Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Zombie Properties: What You Need to Know Before Buying

An Abandoned Suffolk House with an Overgrown LawnAre you interested in single-family Suffolk rental properties as an investment? If that is the case, you should understand 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 reached the formal foreclosure process. This may add some new hurdles for potential buyers. This blog post will describe a zombie property and explain the actions required to purchase one.

What is a zombie property?

When the homeowner abandons a property before the foreclosure process ends, it is called a zombie foreclosure. If a property owner defaults on their mortgage, they might think they should move out immediately, even though foreclosure has not yet been completed. Otherwise, they may abandon the property for other reasons. Since the foreclosure process is currently in progress, this zombie property is still owned by the homeowner, not the bank or lender. These properties are commonly left vacant for long periods, causing disrepair and causing safety and property value issues for the entire neighborhood. In addition, the financial responsibilities of the home continue to mount for the owner, from property taxes to Home Owners Association assessments and fines – and beyond.

How can I buy a zombie property?

For that reason, owning a zombie property can be complicated. While buying zombie properties is still a possibility, you must be aware of the risks and take extra steps to protect your investment. Here are a few things you need to do if you’re interested in buying a zombie property:

  • Do your research: You should be completely aware of what you’re getting into before making an offer on a zombie property. This entails researching the property, the neighborhood, and the current market conditions. If you are not familiar with the location, the right thing to do is to contact a local property management company that deals exclusively in investment property transactions.
  • Get a good home inspector: A professional home inspection is even more necessary when looking at a zombie property. Spend time finding a qualified inspector who can identify any and all potential threats to the property.
  • Have realistic expectations: It’s imperative to remember that a zombie property is, by definition, a distressed property. This signifies that it will require both repairs and renovations and may not achieve your usual standards. Make sure to factor this into your offer price.
  • Get expert help: Acquiring a zombie property can be difficult, so you need to have an experienced real estate agent, a Suffolk property management company, and an attorney on your team. They can guide you navigate the process and protect your interests.

It is advised to do your research and seek expert guidance if you are considering acquiring a zombie property. You can turn a zombie property into a successful investment with some extra care and attention.

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

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.