Buying HUD Foreclosures In Bellingham and Whatcom County

HUD Website

HUD Website

If you are like many buyers right now, you are looking for good deals.  Some of the best deals I’ve seen are HUD homes. These were government guaranteed loans, like FHA, that have been foreclosed and now the government owns them.

Like most times when you work with the government, the process has been “simplified” into the most convoluted and pain-staking way possible.Working through the process is worth it, though.

To make it easier to understand, let’s break it down into steps.

1. Finding HUD homes. Go to the HUD website by clicking here.  Click on the state, then on the county in which you want to look for homes or fill in the address or city in the Search Properties section below. If you use that option, keep it as general as possible, like just the city. There might be only a couple in your area at any given time but check back often because they turn over quickly and new ones are added daily.

2. Restrictions  & general info. There is some important information you need to know.

  • Some HUD homes can only be purchased by owners who intend to live in them – not investors.
  • Some have repairs that HUD will give you a credit for at closing. Look under the Addendums tabs for Disclosures.
  • You’ll see the “Bid Open Date”. On new listings, it can be a few days out but normally, they open bids everyday.
  • You’ll see under “Status” whether it’s a new listing or if the price has been reduced. They reduce prices aggressively.
  • You first make an electronic bid, then if accepted, follow up with the full contract.

3. You must make a bid with a registered agent. Not all companies or agents are registered with HUD. I’m sure it’s no surprise that I am a registered agent and experienced HUD bidder. It’s a tricky process and everything has to be done just so or your bid will be rejected.

4. You must have the following to bid:

  • A social security number.
  • Loan pre-approval from a bank. Don’t think you can just play around with these guys. A fake bid can land you and your realtor in big trouble with fines and possible jail time.
  • A cashier’s check for the earnest money written to “HUD or You”.

5. They won’t counter-offer. They either accept or reject your bid. If they reject, you can make another bid at a higher price and keep doing that until they accept. Hopefully you won’t mess around too long and lose to another bidder.

6. Once accepted, the completed sales contract must be to them within 48 hours. The contract package is very specific (sign only in blue ink, etc). Read “How to Complete a HUD Sales Contract Package,” also under the addendums tab of any listing.

Buying a HUD home is a great way to get a deal even if you have to jump through hoops. If you’d like to buy a HUD home, contact me to get started.