Acquiring abandoned properties

7 Replies

I've been a little frustrated lately. I have some awesome properties that are abandoned but I'm not understanding how I can attain them. All of the houses are delinquent on their taxes, if I pay the taxes does that mean anything for me? Also, if I can't find or contact the owner is it game over at that point until it goes to auction?

you need to find out what the Arkansas law on delinquent taxes, In the state I live in, after paying the delinquent taxes there a waiting period and if the owner don't pay back the taxes you paid in the certain time period, you receive the house with a tax deed. some states send the properties to a auction, the state I live in don't.

Yea they said I could get a willed deed. Idk what that is but it takes FOUR years on delinquent taxes for the house to go to auction in arkansas

@Braden Jones so lets say you drive by one of those properties that are abandoned.   2 things that I would do.   First, write down the address then go and look up who the owner is in your tax assessor's county site.   In Arkansas it might not be called a tax assessor but you need to find the county entity that tells you how much your taxes are.   Then after you find the owner on the tax rolls, contact them and see if they want to sell to you.  Offer them low ball offers to pick up the property.   Then if they accept your offer, have them Quit Claim Deed over their property to you.     

Second, google land banks in your area.  Several areas of AL have land banks where the city has bought blighted property and will let you buy them from the city to renovate.

Best of luck


@Braden Jones   what @Joe Mclain says to do is the fastest way to try and gain ownership but I would take it a step further and call your title agent to have them do a quick search and see if there are other liens or if there is a different address for the owner... I don't think in Arkansas you can just pay the taxes and gain ownership unless it is at auction, and even then there is a 90 day period before you can file for quiet title and actually take full possession. There are ways to gain it through adverse possession but it will take a LONG time and the owner can come in and take it back at any point. 

@Paul Younger ... Anything I'm misstating or missing?

You can use actdatascout to find the owner of the property by searching the address.  If they are tax delinquent, then finding the owner will probably be difficult because something has probably happened to the owner (ie, they are probably dead).  If you can't contact the owner of record, then you would have to wait until it gets auctioned at the tax property auction.  Its usually 4-5 years of delinquency before the properties are auctioned.  Once you buy it at the auction, then a quiet title suit/confirmation of sale suit can be started as soon as you receive your deed.  This step is necessary to obtain marketable title to the property (ie, meaning you can sell it through a title company).  Most buyers will not accept and should not accept a tax sale deed without a quiet title suit to clear all remaining issues of title (such as liens, mortgages, other interested parties, heirs, etc).  So factor the cost of that suit into the amount you are willing to bid on the property.

Tax sales are done once a year in each county in Arkansas, usually through the summer months, starting in April.  See the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands Website to find dates and locations of auctions, terms of purchase, and properties that are available.  And you can contact me directly for more information and usual costs of quiet title suits.


You could always reach out to the director of economic development for that particular city.  Many times these abandon properties are deeded over to the city and attorneys work to clear the liens. That said, you may be able to acquire  several abandon properties for pennies. The reason the city will basically give them away is the longer the property sits, the longer it is generated no money for the city. Every cities main income is the water.  Just a thought!  Good luck!

Another way to buy it is to skip trace the property owners using a skip tracing site. That will get you info such as phone number and current address. Skip genie has a pretty good site. Once you contact the owner you can negotiate and buy the property directly from the owner and take the title the old fashion way. 

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