good PMS can integrate with various platforms and services, making it easier to coordinate everything from afar.


Closing Thoughts

Following these tips for maintaining your vacation home when you’re far away will protect your investment and ensure it remains a delightful retreat for you and your guests. Investing in professional services, leveraging technology, and staying proactive in your management approach will help you enjoy your overseas home to the fullest.

Aerial view of beachfront vacation homes and community


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