On Monday, I received a call from a really excited buyer who had located a HUD home she was interested in purchasing, had been watching it for a few days and decided that she was ready to put in an offer on the property. The home was in a very desirable neighborhood, needed almost no repairs and was priced well within their budget (which was well below what the median home price was this community). The buyer was excitedly telling me about this fabulous property and quickly gave me the address of the home so that I could look it up in the Atlanta HUD listing database, telling me that it had just come out of the initial lottery period and was still available.
Immediately, I noticed a problem. This family's dream home had just got under contract - that morning.
I explained the caller that the property she was interested in was under contract and she informed me I must be mistaken, as the property had been available that morning. She'd checked!
Unfortunately for the buyer, Atlanta HUD homes in good neighborhoods tend to sell really quickly - as in, during the initial thirteen day lottery period. HUD homes are owned by the government, and they are very motivated to sell their home inventory quickly. HUD homes are generally priced well below current market value and when buyers see a home with attractive buying terms priced below other comparable homes for sale in great neighborhoods...they put in offers on them!
If you're thinking about buying a HUD home, you must be prepared to move on the property quickly. Get your financing lined up at the beginning of your home search and be ready to place a bid when you find a home you like or its likely to get snatched up by another (more prepared) buyer.