Deceased owner

7 Replies

Okay, anyone, I have located a vacant house and my search has confirmed that the owner and his only relative are both deceased. The property is two years behind on taxes and counting. Does the state take possession at some time or is there a legal way to pursue ownership? If it goes into tax foreclosure would the county be able to auction it then? I of course would prefer to secure the property before a tax auction would occur.

Well that response didn't help much, I'll bet.

Little question leads to more questions. 

You'd better first understand what you wish to see happen. Buy property at a bargain price, perhaps. 

Use the PETIO format found on our website to begin reverse engineering a vacant property.

Hope this helps 

Promotion
Roofstock
Buy & sell single-family rentals online
Radically accessible real estate investing
Get access to exclusive property listings, proprietary data, and support to build your portfolio.
Learn More

I don't know about WA but in MA there is always an owner of the real estate and title passes at the moment of death to someone, even a distant cousin. If you have a Probate Court check both names to see if any estate has been opened. That would give you the name of the administrator that is in charge. Maybe there is no cash for the taxes and they would want to sell. Some other ideas to track down some one who can sell - send a letter to the house or check with the post office to see if there is a forwarding order on file. You said the taxes were behind but does the town have a new or different name or address that they are sending the bills to? Are you able to look at the death certificate? usually a relative has to provide the information such as the deceased parents etc. Sometimes their address is required to be listed. (Again may be just a MA thing) You could try them. Was an obituary published in the paper? That may give a clue as to some current relatives that you may be able to contact. If you can find a relative you might be able to get them to open probate if none has been and then have them ask the court for permission to sell the real estate to you.

Worse case you could just let it go to tax foreclosure and buy it then.