Do you live in a Burglary Hot Spot or a Suburb Safe Zone?

neighbourhood“If property owners do not take collective action as a neighbourhood community, the affect on everyone’s property values in that neighbourhood could be very negative”, says Cape Town real estate broker, Andre de Villiers from Cape Town.

De Villiers was previously a Neighbourhood Watch Chairperson for a popular Cape Town coastal suburb. “My experience is that there are far too few residents prepared to get involved in neighbourhood security unless there is a dramatic spike in crime or a violent attack. The majority of residents it seems are only too happy to leave the collective security concerns to someone else”.

“As the owner of four real estate offices in Cape Town, I can confirm that buyers are increasingly asking agents for more details about security issues in the neighbourhood of the house they are interested in. The focus on the individual house’s security is correctly seen as something that can be resolved by the buyer, but the area’s reputation and crime statistics are a greater concern, as a buyer knows this will probably be an issue that falls outside their immediate control.”

There is certainly a demand for reliable data but this is not as easy to obtain as some may think. Many smaller incidents are not reported to the police and many private security services treat their information as confidential and many neighbourhood watch groups are understandably concerned that their neighbourhood could suffer if their efficiency in keeping records resulted in a negative message!

“I think any professional estate agent should have some reasonable methodology to answer security questions from buyers objectively about the neighbourhood. We can’t put our head in the sand over this issue and a lack of access to reliable data is certainly a challenge,” said de Villiers.

The message to property owners is to ‘buy in’ to the responsibility of keeping their neighbourhood safe and crime free through collective action, and thereby collecting a ‘collective security dividend’. “Imagine if you will, a pocket of houses that is able to claim and where the seller or agent can statistically show, that the subject area is the safest area in this suburb! If that’s not a great selling feature then, as a real estate professional with over thirty years experience, I am not sure what is!” said de Villiers.

Water Saving Tips

Cape-Town-Water-RestrictionsThe City of Cape Town is currently implementing Level 2 Water restrictions. This is due in part to the low dam levels. It is everyone’s responsibility to save water.

Here are some usefill tips on how you can save water:
Save water throughout your home
  • Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day – that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.
  • Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.
  • Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.
Save water in your garden
  • Water your garden before 09:00 or after 16:00 (or even later on hot summer days). Avoid watering during windy periods and only water your garden when necessary.
  • Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns. Professional greywater recycling systems are also available for purchase.
  • If you have an overflow pipe that drips into the garden, place a bucket beneath the drips and use the saved water to water pot plants.
  • Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
  • Use a mulching lawn mower that allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn.
  • Don’t mow lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer.
  • Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you wash your car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time. Or, to save even more water wash your vehicle using a bucket of water.
  • Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you water your garden.
  • Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered.
  • Adjust your irrigation system for the season and switch it off during rainy weather – even if it is borehole or wellpoint water.
  • Watering the garden less frequently, but deeper (for longer) encourages a deeper root system, which results in stronger plants. This practice can make water-wise plants out of most established plants.
Save water in your kitchen
  • Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.
  • Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.
  • Rinse water can be reused for the next cycle of washing up before being discarded.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge so that you don’t run lukewarm water down the drain when waiting for it to cool.
  • Run tap water into a bottle when waiting for it to heat up.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, sunlight or microwave rather than placing them under running water.
Save water in your bathroom
  • Close the tap when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 20 litres per month. Use a mug of water to rinse your toothbrush.
  • Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water. This saves up to 45 litres per month.
  • A half-filled bath uses about 113 litres, a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres. Shower rather than bath, if you have to bath make it a shallow one or share it.
  • Reuse bath water in your garden.
  • Install a new water-saving toilet or put a clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand in the toilet cistern. This could save you up to 7 300 litres each year.
  • A toilet leak can waste up to 30 litres an hour – check if your toilet is leaking by adding a few drops of food dye to the cistern. If the colour seeps into the bowl, you have a leak, which should be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Install a water-saving shower head, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force and turn off the shower when soaping or shaving.
Save water in industries, businesses and schools
  • Automatic flushing urinals are the ultimate water wasters. If they cannot be replaced immediately, turn off the water after hours and over weekends – schools doing this have saved up to R5 000 on their annual water bill.
  • Flush valves should flush for just two to four seconds and urinals for six to eight seconds.
  • Regular maintenance of toilet fittings will save unnecessarily flushed water.
  • Ensure your plumbing systems are regularly checked for leaks.
  • Use a broom to sweep forecourts and other paved areas. Do not use a hose for this purpose.
  • Potable water must not be used to dampen building sand or other building material to prevent it from being blown away.

