What to look for when looking for distressed/vacant properties?

So far I have heard:

-Overgrown grass/shrubbery
-No mailbox
-A lot of peeling paint
-Bad windows
-Garbage everywhere

Any other tips you guys can give? Thanks!

Is there a back part of the house…we once had 2 different clients send Ted property evaluations and pictures to him in hopes that he would put up the capitol to purchase the property.

One of the students sent pictures of the front and sides of the home…everything looked fine…

the other student went the extra step and took a picture of the back of the house…the back of the house including the roof was completely gone and non-existing…and the whole back part of the living room and kitchen had been completely exposed to the elements for months or even years…

that would have been quite an exspensive little task to fix…

always evaluate the roof…shingle condition and also are there any holes…

Yellow caution tape everywhere…if you see that run, don’t walk!

Aaares, that just sounds like a rental house to me.

The landlords who accept high risk tenants have places that look like that.

However, the house would be for sale. Those landlords often run the house down until even the meth heads won’t rent it and then they sell it without fixing anything.

Around here they tag electric meters with red tags when the power has been shut off. Usually a good sign.

Look for really old doorhangers and old mail sitting on the porch.

Drive the street on trash day, early and really focus on the ones that don’t have cans out. This isn’t to mean those are vacant, just a higher probability.

The two key things I look for when buying houses are photos of vacant houses and long distant numbers in the ads. This alone has benefited me over the past 20 years. People who have moved and are supporting empty house payments are motivated to discounts and terms. This has allowed me to take title ‘subject to’ and do L/P’s which is equivalent to getting financing on the home…just without closing costs!!

Although I have purchase nasty looking properties to rehab, I do not make that my main priority. I find good property in ‘distressed financial’ situations rather than ‘distressed properties.’ Less work, same results!! Not being lazy, just want to keep it simple.

So…photos showing vacancy and long distant telephone numbers listed in the ads.


Vacant, beat up houses are good, but what I’m really looking for is motiviation!

You figure that out, by talking with the neighbors? There’s always a Mrs. Kravitz out there that saw the wife chasing her hubby out the door 2 months ago with a 9 iron and they are gettin a divorce.

You also do research on the property itself to see what’s going on. Why is it vacant? etc.
Back taxes, prior foreclosure proceedings etc.

That’s what really gets you salivating.

But then again a vacant house wtih long grass is a start.