Let Fannie Mae help with closing costs

Keychain shaped like a house with 2 keys

Fannie Mae is offering assistance with closing costs worth up to 3.5% of the home’s purchase price for qualified buyers who purchase one of its HomePath properties.

But you must close by Oct. 31 to qualify.

HomePath properties (www.homepath.com) are foreclosures owned by Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage giant.

The properties include single-family homes, condos and townhouses at a wide variety of price points in neighborhoods all across the United States.

All properties are sold as-is, though Fannie Mae has made repairs to some properties before listing them.

Lenders might limit the amount of closing costs a buyer can receive, so some buyers may not receive the full benefit. If the closing costs total less than 3.5% of the purchase price, the difference is not refundable.

Some HomePath properties are also eligible for special financing that allows buyers to put down as little as 3% or obtain extra funds for home renovations. These loans also don’t require mortgage insurance.

Because the program is supposed to help stabilize neighborhoods, the buyer must be an owner-occupant to qualify for the closing cost assistance. Second homes and investment properties are not eligible.

Buyers must explicitly request the assistance in the initial purchase offer.

Buyers in some areas may not have many HomePath properties to choose from.

According to data from Fannie Mae and the online real estate brokerage Redfin, as of Aug. 25 some of the most populous counties in the nation had the following number of HomePath properties for sale compared to the total properties for sale:

The HomePath website suggests submitting initial offers no later than Sept. 15 to close on time.

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