Finding HUD homes for sale is slightly different from looking for and finding a home in the more “traditional way.” Such a way involves checking out local or national listing sites, driving around areas looking for “for sale” boards, or talking with a local real estate agent. But with HUD homes, there is a set process.

One of the main reasons for such difference is that HUDs are homes that have been repossessed or taken back from the mortgagee by the FHA in a process often called foreclosure. Given government policies encouraging home ownership, HUD has no incentive to retain ownership and wishes to sell the property to the next owner.

Furthermore, HUD has to be seen to deal with the sale effectively and in the shortest possible time. So, instead of being offered on the open market where the timeframe for purchase is uncertain, HUD homes are sold by auction. At such auctions, owner-occupiers have the first chance to buy. If, for some reason, within 30 days, the property is not sold, it may be offered to investors.

Finding a HUD Home

Interested parties can begin searching for HUD homes by logging on to the internet and opening HUD websites. All homes offered by HUD are listed online, and it’s possible to look for properties using search filters to better define the type of property sought.

There are filters to narrow down a list of properties by:

  • state, by county, or by city; 
  • street or even zip codes if you know them;
  • defining the price range of properties sought;
  • the number of bedrooms and bathrooms

Searchers need to identify themselves as owner-occupiers or investors and can check the status of a particular property once a reference code is entered.

In addition to homes for owner-occupiers or investors, people looking to buy a HUD home can also use the website to search for homes that are part of specific programs or incentive schemes offered by HUD. These may include suggestions such as “Good Neighbour Next Door,” “Non-profit,” or “$1 Homes, Government Sales”--details of all such schemes being on the HUD website.

Conclusion on HUD Homes

Some potential buyers won’t find HUD homes on any Multiple Listing Service or broker’s websites. Some specialized real estate agents are specially authorized by HUD to assist with selling their properties. This is another source for finding a HUD home.

Furthermore, it’s necessary to hire an approved real estate agent to inspect and bid on these properties. They will be familiar with the processes and timeframes involved, from bidding on a property to closing on a sale.

Also, the home will be sold “as-is,” and HUD will not undertake any repairs or improvements. Therefore, a home inspection by a professional to determine the property's value and how much to spend to get it into livable condition is very important.