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