HV CID CHILD CARER SAFETY AWARENESS COURSE SPONSORED BY NORGARB PROPERTIES


HV CID CHILD CARER SAFETY AWARENESS COURSE SPONSORED BY NORGARB PROPERTIES


More than 50 child carers attended the safety-awareness training workshop in Surrey Park at the end of November. The workshop formed part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women & Children Campaign, hosted by HV CID & SAPS Claremont.

HV CID manager Jenni Coleman was the brainchild behind this initiative and hosted a similar workshop last year. Jenni said the HV CID acknowledges that the carers are a very important part of the Harfield Community and feel it is important to equip the women in charge of looking after our children with tools and information to keep themselves and the children safe.

Sergeant Lutchmee Chetty of the Claremont police highlighted some practical tips for the carers, on how to be safe and more aware of their surroundings at all times. She urged them to take note and immediately report any incidences and suspicious vehicles or people in the area.



Norgarb Properties is very proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor this amazing initiative. The Carers loved our little goodie bags, refreshments and emergency card with useful emergency contact numbers which we provided to them. They definitely found the session informative and inspiring.

Thank you to Jenni Coleman who worked tirelessly in making this workshop such a success. To Sergeant Chetty for running the course and to Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch and Fidelity ADT who also sent volunteers to assist. We are grateful for your efforts and contribution to the Harfield Village
Community.













How your home can make you wealthy


One hears a lot about home ownership being the key to personal wealth creation, especially from those selling property to first-time buyers, but the details of just how that works are often sketchy. “However, the process is really quite simple,” says Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, SA’s biggest bond originator, “although it always demands discipline and can sometimes involve sacrifice.”

The key to becoming a real estate mogul, he says, is to understand what equity is and how to get more of it. “Quite simply, equity is the percentage of your home’s value that you own, or the difference between what a buyer would pay for your property and how much you still owe the bank.

 “In other words, it is the amount you would be able to realise in hard cash if you were to sell your home today. When that amount is not very large, you are what is known as ‘house-rich and cash-poor’ and will only be able to increase your wealth if you start looking at ways to increase your equity.”

When you first purchase a home, for example, your equity will generally be equal to whatever deposit you paid. So a quick way to increase your equity is to pay a bigger deposit – or buy a less expensive home, says Botha.

“With household budgets currently under such pressure, it is difficult for most people to save up a large amount of cash to put down as a deposit. But it takes the same amount of money to pay a 10% deposit on a home costing R800 000 as a 13% deposit on a home costing R600 000 – and you will immediately have more equity, or what ultra-wealthy investor Warren Buffet calls ‘skin in the game’.

“In addition, your willingness to compromise and buy the cheaper property could well be rewarded by your lender with a lower interest rate on your bond – especially if you apply through a reputable originator like BetterBond* - and that could help you build up equity even faster. If your budget enables you to afford a monthly bond repayment of R7000, for example, but the monthly bond repayment for the cheaper home is only R5000, it is really worth paying that extra R2000 a month off your bond anyway – because it will enable you to achieve 100% equity within 10 years.

“In other words, you will have paid off your bond completely and will not owe anything at all to the bank if you sell it. And assuming the capital value of the property has increased by then, you will have quite a lot more wealth that you started out with, which you can then use as a very substantial deposit on a new home while you repeat the wealth creation process.”

Alternatively, he says, you could split your cash and buy two properties – one to live in and one to rent out – and carry on increasing your personal wealth that way.

“Either way, building up equity should be your main goal, and there are several other ways to do this too, starting with putting your spare cash, annual bonus and any tax you may get back from SARS into your bond account. This may mean giving up on holidays or a new car for a few years (that’s where the sacrifice comes in), but it will be worth it when you sell you home and you get to keep most of the profit instead of having to pay it to the bank.

“In addition, you can make home improvements that will increase the value of your home at the same time as you are doing your utmost to pay off your bond. The most popular include a complete repaint, an additional bathroom, a kitchen upgrade, added security measures and “green” equipment like solar geysers, but you should seek the advice of an experienced local agent to ensure that the cost of these improvements will generate the added value you hope for.”

*BetterBond uses a multiple lender application process to ensure that clients obtain the very best interest rates available. Currently the average variation between the best and worst rate offered on an application is 0,5%, which could translate into very significant savings for the borrower, at no cost for the service. On the average first-time buyers’ loan of R760 000, for example, the potential savings amount to more than R60 000 worth of interest over the 20-year lifetime of the loan, plus some R3000 a year off the monthly home loan instalments.

