With the current surge in demands of real estate property in countries like the United States, the value of acquiring an abandoned building cannot be overestimated. Most vacant property has low or no demand compared to the listed ones. The listed houses, according to research, do have up to 15 bids on the first day of listing. Most experienced real estate investors go for abandoned houses to avoid competition.
The problem with this choice is that finding the owner of such vacant property could be hard. Most traditional real estate tactics might not work in locating the owner except real estate skip tracing.
How to Identify an Abandoned Home
As an investor, you would want to define a potential investment opportunity by looking for signs of neglect. These are the signs of a vacant house:
- Overgrown vegetation or lawn
- Broken doors and windows
- Trash around the building
- Signs of fire or weather damage.
Based on intuition, a dilapidated house could have been abandoned too since the occupants would not want to leave their home unrepaired.
How to Skip Trace
Skip tracing requires you to take some steps which may include traveling, phone calls or intensive research. The following are various ways of skip tracing.
- Check the tax records of property
The first step to take when you find a building that you like is to find the tax records of the property. The county clerk is usually in possession of this record. In some cases, you could see these documents online on the Tax Assessor’s website. The government – state and county might be looking for the owner too in case they are delinquent with the tax payment. If the building is at a local area, you might need to
visit a public library or the office of a tax assessor of the area.
The tax records should contain information about the owner which includes the name and mailing address of the owner. If the mailing address is not the same as the address of the property, then it means the house could be a rental.
- Property Deed Records
Property Deed is evidence of conveyance of a particular chattel. For a transfer to be legally binding, the deed must have been made to be recorded at the County Recorder’s office which is usually at the County courthouse. Though some of these counties have moved these documents online for you to search, it is, however, essential for you to visit the courthouse to determine the genuineness and ownership of the property. With the deed, a potential buyer would know the plat number, previous owners and current owner (s) of the property.
- Communicate with the Neighbors
Speak with the neighbors of the building and ask information about the owner of the house. You can learn more about the owner’s temperament and hospitality through the residents in case they are familiar with the owners. Apart from this, you could be able to scoop out some vital information about the property from the neighbors. This information includes – why the owners abandoned the house and the possibility of it being sold to you among others.
- Hire a Skip Trace Expert
You might not successfully track down a property owner if you do it all by yourself because you do not know the tricks that are involved. As a result, you need to hire a skip tracing professional. The expert will track the owner for a token without stressing you. It is usually advisable to get a licensed investigator for the task.
You will get the of the owner data of your choice house using the methods above. It is then left for you to shoot your shot. Real estate skip tracing could be awkward but knowing how to skip trace would put the perks attached to the purchase of abandoned property at your reach.