Pretend you are a burglar.  Case your own home.  Walk around and look at your home like a burglar would.  Are windows frequently left open and on the ground level?  Is there a sliding glass door that could stand a little extra protection?  Are expensive items easy to see from the outside?  A few simple adjustments like moving a computer and closing windows may make your house less tempting.  

Lock your doors.  Although we know we need to lock our doors when we go out, a lot of times we simply don't.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 40 percent of burglaries don't include forced entry.  Thieves literally are just walking in and taking what they want.  A locked door is a deterent.  

Don't label your keys or mailbox.  If your key chain has your name on it and you lose your keys, it won't take long for a thief to get your address and walk in.  In addition, putting your name on your mailbox helps a thief find out information about you and track your moves.  He'll know when you're not home.  

And don't hide a key.  A thief knows where to look for hidden keys.  Leave a key with a neighbor, but don't leave one under a mat, in a light fixture, or in a flower pot.  

Create the illusion of being home.  Leave on lights, the radio, or television.  If you are going on vacation, use light timers, and have someone pick up your mail, newspapers, flyers, and packages.  Have someone mow your lawn in the summer and shovel your walkways and driveway in the winter.  An unshoveled driveway with no tire tracks is an obvious sign that no one is home.

Get to know your neighbors.  It's nice if someone nearby notices if something unusual is happening.  You can also tell your neighbors when you're going to be gone so they can watch for unusual activity.  And studies show that neighborhood crime watches do deter against criminal activity.  If there's not one in your neighborhood, start one.

Don't be a target for a home invasion.  Taking steps to protect yourself and even your neighbor is easy.

Questions about home mortgages?  Contact us at 406-294-2660 or 1-866-399-8941.