Last week was a slow one for U.S. real estate developments—no surprise toward the end of August. Still, all was not quiet: Zombies were back in the news. Although there were no local zombie updates—and Carmel zombies were not seen roaming our streets—there were distinct reasons why local homeowners might want to keep up with the latest Z-world developments. As Hollywood often reminds filmgoers, you never know…
First, a week ago Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported on the continuing stealthy presence of the nation’s “Zombie Properties.” Data-gatherer ATTOM released its 2023 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report—the annual publication that’s a must-read that vigilant Carmel zombie-watchers monitor for national trends. “Zombie foreclosures” happen after a homeowner receives a foreclosure notice but moves out of the house before the foreclosure process is completed—making the homeowner still responsible for the house and its taxes. This can become an ongoing situation if the lender decides it will be unprofitable to complete the foreclosure process and repair the property. In that case, the newborn zombie can eventually bring down the appearance of the street and neighborhood.
That’s reason enough for real estate market watchers to monitor Carmel zombie trends. The good news is that the current U.S. zombie situation has ‘minimal impact,” with zombie foreclosure numbers holding steady during the third quarter.
More zombie news arose from the West. On Friday, Yahoo News spoke of the ‘wild year’ in California, where the state’s Zombie Lakes “have come back to life”! According to the L.A. Times, two of the largest reservoirs in the state, Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, are now all but filled (water levels had dropped to 35% two years ago). According to meteorologists, record levels of rain and snow are responsible for the return to more normal conditions. Carmel homeowners who have been unnerved by some predictions that global water shortages could be in store everywhere might be cheered by the resurrection of California’s “bodies of water” (now former zombies).
In fact, even though the U.S. real estate industry as a whole may remain all but completely unthreatened by zombies—last week, not every city’s reputation was unaffected. According to Microsoft, “Houston ranks No. 1 as the U.S. city for surviving zombie apocalypse, apparently.” The Texan metropolis is where you would want to be “in the event of an undead invasion” because of its abundance of weapons shops, shooting ranges, and places to hide. Also in the Top Ten were San Antonio and Austin, side-by-side with other more obvious leaders, L.A. and New York.
For questions dealing with zombie apocalypses, there are online sources too numerous to mention. But for matters dealing with real estate—call us!