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Zombie Properties: What You Need to Know Before Buying

An Abandoned Santa Clarita House with an Overgrown LawnAre you keen on acquiring single-family Santa Clarita rental properties as an investment? If so, you should be aware of 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 gone through the formal foreclosure process. This can create some additional hurdles for potential buyers. This blog post will describe a zombie property and outline the steps necessary to purchase one.

What is a zombie property?

When the homeowner abandons a property before the foreclosure process is completed, it is referred to as a zombie foreclosure. If a property owner defaults on their mortgage, they may feel they should move out promptly, even though foreclosure has not yet occurred. Or they may abandon the property for other reasons. Since the foreclosure process is still ongoing, this zombie property is still owned by the homeowner, not the bank or lender. These properties are frequently left vacant for long periods, resulting in disrepair and causing safety and property value issues for the entire neighborhood. Moreover, the financial responsibilities of the home keep on coming for the owner, from property taxes to Home Owners Association assessments and fines – and beyond.

How can I buy a zombie property?

As you can imagine, owning a zombie property can be complicated. While this does not rule out the possibility of purchasing zombie properties, you must be conscious of the risks and take extra steps to protect your investment. Here are a couple of things you need to do if you’re interested in buying a zombie property:

  • Do your research: You should fully understand 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 unaware of the location, your best move is to contact a local property management company that specializes in investment property transactions.
  • Get a good home inspector: A professional home inspection is even more important when considering a zombie property. Be sure to hire a qualified inspector who can identify any and all potential problems with the property.
  • Have realistic expectations: It’s important to keep in mind that a zombie property is, by definition, a distressed property. This implies that it will demand both repairs and renovations and may not meet your usual standards. Make sure to factor this into your offer price.
  • Get expert help: Acquiring a zombie property can be tricky, so it’s imperative to have an experienced real estate agent, a Santa Clarita property management company, and an attorney on your team. They can help you navigate the process and protect your interests.

If you’re thinking about acquiring a zombie property, it is recommended to do your research and get professional advice. You can turn a zombie property into a successful investment with some extra care and attention.

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

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