My dear friend Gini sent an interesting link to a video about a man claiming an abandoned home trying to acquire title through adverse possession. An interesting concept. In Netherlands, the adverse possession of property is called ‘Kraken‘ it started in the sixties in big cities as a protest against empty properties while there was a housing shortage. It still happens mainly in the cities. Right now it is still legal to move into a home that has been empty for more than a year. This however is not done with the goal of permanent possession. Usually the city gets involved, they can even decide to donate a property to a non profit organization.
Also California has laws as to adverse possession. It appears that the time for adverse possession is 5 years and there are quite a bit of stipulations before one can claim a property. I am not an attorney and I would recommend to seek legal council before starting the process of adverse possession like paying taxes etc. This is needed to eventually claim adverse possession. It is not the wild west anymore although sometimes it might feel like it ;)))
For now, a surer way is to buy a house. Right now owning is cheaper than renting. If you count all the money you need to pay taxes on a property to claim adverse possession while you are still not sure whether an owner might claim the property, you might as well use this money to buy a property. Interest rates are at historic lows and there are still great mortgage products available allowing you to buy with a minimal down payment. For instance, large parts of Sonoma County qualify for USDA loans. I am currently working with a first time home buyer buying a small home with a nice yard in Windsor. He will be using a USDA loan, his total housing expense will be around $1,100 a month, and that is before his tax write offs. This program has income limitations, it is great for first time home buyers. Darren Seliga with Seliga financial in Santa Rosa is very familiar with this loan product, you can call him at :707-577-8737.
Mirjam de Rijk