2022 Guide: How To Buy Condemned Property

condemned property

Condemned properties may not initially sound appealing. But if the circumstances are promising, buying condemned houses can be a quality real estate investment. This article will walk you through everything you need to know on how to buy condemned property. 

What is a Condemned Property? 

A condemned property is a piece of real estate that government agencies have taken over from the private owner. There are a few reasons this can happen, including that the property has been vacant for over two months, the property is considered unsafe to live in, or the property no longer has working utilities.

What Happens When a House is Condemned?

Once a property qualifies as condemned, no resident may live on the property until the property has passed a secondary inspection. In most cases, the property must be repaired and rehabilitated. Whether a home can be repaired depends on the damage done to the property.


Benefits of Buying a Condemned House 

  • Condemned properties tend to be heavily discounted compared to traditional homes and properties. 
  • Potential to increase the potential value of the property after repair and rehabilitation. 
  • A rehabilitated property can bring a strong return on investment is sold. 
  • There’s an opportunity to restructure a property to fit your creative vision.  


Challenges with Buying a Condemned House 

  • Repairing a condemned home could be more expensive than the property is worth. 
  • The potential value of the condemned home depends on how damaged the house is 
  • Condemned houses can come with potential liability. 

How to Find Out if a Property is Condemned 

Work with a real estate agent with experience assisting with condemned homes to keep potential risks as low as possible. The real estate agent will do their due diligence to uncover whether a property qualifies as condemned. Agents should also identify the original cause for condemnation, which can help you understand how much repair the property will need. 

When looking into purchasing a condemned property, one thing to keep in mind is that you’ll be purchasing the property from a government entity instead of an individual private owner. Therefore, the process could be much more complex than a traditional purchase as there may be several government policies and paperwork to adhere to. In addition, the government entity you’ll work with depends on why the house is condemned. For example, if the house is condemned for tax purposes, you’ll likely communicate with a governmental tax authority that took over the property. 


How to Search for the Owner of a Condemned Property 

It can be challenging to find the owner of the condemned property. The best option is to work with a skip tracing company with experience identifying property owners. Working with a skip tracer can simplify the complicated process of identifying what entity owns the condemned property. 

In many cases, you’ll have a consulting meeting with the skip tracer, where the skip tracer will gather information on the property you are interested in purchasing. Then, the skip tracer will conduct further research on the property, identifying potential owners and a cause of condemnation. Once they have finalized their analysis, the skip tracer will present you with the homeowner and potential communication options. 


Can You Fix Up a Condemned House? 

Yes, a condemned house can be fixed and rehabilitated. When repairing a condemned home, you’ll prioritize rehabilitating the property to correct why the home was qualified as condemned. Then, you should put the property up for inspection by authorities. If the property passes inspection, the home no longer qualifies as condemned. 

It is not recommended to continue further rehabilitation of the property until the home is no longer classified as condemned. 


Condemned Houses Can Be a Solid Real Estate Investment 

If looking to purchase real estate at a quality price, a condemned home can be a quality investment. Remember, though, that condemned houses can come with challenges, such as identifying the owner of the condemned property. That’s why we recommend working with an experienced skip tracer that can take care of the identification process for you. If you’d like to learn more, contact us at Best Skip Tracing to learn how we can help you purchase your condemned property.