What is the Difference Between Fannie Mae Homepath and Freddie Mac Homesteps? [UPDATED]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both offer special incentives to entice buyers to properties they have foreclosed on. Fannie Mae’s program is called Homepath and Freddie Mac’s is Homesteps. Although the names some similar, their incentives are VERY different. What Fannie Mae Homepath and Freddie Mac Homesteps do have in common is that the properties are generally in better shape than other distressed homes. 

Fannie Mae’s Homepath program is only available for homes identified on their website www.homepath.com.  As of the publishing of the post, the Fannie’s Homepath site reports their are 126 homes listed in the greater Seattle area alone.

The Homepath program is actually a conventional Fannie Mae program that offers special guidelines, including:

  • expanded loan to values: as low as 3% down payment for owner occupied and 10% down for investment property.
  • no appraisal required.
  • no private mortgage insurance with credit scores of 660 or higher.
  • condos are easier to finance than typical conventional (less requirements).
  • competitive rates
  • conventional Fannie Mae financing. NOTE: you can do other types of financing with a Homepath property, however you will not receive the above listed benefits.

Click here for a rate quote for a Fannie Mae Homepath mortgage on homes located anywhere in Washington.

Freddie Mac’s Homesteps offering is not a special mortgage program. It’s essentially a seller concession on homes owned by Freddie Mac. Homesteps properties are located at www.homesteps.com. Currently there are about 14 homes in Seattle that qualify for Freddie Mac’s Homesteps. 

Current features include:

  • program works with any type of financing, including FHA, conventional, VA and USDA. 
  • $500 allowance to be used towards purchasing a home warranty program (conditions apply)
  • home buyers who are going to occupy (live in) the property qualify to have the first dibs on the home with “First Look Initiative” 

Freddie Mac is in the process of testing a mortgage program in other cities. Their program looks very similar to Fannie Mae’s Homepath and hopefully it’s available in Washington State soon. Freddie Mac offers 3% in closing cost credit if the buyer takes a two part class from Freddie Mac BUT the workshops for these classes are currently not in Washington state.

Click here for a rate quote for programs that work with Freddie Mac Homesteps (FHA, conventional, VA and USDA) on homes in Washington.If you’re considering buying a home located any where in Washington, where I’m licensed to originate mortgages, I am happy to help you!

NOTE: This is an updated post from February last year. Mortgage programs and guidelines change constantly.

Search for foreclosed homes on Zillow

Zillow has added a “foreclosure center” where you can search for foreclosed homes in your neighborhood. The search includes bank owned homes (REO) and pre-foreclosures (a home that is getting to auction).  

Here’s a snap shot of what Zillow is showing as current foreclosures in West Seattle. The red houses are foreclosures and the blue houses are pre-foreclosures.

Zillow Foreclosure Search
Zillow Foreclosure Search

Home buyers searching for a bargain with a foreclosures or short sale need to be extra patient. These transactions tend to take a lot longer to close as you’re dealing with transactions that will require the approval of the lenders(s) who have interest in the property.  

If you’re considering buying a distressed home, you might want to check out the Fannie Mae Homepath program. Fannie Mae offers special mortgage terms if you buy one of their foreclosed homes specifically designated in the program. Fannie Mae Homepath mortgage allows as little as 10% down payment for investment property with no private mortgage insurance and no appraisal. Those buying a home to occupy can use as little as 3% down, no pmi and no appraisal. Often times, Fannie Mae has made improvements to Homepath properties so they’re in better condition than competing distressed homes.

Freddie Mac offers some incentives to buy their REO’s and I’m told they’re working on creating a program similar to Fannie Mae’s Homepath. At this time, if you’re buying a Freddie Mac foreclosures (Freddie Mac Homesteps), a buyer can use conventional, VA or FHA for financing.

If you are interested in buying a home in greater Seattle or anywhere in Washington, I’m happy to help you. Click one of the links above to apply for a mortgage or get a free rate quote.

What’s the difference between Fannie Mae Homepath and Freddie Mac Homesteps?

EDITORS NOTE: Mortgage programs and guidelines often change… you can find an updated version of this post here.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both offer special incentives to entice buyers to properties they have foreclosed on. Fannie Mae’s program is called Homepath and Freddie Mac’s is Homesteps. Although the names some similar, their incentives are VERY different.

Fannie Mae’s Homepath program is only available for homes identified on their website www.homepath.com.  As of the publishing of the post, the Fannie’s Homepath site reports their are 175 homes listed in the greater Seattle area alone. The Homepath program is actually a conventional Fannie Mae program that offers special guidelines, including:

  • expanded loan to values: as low as 3% down payment for owner occupied and 10% down for investment property.
  • no appraisal required.
  • no private mortgage insurance with credit scores of 660 or higher.
  • condos are easier to finance than typical conventional (less requirements).
  • competitive rates
  • conventional Fannie Mae financing. NOTE: you can do other types of financing with a Homepath property, however you will not receive the above listed benefits.

Click here for a rate quote for a Fannie Mae Homepath mortgage on homes located anywhere in Washington.

Freddie Mac’s Homesteps offering is not a special mortgage program. It’s essentially a seller concession on homes owned by Freddie Mac. Homesteps properties are located at www.homesteps.com. Currently*  there are about 48 homes in Seattle that qualify for Freddie Mac’s Homesteps.  Incentives include:

  • program works with any type of financing, including FHA, conventional, VA and USDA. 
  • 3% contribution towards actual buyers closing cost.
  • 2 year home warranty
  • discount on appliances available with the Smart Buy Program
  • owner occupied only

Click here for a rate quote for programs that work with Freddie Mac Homesteps (FHA, conventional, VA and USDA) on homes in Washington.If you’re considering buying a home located any where in Washington, where I’m licensed to originate mortgages, I am happy to help you!

*NOTE: incentives offered on this post were as of February 11, 2012 and have changed. 

Freddie Mac HomeSteps offers NEW Buyer Incentives

EDITORS NOTE: this post was written back in November 2011 – incentives may or may not be currently available.

Freddie Mac is sweetening the pot for qualified REO’s (Freddie Mac foreclosed homes) in Washington with their HomeSteps program.  HomeSteps SmartBuy provides buyers with a two year home warranty and up to 30% savings on new appliances.

What’s New? Freddie Mac is trying to warm up home sales with their Winter Sales Promotion.  Washington state has been added to this program!

Homebuyers may receive a credit of up to 3% towards closing cost for offers received between November 15, 2011 and January 31, 2012 that are closing on or before March 15, 2012. This is for owner occupied homes only.

Freddie Mac’s REO program, HomeSteps, is different than Fannie Mae’s Homepath. Fannie Mae offers special terms on their REO’s (foreclosed homes) however, Freddie Mac’s program is incentives for the buyer (no special financing programs).  Home buyers who are interested in buying a Freddie Mac HomeSteps property can use ANY type of financing, including conventional, FHA, VA or USDA.  

Click here for your rate quote for homes located in Washington State.

To see which homes are available for the HomeSteps program, you can search here. As of the publishing of this post, there are 53 Freddie Mac homes listed in Seattle; 209 homes in King County and 628 in Washington state.

If you are interested in buying a Freddie Mac HomeSteps property any where in Washington state and require a mortgage, I’m happy to help you!