Staying Secure While Snowbirding

Back in July, my fiance’s parents closed on a house in Texas.  They live outside of Chicago but they were tired of the cold winters.  Who can blame them, right?!?  They’re doing what a lot of retired people choose to do… snowbird!

Snowbirding is where you have two houses; one is in a warmer climate like Florida or Texas or Arizona and the other is in some area that has colder weather in the winter and you move between the two every year when the weather changes.

Before they packed up the car and made the drive down, we wanted to make sure their house was secure and that they could check up on it as often as they liked.  For that, we bought them a Nest Cam Outdoor.

Nest Camera OutdoorsSetup is really simple, and fortunately for us, Paul’s dad is also really handy.  We were going for a visit and had planned to help him set everything up.  When we got there, he already had the camera mount ready to go exactly where he wanted to place it so all we had to do was get it set up on the network.  As far as installation goes, I should note that he drilled a few holes to wire it up to an existing electric source, but you can simply run a wire and plug it right in if you’re not as technically savvy.

Networking it is pretty easy, too.  The only struggle you may run into is if the router is far away and you’re installing the camera on a brick wall.  We hit this but were able to move the router to a different room.  You could also pick up a network extender if you’re having struggles.  Once we got it on the network, we opened the app, followed the prompts, and saw the video.  It was pretty painless, overall.

They’re really happy with the camera and use it to check on the house from Texas.  Heck, they even get notifications whenever there’s motion or sounds in the vicinity of the camera, alerting them to activity at their front door.  They have even talked about getting a second camera for the back door, too.

Nest ThermostatThey also jumped on the smart thermostat bandwagon to make sure that their house was warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing in the winter.  Nest Thermostat does just that for them.  They set up the thermostat to replace their existing ‘dumb’ thermostat and now it’ll alert them if the temperature in the house falls below a certain threshold.  That setup was easy enough, too, and the fact that the Nest connected to their already-installed Nest Camera app on the phone made life simpler, too.

I’m happy that we were able to get them set up with these devices to give them peace of mind for the handful of months that they’re in the south and I know they’re happy to have that peace of mind, too.

If you’re a snowbird or know someone who is, a connected setup is a great way to go to keep your home and belongings safe while you’re relaxing in the sun.



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