Fannie Mae HomePath Properties: What Are They And How To Buy One
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or someone who’s purchased a few houses, having a good, affordable selection of properties to choose from can make all the difference when house hunting for your dream home. That’s where HomePath by Fannie Mae and its mortgage loan program comes in. While there are many different types of home loans, Fannie Mae’s mortgage loan program is unique.
Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise that buys mortgages from lenders. When a home owned by Fannie Mae is foreclosed, the agency lists and sells the property on the HomePath market. This program – which launched in 2009 – aims to support neighborhood stabilization and help families find the perfect home.
Keep reading to learn more about Fannie Mae HomePath properties and whether buying one is right for you.
What Is Fannie Mae?
Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise that provides liquidity and stability to the housing market by purchasing mortgages from lenders and selling them on the open market. When homeowners have trouble making their mortgage payments, Fannie Mae works with them to help them understand their options and avoid foreclosure. Unfortunately, sometimes foreclosure can’t be avoided, which is where the HomePath program comes into play.
What Is The Fannie Mae HomePath Program?
HomePath is the real estate platform Fannie Mae uses to sell the homes it acquires through foreclosure. Fannie Mae HomePath properties include a wide selection of properties, such as single-family homes, multifamily houses and condominiums. Fannie Mae works to sell foreclosed properties quickly to new owners to help stabilize neighborhoods and minimize community impact.
Purchasing a home through HomePath has plenty of benefits, including starting the purchasing process with just one click on Fannie Mae’s website. Buying through HomePath gives borrowers access to the Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage program, which is available to:
- Creditworthy low-income home buyers
- First-time and repeat home buyers
- Buyers with limited cash for a down payment
- Buyers with supplemental boarder and rental income
Buyers can also take advantage of the HomePath Ready Buyer program, an online homeownership education course that allows buyers to receive up to 3% in closing cost assistance.
What Is A Fannie Mae HomePath Property?
A Fannie Mae HomePath property is real estate obtained by foreclosure or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Buyers can purchase a HomePath property with a 3% down payment and receive a closing cost credit up to 3% of the purchase price if they use the HomeReady loan program.
How Do You Qualify For A Fannie Mae HomePath Property?
Fannie Mae offers HomeReady mortgages to HomePath buyers. This enhanced lending product is affordable and flexible and provides buyers with invaluable homeownership education. The loan can help buyers with bad credit obtain mortgages. But these loans aren’t available to everyone.
To qualify for a Fannie Mae HomePath loan, you must not have owned a house in the past 3 years. And you must use the HomePath property as your primary residence within 60 days after closing.
HomeReady loans are available for borrowers who meet the following criteria:
- Low income (at or below 100% of the area median income (AMI) of the property you’re buying)
- Limited cash for a down payment
- A credit score of at least 620 (borrowers with a 680 credit score and higher can get the best pricing.)
- A maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 36%
- Supplemental boarder or rental income
How To Buy A Fannie Mae HomePath Property
The process of buying a home can feel overwhelming for first-time buyers, which many HomePath borrowers are. Researching and knowing the steps to buying a home beforehand can help you smooth the process. Below, we’ve outlined the steps to buying a FannieMae HomePath property.
1. Find An Approved Real Estate Agent
Finding the right real estate agent can make or break the home buying process. To buy a HomePath property, you must work with a licensed real estate professional.
2. Get Preapproved With A Lender
Whether you’re financing a home with a Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage or a different home loan, you should secure preapproval before touring homes and submitting offers. This way you’ll be able to estimate your final loan approval amount and help strengthen your offer.
3. Look For HomePath Properties
Once you’re preapproved, you can start browsing properties online at HomePath.com. The website is easy to navigate. Just enter the city or ZIP code where you want to search. You can save your favorite listings and schedule tours online.
4. Attend The Buyer Education Course
One of the requirements of a HomeReady mortgage is completing a homeownership education course through a HUD-approved agency. You can also participate in the HomePath Ready Buyer program, which includes a homeownership education course. You may be eligible to get 3% in closing cost assistance after you complete the course.
5. Submit An Offer
Once you’ve found the perfect home and completed all other requirements to purchase, it’s time to submit your offer. Your real estate agent can help you craft the perfect offer. Once your offer is accepted, you can start preparing for the closing, when you’ll officially purchase the home.
Pros And Cons Of Buying A Fannie Mae HomePath Property
Fannie Mae’s HomePath program offers borrowers many benefits. However, as with any investment, there are risks to consider. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this program.
Here are some advantages of the HomePath program:
- The homes are typically priced more affordably than homes on the open market.
- The homes are usually in better condition than typical
- The down payment requirements are lower than many other mortgage products.
Here are some disadvantages of the HomePath program:
- The homes may require expensive repairs.
- Because the property is sold as is, your ability to negotiate the purchase price to account for necessary repairs is limited.
- HomePath homes may not be available in your desired neighborhood.
Fannie Mae HomePath FAQs
Are you a home buyer or real estate investor with questions about the HomePath program? Explore the section below for more insight into the program and to answer any other questions.
Should I buy a Fannie Mae HomePath property?
For first-time home buyers searching for an affordable home with flexible financing, a HomePath property can offer an excellent opportunity. But keep in mind that Fannie Mae’s real estate owned (REO) properties are sold as is.
While some homes may be move-in ready, others may require light repairs or extensive renovations. Recently, Fannie Mae began making “environmentally conscious” upgrades to HomeReady properties, like using recycled materials and installing smart thermostats. If you’re considering a HomePath property, a home inspection is critical. You’ll know upfront what repairs to make to move into the home.
Can anyone buy a Fannie Mae HomePath property?
If you want to buy a HomePath property as your primary residence, you must be a low-income borrower, have limited cash for a down payment and haven’t owned a home for the past 3 years. You must also meet the minimum credit score and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) requirements.
Can an investor buy a HomePath property?
Real estate investors can purchase a HomePath property after the 30-day “first look” period is up for home buyers looking for primary residences. The 30-day period begins when a home gets listed on the HomePath website. Investors can make offers on unsold properties once the 30-day period is over.
Can you negotiate the price on a HomePath property?
There can be limited negotiation on the price of a HomePath property. If you want to submit a lower offer than the asking price, work with your real estate agent to submit an offer Fannie Mae will likely accept.
The Bottom Line
The Fannie Mae HomePath program provides a unique opportunity for first-time home buyers to purchase an affordable home through a straightforward loan process. However, HomeReady loans have several requirements borrowers must meet to qualify.
Because the homes are sold as is, buyers may need to prepare to make necessary repairs. Whether a property is move-in ready or needs work, combining a HomePath property with a HomeReady loan can give buyers with past credit issues or lower credit scores a competitive edge in competitive markets. To begin your path to homeownership, apply online now and get started with a mortgage approval.