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if you are in the US:
All deeds are supposed to be recorded in the office of the county clerk as public record. in some places these records can be looked up over the internet, in others you need to either go down to the clerks office, usually in a courthouse. Google your county clerk’s office give them a call to find out where the property records are located, and at what times they can be accessed. You can also hire an examiner to pull a copy of the current deed (also known as a Last Deed of Record). That deed will contain the Name of the owner (the Grantee) as well as their address (which is not necessarily the address of the property in question). The deed also likely contain the name and address of the attorney who represented the buyer. Contact the owner if possible and see if they’d be interested in selling the property. If they are interested, exchange attorney names and numbers, and pass the info along to your counsel. if you cannot find the owner, try contacting the attorney. Many people use the same attorney multiple times and the attorney may know how to contact the owners. This is in their favor as they will likely get to represent them in a sale earning them a fee. Before signing a contract to purchase, you should check the tax history (also public record) to be sure that the taxes are too deep in arrears, have the property inspected by an engineer, and finally appraised to be sure you aren’t over paying. With an abandoned property you should also check to see if there are fees outstanding for violations with various municipal departments, or if the local government has had to perform emergency repairs for which you would be responsible to pay for.
If you’re more of the “i have more money than time” types, just call your attorney and ask them to investigate it. they will likely have either the know how to do all of that themselves, or they can outsource it to a local examiner/title/abstract/settlement company and interpret the results for you. You should have professional legal representation for this process regardless, but you can save money by checking it out on your own first.
Now being an abandoned property you may find that it is owned by the government, or a bank or is in some other form of limbo. this does not mean that its not for sale, in fact, this may mean that whoever is currently in title would very much like to off load it to someone else. Contact an experienced local real estate attorney and get a consultation.