How to locate abandoned buildings

Written by dahloan hembree
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How to locate abandoned buildings
Some abandoned buildings are said to be haunted. (haunted house image by Aleksander from

Have you ever driven by a building that is vacant and wondered who owned it? Maybe you enjoy learning about old abandoned buildings, some of which have the reputation of being haunted. Some people have a hobby of researching old buildings. Other people are photography buffs and like to take pictures of old buildings. Whatever the reason for finding out about abandoned buildings and houses, there are several means available for locating them.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Internet
  • Computer
  • Phone
  • Phone book

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  1. 1

    Drive through old neighbourhoods and older portions of cities and towns looking for buildings that appear to be abandoned. Look for the obvious signs of an abandoned building, such as worn paint, old windows and doors, or boards nailed across windows.

    How to locate abandoned buildings
    Some buildings might be abandoned. (old buildings on city street image by jimcox40 from
  2. 2

    Contact your state's unclaimed property division. Every state has such a division. Give them the location of the area in which you are looking for abandoned buildings to obtain a list of vacant properties. This number can be found under the Department of Treasury, Unclaimed Property Division or the State Treasury Department.

    How to locate abandoned buildings
    There are several ways to find abandoned buildings. (haunted house image by Aleksander from
  3. 3

    Contact the local tax revenue office in the county or city in which you are looking for abandoned property. The city tax appraiser will also have a list of properties that are abandoned, or soon to be abandoned due to back taxes. They will want to know why you need this list.

    How to locate abandoned buildings
    Search the Internet for abandoned buildings. (old abandoned beach house image by Stephen Orsillo from
  4. 4

    Contact historical and preservation societies. Many of the buildings on their lists (that they are trying to save) may be abandoned.

  5. 5

    Search online for abandoned buildings. There are various websites with pictures, blogs and locations of abandoned buildings. Create a list of buildings from these sites.

Tips and warnings

  • Never enter an abandoned building alone. Injuries can occur due to old building materials.
  • Also, be careful entering an old abandoned building, as this could be considered trespassing.

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