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 Layton House with an Overgrown LawnAre you looking at single-family Layton rental properties as an investment? If yes, 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 hasn’t been taken through the formal foreclosure process. This can bring some additional hurdles for potential buyers. This blog post will describe a zombie property and guide you on how to purchase one.

What is a zombie property?

When the homeowner abandons a property before the foreclosure process is complete, this is called a zombie foreclosure. If a property owner defaults on their mortgage, they might feel it is necessary to move out right away, even though foreclosure has only started. Or they may abandon the property for other reasons. Since the foreclosure process hasn’t been accomplished, this zombie property is still owned by the homeowner, not the bank or lender. These properties commonly become vacant for long periods, falling into disrepair and causing safety and property value issues for the entire neighborhood. Furthermore, the financial responsibilities of the home keep accumulating 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. Though that doesn’t indicate you shouldn’t acquire zombie properties, you need to know the risks and take extra steps to protect your investment. Here are some actions you need to do if you’re interested in buying a zombie property:

  • Do your research: You should fully comprehend what you’re getting into before you make an offer on a zombie property. This entails researching the property, the neighborhood, and the current market conditions. The best thing to do if you are unaware of the area is to contact a local property management company that knows a lot about investment property transactions.
  • Get a good home inspector: A professional home inspection is even more essential when considering a zombie property. It is a good idea to work with a qualified inspector who can detect any and all potential issues with the property.
  • Have realistic expectations: It’s critical to remember that a zombie property is, by definition, a distressed property. This indicates that it will likely require repairs and renovations and might not satisfy your usual standards. Don’t forget to factor this into your offer price.
  • Get expert help: Getting a zombie property can be tricky, so it is suggested to have an experienced real estate agent, Layton property management company, and an attorney on your team. They can guide you navigate the process and protect your interests.

If you want to purchase a zombie property, it is recommended to do your research and seek professional assistance. You can transform a zombie property into a profitable investment with some extra care and attention.

At Real Property Management Northern Utah, 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.