What's the next step and what are my options to purchase house?

9 Replies

Hello Everyone! 

I recently went to a tax sale to familiarize myself. Prior to the sale I walked some streets and searched the deeds of the properties I liked. A few of the houses I am interested in were not bid on at the sale and the owners are deceased. The tried locating the heir of the estates but have come up with nothing. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thank You, 


Hey Galvin,

I was a little unsure of your question, but see if this helps!



One thing we know for sure, who ever is paying the taxes is the owner. Your county does not have a great website with all the online tools they should have, so you may need to do it OLD school and call them or go down there!

Good Luck!


@William Haltom Thank you for your response! I couldn't agree more the website needs a major overhaul and to be brought to 2017 standards. Sorry my post was confusing! I went to the courthouse and did a title search. In doing so I found out the owner has passed and heirs of the estate. Unfortunately I can't find the heirs (location wise). My question is since the house has been left unattended for years. What are my options to take ownership of the property? To my understanding properties purchased from a tax sale there is a 2yr period at which time the owner can pay the taxes and take back ownership? Essentially, any work or money I put into the property would be lost? Thanks Galvin Duesler
Galvin, Have you id'ed and located the heirs? If not, get copies of the probate records. (That's Surrogate Court here in NY.). At minimum, you should be able to get attorney's info to reach out to heirs. Good luck, Carol

@Galvin Duesler

Go to your counties vital statistics dept. and request a copy of the death certificate. Whomever filled it out (relative, close-friend, etc.,) will be your first point of contact..

Good luck...

@Carol C. Thank You! @Mark Pedroza Thank You! *Update* I have located the next of kin for both of the deceased. I'm scheduled to meet with them this weekend. Would I be correct in thinking the next step would be for them to file for a new deed of ownership with their names on it or would this need to go through probate again?
I meant heirs where I said next of kin.

When you speak with the heirs you want to learn who is the executor or administrator of the estate. 

That is the person probate court tasked with the responsibility to settle the estate.  That person could be one of the heirs, a trusted friend of the deceased, an attorney, etc.  The Executor/Administrator is who you need to id.  

 Certainly speak to the heirs to see if they want to keep the property or not.   Try to let them do most of the talking.   It's amazing how much you'll learn.   

Good luck


@Galvin Duesler

If probate has already been initiated how far along in the process has the estate gone? Is one of the questions you should ask only if probate hasn't started. 

Seems to me after reading your post's the probate action is going to have to start.

In CA probate usually lasts from 8-12 months if everything goes smoothly. 

Good luck..

@Mark Pedroza this weekend when I meet with them I'm hoping to find that information out. Thank you for your help! If you have any questions constructions related don't hesitate I'd be happy to help any way I can. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

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