Issued by etc

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
E-mail: anne-marie.bamber@betterlife.co.za








Patchwork | January in the Garden

We've made it into Summer, and somewhat surprisingly water restrictions have been lowered and we are still having sporadic rain! This is wonderful for our gardens. As many of us take holidays over the festive season, it's a great time to get stuck into the garden as a relaxing break, or to get the kids involved. Why not give family and friends edible or drought-resistant plants, seeds or succulents as meaningful Christmas gifts? It can also be fun to give children a plant or garden bed to take care of over the holidays.

Here's this month's plant list:
Amaranth, Climbing beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Butternut, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard/Spinach, Chinese cabbage, Chives, Chilli pepper, Cucumber, Kale, Kholrabi, Ginger, Globe artichoke, Leek, Lettuce, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Tomato, Watercress, Zucchini

Here's a list of drought-resistant plants that you could invest in for your garden if you're not growing food. 

Happy gardening, and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!

From: Gabriella Garnett




 

HOLIDAY EATING MYTHS


Do you feel that December will ruin your hard work this year?  Are there just too many parties, dinners and family gatherings that weight gain seems inevitable?  It is possible to survive the Christmas season without gaining weight.  Don’t fall for the myths of unavoidable holiday weight gain.  You can enjoy you holiday favourites and still start the year looking slim and trim.

Let’s debunk some of the common holiday myths.

Myth 1: Most people gain 2-3kg’s over the holiday season
You’ve probably heard this, you may even have experienced it, but in truth, holiday weight gain is actually quite small.  According to one study, the average adult gains about half a kilogram during the holidays.  The problem lies in the fact that most people do not lose this weight during the following year, which means there is a subtle gain over the years, and in later life we suddenly notice the middle age spread!  It is of course still important to be mindful and careful of your eating during the holidays to minimize the damage.

Bottom line, what you do from January to November really determines your weight.

Myth 2: Eating less during the day will help me control my weight
Skipping meals during the day in an effort to keep calories for later is generally an approach that will backfire.  Although it may sound logical, you will arrive at the function ravenous and ready to eat a lot of everything you see!  Instead of starving yourself to prepare for a function, just eat as you normally would.  By not being overly hungry when you arrive at the function, you will be less likely to eat past the point of fullness and overdo it.  Keeping calories for later promotes obsessing about food and takes away from the enjoyment of the food.

Bottom line, if you want to prevent overeating, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as a snack before you go out.

Myth 3: I have to give up my favourite holiday foods not to gain weight
Absolutely not.  All foods can be worked into a healthy eating plan.  And avoiding all your favourite foods will only leave you feeling deprived, which could ultimately lead you to go overboard and binge.  The key is to taste the treats and fill up on the healthier foods.

Bottom line, you can have small portions of your favourite holiday foods.  Savour them so that you don’t need a large portion.

Myth 4: A few little nibbles won’t do any harm
A few little snacks eaten here and there can easily add up to a whole lot of calories, so be careful of what you put in your mouth in between meals.  If you would like some snacks, put them on a small plate, sit down (this is very important!) and enjoy them slowly.  In this way you will be aware of what and how much you are eating.  It is the mindless snacks that creep in that cause the biggest problem with our weight.

Bottom line, be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth.

Myth 5: It’s all about willpower
Yes, willpower can play a part when it comes to managing snacks, treats and portions.  But it takes more than just willpower to control your food intake.  Some easy ways to rely less on willpower:

ü Eating regularly during the day (to balance your blood sugar levels) so that you are not starving will help you not have to rely on willpower. 
ü   Managing your environment by removing yourself from the table of snacks.
ü  Bringing a healthy plate of food (crudité with a cottage cheese dip for the starter snacks or a salad for the meal) so that there is something you can fill up on if you really need to eat.
ü  Drinking water in between each alcoholic drink.

Bottom line, don’t rely on willpower to stay on track, it runs out at some point!

Myth 6: Cleansing or drastically cutting calories after the holiday season is the best way to counteract all of that holiday eating you did.

This is completely unnecessary and counterintuitive.  Firstly, your body detoxes and cleanses itself every single day – eating more fruit and vegetables will help with the process as these foods contain all the nutrients that the liver requires to work at its best.  Secondly, suddenly decreasing your calories confuses the body and it is more likely to go into a holding on state if the calories are cut for a longer period of time.  And thirdly, it puts you into a ‘diet mentality’, which ruins your relationship with food and spoils the enjoyment of food.  Rather get back to basics after the holiday season and continue to listen to your body – your body does not lie about what it needs.

Bottom line, get back into your regular pattern of eating and eat less or no treats for a while.

Keeping your weight stable during the holidays doesn’t have to be hard!  You can enjoy the special and delicious foods and festive meals that make the holiday season special to you.  if you eat normally on most days, and at functions control your portions and eat mindfully, stop eating when you are satisfied, and get back to basics once the holidays are over, you will find that your clothes will not feel snug in the new year!

