When the house you think is vacant isn't

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there is a house in my neighborhood that I believed is vacant, several tax liens, yard is very overgrown, never see any activity. According to auditor, owners address is still listed as property address. And owner is elderly, so there is a good possibility she just doesn't keep up on yard etc, I am not 100% sure it's vacant. What I'm wondering is if I where to go knock on the door and the owner does in fact still live there. What are some things that you would recommend saying in order to not offend the owner by saying I stopped because your home looks vacant. I just don't want to start the conversation off awkwardly. What are some other things I could use as reason for stop.

Owner address still listed as property address doesn't mean anything.

Plenty of elderly owners going to rehab, senior citizens housing has no idea how long they'll be there and doesn't change the address. There's several in my neighborhood where the yard went suddenly unkempt. 

For instance, my mom-in-law fell last June,  hospitalized, and stayed with us till 2 weeks ago. Then my wife's sister agree to take care of her for another few months. She lives in a co-op she owns and she hasn't been home since last June. Fortunately, it's a co-op so maintenance is handled by the resident custodian and the management company. My wife goes by twice a month to take a look and pick up the mail if any.

On my side of the family, I had many elderly relatives that met the same fate. They fall ill, but still keep the property hoping to move back in one day. My mom in law kept asking "when am I moving back"? I just can't say "no you're not, you're selling the co-op to an investor". 

Funny thing is in these cases, the public utility is the first to notice and often come by to take a look at the meter thinking something is wrong with their equipment. I seen notices on the front doors of these places from the utilities in addition to the unkempt lawns. We told ours she plans to keep the service, paying for it, and there's nothing wrong with the meters.

In my mom-in-laws case, there's no one there, so knocking on the door won't do anything. Best is send a notice as the mail is being taken care of. It's mortgage free, and social security and pension more than cover monthly fees, so there's no urgent need to sell. 

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