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The Nosy Neighbor: How to Maintain Privacy in Your Home

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you likely have neighbors on at least one side of your home. You depend on your house to be your sanctuary from the world, and neighbor intrusions can start to take a toll on how you feel about where you live. What can you do if you start to notice that your neighbors are starting to act nosier than normal?

Consider these home improvement projects to upgrade the privacy and security of your home, and don’t forget to compare homeowners insurance quotes after making those improvements to see if your rates could change as a result.





Mending Fences

As endearing as it was to hear Wilson’s familiar “Hidey-ho, neighbor!” on Home Improvement, in real life, the saying “good fences make good neighbors” usually applies for a reason. If you live in close proximity to other houses, you may want to consider putting up a sturdy fence around part or all of your property.

When it comes to politely installing a fence, be sure to brush up on local boundary laws, hire the right professionals, and keep your neighbor in the loop through the process. You certainly don’t want to encroach on their property or break any rules, as that could be grounds for disagreement or even a legal dispute. Think about materials, cost, and how effective the final product will be at giving you the peace of mind that comes with a layer of added privacy and security.

Green Thumbs Up

If installing a fence sounds expensive, or you’re having trouble figuring out a way to do it without violating local ordinances, consider planting a mixture of trees, shrubs, and plants to create a natural barrier. It won’t seem like an affront to your neighbors and it will be extremely pleasant to look at for most of the year. What you choose to plant around your perimeter or around gathering hotspots like decks and patios depends on your climate and growing zone.

This Old House recommends a healthy mix of layered evergreen trees, shrubbery, and perennial plants in odd-numbered groupings to add texture. You can even go so far as to plant shade trees to create multi-story privacy with their canopy.

Secure Technology

What starts out as a slightly uncomfortable situation with a nosy neighbor can escalate over time. The New York Times ran a story featuring multiple homeowners catching their neighbors in acts of destruction—ranging from messy cats to scratched car, hand-tossed pet excrement, and theft—on video. If you believe anyone may be snooping around your property or even attempting to cause damage, it’s worthwhile to consider a security system that includes surveillance. There are many options on the market today, including motion-sensor triggers, webcam monitoring systems, and advanced automatic alarms. One bonus associated with ramping up your home security systems is that you may qualify for discounts on your monthly insurance premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

A nosy neighbor calls for some creative maneuvering, and these projects just may do the trick to keep your privacy and safety firmly intact. Once you’ve made any large-scale property improvements, be sure to compare homeowners insurance quotes with CoverHound.

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