Fannie Mae is offering some new incentives to homebuyers in an effort to clear out its inventory of foreclosed homes.

Qualified buyers who purchase a property through Fannie Mae's Homepath Program will be eligible to receive up to 3.5 percent of the sales price to use toward closing costs or to buy appliances for the home. The incentive is available through May 1, 2010 and is limited to purchasers who will be owner-occupants of the property.

Homepath is Fannie Mae's program for disposing of foreclosed properties it has acquired. Other incentives include special financing available, including down payments as low as 3 percent of the purchase price, no appraisal fees or requirement for mortgage insurance, and a program for funding home repairs as part of the purchase price.

"Attracting qualified buyers to the market and reducing the inventory of vacant homes is critical to stabilizing neighborhoods and helping the market recover," said Terry Edwards, Fannie Mae Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management. "Many families are taking advantage of the federal homebuyer tax credit to buy a new home so this is a great time for Fannie Mae to offer some additional help."

Foreclosed properties in the Fannie Mae inventory include single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses in various states of repair. Fannie Mae had over 70,000 such properties in its inventory as of Sept. 30; it sold 90,000 foreclosed properties in the third quarter of the year, more than double its figure from the second quarter of 2009.

Fannie Mae's sibling lender, Freddie Mac, is also currently offered a 3.5 percent buyer credit toward closing costs for foreclosed properties purchased through its Homesteps Program. The program also includes a 2-year home warranty and an available discount on appliance purchases and is available through March 26.

Published on February 1, 2010