I am writing a story about an abandoned house. Do you have any ideas of why the house wouldn’t be taken down? Especially if it has been there for a long time. And if kids would be able to go into the house to explore.


I would guess that maybe the paperwork hasn’t gone through. When people die, the legal matters get really complicated. Maybe they still need to pay their estate taxes, or there’s some matter in the will that’s contradictory. The will could also be causing problems with the children of the deceased if they both want the property but it was only given to one of them.

Right now, I know someone who’s been “house-sitting” for nearly a year because his relative’s mother died. He lives there full-time, and there have only been a few real estate agents drop by so far. The house is big and a little creepy if you’re in there by yourself, so if no one was house-sitting, then, it would totally be a creepy abandoned house.

The relative whose mother died is dealing with a lot of estate taxes and other matters that weren’t taken care of before the death happened.

Other reasons you could have for a house being abandoned is that people needed to move (for work, for avoiding the Mafia, for family matters, etc.) but weren’t able to sell the house in time, so they just straight-up left and decided to deal with the details later.

Or perhaps they left the house with the intention of coming back, but it’s been a few months. There are always complications, like work issues, airport issues, immigration issues, etc.

The main reason a house wouldn’t be taken down is because it technically still belongs to someone and they are not in debt. If they declare bankruptcy, the house and everything in it could get repossessed. So to be abandoned, it would have no bills going to it (electricity, cable, water, satellite, phone, WiFi, etc.), it would still belong to someone, and it would not be repossessed in the time period since it had been abandoned.

Many people have electronic security systems that may silently alert the police/family or make really loud noises.

So I would do some research on houses in relation to…

  • Real estate
  • Taxes
  • Wills
  • Debt
  • Bankruptcy
  • Fugitives
  • Bill
  • Repossession
  • Security

The circumstances will determine whether the house is explorable or not. If someone was on the run from a gang or something, then they may leave the house unlocked and unsupervised.

Your story doesn’t have to be 100% realistic–it just has to SOUND realistic. There’s a big difference there!

I don’t know a lot about real estate and actual abandoned houses, but I hope this has given you at least a place to start. 🙂

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