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By Saul Saenz
March 30, 2014,
This is one of the zombie house residents in Ormond Beach are trying to fight.
Florida leads the nation in zombie foreclosures.
ORMOND BEACH —
There’s a group of Ormond Beach homeowners battling a zombie home problem — homes that are standing dead and sucking the life out of entire neighborhoods.
The group is targeting homes that are abandoned and decaying, with so much overgrowth they are hard to look at.
“It is an eyesore and it is exactly a zombie home because we don’t even know at this point who owns the homes,” said Rita Press, president of Citizens for Ormond Beach.
“I think it’s gonna lower the property values if they see a rundown house,” said neighbor Joe Puccino.
The group has identified at least 300 foreclosed homes throughout the city, and numerous abandoned homes with no paper trail that homeowners simply walked away from. One house Press told us about is in the city’s exclusive, historic riverfront district.
The group contacts homeowners in foreclosure to help them through the process before a homes turns into a zombie home. They also want the city to prevent houses from turning into lifeless shells.
But the ultimate goal, Press said, is to get all those homes on the market so that new homeowners can breathe life back into a lifeless Zombie home.
FLORIDA AND ZOMBIE FORECLOSURES
Five of Florida’s housing markets are in the top 10 zombie foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac.
The foreclosure tracking group said there are more than 140,000 homes in Florida that are in zombie mode, or are bank-owned. And zombie homes in Florida are in foreclosure for about 1,095 days.