Using HUDHomeStore to Buy a HUD Property
The U.S. government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) makes it possible for you to buy certain homes that went into foreclosure after borrowers using an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan failed to make their mortgage payments. FHA loans are backed by the government, so when a borrower defaults, the government must pay off the loan and take possession of the property.
These foreclosed properties are commonly called “HUD homes.” Thus, it’s no surprise that HUD makes them available for purchase through a website called HUDHomeStore. (Or at least the URL is hudhomestore.com, and HUDHomeStore is how it is commonly referred.)
How do I buy a HUD Home through HUDHomeStore?
The first thing you need to understand is that you can not directly buy a HUD home as a general consumer. You will need to go through a real estate agent who is registered to bid with HUD. You can find local registered HUD brokers here.
However, there is nothing stopping you from shopping for available HUD homes at HUDHomeStore. Just go to the site and click on the state where you are interested in making a purchase. When you do, you’ll see a list of properties, along with these columns describing them:
Looking at the snippet of a property list above, the most important thing to note is the Listing Period column. You can see that some properties say “Exclusive” and some say “Extended”. This is because HUD prefers to see its homes go to owners who are buying the homes to live in themselves (known as owner-occupants), versus investors who are buying the homes to rent or perhaps rehab for future resale. Owner-occupant buyers get first dibs on available properties, during the “Exclusive” listing period, which usually lasts 2 or 3 weeks. After that, during the “Extended” period, investors are welcome.
There are also other programs and listing period rules for special cases, including discounted purchases by non-profit organizations or local governments, and the Good Neighbor Next Door program that gives a 50% discount to law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and teachers in certain designated neighborhoods.
What if I have questions about a property on HUDHomeStore?
When you click through to any individual listing, you will see a tab for Agent Info. You will find phone numbers and/or email contacts for the local managers/brokers who are responsible for selling and maintaining that particular HUD property.
Can anyone buy a HUD home? Are there restrictions?
Anyone who can pay is eligible to buy a HUD home. You can buy in the traditional way with a mortgage loan, or of course you can buy with cash.
Does HUD provide financing through HUDHomeStore?
No. HUD does not provide financing for purchases. You can use any lender to finance your purchase, just like a traditional mortgage. However, you may qualify for an FHA mortgage loan (which is easier to qualify for than standard mortgage loans) depending on your circumstances. You can find FHA lenders via the HUD website.
How long do I have to own a HUD property before I can re-sell it?
Owner-occupant buyers are required to live in their purchased HUD home for at least 12 months before selling it. Note also that you will not be able to buy another HUD home as an owner-occupant if you have purchased a prior HUD home within the past 24 months.
Investors do not have a time requirement to hold on to the property before putting it back up for sale.
I see a HUD property on HUD HomeStore that I’m interested in. What’s my next step?
Contact a local real estate agent that is registered to bid with HUD. You can find local registered HUD brokers here. Your agent should be able to walk you through the process of viewing HUD homes, bidding on HUDHomeStore, getting inspections for potential purchases, and anything else associated with obtaining a HUD property.