property investment

Many of us tend to think all home insurance policies are pretty much the same. That’s not true though. There can be distinct differences as I recently discovered when I decided to sell my house.

My mom and I chose to move into an apartment during the selling process. This allowed me to be closer to help with the caregiving needs of my grandkids and freed her from having to deal with drop-in real estate agents and prospective home buyers. This made for a much less stressful environment for both of us.

I let my homeowner’s insurance agent know about the change and added rental property insurance to the new apartment. While we did move most of the furniture out, we left a few pieces to help with the home staging. The great staff at my insurance agency touched base with me a few times over the 4 1/2 months the house was on the market, but we had no problems.

I was quite surprised when I read an interesting article recently suggesting hiring house sitters for a vacant house on the market. She made the suggestion in order to save a large surcharge her insurance company charged her when her elderly parent’s house sat vacant and for sale for a few months.

When I called my insurance agent to happily inform him that my house had finally closed escrow, I asked him about the article. He explained that yes, there are definitely differences between insurance companies. In addition, various state and county laws can have different requirements as well. He also explained that his company does require at least one piece of furniture in the house. Apparently if it is entirely empty, it is considered more susceptible to vandalism. Because of that, they do recommend a vacancy endorsement for vacant houses, which I believe could cost extra. Since I am a big believer in home staging, believing it is a core component to being able to sell your house fast (or in this market, faster than others), that’s never been an issue for me.

In Roseville, California, I used a different insurance company for each property investment there with equally good results. I always worked closely with my agent there as well, staged the home and never had an extra fee tacked on then either.

When you call around to select your homeowner’s insurance I would encourage you to ask about your options if you ever need to leave your house sitting vacant while selling it. You never know when caregiving needs may require you to do that, for your own property investment or that of your aging parents.


Are you in the midst of helping your aging parents find house buyers for their home? Or is that, perhaps, coming up soon? Then again, perhaps you are trying to sell your own empty house from a distance, along with caregiving, grandparenting, and all the other duties familiar to those of us in the Sandwich Generation?

In March, I shared some helpful tips for caregivers in the Sandwich Generation over at SandwichINK. They are things I’ve learned when trying to sell my house in the past, as well as those I learned while recently working through the process from a distance. In all but one of the transactions I was a caregiver dealing with aging parents and grandkids, so it’s a topic I know up close and personal.

Check out the article, 9 Tips for Caregivers Selling a House From a Distance, to read the entire article and find out more information about such topics as:

  • Why it’s important to be sure you have a good real estate agent.
  • Ideas for staging the house.
  • Ways to keep it looking extra spiffy for buyers.
  • Tips to make it shine brighter for buyers.
  • How neighbors can be a big help.
  • Fly-away flyers – the disappearing brochures.
  • Are flower pots always a good idea at the front entrance?

For more on these tips about how to sell an important property investment more easily and others, enjoy 9 Tips for Caregivers Selling a House From a Distance.

While you’re there, you might also enjoy taking a peek around at other posts of interest to those in the Sandwich Generation. SandwichINK covers fun projects with grandkids as well as important information to help you in providing excellent senior home care to your aging parents. Coupled with encouragement and ideas for making the caregiver’s life a bit easier, SandwichINK is a great place for the Sandwich Generation, and SandwichINK Real Estate Info is a great place for the Sandwich Generation caregiver dealing with property investment.