Our flagship property acquisition program is the First Look Program. Through First Look, participating organizations can receive access to the REOMatch platform after submitting an application. Read more to get involved.

NCST’s property acquisition platform, REOMatchlinks financial institutions with real-estate-owned (REO) properties (Sellers) to mission-focused housing developers (Buyers), who rehabilitate these homes to stabilize neighborhoods and provide opportunities for affordable homeownership and rental. To-date, NCST has returned 28,000 distressed properties  to productive use in their communities.

REOMatch provides Buyers with an exclusive opportunity to acquire properties before they are made available to the general public, with a built-in discount based on the Seller saving the costs of marketing and maintenance. The program enables Sellers to dispose of their REO properties quickly while advancing their commitment to community revitalization and homeownership and preventing distressed properties from blighting neighborhoods and reducing local home values.

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The First Look program is nationwide; however, most properties are available in those markets that continue to have large concentrations of distressed and low-value REO inventory. These markets face a number of challenges, including rehab costs that exceed post-rehab value, and when not handled properly, may potentially depress local housing markets, endanger neighbors, create blight, and burden municipalities.

Are you a potential community buyer who needs access to our REOMatch platform? Submit a request for access today, and our team will reach out as soon as possible. 

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NCST offers local housing providers (Buyers) streamlined access to the REO inventories of financial institutions (Sellers).


  • How NCST assists Buyers with acquiring properties:


    • Save you time and effort – We act as a single point-of-contact with Sellers, which saves you time and effort as you avoid negotiating with multiple entities to purchase REO properties.
    • Simplify the process – We provide a standardized process for identifying, inspecting and evaluating property offers from Sellers.
    • Offer exclusive property access and pricing – We provide you the opportunity to access REO on a First Look basis, before Sellers offer properties to the broader market.

NCST works with Sellers to facilitate the transfer of foreclosed, abandoned and distressed assets in a seamless, cost-effective manner to local housing providers that intend to stabilize their communities and provide new affordable housing opportunities. We can also help identify responsible approaches to providing mortgage capital for new mortgage-ready buyers and investors.

NCST has programs designed to help Buyers acquire significant numbers of foreclosed and vacant properties from sellers. The primary program is First Look, which gives Buyers the opportunity to inspect and acquire foreclosed and vacant properties before they are listed for sale through traditional means. This program offers an adjusted purchase price that reflects savings passed on to the buyers from the sellers, as they avoid a prolonged holding period.

REOMatch is NCST’s web-based property transaction and mapping portal, used to show and transfer homes to community buyers. This award-winning technology assists our buyers in making streamlined property purchasing decisions that will most impact their neighborhood revitalization efforts. Participating sellers provide us daily property uploads. Active buyers log-in to REOMatch, review the properties in their strategic revitalization area, and let the seller know the homes in which they’re interested. Our team is there every step of the way to provide guidance and ensure the entire process works well.

NCST partners with non-profit (501c3)* local housing providers (Buyers), that serve low- to moderate-income communities and neighborhoods affected by high levels of foreclosure and abandonment. Eligible Buyers have a commitment to revitalize communities through property acquisition and rehabilitation, and provide opportunities for quality affordable homeownership or rental housing.


*NOTE: In rare circumstances and in certain markets, NCST may work with for-profit organizations working in partnership with local nonprofit organizations.

We maintain and uphold a strict set of guidelines, as we want to ensure the success of organizations participating in our programs and of local efforts to restore neighborhood vitality. Each of our Buyers should meet the following eligibility requirements:


  • A community presence and at least two years of real estate project development experience
  • Sufficient capital resources from public or private resources
  • The capacity to assess, acquire, manage, rehab and convey local properties
  • A housing-related business strategy that not only involves the purchase, rehabilitation and sale of a home, it must also convey a broader scope that includes foreclosure prevention and community social investments
  • A concentration in a clearly defined geographic area so a visible impact can be achieved
  • Solid relationships with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other local stakeholders

Neighborhood stabilization efforts are most effective when concentrated, which is why our Buyers are required to focus in their targeted neighborhoods. These areas are defined by where our Buyers provide services specific to housing counseling and affordable housing redevelopment, and by broader city or county revitalization programs. In rural areas or small communities we often identify a larger regional nonprofit to partner with Buyers to ensure a full range of services is provided.

