2 Replies

I am remodeling a house in Atlanta (Cascade Avenue) and I am concerned that the neighbors will strip the house (again), as soon as I finish.  Occasionally, I have found "house-sitters," living in otherwise vacant houses.  The theory is that the neighbors are less likely to strip an occupied house.  Where do I find someone to do this?

That's a tough one, or at least for me and in this area.  A few catch 22's regardless of what you end up doing.

If the house has been renovated, you can AirBNB it very cheap just to keep it active.  You will likely get offers of people staying for a week to a month as well.  Make sure they're clear on the house is for sale and within reason agents will be showing the property.  You can contact some of the local companies that are shooting films, see if they have someone who would rent it out much cheaper than a hotel while they're on the film.  Most companies stake out a place for 20-30 days.

Otherwise, you may want to install motion sensors, automatic timers, an alarm system, or cameras (live or fake, but either way a deterrent).  Another suggestion is to put one of your cars in the driveway.  Randomly move or switch with another vehicle.

Another option that just came to mind, post a listing for free (or very cheap) office space.  Give someone who might work at home but needs a different atmosphere (or away from their kids) space to work in your house temporarily until you sell the house.  That will at least keep cars in the driveway and some activity there.  There is NO guaranteed way to stop theft, but you can certainly make it less attractive while they move on to a neighbors property.