Original Source: Cape Town Green Map

8 Home Security Mistakes you’re Making

mistakesEvery day we make mistakes that leave our homes vulnerable to a break-in. A burglar will always choose the easiest target and that’s good news for you – it means you have a lot of influence on whether you become a victim or not.

  • Hiding keys by doorways – leaving keys near door ways is very risky as you risk someone duplicating your key and breaking in whenever they want.
  • Leaving out mail – an overflowing mailbox is a good sign that no one is home as well as it allows criminals to steal your mail and gain personal information.
  • Open windows – windows are often the easiest entry point for burglars to access your home as doors can be sturdy and deadlocked.
  • Leaving valuables in sight – valuables should be left out sight so that burglars and stored away as expensive items signal that you have money and is a clear indicator to a burglar that your home is worth targeting.
  • No visible security – securing your home with burglar bars and visible security measures is a huge deterrent to burglars.
  • Not maintaining your yard – a messy yard is a signal to a burglar that you are an easy target as untrimmed trees and hedges make for potential hiding places.
  • Updating social media – avoid using social media to let strangers know your whereabouts as you never know who is following you online.
  • A lifeless home – leaving lights and the TV / Radio on a timer can signal to a burglar that someone is home.

Download eBook: 8 Home Security Mistakes you’re Making

Resource: Cammy

Cammy is an Australian company that captures motion detected events only, saving you from searching through meaningless footage.

Holiday Safety

Holiday SafetyChristmas is a busy time of year for everyone, but ensuring your home is properly protected against festive crime should be made a priority.

Many of us will be spending time away from home visiting family or travelling abroad. It is also a time when the house is full of valuable items such as gifts, food and wine. Because of this, Christmas traditionally sees a sharp increase in domestic burglary, with criminals targeting houses when they are at their most vulnerable.

To avoid being a victim of festive theft, take a look at these tips for protecting your home this Christmas.

While out shopping:

  • Try to avoid doing most of your shopping  in one trip as you may struggle to carry all your bags therefore you will be distracted, making it easier for a thief to steal from you.
  • Keep your handbag closed and hold all bags securely to make it more difficult for the pickpockets.  Keep mobile phones out of sight. Try not to keep too much cash and keep your cheque book and credit card separate.
  • Try not to go back to your car in the middle of the shopping trip to put gifts in the boot, thieves may be watching car parks for this opportunity.
  • Always ensure that Christmas shopping/gifts is placed in the boot of the car and out of sight. Check that  all windows and doors are shut and locked. 

Celebrations:

  • During the month of December we have many Christmas celebrations and social events to attend: remember pubs, restaurants and other venues are often crowded.
  • Don’t leave bags over the back of your chair where its easy for thieves to run off with them. Keep your bag zip closed and your wallet and mobile safely inside.
  • If you will not be driving to the place make prior arrangements as to how you will get home. Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back.
  • Avoid any potential distraction on the street and don’t get too drunk as you could become an easy target.

At home:

  • Try to avoid putting Christmas gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve!
  • If you go out in the evening make sure that some lights are left on to make it look like someone is home. However, do not leave your Christmas tree lights on when you are out of the house, as these are a frequently the cause of domestic fires
  • If you are going away for Christmas put an automatic timer on lights and ask a trusted friend to watch the house for you. Don’t forget to cancel your newspaper .
  • After Christmas, when taking your rubbish out, make sure that the boxes of your Christmas gifts are not easily visible, burglars will be on the look out to see who received top of the range equipment, worth breaking-in for.

The Pamper Hamper is Back!

