Are you looking to buy a house, but don’t want to break the bank? Abandoned properties get scooped up and re-sold, often at much lower price points, by cities and states throughout the country. These homes have the potential to be bargain buys for homeowners. And government departments usually want a quick turnaround from the time they obtain them to the time they sell them.
Finding abandoned homes for sale may not be as straightforward as other pieces of real estate. It takes some effort and involves an inspection and appraisal process. But there are ways to locate unclaimed property and start the buying process – with the result being a new property for a bargain price.
An abandoned house is a piece of real estate that does not have a legal owner and is not occupied. You can usually tell a house is abandoned from the lack of activity around the property – the lawn may be overgrown, or the windows might be boarded up.
Homes become abandoned for plenty of reasons, like:
- The previous owner passed away and did not leave the home to another person.
- The owner was evicted, but the home is not yet up for sale.
- The home went into foreclosure.
- The owner fled the area due to a natural disaster, like a flood or hurricane.
Abandoned property for sale may be in need of serious repairs. Even if the house looks to be in good condition, there could be hidden issues on the inside. Also, keep in mind that you typically can’t get access to the interior of an abandoned house without a real estate agent or other official.
Sometimes, it can be tricky to determine if a home is abandoned or just vacant. A vacant house is one that has an owner or someone legally responsible for the home. Vacant homes may look run-down but are not unoccupied.
In terms of where you might find them, abandoned homes for sale might not be listed in all the usual places. For example, there probably won’t be a “For Sale” sign out front, and you might not see it listed online.
Also, abandoned properties may attract squatters. Even if you have an inkling that the home is unoccupied, you never can be 100 percent sure. That’s why you should be sure to enter the property with the help of a real estate agent or city worker. It’s important to have confirmation that the home is abandoned before walking around the property.