Officer Next Door Program
Click here for information on who can qualify and for answers to questions, see below!
The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) wants to make American communities stronger and to build a safer nation. Public safety improves when police officers live in a neighborhood. The Officer Next Door (OND) program helps make this goal a reality by making homeownership faster and more affordable for Law Enforcement Officers.*
Who Can Participate?
You must be a full-time, sworn law enforcement officer who is "employed full-time by a Federal, state, county or municipal government; or a public or private college or university." You must be "sworn to uphold, and make arrests for violations of, Federal, state, county, or municipal law." Your employer must certify that you are a full-time police officer with the general power of arrest. You don't have to be a first-time homebuyer to participate. However, the purchaser (or spouse) cannot have owned another home for one year prior to the time a bid for purchase is submitted. You must also agree to live in the HUD home as your only residence for 3-years after you move into it.
What Are the Benefits for the Officer?
The selected bidder may purchase the property at a 50 percent discount from the list price. For example, if a HUD home is listed for $100,000, an officer can buy it for $50,000. To make a HUD home even more affordable, you may apply for an FHA-insured mortgage with a downpayment of only $100 and you may finance all closing costs.
Qualifying homes are restricted to specifically designated single family homes, townhomes and condominiums that are located within the revitalization areas. Other types of properties, such as a duplex or triplex, do not qualify for this program. In addition, the homes must be HUD acquired homes and cannot be other real estate for sale in the area (i.e. VA foreclosure homes, resale homes or new construction). HUD sells all qualifying homes as-is. In other words, HUD does not provide any guarantees or warranties.
If the home you want to purchase needs repairs, you may use FHA's 203(k) mortgage program. This program allows you to finance both the purchase of the home and the cost of needed repairs. You have the benefit of one loan for both costs and one monthly payment.
Because homes sold through the OND program are located in Revitalization Areas there may be additional assistance from state or local government sources. Local or state governments want to encourage families and businesses to move into
How do I participate?
Officer Next Door property is listed and sold exclusively over the internet. Properties are single-family homes located in Revitalization Areas. Properties available through the program are marked with a special Office Next Door button. Bids are awarded once each week. Your bid must be the amount of the list price. You may submit your bid directly or utilize the services of a real estate broker. Winning bids are randomly selected by computer. The winning bid is posted each week on the web site where you made your bid.
In all cases, HUD requires that you sign a second mortgage and note for the discount amount. No interest or payments are required on this "silent second" provided that you fulfill the three-year occupancy requirement.
What happens if I can’t fulfill my obligation or I am no longer an Officer?
Depending upon the circumstances, failure to fulfill the three year residency requirement may have serious consequences. HUD may restrict the home owner from selling the property for no more than 110% of the original sales price. In addition, HUD may require all or part of the discounted amount to be repaid. Generally the pro-rated repayment amount goes as follows: repayment of 90% of the discounted amount during the first year, repayment of 60% of the discounted amount during the second year, and repayment of 30% of the discounted amount during the third year. Should fraud or other serious charges suspected, HUD may file criminal charges against the Officer, ban the Officer from further participation from any HUD, FHA, and other Federal programs, and may face the possibility of serious fines and potential prison time. HUD will conduct "spot checks" during the first three years to insure that the residency requirement is being fulfilled.How can I get more information?
Law enforcement officers, pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians can contribute to community revitalization while becoming homeowners through HUD's Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program. HUD offers a substantial incentive in the form of a discount of 50% from the list price of the home. In return you must commit to live in the property for 36 months as your sole residence.
How the Program Works
Eligible Single Family homes located in revitalization areas are listed exclusively for sales through the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales program. Properties are available for purchase through the program for five days.
How to Participate in Good Neighbor Next Door
Check the listings for your state. Follow the instructions to submit your interest in purchasing a specific home. If more than one person submits on a single home a selection will be made by random lottery. You must meet the requirements for a law enforcement officer, teacher, firefighter or emergency medical technician and comply with HUD's regulations for the program.
The number of properties available is limited and the list of available properties changes weekly.
Question: What Is the Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) Sales Program?
Answer: HUD wants to strengthen America's communities. The Good Neighbor Next Door Program offers HUD owned single family (one-unit) homes to eligible participants at a 50% discount.
Question: Am I Eligible for the GNND Sales Program?
Answer: Law enforcement officers, teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians and who meet all other requirements of the program are eligible to purchase an available home.
Question: How Much of a Discount Can I Get on a HUD Home?
Answer: You can get a 50 percent discount off the HUD appraised value. For example, if HUD lists a home at $100,000, you can buy it for $50,000 provided, you occupy the home as your personal residence for the required occupancy period. If you qualify for any FHA-insured mortgage program, your downpayment is only $100 and you may finance closing costs.
Question: What Kind of Mortgage Financing Do I Need?
Answer: You may use FHA, VA, or conventional mortgages, or cash. HUD requires you to sign a Second Mortgage and Note on the discounted amount (which is $50,000 in the example above). No interest or payments are required on this "silent second" mortgage if you live in the home for the entire 36 month occupancy period. You may be required to pay a pro-rata portion of the discount to HUD should you fail to fulfill the three year occupancy requirement.
