HUD Seeks Dollar House Buyers

Desperate to sell dilapidated, foreclosed homes, as well as to lure in local governments willing to build affordable housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is offering those properties for just a dollar.
November 7, 2008, 10am PST | Judy Chang
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"The dollar home program predates the housing meltdown, but it has become more active because of escalating foreclosures.

Governments nationwide used to buy about 100 such homes a year, according to HUD. This year that number has more than tripled in 10 months.

Still, 100-cent homes remain scarce. In Atlanta just two were on the market last month.

HUD decides a buck is better than nothing after waiting at least 180 days. The government has owned the Sims Street house since July 2007, courtesy of Wells Fargo."

"So what does a buck buy? On Sims Street, a 1920 vinyl-clad house with three bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths.

It doesn't buy air conditioning, a stove, a kitchen sink, plumbing or wiring. Those were all stolen.

Vandals carved up the walls to grab some of the plunder.

Maybe even more surprising than the extraordinarily low price is the number of dollar homes that have sold in Georgia -- just one since December 2006.

"You can get it for $1 but if you've got to put $90,000 into it, it's not really affordable," said Hawthorne Welcher, Augusta's assistant director of housing."

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Published on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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