The process for buying abandoned property is the same as purchasing any other piece of real estate, which involves contacting the owner, placing a bid and negotiating the full terms of the sale. The main difference is that you may need to conduct additional research to locate the owner of abandoned properties and deal with banks or government agencies rather than private owners.
Owners abandon properties for a variety of reasons, including an inability to pay property taxes or loans, unexpected circumstances that force them to leave the area or catastrophic damage that renders the home uninhabitable. As such, the buying process begins by identifying the status of the property and its owner. Many abandoned properties are part of bank foreclosures, such as when the home owner defaults on the mortgage, meaning that you can find a list of these properties by visiting local bank branches or checking their websites. Some states also seize property due to failure to pay taxes or if the land is implicit in illegal activity.
Once you locate the owner, arrange an official inspection for the property to identify any structural issues that require additional repairs or renovations. Use this information to create a bid that accurately reflects the total investment and submit it to the owner. You may also need to provide proof of the money for the purchase, such as documentation from a bank issuing you a mortgage. Once the owner accepts the bid, file the appropriate paperwork to transfer it into your name.