How to find the current owner of vacant property? - Posted by Ari

Posted by RENA LORANCE on November 16, 2004 at 22:22:17:


How to find the current owner of vacant property? - Posted by Ari

Posted by Ari on September 22, 2004 at 18:41:39:

Hi all,

Newbie question here…

I have a property in my neighborhood that I think would be a decent fix and flip candidate. It’s been vacant for some months. The neighbors tell me that the owner died suddenly and they’ve seen a woman they believe to be the daughter at the house occasionally, but no one knows her name or address.

I’d like to approach whoever currently owns, or is responsible for, the house to see if they want to sell.

I’ve gone to several county offices (Alameda, CA) so far: recorders, assessors and probate, but all records still show up in the name of the deceased owner. (I found nothing in the probate records, BTW).

A friend has suggested seeing if a will was recorded. I haven’t tried that yet.

Are there other kinds of records or online resources that might help me to find out who now controls the property? I’m open to any advice.

If I can’t find out who that person is, any suggestions on a “generic” ‘do you want to sell?’ letter.

Thanks for reading this!

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Re: How to find the current owner… - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on September 23, 2004 at 19:09:41:

Don’t forget the obituary. It would list the relatives of the deceased.

Re: Vacant property - Posted by Elizabeth

Posted by Elizabeth on September 23, 2004 at 11:36:35:

You need to go your local Surrogate Court to learn if there was a will. Even if there was no will, the property still has to go thru probate, because the State has to locate next of kin for purposes of determing who will serve as Executor since the real estate is an asset of the estate of the deceased person. Since the neighbors are friendly ask them some questions about family, friends etc. of the deceased.

I buy a lot of these kinds of properties and I won’t kid you, it can be a real challenge tracking down relatives who have authority to dispose of the property, but if you stick to it, you should be able to locate someone. You might try offering a cash incentive (tastefully) to a neighbor to help you.

By the way, a little tip. Many times relatives of the deceased do not want to come forward because they fear being held financially responsible for any arrears on the property such as mortgage, taxes, etc., so you want to make clear to the neighbors that you want to offer the relatives a set dollar amount in their pocket and that you will take care of the bills.

Good luck.

Re: How to find the current owner - Posted by RichV(FL)

Posted by RichV(FL) on September 22, 2004 at 19:15:01:


If you are looking for an online resource to find the person who controls this property try or

Hope this helps,