Condemned Houses... Who owns these things?

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Ok, So recently I was "Driving for Dollars" as they put it... and I took notice to a lot of boarded-up houses with condemned signs plaster on the front. 

I was wondering how does one find out who owns these things? 

My team would be more than happy to buy these in cash and rehab them (obviously most people on here would be) I mean isn't a newly rehabbed house a lot more attractive than those boarded-up eyesores? Fixing them will raise the surrounding property value and also reduce crime. it's honestly a win-win... 

But who owns them? 

Any advice on how you find this info out or a good place to start would be greatly appreciated! 

Try contacting the municipality code enforcement or licensing/permit departments for a list of condemned properties.  Use that municipality or county tax records office to find the owner.  This is all very basic stuff.

Just keep in mind that in many towns and cities, buying a condemned property means the building must be brought up to current codes.  Often that means all systems, ie, electric, plumbing, mechanical, etc must be inspected and approved with the current code regs.

It's best to know BEFORE you buy or try to wholesale what exactly the powers-that-be will require to un-condemn and give the property a c/o so it can be inhabited again.


In the Savannah area they often auction them off. Those houses have often been in a family for decades and the last family member in the area that lived there dies and taxes go unpaid for years. They will typically auction these for pennies down at the court house steps. 

I haven't made it there yet, but I plan to go see one of the auctions here soon. 

In a lot of cases condemned houses are owned by regular people, some times LLCs or trusts. This information is available on the county websites (property records). You can look up name, address (could be different than condemned property) and when they purchased or date of ownership transfer. 

Keep in mind that sometimes it may take up to a year to update owners information on the record. 

Question is how do you find out about liens?  Gonna have to clear those up too. Everytime our city mows a lawn it's a $400 lien, then you have the water department that will lien for unauthorized usage/unpaid bils, code enforcement will slap liens a house too for disrepair.

Pray you don't buy a meth house either. If it's been flagged for that, it just got real expensive.

There's alot of hidden dangers in those places. You can't research them enough.