• Cape Cod House Watch

"New Englanders will once again experience a very frigid (shivery) winter (Déjà vu)"

Today’s headline is brought to you by the good folks at the Farmer’s Almanac as they sum up the impending off-season.

When considering an 80% success rate of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, image a baseball player hitting .800; imagine your local weather celebrity getting the five day forecast 80% in the right for that matter.

If there was ever a barometer for a manageable home watch base, it was last year. Save for a couple outdoor showers that met their demise ahead of owner schedules starting up, a proactive approach in the smallest service area in the business found “my flock” coming out the other side virtually unscathed but this isn’t a shameless plug.

Whether you decide to employ a home watch or property management company, Fred next door or simply resolve to hold your nose and hope for the best, there are some common sense measures you can take to keep Mother Nature at bay.

Drain down: Unless you’re within a commutable distance and frequent your home away from home now and then in the off-season, have your house drained down and remove all doubt on the mechanical front.

Pull screens: Remove your window screens. Beyond a rogue branch, a steady diet of horizontal wind, sleet and snow will put your screens through the same paces as a six year old and a storm door getting together for a long weekend.

Stow it: Or if you prefer, baton your hatches. It takes significantly less time to commute lawn furniture, the grill, planters, etc. to the basement or shed as opposed to cleaning up glass that use to reside in your sliding glass door frame. No time, no basement, no shed? Bungee your loose items to deck rails or that old oak tree.

Ask the watch to watch: Most neighborhoods have some form of an organized citizen watch group which, by-in-large, remain proactive and diligent in regards to general conditions left of center but some will also walk around the exterior of homes on request.

To digress briefly, check with your insurance provider in regards to liability issues that may exist with any approach be it friend, family, municipality or neighborhood watch.

The hook of course with any of these measures is that should something happen, you’re jumping in the car or attempting to scramble a particular trade remotely. If you have a local friend or relative, be sure he or she has a key whether they’re making routine rounds or not.

Lock box: Your local P.D. and F.D. will gladly point you in the right direction as it relates to installing a lock box on your home which is accessible by one or both of these services. I picked up a customer several years ago who had a squatter to the extent that the dweller was having mail delivered. The squatter figured out where a spare key was hidden and the routine was to enter the home, which tripped the alarm, then patiently wait until the owners threw up their hands and directed the alarm company to disarm. The issue with the police was that absent of any signs of forced entry, they themselves couldn’t enter.

Common sense is king and whether you go it alone or lean on Fred advice and referrals are always on the house at Nauset Management should something go sideways.