How to Buy a Home for a Dollar

The federal goverment sells some houses through the HUD Dollar Homes program.

Common sense may tell you that you can't buy a home for a dollar, but your common sense would be wrong. A major U.S. government housing program has houses for sale for just a buck. There's a catch, of course. The homes generally need work and buyers are expected to put money into these fixer-uppers to improve the property. You also have to work cooperatively with your local town or city government to make the sale happen. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's "Dollar Homes" program makes homes available for one dollar after they have been on the market for six months. The program can be the least expensive way for low- and moderate-income families to own a home.


Step 1

Visit the "Dollar Homes" page at the website of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Step 2

Examine the map of the U.S. to identify states that have dollar homes for sale. States in dark blue have dollar homes available. Click on a state to display a listing of dollar homes available.

Step 3

Click the property case number of any home of interest to review the full property listing. The "List Price" will not list the price as one dollar, but the listing will confirm that the house is available for sale through the Dollar Homes program.


Step 4

Click the "Agent Info" tab to display a list of government and private sector agents with oversight for the sale of the home.

Step 5

Contact the "Listing Broker" for the house and let him know you are interested in purchasing the home through the Dollar Homes program.

Step 6

Work with the listing broker to identify the local government officials who can assist with the purchase of the house through the Dollar Homes program.


Only local governments can purchase homes through this program. The city will negotiate a resale to you if you mutually agree to sale conditions, which generally require your commitment to make needed repairs and otherwise fix the house so that it is livable, safe and enhances neighborhood real estate.


Check listings every few weeks, as they change constantly.


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