How in the heck to find vacant house owners... - Posted by Mike

Posted by Holly on July 25, 2003 at 10:25:38:

As I’m sure you know, you don’t always get good info over the phone. If you go through LA County, it would be a good idea to actually go to the assessor’s office and see first hand what info they have. Sometimes there’s stuff on that computer screen that the employee you’re talking to doesn’t recognize as valuable.

How in the heck to find vacant house owners… - Posted by Mike

Posted by Mike on July 23, 2003 at 20:32:58:

I look at a tun of vacant properties. It seems as if the owners disappeared of the face of the earth. How in the heck do you find these people? I’ve tried looking them up in the phone book, mailings to their present tax address. There has to be a better way to find them. Let me know Pleeeease. =)

My little story… - Posted by JoeSoCal

Posted by JoeSoCal on July 25, 2003 at 09:33:11:

There is some land I want to buy with the hope of someday developing. I think I can get it kind of cheap, not in the sense of paying less than fair value, but in terms of owning it before major appreciation of the land.

Anyway, the piece of land is owned by someone and the property has a different mailing address in Los Angeles county. I do some quick checks on the internet and cant locate the owners phone number or any verification that such a person lives at the mailing address.

I then went to the LA County website and punched in the parcel number, etc. Not much help, as a lot of the assessors are now taking down personal info from their sites.

Then I call the office and talk to a pretty helpful gentleman. I pepper him with questions. Ultimately, I find out that the person I am looking for NEVER owned the property at the mailing address. I checked this going back to the year that the guy bought the vacant land.

I find this kind of odd that someone would pay quite a nice sum for some vacant land and yet not own the home he is having the tax bill sent.

Next, I hire a skip tracer and they tried their best, but couldnt locate a record of this person. He is asian and I would assume he is kind of older. So, i guess its possible he doesnt have an SS#…at least the people i used couldnt find one.

So, now it seems I am in a dead end and since I only have a limited amount of time…many of the usual options are not practical, such as mailings, etc.

I will be driving through LA on some other business today, so maybe on the way back home in the evening, I will try to stop by the last known address/mailing address and see if I can get any info out of the current owner/owners.

Re: How in the heck to find vacant house owners… - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on July 24, 2003 at 20:32:19:

Mike: there are many ways to contact/find owners of vacant properties, but you have to figure out how much effort you want to put into finding someone who may not be a motivated seller.

You will need to find data info for your county and hopefully it will be online. Often times where I am the reason a property is vacant is because the bank has foreclosed. However, it takes some time before the county changes the owner records. So I check recorded documents to see if the owners have anything relevant recorded in their name.

When the owner is dead, that can be pretty interesting because then you have to figure out if there are heirs, etc. The death cert and obituaries usually have good info. and you may find an heir to work with in order to help them take title via probate so that you can buy from them. There are many variations on how to do deals with properties that need to be probated.

Also, the simplest and cheapest way is to talk to neighbors. They will tell you a surprising amount.

Hope this helps. Sincerely, Kristine

Re: How in the heck to find vacant house owners… - Posted by Tony in Dallas

Posted by Tony in Dallas on July 24, 2003 at 17:03:13:

I am new to REI however, I found the owners of vacant property online via the tax rolls, type in whatever county you live in .org and type in the address and it will show the current as well as the previous owners name address etc, hope this helps

Re: How in the heck to find vacant house owners… - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on July 24, 2003 at 07:29:10:

Cut and paste this link in your browser address bar.


Re: How in the heck to find vacant house owners… - Posted by Jeffery (La)

Posted by Jeffery (La) on July 23, 2003 at 21:33:56:

Send first class mail to last known address with “address correction requested” in the upper left corner. Check vital records for death certs (although they may have died out of town or be out of town owners. If all else fails, Call a local Private investigator. Or, another great sevice can be found at $40 bucks to find people. They can also do the death cert search for $8 or so.
Good Hunting
Jeffery in La