Vacant House. Sent Letter That Came Back. Now what?

I’m pursuing a vacant property that will be a rehad. I attempted to send the homeowner a letter asking to sale.

The letter came back as “Not deliverabel as addressed, unable to forward” and I did request the forward service.

I addressed it to the homeowner who also occupies it according to the tax records.

His number is unlisted, so I contact him. I tried the neighbors but they were unhelpful.

I do know when the grass gets long (thats how I found it) that someone cuts it.

I was thinking of putting a small sign in the yard that says “Do not cut grass, contact xxx-xxx-xxxx for additional information” When they call, I would ask them who is paying them to cut the grass, to see if I can find contact info that way.

What you think? Any other ideas?

You can go to the courthouse(clerk) and find out who owns the property, and/or go the the tax assessor’s and probably find out the name and current address of the owner. Or, you can use the people finder websites.

Good Luck!

I tried the tax assessor website, and it advises the property is owner occupied. I’ll call them tomorrow to see if its updated. I tried the people finder websites and you have to pay for everything…

Any other ideas in the meantime?

Make sure you try whitepages dot com…i’ve found lots of people that way and its free

No luck there either.


As smdeg suggested I would use one of the peoples finder’s website. I’ve had great success in finding people I’ve needed to get in contact with. It’s only like 15 bucks and if u get the property under contract your return will be well worth it. Good Luck…


How does a people finder website work. Dont they just give you public information that you can get for free. Or do they do actual research to see if they can find info?

Try checking out where the tax bill is sent. Property info in county records can be pretty sketchy, but I guarantee almost any county will make sure that the tax bill gets sent to the right person to pay them. Usually if you can find the address for the the bill you can track down the owner or someone who will make sure the owners bills don’t hang around there house.

 Also, if you go to county hall check the mortgages on the property in the county records if they're recent. Many times, if the owner has refi'd or something of that nature then the mortgages will list an address even if its not the property address. I'm not sure what state your in so i can't say for sure how your county index's its documents but those two ways should help to point you in the right direction.


you are wasting your time; I’ve chased more than few of these and never gotten past first base. Sure, I’ll bet someone will chime in and tell us the diamond in the rough that came through, but the hit rate on these kind of deals is very, very low. Moreover, I’m willing to bet that no one has done 6 or 8 of these vacant house,go find the owner deals. Most people I have seen that work this angle do it by some type of screening technique (i.e. look for dead owners, default taxes, etc). If someone is willing to pay the taxes and in this case cut the lawn periodically, they probably really do not care that they have valuable asset that is literally failing to dust.

One final note, in one area I own property, I have watched a number of these type places and researched a few. Even with the massive run up in prices here in Calif (in many cases the owners could have cashed out at 5X or more over what they paid), you know how many of those places sold in the past 5 years? Zero! The bottomline is a transaction requires two motivated parties. In many cases with semi-abandon property, they own t free and clear, paying taxes is a yearly annoyance, and they have some foggy plan to “fix the place up”, “move back some day” or “save it for my kids to inherit” kind of dreams.

That’s my two cents. Sure, it worth it to check it out, and maybe you land a deal, but at a certain point, the odds of getting a deal become very, very small and you should spend your time on something more profitable

Here’s my 2 cents, I fully agree with aak5454.
I’m only a rookie, with no deals under my belt and have only sent out about 1000-1250 pieces in the past month. As I type this post I am looking at about 100 “attempted- not known unable to forward/ not deliverable/ no such number/ vacant” returned letters. Since I am new to this I went to the county recorders website, county treasurers website, and county assessors website trying to cross reference the info I had. What did I find? Basically nothing usefull. 99% of the time the owner and the tax payer were different, and the owner whom I had written to was only listed at the recorders’ website as owning the property. The tax payer, was normally whomever lived at the property, not the owner.

IMO, move on. My advice is when you get those letters back check to see if the postage has been cancelled and then simply delete those names from your database and find fresh prospects. Remail in three-six weeks to those who remain on your list and keep on stepin’.


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try them out.