Monday, February 13, 2006

Government Agencies 'No Hype' Auction Site

Newsday reports on the governments real estate sales. "Whether you're a first-time home buyer, an investor, vacation property buyer, historic preservation buff, you are not shopping the market to the max unless you check out the federal government's best real estate resources: the combined property disposition program inventories of 10 agencies, all rolled into one online access point."

"Want to buy a cabin in the woods near Lake Huron? Center-city rowhouses for rehab from Baltimore to Los Angeles? Raw land in Arizona, a lighthouse in the Atlantic, a condo in Puerto Rico, a development site in the U.S. Virgin Islands?"

"The offerings change daily, the realty sales hype is refreshingly restrained, and the caveats plentiful when you browse through the properties available from the Internal Revenue Service, Customs Service, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Administration, Small Business Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Each of these agencies ends up with unwanted real estate through its own specialized activities."

"HUD, VA, SBA, along with the final two of the 10, the General Services Administration and the Agriculture Department, foreclose on some of the properties they insure or finance. Customs, the IRS, and U.S. Marshals Service seize properties for nonpayment of taxes or criminal violations and then sell them on the open market."

"Now there's an easy way to check out the bulging portfolios of these agencies. Go to HUD's real estate site, and then link into any of the government agencies' separate offerings. The links also connect you to congressionally chartered Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's property disposition sites."

"HUD's own portfolio tends to be the largest of the federal government, and it represents the most productive resource for anyone shopping for moderate-cost houses to live in or renovate as an investment. The other agencies' sites are lesser-known, less visited and contain fewer properties for sale or bid. But they offer far more diverse and intriguing possibilities."

"For example, the IRS' site offers houses for sale in some delightful getaway locations. How about a quaint six-bedroom, four-unit multifamily New England frame house in scenic Brattleboro, Vt.? In a visit to the Web site in early February, the property was heading for auction March 2 with a minimum bid of $41,589."

"Like all the government property disposition Web sites, there's virtually none of the typical real estate agent hype. No 'fabulous view' no 'huge backyards' no 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunities."

"Looking for real estate opportunities in the Caribbean? How about a half-acre, $35,000 piece of land in 'good' condition in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands? It's for sale from the Small Business Administration, which also offers a former 'restaurant/store/gas station turnaround opportunity near Fairbanks, Alaska, on two acres for $250,000.' The SBA's site hypes the property not at all. In fact, it admits that it's only in 'fair' condition and comes with a 'contaminated tank/cleanup needed.'"


At 7:19 PM, Blogger Out at the peak said...

This would be awesome if there were any listings in California. When I tried other links for other states, get server errors. This could be cool when it's functioning ... and the year is 2009+.

"An error occurred while evaluating the expression:

IsFederal(#cgi.query_string#, application.stFedSite)"

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Ben Jones said...

That's what I try to tell people about HUD's website. It just doesn't work! Hasn't for years.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Out at the peak said...

^^ I was only trying the main "From HUD" link. I see the other ones are working.

Not too much of an offering for now.
The first IRS house looked like a great catch until you look at the probate liens.


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