Is There A "Zombie House" In Walnut Creek Near You?

There are hundreds of these abandoned, foreclosed home across the East Bay, causing problems for neighbors and real estate agents.

It's not exactly "Night of the Living Dead," but there are apparently nearly 2,000 so-called "zombie houses" in the East Bay right now.

The real estate website Realty Trac recently came out with a study of zombie houses across the country.

These are homes that are in foreclosure where the occupants have either disappeared or have moved, leaving the homes vacant before they have been sold.

Is there a zombie home near you in Walnut Creek? Let us know in the comments section.

Realty Trac estimates Contra Costa County has 1,178 zombie houses. That total ranks as 7th highest among California's 58 counties. Contra Costa is the 9th largest in total population.

The website says there are 748 zombie homes in Alameda County. The total ranks as 11th in the state. Alameda County has the 7th largest total population.

County Total Foreclosures Total Zombies Zombie Percentage Alameda County 3,490 748 21 percent Contra Costa County 3,812 1,178 31 percent California 106,135 28,821 27 percent

The problem zombie homes sometimes present is they become run-down or even vandalized, becoming eyesores in their neighborhood.

Jay Gallagher, the broker/owner of HomesMax HomeSellers, said zombie homes are bigger problems in urban areas such as Richmond and Oakland, where the sheer numbers and a lack of resources make code enforcement difficult.

In suburban areas, zombie homes can hurt property values and make it difficult for agents to sell nearby houses.

Gallagher said neighbors and even real estate agents have been known to mow the lawn of a zombie home to keep up the neighborhood's appearance.

Gallagher added new accounting rules sometimes discourage banks from foreclosing on a home. They don't need to list these homes as liabilities or losses until they foreclose, so sometimes they let these houses sit there.

"Many homeowners have left their homes expecting the bank to take possession," said Gallagher. "Years can pass before the homeowner realizes that the property is still in their name and they are still legally responsible for the property."

Karen April 04, 2013 at 11:02 PM
I'm looking for a house with land that needs some help. Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda, Alamo, Danville, Pleasant Hill only. The house can be a tear down. I need land for a horse. Thanks in advance for any leads!
KAC April 08, 2013 at 03:47 AM
How about the opposite problem - in our complex (not naming it) we have a person who hasn't paid their mortgage for almost 3 years, and also hasn't paid HOA dues during the same time period. We would love for the bank to foreclose so we can get rid of this deadbeat, but so far they haven't done it. We have no idea why the bank hasn't proceeded with foreclosure.


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