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.