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Buy Government owned homes for pennies on the dollar

 By: Dennis Norman

Let me just start by saying “yeah, sure” in reply to my headline.  I copied the headline of this post from several websites I found advertising that you could buy government homes for “pennies on the dollar”, at “cheap” prices, “HUGE discounts” and so forth.  Many of these sites charge you to reveal to you these government bargains. 

I’m not saying there are not good opportunities occasionally to purchase property at a good price from the government, I just don’t think most the deals are at the huge discounts advertised by some sites.  In addition, while finding information on government owned property IS easy I don’t think finding the good deals is.  Similar to buying REO’s I wrote about a few weeks ago, it will take a lot of work and due diligence on your part to sort through the deals being offered and find the good ones worth pursuing.   I remember back in the early 90′s in the days of “The Resolution Trust Corp (RTC)”, which was charged with selling off the assets of failed Savings & Loans, me and a partner followed the property they were selling the Missouri area looking for deals.  Out of all the properties we reviewed, did due diligence on and made offers on, we only ended up being the successful bidder on one property.  However the one we got truly was a steal…a bath and tennis club worth about $150,000 that we bought for around $26,000.  My point is in order to find a really good buying opportunity you are going to have to be persistent and patient.

It seems today most of the homes and other residential property various government agencies have to sell is listed with a REALTOR(R).  Therefore in addition to the sources shown below, very good property information is easily available through the MLS or on REALTOR.Com

 Below are links to all the government (or quasi-government) sites I’m aware of that offer current information on property that is for sale.  Several offer a RSS feed so you can stay updated on current offerings.  Below the government sites are a couple of additional sites that I think are useful as well.

Happy bargain hunting….if you find one of those “pennies on the dollar” deals please let me know. :)

 Sites for buying property from the US Government:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Real Estate For Sale

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) “Bargain Properties for Sale”

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) “Special Real Estate Sales Events” (bulk sales, auctions, etc)

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -single family homes

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Multi-Family Properties

US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae)-single family homes 

Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae)- Multi-Family Properties

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) – single family homes

US Department of the Treasury (auctions property seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Secret Service and through IRS criminal investigations

United States Marshalls Service (in addition to real estate site also lists sales of cars, jewelry as well as other assets)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (rural property)

HomeSales.gov – this General Services Administration (GSA) site lists property that is for sale by some agencies of the US Government.  Currently properties from HUD, VA and USDA are listed on this site)

SLM Holding Corporation (Sallie Mae)

Sites for private companies that some government agencies (as well as bankers and lenders) list property with:

LPS Asset Management Solutions (lists properties seized by US Marshalls office as well as lender and bank REO’s)

First Preston Management (lists properties owned by HUD as well as lender and bank REO’s)

HMB Inc. (handles sale of HUD owned property in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington & West Virginia)

 REALTOR.COM (Nationwide listings by REALTORS(R) – Since many properties being sold by US Government are listed with REALTORS this is an easy way to look up info on them