What is a HUD home?
It is a house that has a HUD-insured mortgage loan on it. When the owner doesn't make the payments, HUD pays the lender what is owed, and then takes ownership of the home. They try selling it quickly, and at market value. Virtually anyone who can pay cash or get a loan is eligible to buy these houses. (HUD employees and relatives of HUD employees are eligible, but must receive written approval from the Director of HUD's Office of Single Family Asset Management in order to purchase a HUD-owned single family property.)
HUD homes are found in all sorts of neighborhoods, although most are meant to be affordable to low-income and moderate-income families. These are homes that generally sell for the same as surrounding homes (except when they need work). To find HUD homes in the price range you want, then, you simply look for neighborhoods with homes in that price range. If A HUD house need fixing up the asking price will reflect that. HUD may offer special incentives such as an allowance to upgrade the property, a moving expense allowance, or a bonus for closing the sale early. The houses are sold "as is," but HUD will allow you to get professional inspections prior to making an offer. The cost of these will be yours, however, whether or not you make an offer or buy the home.
On most sales, you can request that HUD pays all or a portion of your financing and closing costs. Essentially you just make an offer as you would on any property, except that HUD homes are typically sold in an "Offer Period," at the end of which all offers are opened and the highest reasonable bid is accepted. If not sold in the initial Offer Period, you can submit a bid any day of the week, including weekends and holidays, until the home is sold. If your bid is accepted, your real estate agent will usually be notified within 48 hours.
HUD doesn't loan on these homes, although they do offer mortgage insurance programs that can help you get a loan. Contact a HUD approved lender for more information.