Real estate investment can be challenging. Plenty of individuals and corporations buy multi-family housing with the view of turning a profit. In many cases, they’re successful. They find good tenants and receive a steady stream of more or less passive income. For others, real estate investment doesn’t quite work out. That can lead to so-called zombie properties. In Ohio, the rate of zombie properties is a little more than double the national average.

In film and television, a zombie is a reanimated body that poses a threat to the people around it. In real estate, a zombie property is an investment home that’s been abandoned due to the start of foreclosure procedures. At the same time, the bank hasn’t taken possession of these properties yet. So instead of being readied for sale, they aren’t being maintained at all. Zombie properties can quickly fall into disrepair.

The national average rate of zombie properties hovers around 3 percent. In Ohio, the rate of zombie properties was more than double that, at 6.7 percent for the year 2020. Delays to proper foreclosure proceedings may have had an impact on these numbers. New York and Florida have the most zombie properties of any state in absolute terms. Each state is home to over 1,000 zombie properties. Overall, though, the number of these buildings is decreasing. That’s important. Abandoned buildings can attract squatters, drug users and other problems to an area.

It’s difficult for any homeowner to face foreclosure. Real estate law is complicated. That can make it hard for laypeople to advocate for themselves. When foreclosure proceedings start, it’s a good idea to seek help from attorneys experienced in real estate litigation.