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Zillow analyst on whether home prices can keep climbing

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Mortgage

Fannie Mae launches major first time homebuyer assistance program

Offering to pay 3% of purchase price for closing costs

Having already begun buying mortgage loans that allow borrowers to put 3% down, Fannie Mae is launching a new program aimed at attracting more first-time homebuyers — by taking over that responsibility as well.

Fannie Mae announced Tuesday the HomePath Ready Buyer program, under which qualifying first-time homebuyers can receive up to 3% of the purchase price of the subject property in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property.

On a $150,000 home, this could result in up to $4,500 in savings for the buyer, Fannie said. In addition, Fannie Mae will reimburse the $75 cost of the homebuyer education course at the time of closing.

“Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process,” said Jay Ryan, Fannie Mae’s vice president of REO sales. “We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time homebuyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the home buying process. Closing cost assistance provides a cushion many first-time buyers need to more confidently face the financial responsibilities of homeownership.”

To receive the 3% rebate, homebuyers must complete an online homebuyer education course.

Fannie Mae said that it is partnering with Framework, a nonprofit created by the Housing Partnership Network and the Minnesota Homeownership Center, to create the homebuyer education course. The course, which contains nine, thirty-minute sessions, is entirely online. The course offers homebuyers a homeownership education course that covers both the complexities of home buying and the responsibilities of owning a home, Fannie said.

According to Fannie, to be eligible for the closing cost assistance and the reimbursement of the training cost:

  • Buyers must complete the full online HomePath Ready Buyer training course on the HomePath website and receive a certificate of completion
  • The buyer must be a first-time homebuyer (did not own a property in the past three years) with plans to reside in the property as their primary residence. Auction, pool and investor sales are not eligible
  • The request for closing cost assistance must be made at the initial offer, submitted on or after April 14, 2015

Fannie Mae is encouraging interest parties to take the homebuyer education course as quickly as possible, as the course must be completed before an offer can be made. 

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