Archive for the ‘Buyer programs’ Category

Home Buyers: Getting Outbid by Investors?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Many home buyers these days are feeling frustrated, due to lack of inventory, multiple offer situations and competition from investor buyers. In certain price ranges this is the norm, and buyers want to know how they can avoid these situations.

Well, if you are patient there is one program that may help you get the edge you need – elimination of investor buyers. Via a Fannie Mae program called First Look (under Fannie Mae’s HomePath), you can search for Fannie Mae properties that offer a “first look” to owner occupant buyers. For a period of time, usually 15 days (30 days in Nevada), only owner occupant buyers (including public entities and some non profit agencies) will be able to submit offers on these properties. The program is designed to encourage homeownership.

If you or your agent finds a property on the site you are able to submit your offer for the property online – Fannie Mae uses it’s own forms and not standard purchase contracts.

This program is a great way to beat out those investor buyers, but you have to keep checking with the site to see if there are any new listings; some areas have few or none, and some have many, so don’t give up!

For more details on the First Look Program click here.

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Don’t Have a Big Downpayment? A Loan May Still Be Possible

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

These days it is more difficult than ever before to qualify for a loan. Lenders have such a tight grip on their money that they practically require you to sign over your firstborn to release it. Many buyers find themselves in tricky situations – first time buyers who might not have enough cash or credit scores that are not practically off the top of the charts, and move-up buyers who may not have enough equity in their homes for downpayments. But there is an option that may make home buying possible: FHA loans.

FHA loans have been popular with first time buyers for some time, as they offer low rates, underwriting standards that are not as strict, and only require very minimum downpayments. Furthermore, these loans allow use of rent history for qualification purposes – a great help for those who have never owned. But more recently repeat buyers have been discovering these types of loans, allowing many to purchase when they do not have the cash reserves available for a traditional 20% downpayment.

There are requirements for FHA loans – the buyer must be purchasing the home as a primary residence, have reasonable credit scores, and be able to afford monthly payments, for starters – and these can vary depending on county or state, so it is imperative to consult with an FHA-approved mortgage lender. If you need referrals please let me know. If you are considering a home purchase you should definitely look into FHA loans.



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July Real Estate News

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Home Prices Show Slight Increase Heading into Summer. San Diego home prices rose slightly in April over compared to March, 0.4%, ending a four-month price dip across the county.  Prices were still lower than they were the same time a year ago, and analysts claim the rise is due to the start of the spring/summer buying season.

Median Market Time for San Diego County Homes Rises. San Diego County homes showed an increase in median market time in May, up to 70 days, according to, lower than the national average of 92 days. Normal market time in the county is about 50-60 days. Median market time is the average time a home is listed on the market. In these more challenging times it is imperative to start a home sale at the right price, so speak with your agent about area comparables, amenities, condition and location of your home and neighborhood to attain the best price and attract buyers.

Half of pending properties in California are short sales or REOs. This may come as no surprise to those who follow the market, and it is great news for buyers. A recent study by the California Association of Realtors found that 28% of buyers who bought property last month purchased REO (lender-owned, or post-foreclosure) properties, and 19% of pending homes sales last month were short sales. The good news, aside from the fact that this inventory is being sold (leaving the market to push toward normalcy), is that these properties are priced lower than traditional sales, allowing the buyer to get a great deal.

Oversight Mandated for National Banks. As part of the regulatory settlement for the robo-signing scandal, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced new rules by which all national banks under it’s supervision must adhere. The rules basically require the banks to assess their own foreclosure management processes by September 30, 2011. Banks are also ordered to suspend foreclosure proceedings while working with homeowners on possible loan modifications (this is big news)…although the languages does state “when possible.” Hmmm. There are a slew of other rules as well, so let’s hope this will be a start to lender oversight.

Fannie and Freddie Offer Deals to Save Buyers Money on Home Purchases. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sweetening the price of homeownership by offering great deals to buyers. Sitting on over 200,000 foreclosed homes combined across the country, these two companies are eager to dispose of their inventory, so if you are a new homebuyer (sorry folks, no investors allowed) you could be eligible for up to 3.5% of the home price paid in closing costs. They are also rewarding your real estate agent with a $1200 bonus. FYI: to qualify for these programs the home must close escrow by October 31 for Fannie homes and September 30 close dates (with contract dates no later than July 31) for Freddie homes. For more information go to (Fannie) or (Freddie).


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Fannie Mae Will Pay Buyer Closing Costs

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Fannie Mae just announced that it will help buyers purchase REO (lender owned) properties by providing up to 3.5% in closing costs through the HomePath program. In order to qualify buyers must submit their initial offer on or before April 11, 2011, with a mandatory closing date before June 30, 2011.

The main restriction for this new program is that the home being purchased must be the buyer’s primary residence, so no lenders can get in on this deal. A few states are even offering small bonuses to buyer’s agents if they close escrow on one of these properties by June 30.

By offering this incentive Fannie Mae is recognizing that we need to stimulate the housing market in order to bring it back to a normal stabilization. It also helps to get the amount of lender-owned inventory off the market. Typically these properties are priced well, usually lower than the comparables; and in most situations the lender has gone in and spruced up the home, oftentimes with new paint, carpet or appliances. This really is a good deal for buyers to get a home at a good price with financial assistance in closing costs.

To see which properties are Fannie Mae properties in your area visit for a complete list. Many of these properties also qualify for special mortgages through HomePath Mortgage and HomePath Mortgage Renovation financing–these could provide an opportunity to complete your purchase with as little as 3% down.

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