Abandoned Properties: Locating the Owners Part II

Feb 2 10:27 2008 Michel Lautensack Print This Article

Last month I told you about the opportunity abandoned property can represent as a new investment strategy. Knowing that these properties exist is only half the battle, especially if you don't have a clue as to how to go about locating the owner. While the owner's can sometimes be difficult to locate, if you're willing to put on a detective's hat, you can usually locate them fairly easily.

Copyright (c) 2008 Michel Lautensack

Last month I told you about the opportunity abandoned property can represent as a new investment strategy. Knowing that these properties exist is only half the battle,Guest Posting especially if you don't have a clue as to how to go about locating the owner. While the owner's can sometimes be difficult to locate, if you're willing to put on a detective's hat, you can usually locate them fairly easily.

Once you have located your target property, take a walk around the yard and look for any clues that may have been left behind by the owner. Many times the yard will become overgrown and you may discover a for-sale sign lying in the yard with a telephone number on it. You might also look in the window next to the front door for legal notices.

Another strategy you can use is to speak with the next-door neighbor. Explain to them that you are a real estate investor that is possibly interested in purchasing the property. Ask if they happen to know how you might be able to go about getting hold of the owner. If you have a business card, give it to them, because this can build credibility for you. They may not know how to reach the owner of the property, but a lot of them know much more than they're willing to tell you. By leaving your card you give them a means of reaching you at some point in the future if they discover the whereabouts of the owner, or later learn how to reach them.

In addition, if they do know where the owner is, they may not want to tell you for fear of violating a friend's trust. If they have your card, they have ample opportunity to contact the owner of the abandoned property to let them know that someone is trying to reach them. You may wonder why a neighbor might be secretive about the actual location of the owner. It's really simple: if the owner has walked away from their property, they know that the bank will eventually be trying to reach them. Furthermore, they may be experiencing other financial difficulties as well. If this is the case, the neighbor may just be trying to protect them from bill collectors or process servers. In any event, by leaving your card you do make it available for the owner to reach you.

If your efforts to reach of the owner through the next-door neighbor or other nearby neighbors don't yield results, you can always venture a trip to the county courthouse for a manual records search. This can be somewhat time-consuming, but when you're done, you will have the name of the owner. With this information in hand there are a couple of other strategies you could implement.

The first is to go online to www.reversephonedirectory.com and fill in the information that you do know. It'll cost you a few dollars, but it may very quickly yield results in the form of a telephone number you can use to contact the owner of the abandoned property. If that resource fails to pay dividends, there are other resources online as well. A simple Google search may tell you what you need to know.

Another way you can try to reach the owner of the abandoned property is by putting the power of the US Postal Service to work for you. Simply address an envelope to the owner of the abandoned property and mark the front of the envelope "Address Correction Requested". Once you've ensured that you've put your return address on the envelope, mail it. When the Postal Service sees that you're requesting an address correction, they'll send you a postcard with the owner's updated address if they have one on file.

These strategies aren't guaranteed to locate the owner of every abandoned property, but they'll usually yield results more than 90% of the time. Once you locate the owner and make contact with them, you can present a creative offer that will not only solve the owner's problem, but will help you to expand the size of your own real estate empire. You can utilize traditional or creative investment strategies at this point. Because the owner has his back against a wall, he's usually willing to entertain any idea that will solve his problem, especially if you can help his problem go away with minimal pain. Whatever approach you utilize, abandoned properties are an excellent means of taking advantage of investing opportunities that you may have previously overlooked.

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About Article Author

Michel Lautensack
Michel Lautensack

Mike Lautensack is a full-time real estate entrepreneur in Philadelphia, Pa and creator of the Private Lender PowerPoint Presentation Kit. This powerful done-for-you kit isloaded with tools and techniques to attract and develop a consistent stream of private investors into your real estate business. To learn more about this kit and receive your FREE Real Estate Wealth Newsletter go to Real Estate Wealth Today

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