Question: What is the Occupancy Period?
You must live in the home as your sole residence for a full 36 months. The purpose of the program is to strengthen communities by encouraging employed, professional law enforcement officers, teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians to live in the community. You will have 30, 90 or 180 days to move into the home you purchase, depending on HUD's determination of the condition of the home and the level of repairs that may be required, if any. The 30th, 90th or 180th day is the start date for the occupancy period. Your are released from all obligations under this program at the end of the 36th month following the start date. HUD views the occupancy obligation seriously and vigorously pursues violators to the fullest extent of the law.
Question: What Is an FHA Rehabilitation Mortgage and How Can It Help Me Buy a HUD Home?
Answer: The FHA 203(k) mortgage program helps homebuyers buy a home and have enough money to rehabilitate or repair it. Repairs must cost more than $5,000. The cost of the repairs and the mortgage are combined into a single monthly payment. Consider FHA?s 203(b) program if needed repairs are under $5,000. FHA also has a new Streamlined 203(k) program which may be useful.
Discuss these financing options with your lender!
Question: Can I Sell the GNND Home after 3-years and Keep the Profit?
Answer: Yes. After you live in the GNND home 3 years, you can sell the home and keep any equity and/or appreciation.
Question: Do I Have to Use a Real Estate Broker or Agent to Buy a GNND Home?
Question: Do I Have to Be a First Time Homebuyer to Take Advantage of the Program?
Answer: No. However, you may not own any other residential real property at the time you submit your offer to purchase a home and for one year previous to that date. For example, if you submit an offer to purchase a home on August 1, 2007, you may not have owned a home during the period from July 31, 2006.
Question: Where Are These Homes Located?
Answer: The HUD homes are located in designated Revitalization Areas. There are hundreds of Revitalization Areas located in the United States.
Question: Does HUD Provide a Home Warranty?
Answer: No. All GNND homes are sold "as is," without any kind of warranty.
Question: Can I Buy Multiple Unit Properties (E.g., Duplexes, Triplexes, Etc.) through the Officer Next Door Program?
Answer: No. You can only buy single unit homes, townhouses, and condominiums through the GNND Program.
Question: Do I Have to Pay Earnest Money or Other Deposits in Order to Submit a Contract for a GNND Home?
Answer: Yes. The amount of the earnest money deposit required is an amount equal to one percent of the list price, but no less than $500 and no more than $2,000. HUD considers all offers to be a commitment to purchase a home if you are awarded the sale. Therefore, please carefully consider your offer and be aware of HUD's policy on earnest money as stated here: If an offer is accepted, the earnest money deposit will be credited to the purchaser at closing. If the offer is rejected, the earnest money deposit will be returned. Earnest money deposits are subject to total forfeiture for failure of the participant to close a sale.
Question: Can I Bargain with HUD on the Price of a GNND Property?
Answer: No. You must offer the exact HUD list price when bidding on any GNND property. Then you get a 50 percent discount off of that list price.
Question: What if I Leave the employment, that made me eligible, for Any Reason, during the Mandatory 3-year Residency Period?
Answer: Nothing happens, but you must continue to live in the home for the full 36-month mandatory occupancy period. If you move out of the GNND home, you will have to repay HUD on a prorated schedule. In addition, you must certify that it is your good faith intention to remain employed as a law enforcement officer, teacher or firefighter/emergency medical technician for one year beginning with your purchase. Do no attempt to participate in the program if you know in advance that you will not be employed as required for at least one year.
Question: Some Agencies Have Other Homebuying Programs. Can the GNND Program Work in Conjunction with These?
Answer: Yes, as long as you can meet all the GNND program rules while participating in these other programs.
Question: What Happens if a Participant Fails to Honor the 3-year Occupancy Requirement?
Answer: HUD can demand repayment of the discounted amount on a prorated basis. That means you would have to repay 1/36th of the discount you received for each month that you did not occupy the home. HUD also may initiate administrative sanctions including, but not limited to, barring the officer from participating in any HUD/FHA programs, as well as other federal programs. In any case of fraud or abuse, HUD will refer the case to HUD's Office of the Inspector General for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. HUD may also notify the officer's employing agency. Criminal prosecution and conviction for fraud and abuse concerning the GNND Program can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and/or two years in federal prison.
Question: How Does HUD Enforce the 3-year Residency Requirement?
Answer: The participant must certify he or she is living in the GNND home as a sole residence at the time of purchase and each year after that. HUD can conduct spot checks to make sure the GNND home is your sole residence at any time during the 3-year period. You also must sign a note and mortgage for the discount amount. HUD may foreclose this mortgage if you do not comply with the 36-month occupancy requirement.
I already purchased a home under the GNND Program. Where can I get information about my second mortgage?
Information is available on the Good Neighbor Next Door Loan Servicing page.
Where can I get additional information?
Please call the FHA Resource Center.