Many real estate investors decide they want to try to invest into an abandoned property. However, it’s not like you can simply find a listing of an abandoned house on the MLS, or see a ‘For sale’ sign right next to it. How do people find an abandoned property for sale?
An abandoned property is a property that no one lives in, no one takes care of it and, often times, that even the owner lost the possession to it. This means the house is run-down and in need of many repairs. Sometimes, though, the property can be in a fairly good condition, but the owner doesn’t live in it and wants to get rid of it to avoid foreclosure or holding costs.
Investing in abandoned properties can end up being a great decision, especially if you have the time, the will and the money to repair and later flip it. The purchasing process looks more or less the same, as long as you can locate the owner. However, you have to be prepared for the great financial cost of repairs. It isn’t rare that the repair expenses even go beyond the price you purchased the house for.
This still doesn’t answer the question many people have – How can you locate abandoned properties, especially those that aren’t listed for sale? Here are just a few ways.
Driving around your area and looking at a houses is one of the easiest ways to locate an abandoned property. Vacant properties are typically easily distinguishable from the others as they have a big amount of damage on their outsides. Commonly, you can notice that the yard hasn’t been taken care of, the plants are overgrown and the windows are cracked. It isn’t rare that even the foundation of the house has sustained some visible damages, as well.
Also, you don’t have to drive around for hours with the goal to find an abandoned property. Just take a longer route home or drive around a few streets every time you go somewhere. Often times, investors aren’t even aware of all the abandoned houses that are in their neighborhood.
Look at Listings
Sometimes, people decide to sell their abandoned properties and to list it on the market. Typically, no one will openly say that their house has been vacant and probably in ruins, as traditional home buyers don’t have an interest in such a property. There are some telltale signs, however, that can indicate a vacant house. Look for phrases such as “must sell”, “immediate possession”, “under appraisal” or “below market value”. Even if those properties aren’t truly abandoned, you might still end up with a great deal.
Work with Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents will rarely agree on selling a vacant property as they know the chance of selling is extremely low. That doesn’t mean they don’t know where to find them and if there is a homeseller trying to get rid of its rundown house. Also, agents typically know all the laws and regulations abound selling and buying an abandoned house, so they may be of greater help. At the same time, they will know which properties are about to be foreclosed by the bank, which means the owner will most likely be more than happy to dispose of it for cash.
Contact a Local Post Office
Another good trick to locate an abandoned property in your area is to have a good relationship with workers from your local postal office. Vacant houses no longer receive mail once it piled up. This means that post office employees from your neighborhood know exactly at which address those properties are. Of course, you can’t just walk into a post office and ask them about this, but having a good relationship with some of the employees won’t hurt.
People love to talk and to gossip. If they know what it is you are working, chances are they might let you know if they noticed a ruined house someplace during their everyday life. You can also ask people around you to inform you if they see a vacant property while driving around. More pairs of eyes can see more than just one, and talking to people can be of a huge help.
Let’s face it. Most owners of an abandoned property don’t plan on returning to live in it. Maybe they inherited the house and never wanted to bother with it, or they moved out after a divorce. People like these will be more than happy to give their house away to someone who knows what to do with it, especially for cash. Also, neighbors hate having an abandoned property nearby, as sometimes they pose a safety risk. It isn’t rare for homeless people to live in a vacant property. Not to mention possible pests! Some locals might see your advertisement and give you a call, informing you of an abandoned house near them. This is why it’s important to ensure people know about you and your work.
Sparks Property Investors LLC is one of Milwaukee-located real estate investing companies that is buying abandoned properties, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will buy in cash and close the sale fast, sometimes even in a week! As most traditional buyers won’t even think about purchasing a rundown property, contacting real estate investors is a good idea.