If you have any interest in identifying areas with large concentrations of government owned residential properties, the new government owned properties mapping tool from HUD is going to be a great research tool. HUD is calling this mapping tool the REO Portal, which is a little funny since we are not allowed, as listing brokers, to call HUD homes REO! Oh well, I think this makes the point better than the vernacular we usually use. The system is to assist neighborhood groups in identifying concentrations of government owned properties. That’s right, this mapping system covers properties owned by the big three-HUD, Fannie and Freddie.
The objective, from the site, is to: support more efficient disposition of REO properties to support the stabilization of neighborhoods and recovery of local housing markets by enabling a neighborhood-focused strategic approach to acquisition. Users employing HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) or other resources in the targeted acquisition, rehabilitation and/or demolition of REO properties can use the REO Portal to define target geographies and receive recent listings from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA.
To use the system you must register at the top where you will see the sign up button. It took me a minute on a 22 inch screen to figure out that the sign up was not a new window or page, but an overlay under the U.S. map that required scrolling to find. Creating an account was simple after that.
The Select A State function is not working this morning but I was able to just enter a city name and have the map zoom to the city. It took some playing around to understand, and it takes the map a little while to load, but notice the icons on top to distinguish the different types of owners and click the zoom button to level 12 or higher. It takes some getting use to but there is a couple of links you will want to be familiar with that took me a few minutes to discover. In the upper left hand corner, the Map Options: Clear and Reset allow you to start your search over again! There is also a cool View Data option that will provide data for a housing tract such as number of vacant homes as reported by the postal service!
An interesting tool to have available for investors interested in working with the government to liquidate foreclosed properties. One more note, this map only shows homes that are currently on the market. That means they should be vacant and ready for resale. We all know there is a lot more inventory out there that is not going to show up on this map.