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.
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 Danville or Alamo? 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.
Lauren Holloway, a Danville-based agent for Sotheby's International Realty, said foreclosed homes that are put on the auction block are not sold as quickly as before. Many times the sale is delayed for months.
Holloway added homeowners are becoming more savvy and learning they can stay in the houses even after the bank takes possession.
One home was on the auction list for two years before selling last June. The homeowner lived there the entire time and then went to court and extended his stay for another seven months after the sale.
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.