Here is a list of what to look for when driving for dollars
If you see mail or newspapers piling up there is a good sign the property is empty. If you see city or county ordinances on the doors and windows there is a good sign there is a major problem with the house.
If the garbage cans are on the street and the rest of the neighborhood has them off the street there is a good sign there is a problem with the owner.
If you see garbage in the lawn or hedges there is a sign of issues in the home as well
Lawn and Shrubs
If you see an overgrown or dying lawn this is a good candidate for driving for dollars contact. If you see toys and other fun items laying across the lawn as if they have been there for days this is another good sign of distress.
If you see overgrown shrubs this is a good sign of a distressed owner
If the gutters are filled with leaves or hanging off the property this is a good sign of a distressed property.
Paint and Siding
If the paint is chipping on the outside or the house has extremely dirty or missing siding panels this is a good sign of property distress.
No Drapes or curtains
If you can see through the house then there is a good chance this house is vacant.
Vacant and Absentee List
I can pay about $.25 for a vacant list of properties from a biggerpockets.com vendor. They are usually about 40% accurate as vacant and usually owned by banks. But they show where the housing market is weak and a good location drive for dollars. I can buy a list of absentees from listsource.com and see where buy and holders have pockets of gold to find the next lease option or wholesale deal.
Rehabs and New Construction!!
If you see active rehabs or vacant lots being utilized the houses next door will have a great comp!! Mail the owners and let them know now is the time to sell.