When you are thinking about buying a house, ---even if it's not your first one, you need one of the following combinations:
> A) A Realtor and lots of Cash.
>B) A Realtor and an approved loan.
>C) A Realtor and a good Credit Score and a Job and enough Cash to get approved when you go to a Loan Officer to get a Loan.
All the other activites you are engaging in are a waste of time, so pick one of the above options and get started on figuring out how you will finance a purchase before you start worrying about the house.
In your specific scenario, the house may not be for sale. But an experienced Realtor could find out for you. People don't have to sell a house just because it is vacant. Maybe they are waiting for prices to come up more. I've been selling houses in this county for many years, and I have sold abandonned houses before, so contact me if you want to satisfy your curiosity.
The Internet won't answer all of your questions; you really need to speak with a Realtor.
ULTRA Real Estate Services
If you need help with the financing check out my program at http://www.naca.com.
Mortgage Counselor-NMLS 280951
I have came a cross a couple of homes in this situation in the last couple of months. First of all, I would have my title company look up the home and see if the house was transferred into someone in the family name. Also, we would need to see if there was a will and if it has been probated. After getting the information, we could go from there. If you would like me to help you with the process, email me at email@example.com or could call me at 817.881.2628
> 817-991-3475 - cell
If the home's owner passed recently and it was left to family it may still be in probate. The only way to know is to dig in to try to find the current owner. You probably should contact a realtor and let them loo into it for you. The services of the realtor are generally paid for by the seller and this will likely yeild you the quickest answer to your question. Best of luck to you
Keller Williams Realty