 Kim Hofmann is a Registered Dietician with an added Honours Degree in Psychology. She has been working in private practice for 13 years and has successfully assisted hundreds of people, from those seeking to lose weight to those with special needs (sports, allergies and intolerances, disordered eating and eating disorders, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease). Kim’s passion lies in combining her psychological studies with nutrition and food, and she often helps clients understand the reasons behind their binging and other unhealthy habits. She is totally dedicated to delivering nutrition information that is accurate, practical and easy to follow. She teaches clients how to follow an easy-to-use healthy plan that has enough energy and takes into account individual likes and lifestyle.

Kim Hofmann RD(SA)
Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715

SYNTHETIC LAWN


In a time when water is so precious many are doing their best and implementing many water-savers into their homes and gardens. One such water-saver is synthetic lawn.

Synthetic lawn is made from a mixture of synthetic materials which vary from supplier to supplier. The raw materials used are crucial to the quality of synthetic lawn. Blades are always made from nylon, polyethylene (PE), or polypropylene (PP) – a common form of plastic found in plastic bags and bottles. It comes in solid pellets which are melted down and mixed with dyes and UV resistant additives. If you’re looking for quality, PE is generally your high-end option.

The backing is often made from polypropylene fibres, rubber compounds or polyester foam. A flexible adhesive such as polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or latex is used to coat the underside and bind the grass fibres into the backing.

Installation can actually make or break your experience. The method to install synthetic lawn varies depending on the surface onto which you are installing it and DIY can be risky. There are many factors to consider such as which region you are in and what weather conditions your artificial lawn will be exposed to. For example, you cannot use nails in extremely cold regions whilst extreme heat and reflections from windows can melt the lawn. Professionals also have knowledge of roll orientation and the direction of the lawn blades as well as excavation depth, preparation of the base, etc. It is advisable to get a local installer in to conduct a site visit and give advice on which method would best suit your individual circumstances. You could try DIY but you’d be saving yourself time and money getting it done by a professional.


Once the grass has been correctly installed you’ll need to give it some TLC in terms of cleaning and maintenance; but don’t worry, it’s not nearly as time consuming as traditional lawn. Basic maintenance would include the following:

• Brush the lawn with a stiff bristle broom (not steel) regularly to remove debris and encourage the blades to stay upright. Brush in accordance with the amount of traffic your lawn gets – you’ll soon see if the grass is looking dull or flat.
• Rake or use a leaf blower to remove fallen leaves, branches, etc.
• Hose down your lawn every month (more if heavy traffic) to get rid of dust, dirt, and pollen. If something is spilt on your lawn it is best to rinse it straight away. Recommended detergent use varies so check with your supplier.
• Remove solid pet waste as per normal – with a scoop or bag – and remove urine by hosing down the area. If odour starts to build up you can use a mixture of white vinegar and water mixed in equal parts.
• Even artificial lawn can get weeds if not looked after. Weed removal is easy enough -pick them out or spray a weed killer in advance to avoid them altogether.

The good news is that with good care, synthetic lawn can last up to 20 years. This figure obviously depends on which brand you use, but most come with a warranty of 8 to 15 years. Modern synthetic grass is chemically treated to be UV resistant and has been improved to be more wear-resistant. So whether you want to switch over to a lower maintenance back yard or simply create a little manicured spot in your courtyard, synthetic lawn is a great long term investment that may even add a little value to your property. After all everyone loves a lush green, manicured lawn!

Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month. Read more of his articles here.

Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | andre@norgarb.co.za | www.norgarbproperties.co.za

RENTAL SCAMS


Rental scams are on the rise and tenants and private landlords are potentially more at risk of being scammed. But there are some useful tips “Red flags” to watch out for. As agents it’s our business to be aware and carefully do our due diligence in the application process to alleviate falling prey to scammers. It is usually easy to spot a scam however scammers are savvy and sometimes all is not as it seems. 

The latest which agents and owners alike are facing are fraudulent bank statements submitted with the application, seemingly stamped and dated by the banks. Most wouldn’t question the validity when presented with bank statements looking legit.

For tenants it is fundamental that you physically view the property and meet with the agent, or if viewing without the agent that you verify who the agent is, i.e. scammers often take pictures off ads currently being advertised by agents and sometimes even use the agent’s name. Always verify the authenticity of the agent by phoning the agency (not merely a cellphone provided in the ad). It is imperative that no funds should change hands at this stage. Red flag… if asked to pay a deposit to secure the property and/or first months rental before the application has been processed and lease drawn up. It can be easy to get excited by a ‘good deal’ and think by paying the deposit you are guaranteed a lease. 

