Abandoned House - Advise ?

Hi, My name is Gary. My wife and I have been reading and studying about real estate investing and bird dogging for a long time. The plan was to start bird dogging to save money until we can invest ourselves and learn as we go. However,
We stumbled accross this abandoned house. We did our leg work and tracked down the attorney for the bank. The bank has a lien on the house and is trying to forclose. The house is stuck in probate and no family members have come forward. The bank’s attorney says we may can work out a deal with the bank to pay off the lien and buy the house. He is forwarding our information to the actual bank contact and the probate attorney for the estate. The house is in bad shape but it might just be cosmetic. I have someone who can walk through the house and help me estimate cost of repairs. Does anyone have any advise at all? This would be my first deal. I am a bit nervous but very excited. Is there anyway I can convince the bank to sell me the house? Is there any reason they wouldn’t ? I still need to find out lien amount ,which the attorney said was not substantial. I also need to make sure there are no other liens. Any advise or directions someone can give would be very very appreciated.
Gary S.


I see no reason the bank won’t want to work with you. What’s their alternative?

Ask the attorney if he can put you directly in touch with the bank.

Let us know what happens.

I truly appreciate the response. I was starting to wonder if anyone was out there. Things are moving slow but they are moving. We are trying to get back in touch with the bank’s attorney to get direct contact with bank. We tried calling the bank and they would not give us any information. We have also talked to another attorney who may be the probate attorney. We found that there is not an executor on the estate. The city just placed a lien on the property. We are waiting on a call from someone else involved but we don’t know their involment quite yet. They are suppose to call Monday. So basically, we are sniffing things out the best we know how. We are learning as we go. Even if we don’t get the house we have learned so much already about researching the property. If this is not the deal we will just find another one. I will keep you posted.
Thanks Again for the feedback.
Gary :eyes

If you are not already qualified to purchase the property, it might be a good idea to obtain a letter of commitment from a lender. You may want to find out what it will cost to purchase and repair the property than contact National City Mortgage or Wells Fargo here in Austin and ask for the 203(k) Loan Program if you are going to occupy the property, if not as for a conventional purchase rehab loan.

Once you acquire a letter of commitment, provide same to the attorney that s/he may have available to provide to the Seller which may expedite a posible closing.

Also, be sure to check with the City of Austin permits department to see if they will issue permits for rehab in compliance with your listed repairs.

Just my 2 cents worth.


Looks like the bank is not interested. They say they will not take offers until the house is out of probate, which means they will have forclosed on it. I guess that means if I want it I would have to go to the auction. There still has not been an excecutor assigned to the probate case. We know there are 3 kids involved and none which are interested in the property.
Any more suggestions. :banghead



I must give you kudos for your peserverance, but sometimes you need to assess the amount of time you’re putting into a deal. You may spend 25 hours this week trying to get one step closer, while four deals have slipped pass you that were more feasible. I worked 8 weeks on a preforeclosure in a resort town that may have netted me $100K, Yes $100k grand. I was drooling over this deal only to have the deal fall apart. I know for sure of two deals that I passed on because I was too focused elsewhere. :hammer Hope this helps you.

Win-Win investing to you, Shawn

Try offering to buy the rights from the kids who are the heirs to the property assign their rights to you. Then bring the house current with the bank. Check probate law in your state to be sure they can do this before it is completely probated.

I agree with the investor who advised against spendingtoo much time on a tough deal.

I’ve found that some of these tough ones, eventually don’t work while I can buy and flip abandoned houses within 3 week’s time with no major problems.

keep bird dogging and looking for other deals. Remember, if your pipeline is full of potential deals, you won’t have to cling on to any one deal for dear life.



The reason the bank won’t sell you the house is because they, of course, don’t own it.

Depending on what’s owed, this may or may not be a deal.

The heirs are already listed in the probate file, and I’m guessing their mailing addresses are right there as well. Go get 'em, get your name and phone number into the hands of all those heirs and see what you can put together.


Thanks to everyone who has responded to my post.
It has all been very helpful. I gave up on this one for a while.
I might just go ahead and track down those heirs to see what I can do.

Thanks Again to Everyone.

Gary and Christine