Abandoned house - Posted by C.D.Donato

Posted by Paul Strauss on February 27, 2002 at 19:31:47:

Condemned could present a challenge, but have you considered Adverse Possession? (Legal Theft) You simply claim the house as your own, move in, fix-er up and she’s all yours. Now, it is more complicated than this- and laws vary but here are some basics:

Property must be vacant/abandoned and your possession must be:

Open (obvious)

Continuous for the min. number of years required by state law

Obvious- can’t stress it enough

Hostile- you must not have the owner’s consent

YOU must LIVE IN THE house.

YOU must bring all taxes up to date.

YOU must satisfy any liens on the property.

This is a high-risk endeavor as the owner could return and claim the property (assert ownership) at any point between the date the Adverse Possession begins and the date it would be legally yours.


It is best to have many witnesses as to the beginning and end of an adverse possession. I haven’t personally done this, but my cousin is living in a “stolen house” in southern Illinois. He saw it, found out about Adverse Possession laws, and moved in. Nobody showed up- he paid the taxes, there were no liens, it’s his.

Abandoned house - Posted by C.D.Donato

Posted by C.D.Donato on February 27, 2002 at 18:57:22:

A house down the street from me( I live in Wilmington,De.)has been abandoned for about 3 months now. I drove by and saw a CONDEMED sign in the window!!! I peeked inside and the house is pretty torn-up. I THINK the owner has a Fannie Mae,owes $9000. Any thought’s on how to cash in on this house?

Re: Abandoned house - Posted by jim

Posted by jim on February 28, 2002 at 11:13:06:

What would the house be worth after repairs? How much are repairs? Contact the owner. Does he want to sell? Would it be profitable to repair? The owner may be elderly or not have the finances to repair the house.