More than 1% of homes in the US have been abandoned. That works out to well over 1 million homes, and that number seems to be fairly stable.
If you happen to be looking for a property to invest in, you should have no trouble finding one. The big question is what to do when you find one.
Fixing up abandoned homes is a bit more challenging than fixing up lived-in homes. They're likely to be more run-down than their counterparts, especially if they've been abandoned for a long time.
So, how should you go about buying and refurbishing abandoned homes? We'll offer some advice in this article.
1. Finders' Keepers?
The US has some very complex laws when you find an abandoned property. In some cases, abandoned properties do, in fact, go to the first person to find and claim them. However, that's not always the case.
It's important to note why the house was abandoned. For instance, if the home was repossessed for lack of payment, the property belongs to the government until they decide to sell it.
If the home is vacant but sits on a plot of land that somebody else owns, the house is theirs.
Then, there's the issue of death, which can be complicated in its own way. The most common result is that the home passes to whoever inherits it in the will. If the owner had major debts aside from a mortgage, the government might take it to cover the bills.
If someone inherits a house, they may take up the mortgage. In this case, the house can still be repossessed if they fail to pay the mortgage.
2. Buying Abandoned and Foreclosed Homes
There is a legal answer to what constitutes abandonment. It means that the property has been surrendered, often because of money or legal issues. In some cases, a house becomes abandoned because the previous owners leave, letting the bills go unpaid and the property unmanaged.
This is why you can buy so many abandoned homes for cheap. The government is trying to cut its losses.
If you're looking for abandoned homes for sale, there are plenty of places to do it. However, while finding abandoned homes for sale can be easy, buying them gets much more difficult.
Part of the problem is finding the right house. Some require more attention than others, and buying and overestimating your abilities and budget can be disastrous.
The good news is that a quick search for 'abandoned homes near me' should yield plenty of results.
Once it comes time to buy the home, you'll likely have competition. House-flipping has really taken off as a business.
However, auctions aren't the only way to buy abandoned homes. There are also land banks where you can purchase a foreclosed property at a low price.
How to Buy Abandoned Homes
Those looking to buy abandoned homes have a lot of options. Not only is there an abundant selection of properties to choose from, but you also have several options for what to do with a home after you buy it.
If you want to know more about homes, especially in construction and design, please read some of our other articles.