Programs Making Home Buying Easier

Sometimes, here in Phoenix, and other parts of the nation, you will come across a home for sale in which you will be promoted to use either “Homepath”, or “Homesteps”. Let’s look at “Homepath” first. This is a program for homes that are owned by Fannie Mae. Naturally, they need to shift their inventory, so they are trying to make the home-buying course of action as streamlined as possible. No appraisal is required as they have priced the home right at market, allegedly, although that doesn’t average you have to offer complete price: bargain away. A down payment of 3% is usual, although seller’s can contribute up to 6% of buy price towards closing costs. Also, investors can buy 1-2 unit buildings with only 10% down.

“Homesteps” is a similar program offered by Freddie Mac for homes which it owns (REOs). They are trying to combat the concept that foreclosed homes are wrecks (they often suffer damage at the hands of spiteful owners) and will mildly re-hab a character to enhance its chances of selling. Typically, that would include fresh paint, carpet and, in some situations, new appliances.

Finally, you may come across a program, from non-government lenders, called “Express Path”. presumably, they are pre-inspected, pre-appraised, low closing-cost, ready to buy homes. Of course, all those sets are paid for in the asking price, there is no free lunch. This allows a speedy close, but to whose assistance? Some processes need not, and should not, be rushed. Industry fondness for this program seems to be mixed. Remember, one stop shopping rarely benefits the buyer, as the savings are not passed on, but retained, as profit.

Caveat emptor!

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