Lancaster County PA Realty Check: How Do I Buy a HUD Repossessed Home in Lancaster County PA?

How Do I Buy a HUD Repossessed Home in Lancaster County PA?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgage lenders who make FHA loans.  The FHA is part of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

What happens when a homeowner defaults on an FHA mortgage?  The home, after going through a foreclosure procedure, reverts to HUD, where it will eventually be resold.

How do I buy a HUD repossessed home?  In Pennsylvania, including Lancaster County, HUD properties are administered by Hooks Van Holm, Inc.  The first thing you need to do is locate a REALTOR who is certified to work with HUD properties.  Hooks Van Holm displays available properties online at .  A HUD-certified REALTOR can show you these properties.

All HUD repossessed properties must be bid for online.  There is a very detailed process which must be followed precisely, or the bid will be rejected.  Most residential properties start out for a short period being only available to owner occupants.  If not sold in the initial period, the properties then become available to any owner, including investors.

How credit worthy do I have to be?  You must be preapproved BEFORE you make your bid.  You must already have a preapproval letter on your lender's letterhead.  There are specific instructions as to what information must be on the preapproval letter.

Can I have a home inspection?  Yes.  However, all HUD propertis are sold as is, with no warranties.  The only way an owner-occupant can be released from a HUD contract is if there is a serious occurrence, such as a death in the family or a loss of job.  Investors will not be released for any reason.

If your bid is accepted, the settlement generally must take place within 30 to 60 days, usually less than 45 days.  There is a daily penalty if the settlement goes past 45 days.  Your paperwork has just begun!  HUD's form 9548 must be filled out exactly according to instructions, in addition to up to 17 required addenda.

I would be happy to consult with any buyer or investor who is interested in HUD homes.  Just call me at 717-951-5552 or email .


Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit

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Comment balloon 9 commentsBrian Schulman • August 06 2008 03:32PM


Great info.  Can you buy a HUD home with a VA loan, and does it get any preference or is it a negative?

Posted by Sean Murphy (Blue Tide Realty) almost 11 years ago

Sean, you can buy a HUD home with a VA loan.  It doesn't get any preference, nor is it a negative. 

Sometimes, if you take FHA financing there can be an advantage if HUD has disclosed an allowance for needed repairs.  In such cases, which are disclosed by HUD in the property description, you would be able to finance that amount of repairs if you got FHA financing.

You still have to show preapproval for financing in all cases.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 11 years ago do you get HUD certified? Are there on-line classes?

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Good information for buyers. I am surprised not many agents know about it. I just mentioned the site to a friend of mine who is a real estate agent.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Brian, our brokerage is registered to sell HUD homes and we have access to show any and all HUD homes in our area.  We are required to enter our bid online and then follow-up with paper documents once accepted.  The firm that handles HUD homes in our area conducts training programs for agents every now and then. 

Posted by Jon Wnoroski, Summit County Realtor (America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc.) almost 11 years ago

What a great informative post!  Most persons have no idea what is involved in a HUD property.  Most agents do not know about being a HUD agent either.

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORS®) almost 11 years ago

Joan, your broker has to be HUD registered.  They can get cregistered through HUD.  Then they can obtain a key that works in the HUD padlocks, so you'd be able to show HUD homes and submit bids.

Gita, I suspect a lot agents know about HUD, but are somewhat intimidated by it.  The HUD system is quite different than traditional agreements.

Jon, that's pretty much the way it is in PA.  I haven't seen anything about HUD training here, but it might be available on occasion.

Jim, thanks for your comments!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 11 years ago

Brian - This is a very informative post for both the public and some Realtors.  This is certainly another avenue where you will find properties available for purchase.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 11 years ago

Jennifer, HUD can be a great source of properties - as long as the buyer understands that the homes come with no warranties at all, and an agent is retained who understands the HUD process.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 11 years ago