Are There Zombies and Vampires in Your Neighborhood?
It's that time of year again! Little ghosts and goblins are creeping about... Haunted houses are popping up... Jack-o-lanterns are funny, cute and scary...
Most of the Halloween events are truly treats, with a few tricks thrown in.
Unless you have Vampires and Zombies in your neighborhood.
There is a lurking threat to the housing market: Vampire properties. "Vampires" are bank-owned, foreclosed, homes where the prior owners continue to live. RealtyTrac recently estimated that about 47% of bank owned properties in the US are still occupied by the former owners. This can happen for several different reasons. The bank may have given the owners 90 days to vacate. The bank may feel that having the owners stay in place and maintain the property is preferable to the property being vacant. Or, the owners may be battling the bank because they feel the foreclosure was not properly executed.
Vampire properties are not to be confused with their scary cousins - Zombie foreclosures. Zombie foreclosures are those properties that are suddenly vacated by their owners prior to the foreclosure taking place.
The cause for concern comes because, eventually, these properties will hit the market. Depending on where your property is located, a sudden flood of bank-owned inventory could cause a marked drop in selling prices.
This will likely not be enough to overwhelm the market as a whole, thankfully. But it will slow the recovery in those areas with a high number of Zombies and Vampires.