Anne Silverman - LAER Realty Partners | Ashland, MA Real Estate, Framingham, MA Real Estate

At the individual homeowner level, real estate success incorporates more than your house. It includes your parking and landscaping. You may have moved to a home that is already ripe with lush trees, bushes, hedges and other foliage. This greenery beautifies your property, potentially increasing its overall value.

Beautify your property without putting your home at risk

Bushes, hedges and trees add vibrant color to front and back lawns. They serve as perfect shade, lowering indoor temperatures which, in turn, may lower utility usage and costs. Even with small lawns, there's the ability to plant bushes, hedges and trees in themed and artful designs. This single act is an excellent way to make your home standout from other neighborhood properties.

Greenery can also put your property at risk, and not just during harsh weather storms, times when trees and other foliage may fall on autos and houses. Dense, wide and tall greenery can also serve as hiding places for would-be thieves. Home invaders can hide behind tall bushes and trees, yet see inside your home.

Closer, intrusive looks at your home

You may not see them. But, they could easily spot you enough times to know which rooms of your house are most likely empty of an adult. That's not all. Video and audio cameras can be placed in bushes, hedges and trees without you being aware that the devices are on your property.

It's with audio and video cameras that would be home invaders can spy on your home, whether you are at home or away. They could use tapes from these devices to review and monitor your patterns, including when you leave home for work. They could know when your house is most likely to be empty.

The very nature of lush lawns, bushes and trees allows them to muffle sounds unlike noises that would echo across a cement pavement if someone was walking or running on a wide open porch or front or back walkway. Foliage can also be used as a detector.

For example, long tree limbs can be used by potential home invaders to scrap windows solely to see if pets respond. If pets come running, bark or growl, it could alert someone who is prying on your home as to the location of the animals. It could also alert people thinking about entering your home unlawfully as to the type and size of pet you have.

There's a lot that you can do

The good news is that there are several steps that you can take to protect your home. As an early step, you can trim bushes, hedges and trees. Make sure that bushes are not wide enough for someone to hide behind. They also shouldn't be so tall that someone could duck and hide behind them.

Avoid planting bushes and trees too close to your house. Ensure that bushes and trees don't block your view, preventing you from seeing outside your house. You also don't want trees, hedges and bushes to block your view of nearby roadways.

Consider installing motion detection lights in or near bushes, hedges and trees, especially near greenery that is close to your house. When you move about your house also keep in mind that someone could see inside your home. You can gain added privacy by closing drapes and blinds when you're getting dressed or napping.

A healthy lifestyle is a reflection of your personal values and the habits you cultivate on a daily basis. When you prioritize, in your own mind, the importance of taking care of your own health, as well as that of your family, you've laid the groundwork for a healthier home environment. One of the worst dietary habits that many families fall into is keeping the kitchen well stocked with ice cream, cookies, cheese, crackers, and potato chips. While the mantra "All things in moderation" is a good guideline to follow, many people -- especially children -- do not have the self discipline to put that idea into practice. As you may have discovered, motivating your kids to eat less junk food and more fruits and vegetables can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility -- and unfortunately, that's not the kind of exercise that burns calories! A Few Ideas For Healthier Eating Permanently purging your home of all signs of snack foods that contain "empty calories" is too extreme of a solution for most families! A more realistic alternative might be to buy snacks in limited amounts and opt for the "reduced fat" version, whenever possible. Then, by keeping a fresh supply of apples, bananas, and other fruit in the house, you're encouraging your family to make healthier eating choices. One way to present this alternative in a more appealing way is to make low-cal fruit smoothies for your kids, or teach them to do it themselves (if they're old enough). A proven method of helping to control portion size is to serve food on smaller plates. Not only does it create the illusion of a larger serving, but it helps to limit the size of second helpings. It doesn't work for everybody all the time, but it is worth a try! Offering ice water with meals, instead of sugary soda and fruit drinks, is another simple, but healthy habit for the family. A slice of lemon or lime can add to both the taste and visual appeal. There are literally dozens of other healthy food choices you can incorporate into your family's diet, but I'll leave those details to the nutritionists, dieticians, and medical professionals. There are also several authoritative websites online that can provide you with complete guidelines, recipes, healthy snacks, and meal plans. What About Exercise? As you've probably heard, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of health problems in people of all ages. Fortunately, there are at least as many choices for staying physically active as there are excuses for avoiding it. Even if the idea of heading to the gym four times a week sounds about as appealing as being trapped in an elevator with a door-to-door salesman, there are plenty of other ways to stay in shape. Low-impact sports, such as golf, tennis, and swimming, can provide an array of benefits for both the mind and body. When all else fails, there's always the option of taking a family walk in the park or neighborhood. Sometimes adding a dog into the mix can provide an additional incentive to go out and "hit the pavement." While all exercise and dietary programs should be approved by your physician before getting started, there are quite a few common-sense approaches to improving health, such as portion control, junk food reduction, and age-appropriate physical activity (taking in account medical restrictions and personal safety.)


In today's market there are many more buyers than houses available.  Open houses are packed and there are many multiple offer situations arising for all types of properties.  I go the extra mile for my clients and recently helped two different clients find and secure their dream homes both closing mid July.  I make dreams a reality one home at a time.

In Upton, a property came on that I knew was perfect for my buyer clients, but showings were unavailable till Sunday per the multiple listing service.  I had my buyers set up an inspection during the open house and contacted the agent letting her know.  I informed her that my buyers knew this house and the property and were planning to make an over asking offer on that Friday evening if the open house would be cancelled so we can do the scheduled inspection.  She ran it by her seller and they wanted my clients to see it prior inviting us to come that evening, so we did and later presented our offer which was accepted. 

