How To Find Vacant Properties

Published on January 9, 2023


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How to Find Vacant Properties

How to Find Vacant Properties

Whether you're a seasoned investor or new to the market, plenty of potential vacant properties are waiting to be discovered. In this blog, we'll guide you through how to find vacant properties and give tips so you can acquire the perfect fit for your portfolio. 

We'll cover everything from researching local markets to assessing property conditions and more. With the right research and due diligence, you could be well on your way to a successful real estate investment. So let's get started!

How Do You Know if a House is Vacant

Real estate investors must know the signs indicating a vacant property to do proper due diligence when evaluating potential investment properties. You can use several methods to determine if a house is unoccupied.

Look at the Outside of the Property

No signs of activity, such as furniture or cars in the driveway, could indicate abandoned property. Piles of mail in the mailbox or newspapers on the doorstep could also indicate a vacant home.

Similarly, if all the windows are closed, and there appear to be cobwebs around them (or general disrepair), this could be another sign that nobody has been living in the property recently.

Observe the Exterior of the Vacant Property

If a home looks worn down from lack of maintenance or has boarded-up windows or doors, it's likely been abandoned.

Additionally, piles of debris or overgrown grass or shrubs around the perimeter could indicate an unoccupied residence.

Driving by the property in question during different times of the day can be useful. If there are no lights on at night and no cars parked in the driveway during days, then this might indicate that the house is empty.

Observe the Exterior of the Vacant Property

Properties with Expired Home Insurance Policies

You should also look for abandoned homes with expired home insurance policies or any other services related to occupying a residence, such as cable bills that have gone unpaid.

A good way to check this is by calling service providers and asking them if they are currently servicing the address. This can provide valuable insight into whether or not the house is sitting vacant.

Ask Around Neighborhood

Asking neighbors about their impressions of the home can also provide valuable insight.

Suppose neighbors report seeing little activity around the property and never seeing people coming and going from inside any time recently. In that case, this could also mean that the house isn't currently occupied either permanently or temporarily.

Things to Consider When Looking for Vacant Properties

Things to Consider When Looking for Vacant Properties

1. Property Title

Ensure that the property owners have clear titles. This means that the owner listed on the deed is the only person with any legal rights to ownership of the property. Ensure no other individuals or entities are claiming an interest in it.

It's best to research public records. Obtain a title report from an independent third-party agency to help them identify any potential issues with the title.

2. Local Market Conditions

Savvy investors should be familiar with local market conditions to determine if buying vacant or abandoned properties is financially viable.

Look at factors such as median home prices, rental rates, vacancy rates, and other economic indicatorsto evaluate whether investing in this area would be profitable.

Additionally, understanding how long it typically takes for properties to sell in this market can help investors determine how much time they need to wait before expecting returns on their investment.

3. Property Location

You need to consider if the abandoned properties are close enough to amenities like grocery stores, schools, or public transportation. Also, check if their location puts them at risk of flooding or other natural disasters that could reduce their value over time.

Consider the potential for growth in the local market and the potential development opportunities that could come from the property.

Be sure to research the local zoning regulations to ensure the vacant property is suitable for the type of development you have in mind.

Property Location

4. Building and Infrastructure

Consider the condition of existing infrastructure systems (such as sewer lines and electrical wiring) and any existing buildings on the land when evaluating whether it's worth buying vacant properties.

Although these things may seem relatively minor, they could cost tens of thousands in repairs down the line. Hence, make them essential points to consider before purchasing.

How to Find Vacant Houses: 5 Proven Strategies

If you're a real estate investor always searching for ways to find vacant houses with the most potential for a positive ROI, you know it can be difficult to locate such properties.

Fortunately, a few strategies can help increase your chances of success. Let's look at some of the top ways of finding vacant homes.

How to Find Vacant Houses: 5 Proven Strategies

1. Networking

One of the best ways to find vacant properties is by networking with other real estate investors and professionals in your local area. This includes attending local investment clubs and seminars and getting to know other real estate agents, brokers and appraisers working with investors.

By establishing strong relationships with these professionals, you can often get access to good deals before they become widely known.

Additionally, these professionals often will have insider information on vacant house lists and potentially valuable investments.

2. Online Resources

With the rise of technology, numerous online resources are available to help you find vacant properties online that fit your investment criteria.

Some websites allow you to access information on available vacant properties, given your preferred area, size, location, and price point.

Also, you can often access the phone number of a vacant property owner, allowing you to contact and ask questions or arrange viewings.

3. Direct Mail Campaigns

Another way to locate potentially profitable vacant properties is through direct mail campaigns targeted at motivated vacant property owners who may be considering selling their abandoned homes.

You can use either traditional mailers or email campaigns. You can target specific geographic criteria to reach out to potential leads who may be interested in selling their vacant property quickly and at a discounted rate due to various financial hardships or life changes such as relocating for work or job loss.

Identifying property owners before they list publicly could result in a great opportunity for an investor looking for a prime piece of property at a discount price!

4. Search for Foreclosed Properties

Foreclosure happens when a homeowner cannot make mortgage payments, and the bank reclaims the property. Foreclosure homes are often vacant and can be a great opportunity for investors.

The first step is to research the foreclosure process in your area. You can usually find this information online or by visiting your local county clerk’s office.

You can look in your local newspaper or search online. There are several websites dedicated to foreclosure listings. They often have very detailed information about the properties.

Once you’ve identified a few potential vacant properties, you should visit them in person to get a better feel for their condition. You can also contact the bank that owns the property to find out more information.

Search for Foreclosed Properties

5. Drive Around

A classic approach is simply driving around neighborhoods and scouting out potential vacant property owners via driving for dollars door-to-door. This involves driving through various neighborhoods and looking for signs of vacant properties.

Look for overgrown yards, boarded-up or broken windows, or other signs of neglect. You can also look for abandoned buildings and foreclosed homes, which may be vacant.

Talk to neighbors and ask them if they know of any vacant properties in the area.

You can also consult local real estate agents, as they may have information on properties that are not yet listed on the market. 

Real Estate Investors: Quick Tips for Successful Vacant Property Investing

Research the Neighborhood

Researching where the vacant house is located can give you a better understanding of the area. Look for signs of a strong market, such as increasing home values or an influx of new businesses.

Knowing the local market trends can help you determine how much potential the property has and whether or not it's a good investment.

Research the Neighborhood

Check for Vacancy Rates

Vacancy rates in the area can be a good indicator of the ROI potential of a vacant house. If the vacancy rate is high, it could indicate a lot of competition in the market, which could lead to lower rental income.

On the other hand, if the vacancy rate is low, it could indicate that the rental market is strong in the area and that the property could yield a higher ROI.

Inspect the Property

Once you've identified a vacant house with potential, it's important to assess the property.

Look for any signs of damage or issues that could affect the property's value. You should also consider any potential costs associated with the repairs.

Calculate the ROI

It's important to calculate the potential ROI. This will give you a better idea of how much money you could make from the investment.

Look at the estimated rental income, monthly expenses, and potential appreciation of the property. 

Final Thoughts: How to Find Vacant Properties

Finding vacant properties can be a great way to invest in real estate. With the right research, you can take advantage of great deals and find properties with high growth potential.

You can find the perfect property by understanding the local market and researching available opportunities. And with the right strategies and approach, you can make finding vacant properties a profitable venture 

Here at Property Leads, we can help you connect with motivated sellers ready to offer their vacant properties quickly and efficiently. With our extensive network, we can find you the perfect leads in no time!

Fill out our forms below and get exclusive access to vacant property leads in your area. 


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