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Zombie Properties: What You Need to Know Before Buying

An Abandoned El Cerrito House with an Overgrown LawnAre you considering single-family El Cerrito rental properties as an investment? If that’s correct, it is important to know about the “zombie property” (also called a “zombie foreclosure”) phenomenon. A zombie property is a property that has been abandoned by the owner but has not yet finished the formal foreclosure process. This can create some extra hurdles for potential buyers. This blog post will describe a zombie property and explain the steps needed to purchase one.

What is a zombie property?

When the homeowner abandons a property before the foreclosure process is complete, it is characterized as a zombie foreclosure. If a property owner defaults on their mortgage, they may think they need to move out as soon as possible, even though foreclosure has just begun. Or they may abandon the property for other reasons. Since the foreclosure process is ongoing, this zombie property is still owned by the homeowner, not the bank or lender. These properties usually become vacant for long periods, leading to disrepair and causing safety and property value issues for the entire neighborhood. Aside from that, the financial responsibilities of the home keep getting higher for the owner, from property taxes to Home Owners Association assessments and fines – and beyond.

How can I buy a zombie property?

For obvious reasons, purchasing a zombie property can be complicated. While this does not eliminate the possibility of acquiring zombie properties, you just need to be aware of the risks and take extra steps to protect your investment. Here are a few things you should do if you’re interested in buying a zombie property:

  • Do your research: You need to understand exactly what you’re getting into before you make an offer on a zombie property. This includes researching the property, the neighborhood, and the current market conditions. If you are new to the area, the safest choice is to contact a local property management company with in-depth experience in investment property transactions.
  • Get a good home inspector: A professional home inspection is even more essential if you plan to get a zombie property. Finding a qualified inspector who can detect any and all potential issues with the property is critical.
  • Have realistic expectations: It’s vital to know that a zombie property is, by definition, a distressed property. This suggests that it will possibly require both repairs and renovations and may not meet your usual standards. Remember to factor this into your offer price.
  • Get expert help: Purchasing a zombie property can be hard, so it’s suggested to have an experienced real estate agent, El Cerrito property management company, and attorney on your side. They can help you navigate the process and protect your interests.

If you’re going to buy a zombie property, it’s suggested to do your research and seek help from an expert. You can transform a zombie property into a valuable investment with some extra care and attention.

At Real Property Management Pacific, we work with rental property investors to find and assess properties for sale. Our local market experts can help you thoroughly evaluate the market, set accurate rental rates, and optimize your investment. Contact us online to learn more.

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