‘Zombie’ homes sucking value from Kingman neighborhoods

Zombie home, with zombie car jacked up outside. It comes with fully furnished rooms and a partial wardrobe, barbed wire fencing in case someone tries to break in and a pile of trash ready for repurposing. Broken windows are part of heating and air conditioning system./Daily Miner

By Hubble Ray Smith | Daily Miner

They’re known as “zombie” houses, abandoned and foreclosed homes across the nation that are unoccupied, unwanted and dragging down neighborhood property values.

Vandals break into the homes and use them as gang headquarters and drug dens, spray-painting the walls with graffiti, ripping up carpet and tearing apart doors and windows. Squatters take over the place, living there without the homeowner’s permission or knowledge.

It’s a problem across the nation, especially in areas depressed by the housing crisis. Good luck if you want to sell your house that’s next to one of these zombie houses, or even a block or two away.

Mohave County Assessor Jeanne Kentch said there’s no formula to calculate how much an abandoned house devalues the property next door, but there’s definitely an effect from “adverse conditions” that detract from the overall value of a neighborhood.

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