Agree with you in that a call to the owner makes a lot of sense, and perhaps several calls. The goal would be to get to know the owner and get them to like you. Then you can deal.
Personally, I’d rather not take title, but sell to an end user that would do the rehab, or another investor in the area. I’m sure it wouldn’t be have to find an investor and make it worth his while and I’d be happy with a small but clean profit.
Agree with multiple offers, and I could do either with cash of terms. The, preferably assign the contract and have no money or time in it.
I would NOT get involved in renting it or rehabbing it. Too far away and there’s plenty of renting and rehabbing in my own back yard. I just don’t do out of town deals anymore as they rarely make much sense. Now, if there were a really good investor friend there, I’d do a joint venture. And I’ve had good experiences doing them. And, I’d have no problem giving them the bulk of the profit as they would be doing all of the work. Something I have an aversion to.