No. Buyers may purchase properties from brokers, directly from financial institutions, or from other sources.

Buyers are not held to a minimum purchase requirement; however, the objective of NCST is to assist local Buyers in addressing the factors contributing to market distress. Buyers are encouraged to acquire a sufficient volume of properties to achieve the benefits from geographically concentrated acquisition activity.

NCST does not acquire title to property. We facilitate the transfer of properties by providing standardized documentation and transaction procedures.

A state, large city, or multi-county program may have more than one entity participating as a Buyer, but the geographic boundaries of the areas where the different Buyer entities operate typically should not overlap.

“Left-behind neighborhoods” are communities with a high rate of vacant, abandoned and distressed properties that depress the value of nearby homes, create health and safety risks, lower local tax revenues and complicate challenging neighborhood stabilization efforts. A growing divide permeates the U.S. housing recovery, especially in many working class communities – our nation cannot ignore these neighborhoods.

A zombie property is a property for which a foreclosure case was filed, but has not yet been resolved. Neither the borrower nor the mortgage servicer has clear control of the property, and neither has a strong incentive to assume responsibility. Zombie properties are likely to be poorly maintained or blighted, pose a public safety hazard, and threaten the stability of the neighborhood and the community. We do work with community buyers and financial institutions to resolve these properties.

Yes. We fully recognize and value that Real Estate Professionals are the eyes and ears of their local housing markets and neighborhoods. Many of our community buyers are real estate brokers, or employ real estate professionals on their staff. We understand and appreciate that real estate professionals are in the forefront for changing negative perceptions about a neighborhood – an important role in the rebranding and ultimate revival of a community.

When a neighborhood is stable, that means property values are maintained, neighborhood schools perform better, local businesses thrive and the area becomes desirable for future homeowners and renters. This is good news for the neighborhood, for homeowners and for local real estate professionals.

Each home situation and sale is different. In many cases our buyers complete extensive rehab that includes energy efficiency upgrades for systems or appliances. Sometimes a home needs just a good “freshening up” to be ready for a new owner occupant. In other cases the Buyer may currently have several homes for sale, and one home may be moved to the market quickly in order to provide funding for more extensive repairs on another home. In every case our Buyers must meet FHA minimum housing quality rehabilitation standards to participate in NCST programs.

We use a web-based program called REOTrack to verify the purchaser is a targeted owner occupant at 120% of Area Median Income (AMI) or below. Every Buyer is required to enter detailed information about the purchaser into REOTrack. This information may include restricted deeds, property liens, and rental agreements. NCST also follows up on each sale using a combination of post-closing reporting and site visits to ensure our Buyers appropriately use properties to stabilize neighborhoods.

NCST has no tolerance for fraud. We go to great lengths to vet our program participants to ensure they comply with all guidelines. If you uncover a suspected instance of fraud, please notify us immediately. Provide very specific details about the alleged fraud in an email to [email protected]. We will take the appropriate actions to research and remediate any fraud.

Basically, the HUD Risk Score is an index from multiple sets of data to help determine if a neighborhood is at risk. The HUD Risk Score index incorporates home value changes, number of residential vacancies, mortgage delinquency rates, the prevalence of non-conventional high-cost loans, unemployment rates and area median income. Keep in mind that rising home values are only one measure of a neighborhood’s health. There is no better data available that incorporates the level of detail found in the HUD risk score model. Further, the data inputs in the model have a much lower variance rate than home values and do not need to be updated as often as a model that relies solely on point-in-time data.

Yes, they are different. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is a grant program established by HUD to stabilize communities that suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. NCST is a national nonprofit (501c3) organization. NCST and NSP formed the first ever public-private partnership of its kind, joining together to make the HUD National First Look REO property acquisition program available to all NSP grantees. This program allowed NSP grantees an exclusive window of access to indicate interest in and make offers on newly available REO properties.

You may contact us through our online form.