real estate of deceased person

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In browsing our county auditor's online property listings, I came across a property of interest, however subsequent internet searching reveals that the owner of record has been deceased for about 10 years.  Property taxes were apparently paid by someone for several years, but have not been paid in recent years.  We would potentially be interested in purchasing this property if it's available but don't know who to contact or how to go about this..  If taxes continue to be unpaid, does such property typically end up in a sheriff’s sale?  Also, not sure if the property has a mortgage or not.  Thanks for any advice!

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County auditor? What state, Indiana?
You would search the county recorder's site to see the chain of title, if there were any liens, lis pendens, etc.

If the property taxes aren't paid, some states sell liens, other sell deeds, others sell the right to collect the proceeds from a public auction.
There are a million ways for this to go bad and you lose everything invested, so please find a good attorney.

Short answer: move on.

Thanks.  State is Ohio.  Will look into the Recorder's information.

galaeth said:   If taxes continue to be unpaid, does such property typically end up in a sheriff’s sale? Also, not sure if the property has a mortgage or not.In many states, if property taxes are unpaid for long enough(usually 5 years or more), the property is auctioned off. In that situation, any mortgage is irrelevant.
  

galaeth said:   In browsing our county auditor's online property listings, I came across a property of interest, however subsequent internet searching reveals that the owner of record has been deceased for about 10 years.  Property taxes were apparently paid by someone for several years, but have not been paid in recent years.  We would potentially be interested in purchasing this property if it's available but don't know who to contact or how to go about this..  If taxes continue to be unpaid, does such property typically end up in a sheriff’s sale?  Also, not sure if the property has a mortgage or not.  Thanks for any advice!
  If it had a mortgage, the bank would have paid the property taxes, and by now, already foreclosed on the property. Most likely, after the owner died, a relative kept paying the taxes until they died or didn't wan't to keep paying. If the property is still in the original owners name it might be hard to track down anyone to make an offer to. Eventually it will go to a tax sale and would probably be the easiest way to acquire it.

Google this:

"[Insert county name] Ohio Tax Deed"

The practice for how a property goes from delinquent taxes to sale is going to vary by county - how long it takes, the process, etc.  Without the specific county, no one here is going to be able to help much. 

Is there a residence on the property? If yes, knock on the door, and say you're interested in buying the property.

stanolshefski said:   Is there a residence on the property? If yes, knock on the door, and say you're interested in buying the property.
  You are braver than me.

stanolshefski said:   Is there a residence on the property? If yes, knock on the door, and say you're interested in buying the property.
 the legal owner is dead but people are living there. seems to me this is because of one of the following:

1) the family didn't open succession in order to transfer ownership. now they are just occupying it in exchange for paying taxes etc.
2) usufruct, and the property will go to somebody else when the occupant dies (common in my area, actually...although moreso a couple generations ago)
3) squatters or unrelated party who are doing what relatives did in (1)
4) renters who think their landlord owns the property.

and you can't buy the property from any of these people.

solarUS said:   1) the family didn't open succession in order to transfer ownership. now they are just occupying it in exchange for paying taxes etc.
  Are there any problems with this arraignment other than not being able to sell it quickly? That mirrors my situation the last 5 years and the main concern is if I have to make a H.O. insurance claim.

atikovi said:   
solarUS said:   1) the family didn't open succession in order to transfer ownership. now they are just occupying it in exchange for paying taxes etc.
  Are there any problems with this arraignment other than not being able to sell it quickly? That mirrors my situation the last 5 years and the main concern is if I have to make a H.O. insurance claim.

it isn't terribly uncommon. as for HO insurance - that's a good question. i'd probably just self-insure unless there were special hazards (trees all around, hurricane or tornado area, high crime, etc)

if there's no mortgage, why didn't you open succession and transfer ownership? isn't it worth it? or does it involve shitty family dynamics or something?

No other family. Just never felt the need. Just thinking if I ever get sued, (not likely), not having the house in my name would mean it's an asset that couldn't be attached if there is a judgement against me.

Do a public record request to find out who paid the taxes, then send them a letter?

BrianGa said:   Do a public record request to find out who paid the taxes, then send them a letter?
  I'm still alive and I get these letters all the time.  It doesn't sound like OP is a pro so I would advise him just to move on.  Or, just send a letter to the address with a very specific offer.  Any mortgage should show up in a record search.  In our county, you would typically take the owners name then search in the recorder's office website and they show all the liens, etc

solarUS said:   
stanolshefski said:   Is there a residence on the property? If yes, knock on the door, and say you're interested in buying the property.
 the legal owner is dead but people are living there. seems to me this is because of one of the following:

1) the family didn't open succession in order to transfer ownership. now they are just occupying it in exchange for paying taxes etc.
2) usufruct, and the property will go to somebody else when the occupant dies (common in my area, actually...although moreso a couple generations ago)
3) squatters or unrelated party who are doing what relatives did in (1)
4) renters who think their landlord owns the property.

and you can't buy the property from any of these people.

1) And, since they can't afford to pay the taxes, you can probably get them to perfect the title and buy it from them cheaply.
4) They can tell you who they've been paying rent to.

BrianGa said:   Do a public record request to find out who paid the taxes, then send them a letter?
  OP says, Property taxes were apparently paid by someone for several years, but have not been paid in recent yearsLittle chance that would work.

atikovi said:   No other family. Just never felt the need. Just thinking if I ever get sued, (not likely), not having the house in my name would mean it's an asset that couldn't be attached if there is a judgement against me.
  I would fix this as soon as possible.  This was the case for many families in NOLA.  After Katrina, those folks had a really hard time proving they owned their home, and couldn't get any aid.  It was a huge problem.  Do not open yourself up to this.

Modern said:   
atikovi said:   No other family. Just never felt the need. Just thinking if I ever get sued, (not likely), not having the house in my name would mean it's an asset that couldn't be attached if there is a judgement against me.
  I would fix this as soon as possible.  This was the case for many families in NOLA.  After Katrina, those folks had a really hard time proving they owned their home, and couldn't get any aid.  It was a huge problem.  Do not open yourself up to this.

eh...arguably, if you don't have enough money to open succession and get title to your mama house, you don't own it. 

but yeah, it's a big problem down here.



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