Protecting Your Neighborhood from Foreclosure Crimes

Protecting Your Neighborhood from Foreclosure Crimes

Foreclosed homes in your neighborhood can have a negative impact on you and the overall area. But you can minimize that impact by making foreclosed homes appear occupied.

Recent studies have shown that the frequency of crime in an area is related to the number of foreclosed homes that are in that area. For homeowners who are left in these areas, the crimes can have a major impact on their lives. Here are some things you can do to protect your neighborhood from the criminals who prey on areas where there is a large number of foreclosed homes.

Collect Newspapers and Mail
Once big sign that a home is not occupied is that there are newspapers and mail that have been left uncollected. If the homeowners have moved out in a rush due to foreclosure proceedings, they probably forgot to stop their newspaper subscriptions as well as changed their mailing address. Keep all of these things in a box and give the box to the realtor when they come by to prepare the house for putting it on the  market.

Keep the Lawn Looking Nice
This may seem like a lot of work, but if all the neighbors work together, the foreclosed homes will look occupied and it will reduce the chances of criminals targeting the neighborhood. Water the lawn and mow it if necessary to keep everything looking nice. You can also make sure the flowerbeds are kept up, the bushes are trimmed and the leaves are raked if you really want to make the home look occupied.

Report Abandoned Property
Foreclosed homes often become a type of garbage dump for people who have nowhere else to take their trash. You may wake up one morning to see a pile of trash in the driveway of the foreclosed home next to you. Report this to the authorities immediately to get it taken care of as soon as possible. A home with trash in the yard is a sure sign that nobody lives there and it will be like a magnet to criminals.

Start or Participate in a Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood watch programs are very effective in keeping the rate of crime down in an area. If you don’t have one right now, it’s never too early to begin one. Even if your neighborhood isn’t full of foreclosures, having a neighborhood watch program can help everyone feel a little more secure. If you do have a program in your neighborhood, become an active participant in it. If criminals know the neighborhood has one of these programs, they are less likely to target your neighborhood regardless of the number of foreclosures.

Immediately Report Suspicious Activity
Have you seen a car driving slowly through your neighborhood? Have you seen people walking around the foreclosed homes as if they are “casing them out”? If so, report that activity immediately. The police may not be able to do much until something actually happens, but they might patrol the area more often.

Foreclosed homes affect more than just the people who once lived in them. They can affect the economical standing and the safety of a neighborhood and a surrounding community. But if you are diligent and you can organize programs with others in your area, you can minimize the impact that the large number of foreclosures has on your neighborhood.

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