It is important to remember that these con artists are professional and you can easily be swept up by their sweet talking. Never accept that you cannot physically view a property. Red flag ……. Why an appointment can’t be kept, “agent/landlord” is out of town and cannot be there, or keys not available or being couriered. But they stress the urgency as there are a number of applications and prospective tenants who are willing to pay the deposit. 

For a genuine rental application, you would need to provide ID, bank statements, proof of income, employment history, references past and present. FICA , proof of current residence.  If not asked to provide this with a signed application form giving the agent/landlord permission to carry out check then Red flag…..start asking why. And never submit this documentation to anyone until you’ve verified that the agent.

Insist on seeing the current FFC and check the EAAB website for registration. Or do your own investigations as every estate agent has to be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) and have an up-to-date Fidelity Fund certificate. (FFC). These certificates are issued on an annual basis and must reflect that the agent is licensed to practise for the current year. Regardless of any excuse given, it's illegal for an agent to practise if they are not in possession of a valid FFC.
As the financial strain on tenants is increasing, the demand for more affordable rentals rises thus making it easier for con artists to operate by “providing” a good deal and using fear of loss as a tool con tenants into paying a deposit upfront to secure “due to the number of people interested”.


In summary:  
• Don't pay any form of deposit or application fee until you have physically viewed the inside and outside of a property and met with/verified the agent. 
• Check and see if the agency marketing the rental property has a valid Fidelity Fund certificate.
• DO NOT pay any money before or during an application process until the go ahead has been given and application and ITC checks have been concluded.
• Be wary of adverts on free classified websites.
• If an add looks too good to be true and the price is a giveaway compared to what is advertised in the area - then it probably is too good to be true.
• Never do business purely via sms / email.   When meeting with a private landlord ask for proof of ownership to verify that they are in fact are the registered owners. 
• An agent will need to have a signed Mandate with the owner and would have received FICA and ID as well as proof of ownership.
• Always insist on a written lease and check it carefully before signing.
• Private Landlords – carefully scrutinise bank statements submitted with an application for any sign of alteration to e.g. the name, or date.

The information contained in this article expresses our thoughts, views and understanding based on our experience and is not to be taken as legal advice. As such LettingWorx Rentals will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information.

LettingWorx Rentals

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE THIS HOLIDAY




How to keep your home safe this holiday - “More jingle bells, less alarm bells”

The lead-up to the festive season is a busy one. People are packing, making holiday plans, doing last-minute shopping and attending endless year-end functions. However, ensuring the security of family and property should be a priority.

“We have all had a long and tough year and it is only natural to want to relax and drop your guard.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what opportunistic criminals are depending on. We hope these tips will help you enjoy the holiday with the ease of knowledge that all your security plans are in place,” says Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT.


She offers the following tip sheet on valuable do's and don’ts:

1. Ensure that your alarm is in working order. December is traditionally a busy period for security companies, so homeowners should test their alarms at least three weeks before going on holiday. Should the system require servicing, this should be arranged as early as possible.
2. Ensure there are no gaps in your fence or unintentional points of access to your home that may need additional security.
3. Connecting outdoor lights to timers and motion sensors act as an additional deterrent.
4. Two weeks before you leave for your holiday, advise your security company of your holiday plans. Should an incident happen while you are away, it is essential that they have the following updated information:
• all key holder information
• details of domestic workers, gardeners or house sitters who may be staying on the property while you are away.
5. Inform your neighbours and Neighbourhood Watch of your holiday plans so that they can keep an eye on your property while you are away.
6. Stop all newspaper and other deliveries if applicable and arrange that someone collects your post while you are away. A bulging post box is a clear indication that you are not home.
7. If you have hired a house sitter, teach them how to use your alarm system correctly.
8. Make sure that all bushes or trees close to your doors and garage are trimmed, to avoid the possibility of intruders hiding behind them.
9. Be discreet when packing your car. Do so behind closed doors. If possible, in your garage.
10. Do a quick once-over before you leave on holiday. Double check that you have locked and secured all windows and doors. Sliding doors can be secured simply by placing a piece of timber cut to size in the sliding rail. Don’t leave ladders, spades or tools outside as these can be excellent break-in tools. Ensure that all valuables and remote controls for automatic gates and garage doors are not left lying around.

“The best way to keep your home safe over the festive season and to ensure peace of mind is to follow these guidelines and to get a preholiday alarm service check-up to ensure the system is in full working order”, explains Hattingh.

“Your security company can even do a full risk assessment and make recommendations as to where you can improve your home security. You may wish to consider outdoor protection beams, smoke detectors, CCTV and even electric fencing.”

Issued on behalf of Fidelity ADT

JENNI COLEMAN
Manager - Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID)
Cel: 081 412 6109   E-mail: admin@hvcid.co.za