A vacant house in my neighborhood has been empty for years and is decaying. I discovered the owner died 5 years ago, no heirs, no will. Nothing has happened. Can I move in, start fixing it up and get some kind of property or “squatter’s rights” over it?

I Made Many Deals-Then Retired & Told All My Secrets 

How to make millions of dollars from abandoned property!

Right here, right now, I am going to give you the way to make money out of “seemingly” abandoned property. During my career I made several million dollars on situations (abandoned property) exactly like this. Then I wrote a couple of how to do it books: Subject? How I dealt with distress and abandoned properties. The only reason I was able to do so well was that 99.99% of the people out there believe in the kind of reasoning expressed by a lot of jerks who don’t know what they are talking about; I.E. You can’t make money out of abandoned property and if you try, you will go to jail. 


The long answer is more complicated, but the short answer is that there is a way to get legal title to abandoned property very quickly. Forget the 21-year occupancy rule that gives one “squatter’s rights.” 

Here is how it is done. Before you take possession of the seemingly abandoned property you get “color of title.” What’s that? You find any heir(s) of the prior owner. That might be a widow or a 5th cousin in some far off land. If the last owner has an unusual name, like “Krasnopoliaska” the job is much easier because the people of the same name you find in the phone books or directories are usually related.

Once I researched it on all the search engines & saw that there were only about 2 dozen people in the world who have that name. Thus I can be sure that they are probably all distant cousins descendants of the same great-great grandfather who left Lithuania 175 years ago. One was actually a famous movie star (now deceased). But getting back on track . . .

Anyway, you acquire a “quit claim deed” for a few bucks from as many of the same name people as you can contact. Then you file those deeds, giving you “color of title.” You take possession, pay the back taxes, and file a “partition suit.” You publish a notice to the world “by publication” in a legal paper, repeating a standard boiler plate formula something like this:

I am now the owner in possession of [address & last known owner]. Anyone who has a claim must come forward within (whatever period set by law) or I will become the sole owner.

As I said, this is the short explanation… the devil is always in the details. But usually, within a year or less, I will have been awarded by a judge, a clear unassailable title. There is no fraud involved unless I knew who the real heirs were and intentionally kept this information from them. In my case, by the way, if I ever found any close—real heirs, I made a deal with them to either buy them out or split the proceeds from the eventual sale of the property 50/50.