Get Remote Access to Your Vacation Home

By: Sanjog Gopal

A second home or vacation residence can be a great investment, but it may also come with long distance maintenance worries. In many cases your winter getaway may be located hundreds of miles away, how do you find out if a door is left unlocked or a pipe bursts?

It's because of problems like these that long distance security systems have become all the rage for second homeowners.

Imagine surveying the condition of your vacation house and accessing your security systems remotely, via the internet. These systems allow you to disable an alarm if a door is left open, or keep an eye on your cleaners to see if they're doing their job. Some systems will text you if a pipe bursts or if other maintenance issues occur such as a broken window. Imagine being able to adjust your thermostat with a single phone call - you'll never have to arrive at a cold house again. Some packages even alert you if the temperature falls below a set temperature.

In addition to providing long distance monitoring, video surveillance tapes are recognized as legitimate evidence that will stand up in court. Recently in California, a security company caught someone stealing from a vacation home. This had been going on for awhile in small increments. The owner knew things were going missing, but there was no sign of a break in. After implementing security cameras they discovered the next door neighbor was letting himself in and pocketing household items little by little.

The costs of remote security vary from about $1500 to $15000 depending on the bells and whistles. Some of the simplest versions provide home security with sensors on doors and windows so that the owner will be alerted if triggered.

Other packages offer video monitoring that actually photographs the front yard and porch. An owner can see how long a contractor has really been working on the house or establish the identity of intruders. Surveillance tapes can be stored and re-accessed as needed. Basic models can be fixed on stationary objects like a door or window, then proceed to take a constant stream of snapshots which are stored on a video recorder. Some models are more advanced and have night vision as well as the capability to zero in on small objects such as rodents.

Security information can then be accessed via the internet, or over the phone. The user also has the ability to change pass codes or access codes all from a remote location.

For long distance homeowners, a little security can provide big piece of mind.

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