Before writing an offer for zombies or bank owned properties, inspecting is vital. If a home spent time as a zombie before being listed in foreclosure, damage could have resulted from neglect, or even vandalism (nowadays, copper piping is a frequent target). Lack of central heating during cold and wet periods can lead to mold — and zombies seldom pay utility bills.
Some areas are more affected by foreclosures than others, and a concentration of zombie properties creates its own problems. An empty neighborhood is more likely to attract squatters or looters; neither of which helps property values. But in some areas, that’s a temporary situation. Realistically gauging a neighborhood’s impact on long-term value is a key part of the common sense approach that makes for good investing.