Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cheap Homes For Teachers?

Now they tell me!

Homes are first offered to approved non-profit organizations, mostly in inner-city neighborhoods, at a 50 percent discount to their appraised values. The non-profits then rehabilitate and resell them.

Any properties not picked up by the non-profits are then offered to police officers and teachers at a 10 percent discount. HUD also recently began giving first shot at homes coming into the system to people made homeless by Hurricane Katrina at the same 10 percent discount. (emphasis mine--Darren)

If, after five days, no teacher, officer or Katrina victim makes an offer, HUD puts the properties on auction for the general public. At that point only buyers who intend to live in the house may bid.

Individuals can look at homes at HUD's Web site and

So there you go.


Herr Professor said...

Eh. Somehow, I get the feeling that almost every single one of those homes are in neighborhoods you wouldn't want to live in. I suppose the theory is a typical example of magical realism: move a cop and teacher into the neighborhood and suddenly all the taggers and drug dealers will behave themselves and be productive members of society.

The reality is something more like this: even if the house was given to you for free, the psychological price of wading through the dregs of humanity as you go to and from your hopefully heavily fortified bunker is too much for any person with any other option to bear (and by any other option, I mean anything short of outright homelessness).

Bad neighborhoods are sort of like the middle east: you can't do anything to the scumbags, so the only ones who get punished are the good families who have nowhere else to go.

Or is that too bitter?

Darren said...

It's not *too* bitter =)

I've considered the bad neighborhood possibility. I'm sure it's the case with some of them, but I'm also sure that people default on HUD homes in good neighborhoods, too.

The addresses are posted on the web site--Mapquest them first!

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Herr Professor. A couple months ago in Sacramento an off duty cop who happened to live in one of those HUD default homes in Oak Park had a crude bomb thrown into his house while he was sleeping. That's a pretty definite sign that you are not wanted somewhere. Not too long before that two brothers who had purchased a HUD home in Oak Park were shot up in broad daylight while they were working on the house. One lived and the other died. I think the idea--to provide affordable housing to law enforcement and teachers--is a great one. The reality? My two examples above speak volumes.

Darren said...

As I said, Mapquest the locations first. I wouldn't buy in a bad neighborhood no matter what the price. But people default in good neighborhoods, too.

I wonder if we'll see more of the latter now that all those mortgage balloon payments I've been reading about are starting to come due.

Elaine S. said...

Wow... thanks for posting this!

I just signed my first contract, and I'm looking to purchase a place of my own. Renting's hard to do with a german shepherd! ;)

Yeah, one does need to be careful of neighborhoods, but that's true of life in general. If this will let me find a place of my own, though... *crossing fingers*