Zombie homes are properties that are in the foreclosure process and left vacant by the homeowner(s), but have not yet been repossessed by the lender. Homeowners often pack up first thing not realizing how long the foreclosure process actually takes. Since the owner of a zombie foreclosure is still responsible for upkeep and maintenance, they often have uncut lawns, shuttered windows and other signs of neglect that can turn away buyers and drag down the value of nearby homes. Even though low inventory is still plaguing many markets, certain areas are still struggling with too many vacant homes. Here are the top 5 states with the most vacant zombie foreclosures.
New Jersey 3,698 zombie foreclosures
New York 3,556 zombie foreclosures
Florida 2,528 zombie foreclosures
Illinois 1,018 zombie foreclosures
Ohio 999 zombie foreclosures
According to RealtyTrac, “A strong seller’s market along with political pressure has likely motivated lenders to complete the foreclosure process over the past year on many vacant properties that were lingering in foreclosure limbo for years. Rising home prices are allowing banks the opportunity to break even or come out ahead on defaulted loans. “While that has reduced the number of vacant properties in the foreclosure process, it has also resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of vacant bank-owned homes.” The states with the most zombie foreclosures also have the most drawn-out judicial foreclosure processes. On average it takes nearly three years to foreclose in New Jersey and over 900 days in Florida and New York. Once these vacant homes are bank owned they pose less of a threat on home values since they are being maintained, but homeowners and homebuyers may still see and feel if there is one around the corner.
Are you surrounded by lifeless homes? If you live in Colorado, chances are you don’t have to be afraid. In Denver, Aurora and Lakewood, there are only 61 vacant bank-owned homes. Colorado Springs has 41 and in Fort Collins, there is only 1. But if there is one lurking in your neighborhood, they can take a bite into your property value and you should know what weapons you can use against them. Since one of the problems with zombie homes is their appearance, step up your curb appeal. Simple maintenance and low cost updates can keep your value up. Clean up any old and damaged parts of your home. Simple upgrades and deep cleaning will ensure your home is at its best. Finally, give your home life. Make sure it is ready to be seen in the best light by de-cluttering and cleaning up your home.
COListings agents bring an arsenal of listing weapons like a home cleaner and professional stager to make sure you aren’t trapped in your home. Reach out to one today!