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The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it will issue a $1,000 check to homebuyers who sign a sales contract on a single-family HUD Home by September 30.

The $1,000 Cash Back Move-In Allowance, which is effective immediately, will be issued at closing and can be used by the homebuyer for any expenses such as moving costs and home repairs. To qualify, the buyer must agree to live in the property as his or her primary residence for a minimum of 12 months.

"The Bush Administration is committed to increasing the number of Americans, particularly minorities, who own their own homes," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "We believe this incentive program will help more people become first-time homebuyers by purchasing one of HUD's single-family homes."

Under the conditions of the incentive, the buyer must close the sale transaction within 30 days after the contract is accepted.

There are approximately 30,000 single-family homes in HUD's inventory of properties, and they can usually be found in every state as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. Interested parties should log onto the HUD Homes website to get information about the availability of HUD Homes in their area.

All HUD Homes are offered for sale at market value as established by an appraisal. Since the properties are sold "as is" there is often an opportunity for a homebuyer to earn "sweat equity" by making repairs after the sale.

The bidding for available properties is conducted exclusively on the Internet. Bid information can only be entered into HUD's bid website by the buyer's real estate agent. When a property is first listed for sale, priority will be given to owner-occupant purchasers for the first 10 calendar days, described as follows: All owner-occupant offers received during the first five days of this 10 day period will be reviewed on the first business day following the expiration of the five day period. All owner-occupant offers received are reviewed and the property is awarded to the highest acceptable net owner-occupant bidder. If there are no offers during this initial five-day bid period, daily bid openings are conducted for the remaining five-day owner-occupant priority period. At the conclusion of the 10-day owner-occupant priority period and the property remains unsold, bids from investor purchasers will be considered.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.

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