Earlier this year Fannie Mae started allowing consumers to pay only 3 percent down on their new homes. And now, the government-backed mortgage buyer has kicked off a new initiative that hopes to attract additional first-time home buyers by helping them save some money.
On Tuesdy, Fannie Mae announced the HomePath Ready Buyer program, which allows qualifying first-time home buyers to receive a maximum 3 percent of their home’s purchase price as a means to alleviate the burden of paying closing costs. The operative word above is “qualifying,” but anyone who is eligible to take advantage of the program can save up to $4,500 assuming their home is valued at $150,000.
Further, Fannie Mae will reimburse buyers to the tune of $75 for the home buyer education course they have to take when closing their loan. This course is also required for consumers so they can be eligible for the 3 percent reimbursement.
“Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process,” said Fannie Mae vice president of REO sales Jay N. Ryan Jr. in a statement. “We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time home buyers 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.”
Fannie Mae also announced that it is teaming up with nonprofit organization Framework for the home buyer education course. This is an online course comprised of nine sessions lasting 30 minutes each, and Fannie Mae said that the course would educate home buyers on the nuances of homeownership, may it be the home buying process or the responsibilities of being a homeowner. This course has to be completed before an offer is made, according to Fannie Mae.
As for other qualifications aside from the online course, buyers also have to be first-time home buyers who did not own any property in the past three years, with plans to designate the home as their primary residence. Requests for closing cost assistance also have to be made at the initial offer and furnished on or after April 14, 2015.