Real Estate Buyer’s Guide To HUD Homes

 Learn How To Buy a Government Foreclosed Home in California With Only $100 Down!

Did you know that you can buy a foreclosed home in California for only $100 down?

You DON’T need to be a first time homeowner, but you DO need to live in the home for some time after purchasing it. Here’s what you need to do to get started:

1) Visit to checkout new listings in your state.

2) Find a HUD Approved Realtor. We can help you with that if you’re in California. (Contact Chris)

3) Look for homes that are either marked IN (Insured) or IE (Insured Escrow) for the $100 down to be an option. Otherwise it’s a cash deal for cash buyers only. (Either you’re putting $100 down or you’re paying cash. There’s nothing in between with these houses.)

What are HUD Homes?

HUD Homes are FHA homes that were foreclosed on by the government. And because the Department of Housing & Urban Development is federal, it gets to ignore all the California and state specific consumer protection laws. This means faster foreclosures and oftentimes homes in better condition than typical foreclosures.

Most HUD homes were foreclosed on in two months or less, which means squatters haven’t had time to go in there and destroy them yet. Unlike in California, where it can take 3-5 years to foreclose on a property, so by the time the home gets to the market, it’s oftentimes a complete dump.

What do I need to buy a HUD Home in California?

1) A loan officer that offers the $100 down financing options, which we do at America’s Home Loans. (Contact Chris)

2) A HUD Approved Realtor, which we can connect you with if you are in California. The Realtor we connect you with will be fully trained on this program, including how to get the government to pay for your closing costs.

3) You need the income and credit that you would otherwise need to qualify for an FHA Loan.

View HUD Homes for sale in California or schedule a 30 minute phone consultation with Chris to learn more about how you can acquire HUD Homes in California.

California HUD Homes FAQs

Can I subscribe to new HUD home listings?

Yes, however doing so is not very intuitive, so follow these instructions.

1) Create a Public account on

2) View homes in your state.

3) Save the search.

4) Click on the Public Functions link in the upper right corner of the website.

5) Click “Edit Frequency” on your saved search, and check the Receive Email Alerts box.

6) Lastly, choose whether you’d like to receive alerts Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

How expensive of a HUD Home can I buy with $100 down?

Your buying power will roughly be about 5x your gross household income. Remember that the same income and credit qualifications apply to HUD Homes as they do with any FHA home. Contact Chris today to learn how much you can qualify for in California.

How many HUD Homes can I buy?

You can only use the program once every two years, and you are required to live in the home for one year after purchase. Just just like traditional FHA homes, the program is designed for buyers purchasing a primary residence.

What credit score is required to buy a HUD home?

A minimum FICO score of 640 with recent issues, or 580 if no recent issues. However other requirements apply, so best to speak to a California mortgage broker to learn what you can qualify for.

Do I need a HUD approved Realtor to buy a HUD home in California?

If you are currently working with a Realtor in California that isn’t HUD-approved, we can work with them to help them navigate the world of purchasing a HUD home.

If you’re not working with a Realtor, we can connect you with a HUD Approved Realtor who is fully trained on this program, including how to get the government to pay for your closing costs.

If you are a Realtor who arrived on this page because a client found a HUD-home, but your broker isn’t HUD-approved, please reach out for more details. If your broker is HUD-approved, please reach out and I’ll share my free 3 page Realtor guide to putting homebuyers in HUD homes.

Does bidding on a HUD home have a start and end date?

Yes, this information is available on each listing under List Date and Period Deadline. You’ll need to have your bid in before that deadline. Sometimes if no bids have been received, the deadline will be extended.

Do HUD homes pay my buyer agent a commission?

HUD homes generally want is list price minus 5%, so you can typically offer at list price and get a 5% seller credit for closing costs like buyer commission. However please note that the seller credit can’t eat into your down payment.

How do I submit a bid on a HUD home?

The ONLY way to submit a bid is if your Realtor’s broker is HUD approved. The listing agent doesn’t even see the bids, so emails and phone calls won’t help.

Can I negotiate purchase price on a HUD home?

There’s no negotiation on HUD homes. HUD is perfectly happy to let the home sit on the market for 5 or 9 months if they don’t get a net offer that checks their boxes , which is generally understood to be list price minus a 5% seller credit for closing costs. 5% is generally understood to be the ‘meat on the bone’ you can pick off, though there may be exceptions. HUD isn’t transparent at all about this.

Can I find HUD homes for sale in hot markets?

These will generally not be homes in the markets that have hot during the last 10 years. To be a HUD foreclosure today, an FHA buyer had to have had their offer accepted back when they purchased it, which was notoriously hard in hot markets during the latter half of the 2010s and into COVID.

In California, for example, there are a total of 23 listings presently. 1 in a not-the-best part of the Bay Area (Contra Costa County, and not the fancy part of CCC), 2 in LA, 1 OC, 2 in Sacramento, and the rest (~75%) are in more rural low population density areas representing VASTLY less than 75% of California’s population.

Can I submit an offer with contingencies on a HUD home?

There are no contingencies on HUD homes, however, your earnest money deposit is only $500 to $2k, which means you can think of it more as an option fee than an earnest money deposit. You can choose to have the home inspected ($450 to $650) prior to writing your offer, but since the option fee is so low, it might not be worth it.

What should I do next if I’m interested in a HUD home?

The first step is to begin your search on

If you’re in California, contact Chris Mason today to learn more about the HUD home buying process, see what you can qualify for, and get connected with a HUD approved Realtor.

If you’re outside of California, look for an independent mortgage broker and Realtor familiar with the HUD home buying process.


Chris Mason, Loan Officer

Areas We Service

Our local offices serve the greater East Bay Area including:

East Bay ◦ Berkeley ◦ Oakland ◦ San Leandro ◦ Richmond ◦ Albany ◦ Alameda ◦ Pinole ◦ Martinez ◦ Contra Costa County ◦ San Lorenzo ◦ Hayward ◦ Fremont ◦ Walnut Creek ◦ Concord ◦ Union City ◦ SacramentoElk GroveVallejo

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Want to learn more about HUD Homes in California?

Click below to schedule a free 30 minute consultation or call (415) 846-9211.