It’s that time of year where we like to help spread the Christmas Cheer.PamperHamper
Musgrave Park Service Centre, Diep River, has asked us to assist them in co-ordinating with the neighbouring suburbs as last years Pamper Hamper was such a huge success and enjoyed by all.
Fran & I with Citty & Jean
It’s been a tough year financially for many folks at the home and the service centre has suggested that 2015 gifts be essential toiletries needed daily.
Deodorant, toothpaste and soap are some of the items mentioned.
If you wish to contribute edible items like biscuits, chocolates and juice, you can email mpsc1010@gmail.com or call the Chairperson Citty on 012 712 8722 or 084 723 2203. Kindly drop off any donations before the 11 December 2015 at the Chas Everitt Constantia Office, Shop 26, Park ‘n Shop Centre, Cnr. Firgrove Way & Howard Drive, Meadowridge.

Make a Difference this MOVEmber

ChasEveritt-300x300Movember is all about raising awareness about men’s health!

As an individual agent Joan Ross is offering a R2500 donation towards The Movember Foundation on all her listings taken in the month of November no matter when the property is sold.  
Chas Everitt is prepared to support Joan in this fund raiser and has agreed to contribute equally to her donation, so together make a donation of R5000 towards this worthy cause for every ‘Movember’ listing!
The Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising R5.7 billion and funding over 1,000 programmes focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

Joan Ross will make the donation in your name, no matter when she sells your property.

Read more here:  https://za.movember.com
Contact Chas Everitt agent Joan Ross on 083 419 5301 or email joan@everitt.co.za to make a difference today!

Guy Fawkes Day in Cape Town

Don’t get caught on the wrong side of the law, there are safe sites to discharge and enjoy fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day 2015 in Cape Town!

On Thursday, 5 November 2015, we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day (or Guy Fawkes Night) in Cape Town with explosive displays of fireworks (at designated areas).

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CELEBRATING GUY FAWKES DAY IN DIEP RIVER

In recent years in South Africa it has become illegal to discharge fireworks displays in backyards for safety and regulatory reasons; however, City of Cape Town officials have deemed certain parks and public areas safe locations for setting off certain sparklers and crackers.

Members of the public are urged to purchase fireworks from registered suppliers who can produce their permits issued by SAPS. Shop-bought fireworks discharged at approved locations are done so at the owner’s risk.

PLACES TO WATCH & DISCHARGE FIREWORKS FOR GUY FAWKES DAY 2015 (BETWEEN 6PM AND MIDNIGHT ONLY!)

·  Tourism Centre, Athens Road, Table View beachfront

·  Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis

·  Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis

·  Metropolitan sports grounds, Melkhout Street, Bonteheuwel

·  Delft Central sports grounds, Main Road, Delft

·  Swartklip sports complex, Swartklip Road, Mitchells Plain

·  Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone

·  Maiden’s Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay

·  Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein

·  Sarepta sports complex

·  Blue Downs sports field

·  Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar

Citizens are urged to not use so-called Chinese lanterns. These candle-powered airborne lanterns are not only illegal but also considered a fire hazard. What’s more, the floating lamps resemble that of emergency flairs, which the NSRI is required to investigate and thus is a waste of valuable and expensive resources.

Law enforcement agencies will monitor the aforementioned sites.

To report fireworks that are being illegally discharged, please notify the Metro Police Control Centre on +27 (0) 86 076 5423, or the SAPS Emergency Control Centre on 10111.

In the event of a fireworks-related emergency, contact the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 107 (or +27 (0) 21 480 7700 from a cellphone).

Introducing Constitutional Kids to Parents

constitutional kidsLee-Anne Flack is the author of the revolutionary children’s book Constitutional Kids, which is endorsed by Barry Hilton, Derek Watts and Mpho Kgosana. In a story format, the book explains the rights and responsibilities we have in the Constitution of South Africa in a fun and easy to understand manner.

As a new resident of the Southern Peninsula, and in light of the recent disturbing events in Masiphumelele, Lee-Anne has launched a campaign to get a copy of Constitutional Kids to all of our local underprivileged children. If you would like to sponsor one or more books, please email: leeflack10877@gmail.com. R70 per book.

Let’s help empower and protect South African children together!

www.leeanneflack.co.za

This advertisement was kindly sponsored by Eneighbourhoods.co.za

Halloween Safety Tips

This Saturday is Halloween, so dress to scare and remember that children in Diep River often like to dress up for Halloween and go ‘trick or treating’. If you would like to participate and have them ring your doorbell, please decorate your gate with something “Halloween-ish” (e.g. an orange balloon, jack-o-lantern etc.) and have your bowl of treats ready.

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the right as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.