Your Guide to Section 8 and the HUD Housing Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for overseeing the nation’s HUD housing program.



However, before you buy a house through this program, it is important that you understand how the HUD housing program works and what you need to do to buy your own home. 

HUD Housing Program Overview

In order to understand the HUD housing program, you first need to understand what a HUD home is.

A HUD home is a specific property that the department obtains after the home is foreclosed on. Before they went into foreclosure, these houses were financed by Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages.

HUD homes are residential properties, and can have anywhere from one to four units in them.

Once the HUD obtains these facilities, they are auctioned off. If prospective homeowners have some funds available to them, they can obtain these properties for good prices. 

Additionally, individuals who are eligible to take out loans can also purchase HUD homes. Usually, these properties are first offered to buyers who want to live in the homes.

However, if prospective residents do not buy the properties, investors and other buyers have the opportunity to purchase them as well. 

Where can I find a free listing of HUD homes for sale?

There are several different ways you can find HUD homes for sale. However, the most efficient way to learn about properties that will be auctioned off near you is to visit the HUD home store.

This site will provide you with a comprehensive list of all the HUD properties that are currently available. 

If you want to purchase one of the HUD’s foreclosed homes, you can begin your search online.

You should avoid contacting HUD or a public housing agency (PHA) to ask about properties that may be sold in your area. Instead, using this site you can search for properties based on: 

  • Where the property is located. 
  • How much the house is being sold for. 
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms. 
  • The type of buyer you are. 

Learn About the Benefits of Buying a HUD Home

There are many different advantages to buying HUD houses for sale. Most of these benefits are financial.

Specifically, purchasing a HUD home may come with the following perks: 

  • Reduced closing costs – In some instances, HUD may pay a portion of your closing costs when you purchase the property. Some of these may relate to insurance and titling fees. 
  • Quicker loan application process – If you plan on purchasing the property with an FHA loan, you may be able to obtain a loan more quickly. This is because the home had already been appraised by an FHA representative. 
  • Lower competition – If you are purchasing a HUD home so you can live in it, you will likely have less competition from others who want to purchase it. This is because priority is given to buyers who want to purchase the house and use it as their primary residence. 

How to Buy HUD Homes for Sale

You may want to find some HUD assistance when you decide you want to purchase one of these properties. You can learn more about HUD housing assistance here.

This is because HUD homes for sale are not usually advertised on traditional housing websites. In fact, you must go to HUD’s listing website to find properties for sale. 

Once you find a property you want to bid on, you must contact an agent. Specifically, you need to use a HUD-approved real estate broker to facilitate the purchase. You cannot bid directly on the property you want. 

Learn About Specialty HUD Housing Programs You May Qualify For 

Purchasing a HUD home can save you money. However, you may qualify to receive even greater financial discounts if you purchase a HUD home.

This is because HUD sponsors additional initiatives that certain individuals may take advantage of. 

One initiative that directly impacts buyers is the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales program. This initiative is available to: 

  • Kindergarten, grade school, middle school and high school teachers. 
  • Law enforcement personnel. 
  • Firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). 

If you have one of these professions, you may qualify to purchase a HUD home for half of its listing price. This can give you even more discounts if you are looking to obtain your own property.

In exchange for this discount, you must use the house as your primary place of residence for a minimum of 36 months. The goal of this program is to bring new life to current neighborhoods that may have various vacant properties.  

If you are the only individual who wants to purchase a property and you have the means to do so, you will likely obtain that home.

However, if two or more people place a bid on the same home, a lottery system is used to determine who will become its owner. 

Find Out About HUD Homes for Rent

If you are not interested in purchasing a property, you may wonder if there are any HUD houses for rent.

HUD does provide some financial relief to low-income families who want to rent a home, but cannot afford the monthly payments on the property. However, this benefit is available through the Section 8 program.

If you want to rent a house, you cannot do so by purchasing a HUD home. 

It can be confusing to determine which benefits program is best for you. If you have any questions about your options, contact your local PHA.

The representative you speak with should be able to inform you about the different options you could qualify for.