HUD for Dummies: Things that you need to know

If you are considering purchasing a home through the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) program you will need to understand that it is a very different procedure than buying a home on the open market. There are a myriad of issues concerning the application and approval process. If you are willing to work with HUD however, you can find homes that suite your taste and budget. Understanding what HUD is and what your role is before and during the process is paramount.

The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) was created in 1934 to spurn economic growth, and to provide reliable housing for people in the US, and later in the mid 1960s it became a part of the HUD program. In conjunction with HUD the FHA provides mortgage insurance to pre – approved lenders, and guarantee by payment of a claim that lenders will receive monies owed if an individual defaults on a loan. In effect a HUD home becomes a HUD property because someone somewhere defaulted on a loan through the FHA and its lenders. There are drawbacks in applying for a home loan through HUD, and you should be aware of the facts.

• Not only can individuals bid on a home, but investors that are interested in turning a profit can too. • Homes are sold on an “as is bases”. There are no warranties given on the condition of the home, and inspections for code compliance and federal mandated health requirements are squarely on the shoulders of any potential home buyer. This includes the federal requirement by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that all homes built prior to 1978 must be inspected for any lead paint based products inside or outside the house. Information must be disclosed too about asbestos use in the home. • Negotiations on home price are usually not available because HUD is looking to recoup any defaulted amounts to the FHA pre – approved lenders. Fair market value is offered first, and if the home does not sell after an extended time on the market, only then will a reduction in price be considered for the home. • A fixed dollar amount for repairs, usually over $5,000.00 is needed before anyone that purchases a HUD home can borrow at a reduced rate through them. If repairs don’t equal the approved HUD amount, all repairs are carried by the home owner. • Options for repair exist under a fund of escrow held by HUD for a home based on HUD’s analysis of under $5,000.00. This means that repairs must be initiated by the owner, and a complete inspection approved by the lender. Only then will a home owner be reimbursed for the minimum property standards that must be met for a HUD home.

Another consideration when purchasing a HUD home is the extended length of time for a property to be put onto the market for purchase. If you’re interested in a home with HUD you need to be aware that foreclosure can take a few months to occur, and HUD will have to evaluate the foreclosed property, which can take several more months. A total processing of time can be anywhere from one to two years. So if you’re interested in a property with HUD expected to wait for it.

There are some benefits to buying a home through HUD. For example, your mortgage insurance is part of your monthly home payment, and down payments are graduated. Any one may apply for loan once they meet certain requirements, and guarantees are given that you may not be discriminated against based on race, color, creed or religion. There are veteran loans for those that served in any branch of the military that are available at a reduced rate.

Buying a home through HUD is not a procedure that can be qualified as one that is for dummies. You can eliminate a lot of stress if you decide to purchase a HUD home by talking with others that have bought a home through them, and more importantly ask a realtor to help guide you through the process. Inside knowledge combined with the valued experience by a real estate profession working with other qualified lenders can direct you to the best resources and options on financing.

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