Buy a foreclosed home, get cash for closing costs

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One of the big government-owned mortgage companies hopes to boost its sales of foreclosed homes this winter by offering to pay up to 3% of the final sales price toward closing costs.

The offer is from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac as it's commonly called, which buys home loans from banks and other lenders.

Eligible homes are available through HomeSteps, Freddie Mac's real estate sales unit.

To get your "Winter Sales Promotion" bonus from Freddie Mac, you have to:

1. Make an offer on a Freddie Mac-owned home by Jan. 31, 2012.
2. Close your deal on or before March 15, 2012.
3. Buy a home you plan to live in yourself. You can’t get the cash if you’re buying the condo to rent to someone else.

Along with paying up to 3% of the sales price toward your actual closing costs, Freddie Mac is giving most of its foreclosed home buyers a two-year limited home warranty covering electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, heating and other major systems and appliances, plus a 30% discount on new appliances.

Freddie Mac says HomeSteps' homes sell for an average of 94% of the estimated market price and accounted for about 4.4% of the nation's inventory of foreclosed properties as of Sept. 30, 2011.

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