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HUD homes no bargain for low-income Austin families
AUSTIN -- In a "bidding frenzy" of unprecedented proportions, would-be HUD home buyers are not only paying substantially above-market prices for some houses but are having to take them "as-is" with no inspections or appraisals, an Austin Business Journal investigation revealed.
According to some area real estate professionals:
* The lack of inspections could leave new homeowners with unsound, unsafe houses to which thousands of dollars in repairs must be made.
* The lack of appraisals could take advantage of low-income families, the very families the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is supposed to help with its affordable-home programs.
* Neighboring homeowners may suddenly have trouble selling because the artificially inflated price on a HUD home has sent the appraisal on their own homes beyond what the market will bear.
These problems stem from procedures being used by HUD, a …