First, Let’s Define “Abandoned House”
A house can become abandoned for a varity of reasons, the most common is when a seller moves out because of financial or legal reasons like pending foreclsoure or legal reasons. In the Great Recession a few years ago, many moved out of homes they assumed were being foreclosed only to find years later that the bank never foreclosed, we call these Zombie Foreclosures and there are still a few of these vacant homes waiting for the bank to finally foreclose or for the previous owner to be found.
The other type of “Abandoned House” that we as home buyers come across from time to time is the home where the owner either moved to a nursing home or more often passed away. They have no heirs or family in the area to move in or sell the home or do anything so they just sit there vacant until the county finally forecloses on it for back taxes, which can take years. And sometimes even then they sit vacant for another 5 to 10 years.
Abandoned Homes will Attract Crime
If you have ever had a vacant home next door you might not think too much about it as long as things are being maintained. But let the grass start getting high and other signs of vacancy start showing and the criminal element just might start noticing. So might potential buyers of your home, so much so that it could lower home values.
Dealing with an Abandoned Home in the Neighborhood.
Finding the Owners: One option for the Abandoned House next door might be to track down the owners. Maybe you have a phone number from when someone lived there or you might look the home up in the local tax records to see if the home has changed hands and attempt to reach the owners to let them know of issues and ask them to correct the problems. But chances are that if they have moved on, they probably don’t really care.
Codes Department: You may also want to reach out to the city codes department to let them know of issues around an abandoned home. They might attempt to find the owner and you might get them to at least mow the yard once or twice a summer. But these are city officials and while they might send a letter to the owner of record, they may not do a lot to correct the problem.
Tell Us: We seek out vacant, run-down homes to purchase and renovate. If you have a home that has been abandon nearby, tell us about the house and it’s in an area that we purchase homes we will take steps to reach the seller to see if they might sell. In this case, any information you might have to help us track down the owners can be helpful. Do you know where they might have moved? Do you have a cell phone number? We can reach out and do our best to connect with the owner and buy the home from them.
The two houses included in the photos of this post were both vacant and abandon homes. The top one, had a part time owner that lived in the home from time to time but had no money to fix up or clean up the yard – this home in Brookside has been renovated and has a new owner. The lower one was a home in an estate where the owner had moved out a long time ago and left it to sit, he had finally passed with no heirs. A bank trustee contacted us about the home on Metcalf. This home we were able to help the bank sell to a housing provider in Overland Park who then claned it up and rented it out.
Abandon Housing Resources
- What to Do When Your Neighbors Abandon Their House from SF Gate
- 5 Rules for the Empty Home Next Door from Bankrate.com
- What to Do About a Local Abandoned House from Nolo.com