A similar situation arose in Milford and we already had most of the offer written prior to our appointment on Saturday at 10am when showings began.  The offer was for 15K over the asking price and we had the inspection scheduled for 9am on Sunday prior to the scheduled open house.  This offer was delivered on Saturday at 12 noon and expired at 5pm.  The seller accepted, the inspection was done and expertly negotiated in the buyers best interest.  Everyone is happy!

I go the extra mile for my buyer clients!  In both scenarios, I was only acting in the best interest of my clients and secured their dream homes in a very competitive market.  Feel free to call me for a buyer consultation  so I can do the same for you, 508-380-7403.


Home sellers often face an uphill climb to maximize the value of their residences, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

In many instances, dozens or hundreds of home sellers may compete against one another to generate interest in their properties. Plus, home sellers who fail to allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance their residences may struggle to differentiate their houses from others.

Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways for home sellers to gain a competitive edge in any real estate market, at any time. Some of the best ways for home sellers to gain a competitive advantage over rivals include:

1. Focus on Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal

You only get one chance to make a positive first impression on homebuyers, so why not make the most of it? Ultimately, home sellers who spend some time revamping a house's curb appeal may be able to generate substantial interest from homebuyers.

Simple home exterior maintenance tasks such as mowing the front lawn, trimming the bushes and clearing walkways can make a world of difference in homebuyers' eyes. Thus, home sellers who complete various home exterior enhancements could accelerate the home selling process.

2. Be Ready to Act Quickly on Offers

As a home seller, try to be as flexible as possible, particularly when it comes time to accept, reject or counter a homebuyer's offer.

A home seller who conducts plenty of housing market research will understand the true value of his or her residence. As such, this home seller will be able to act quickly and determine whether a homebuyer's proposal meets his or her needs.

In addition, be ready to negotiate with homebuyers. And remember, if a homebuyer submits an initial offer that is close to your expectations, you can always counter his or her proposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Professional

When it comes to selling a home, there is no better option than hiring an experienced real estate agent.

Your real estate agent will help you set up home showings and open houses, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you handle home selling negotiations. This real estate professional also can provide feedback about your home, ensuring that you can make the necessary home improvements to help your residence stand out from others.

Furthermore, your real estate agent is ready to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time. If you ever have questions about how to price your home competitively or how to proceed with an offer on your house, your real estate agent will be able to offer expert guidance.

With an experienced real estate agent at your side, you can navigate the home selling process with ease. This real estate professional will go the extra mile to ensure that your residence will impress homebuyers. As a result, your real estate agent can help you gain a competitive edge over home selling rivals.

Live in an apartment with a small balcony, patio or deck? A home in a thickly settled area with little backyard or space between other homes? Or just a home that has a small, raised deck? Small spaces may seem like a tough makeover/renovation tackle. You want the space to be functional but you also want it to be unique to your style. Check out the tips below for creating an outdoor oasis where you enjoy spending time, regardless of it’s small size. Furniture First things first: furniture. The type of furniture you will want in your outdoor space will depend its size and your lifestyle. Table and Chairs: If you enjoy eating meals outdoors, it is best to go with a table and chairs set. The size of your set with depend on the size of your outdoor space. A deck or patio that is only 5x5 would have room for a two-person table and chairs. Consider looking into collapsible table and chair sets that transform your space as needed. A 10x10 area could have space for a four-person set and some room to spare. Adding extra collapsible chairs is also a great way to create additional seating when it’s needed, but allowing for them to be folded up and placed out of site when not in use. Outdoor Couch & Coffee Table: This idea will fair well better with a space that is larger than 5x5. It is great for a lifestyle that includes entertaining and also relaxing. Outdoor couches are very trendy and come in many sizes and styles. Porch Swing/Swinging Chair: A porch swing or swinging chair is a great option for a compact front porch, balcony or patio. Typical porch swings need to attach to something above so are best suited for porches. However, swinging chairs are more mobile and are generally smaller. Depending on your space, either of these are great additions! Privacy Screen: Creating a bit of privacy can help create the ideal outdoor retreat. There are so many options for different shapes, sizes and materials for privacy screens to help accomplish the exact atmosphere you’re looking for. Landscaping & Garden Adding life to your small space will enhance its appeal and your likeliness to enjoy it. Landscaping: Regardless of the size of your outdoor area, landscaping is essential. This is easier to achieve if your space is on ground level, but not impossible for balconies and decks. And a little landscaping goes a long way from small areas of grass to stone and mulch to plants and flowers. Garden: Adding a small garden into your outdoor space isn’t out of reach even if you only have a balcony. Use planting buckets or rail-mounted baskets for growing things like herbs and small vegetables. As long as you have sun, water and soil, you can create a garden that suits you. A green thumb always helps, too. Accessories Homey touches are important components to your outdoor sanctuary. Of course, these pieces will need to be weather resistant. Try these simple pieces to add another level of personality to your space. Outdoor Rug & Accent Pillows: Add an outdoor rug and pillows to bring coziness and color to your outdoor space. Small Accent Pieces: Add accent pieces like decorative candleholders and candles and hanging lights and/or lantern type lights to give the space ambient lighting. Water feature: Add a serene water feature such as a fountain or waterfall feature to create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. There are a myriad of ways to add something special to your outdoor space, regardless of it’s size with water features, pops of color with area rugs and pillows, unique seating, herb gardens and so much more. Choose a budget that works for you to update this space and get to work on your outdoor oasis.