A vacant house, or abandoned house, means the house is not occupied by any tenant. Vacant houses can be a gold mine for real estate investors because you can often buy them at a price way below market value, which is the first step to finding highly profitable deals. For example, each house may mean a $10,000 – $50,000 return if you are a real estate investor.
If you are interested in buying the property, you may want to contact the home owner and ask them if they will sell the house to you.
Unlike normal houses you can find for sale from MLS, vacant houses are not necessarily listed on any of the property listings so you may need to dig deeper to find the owner’s info in order to make an offer.
The question is, how can you find the vacant house and how can you contact the owner? Let’s dig in.
Signs of a Vacant House
Maybe you’re driving down the road and see a house that’s been abandoned, or the weeds are getting tall, and you may wonder why nobody lives here. That’s the easiest way to spot a vacant or abandoned house.
Other signs include curtains that are always closed, or some boarded up or broken windows, or mail is spilling out of the mailbox, or postal notice inside the mailbox. Sometimes you will find foreclosure or code violation notices on the front door.
Next time when you’re driving around, going to work, or doing your grocery shopping, pay attention to those signs for vacant homes, which may be your next investment opportunity.
How Can I Contact the Owner of a Vacant House?
If you have found a vacant house by looking at the signs we mentioned above, great! You may have found a good deal that not many people know about. The next step is to contact the owner and see if they’re willing to sell it at a discount. But most people either don’t know how to find the owner of the vacant house, or don’t want to bother to spend the time to find the owner. Actually it’s not as difficult as you expected.
There are several traditional ways that everyone can start, or you can take advantage of technologies and tools provided by us to save you some time.
Let’s start with some traditional ways to contact the owner of a vacant house.
Traditional Ways of Contacting the Owner of a Vacant House
-Tax Notice for Owner’s Current Address
The first and most effective way is to find out where the tax notice of this property goes. Tax bills are public records and easy to find out. You can go to the county tax record and find info like: the owner’s current address, details of the property, tax bill information and past sales data.
Or you can use Investor’s Edge, which is a tool provided by DoHardMoney to help you find where the tax notice goes for any property very quickly.
-Send Out Postcards
When you find the owner’s current address, the next step is to send a postcard to where the bill is being sent. If the postcard was sent to a new property, then you will know the current address is correct. If the postcard was sent to the property that’s vacant, you may need to do some additional work, which will be covered next.
But what if you want to send out tons of postcards and make the process much more efficient? Now it’s the time to try our Investor Edge, which will allow you to send out postcards in bulk to these vacant property owners.
-Do Address Request from the County Record
You can also go to the county record and do address requests, finding out where the tax bill is being sent. Once you get the address, send a postcard to where the bill is being sent. If the postcard was sent to the property that’s vacant, you may need to do some additional work, which will be covered next.
Skip trace is a process of locating a person’s whereabouts. With skip tracing, you will find the most recent number this person used, so you can find phone numbers and call the owners directly, saying something like “hi I’m calling about your property. It looks like it might be abandoned and wondering if you would be interested in selling the property. ”
-Knock the Door
The next one is my favorite. Most people are not going to do it, which gives you a huge advantage. There is a rule that I call a five around. If you have the house, knock on the two next to the house and the three cross the street. You can knock on the door and say, “I’m interested in the house. Do you by chance know the owner’s phone number or email address, or any kind of contact information for them?” This may be the most effective and easiest way to find contact information of the owners.
-Leave a Note on the Door
If all those ways didn’t work out, you can still leave a note on the door and say ”I’m interested in buying the house. If you would like to help, give me a call. If you have any information about the property, please contact me.”
Voice broadcasting is a way to send out many voicemails at one time. You can create a recording, add your list of contacts, then send out all those contacts a phone call instantly. If you are trying to contact the owner of one property, you can call or send one voice recording at a time. If you’ve done hundreds of skip traces, a voice broadcast will save you some time.
The Easiest Way to Find Vacant Houses: Investor’s Edge
Why can our Investor’s Edge help you in your real estate investing? Because it helps you find vacant homes and contact those homeowners much faster.
Here is how it helps you find vacant homes:
when the postman tries to deliver the mail, if he fails to put mail in the mailbox, he will stop delivering the mail until someone calls and requests an updated forwarding address. Investor’s Edge provided by DoHardMoney, you can get a list from post offices of properties they considered to be a vacant dwelling. You can also filter through 160 millions of properties for your perfect deals instantly.
The Investor’s Edge can also help you print postcards with pre-filled addresses or send a voicemail to your saved list of potential deals. In this way, you can have more time to focus on your search and strategy instead of dealing with those hassles all the time.
In addition, you can also find properties which may be a good deal easily, such as pre-foreclosures, auctions, foreclosures or properties with high equity.
In summary, there are several ways you can contact the owners of vacant houses. I recommend not just doing one or two. It is common to do two or three to find an owner of a vacant property. The process may take some time, but once you leverage some real estate investing tools like our Investor’s Edge, you can make the process much more efficient.
So if you have found and contacted the owner of vacant houses, it’s time to make an offer. In any deal, financing is king. Without financing, a great opportunity cannot be pursued.
The Do Hard Money team would love to help with your financing needs. Regardless of your situation and experience as a real estate investor, we can help you meet your goals. Drop us a note, and we’ll figure out the best way to support you on your real estate investing journey.