Cove Real Estate



Posted by Cove Real Estate on 10/2/2015

Each year in the U.S. there are more than five million home burglaries. Most of those crimes were preventable. There are simple steps you can take to make your home less enticing to would-be burglars and reduce your risk of being burglarized. Here are some ways to keep your home safe from thieves: 1. Don't advertise After you buy that expensive new television or computer do not leave the box sitting on the curb. You are telling would-be burglars you have things in your home that could fetch money. Cut the boxes into smaller pieces and put them inside the recycling bin out of plain sight. 2. Pretend someone is always home Typically if burglars think someone is home, they won't attempt to break in. When you leave the house, create an illusion that someone's still there by leaving a light on, or even the television. You can also set timers to set lights to go on and off throughout the home at different times. 3. Secure sliding doors Locks can easily be picked on sliding doors so take extra precaution to secure them. Place a strong dowel, steel bar or two-by-four and slide it into the back groove of the sliding door to prevent the door from being opened even if the lock is picked. 4. Lock it up Forty percent of break-ins happen without the use of force. Lock all the windows and doors and use the dead bolt on the door if you have one. When you leave make sure to lock the door leading from the garage to inside of the home. Even if your garage door is down, someone can easily open it. 5. Don't provide easy access Never leave a spare key hidden outside of your home that's an open invitation for a burglar. Instead, give a spare key to a neighbor or hide a combination lockbox to keep a key in. 6. Trim the shrubs. Don't provide a hiding place for criminals. Keep the shrubs in front of windows low and cut away any tall tree branches that reach upper story windows. 7. Don't advertise you are away If you're leaving town for a while, let the police know and request that they drive by your property to check on things. Break-ins spike during July and August when homeowners are usually away on vacation. Tell your neighbors you will be away and ask them to keep an eye on your property. Have a house sitter pick up mail, shovel the driveway or mow the lawn. These are all telltale signs of an empty home.      





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 7/31/2015

The home office can quickly become the catch-all. How can you keep your home office clean and workable?  Here are few tips to keep your home office in tip top shape and ensure you have ample space for work and storage. 1. Have adequate work space When laying out or reorganizing your home office make sure you have ample space for work and storage. Make a designated space for computer hardware and peripheral equipment, a spot for reference materials, file space and a location for frequently referenced supplies and paper. 2. Create centers Zone your home office into activity areas. Set up a clear workspace, a reference center and a supply center. Having designated spaces for things will help keep your organized. 3. Wrap it up Bundle unsightly wires together to cut down on cord clutter. Use a surge protector to for electronic equipment. 4. Create an immediate action center Create an area that is easily accessible and within your view for items that need immediate action. Establish a permanent filing system for papers you will reference, but not on a regular basis. Follow these simple tips and your office will be organized in no time.  





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 6/19/2015

Did you know that according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 84 percent of all fire deaths occur in the home?  Fires and burns continue to be a major cause of unintentional injury deaths at home. Statistics show that having working smoke detectors in use can more than double one’s chance of surviving a fire. Here are some alarm safety tips: Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Make sure to have smoke alarms outside of sleeping areas. Do not install smoke alarms near windows or doors that could interfere with their operation. Test your smoke alarms monthly. Change the smoke alarm's batteries twice a year or when you hear the chirping noise that indicates a low battery. Do not remove batteries from a smoke alarm. Vacuum and clean around smoke alarms to remove dust and debris. Replace your smoke alarm every ten years. Plan and practice an escape route so everyone in your family knows what to do in case of an emergency.





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 6/5/2015

Making daily choices to help conserve water is a win win. Reducing the amount of water used in your home will help protect our world's natural resource and save you money at the same time. Best of all, most of the ways to save are either free or very inexpensive, and will save you hundreds of dollars every year. Here are some water saving tips that are friendly to both your wallet and the environment: Turn off the faucets. Don't run the water while you are shaving, shampooing your hair, washing dishes, or brushing your teeth. Did you know turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save you over 25 gallons of water every month? Fill up the sink when doing the dishes. Put soap on one side and rinse water on the other side of the sink or use a plastic rinse bin. This will save you gallons of water every time you clean. If you use a dishwasher, always run full loads. Don’t do laundry unless you have to. Always run a full load in the washing machine. You can also reuse towels to save on filing up the laundry basket. Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket. Every time you flush a bug, tissue or trash down the toilet you waste five to seven gallons of water. Bring your car to the car wash. Commercial car washes often use recycled water. Cover pools, spas, and hot tubs when not in use. This will help prevent evaporation of water. If you must water your lawn make sure to do it early in the day so you don't lose water to evaporation. Mulch your plants. Placing mulch around your plants will help keep them retain moisture. Water conservation will have you saving money on your utility bill and also prevents water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.    





Posted by Cove Real Estate on 4/17/2015

Odds are, you don't give your electrical outlets and switches much thought beyond safety and an occasional surge protector purchase.  However, many new kinds of switches and outlets are now on the market, any one of which could be a major boost to your home's convenience and ambiance, and could even make your home a little more fun to be in. USB Outlets - Many of our cell-phones, laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices utilize a USB port for charging purposes.  With the addition of an outlet with a built-in USB port, the days of trying to find room to charge your electronic devices is over.  No more unplugging items in order to charge your phone or laptop.  If you choose to wire this new outlet yourself, you're only looking at spending $20-$40 dollars per outlet. Programmable outlets and light switches - Not only are these outlets and switches a great way to manage your home's power usage, they are also quite affordable.  These types of outlets safely turn off power after a certain amount of time, and most come equipped with a built-in surge protector. Programmable light switches work in the same fashion, which makes them ideal for kid's rooms.  Both of these will run an average of $25-$50, depending on the features. Hands-free light switches - These have been around for a while now, but while the idea isn't new, the technology has improved greatly.  Some come with body-heat detection, motion sensors, AND a time delay, which fixes the earlier issue of the lights shutting off once they didn't detect movement. The infrared light switches are paired best with smaller rooms, but sound-triggered switches (remember The Clapper?) work very well in large rooms.  For versatility, look for a unit that offers multiple lights settings.  Also, be sure that spontaneous noises, such as a loud TV or crying baby, won't accidentally trigger the lights to shut off.  These switches start at $20 dollars for simple sound-trigger options to as much as $200 for the infrared models. LED touch panel lighting - LED touch panels allow you to simply touch a panel to turn on a light, or a stroke of a finger to adjust the amount of light in a room.  Not only do these varieties make your home look sharper, they also save a lot in utility costs.  While these have been enjoyed in Europe for some time now, American manufacturers are starting to take a keen interest in developing these technologies here.  These can be ordered online for about $70-$100 per panel, and are starting to catch on here in the states.  The price will eventually become more affordable once domestic manufacturers start churning them out.