An important resource for first-time home buyers and others who find themselves in unfair competition with deep-pocket investors bearing cash just got better: The two biggest players in the mortgage market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are now giving non-investor shoppers 20-day exclusive rights to bid on and buy new listings they are selling.
During the 20-day “first look” period, investors will be excluded from submitting bids. To qualify, non-investor buyers will need to commit to making the home their principal residence for at least a year. The idea, according to Fannie and Freddie officials, is to encourage greater owner occupancy, stabilize neighborhoods that have seen significant numbers of foreclosures and generally help out shoppers who find it difficult to outbid all-cash investors.
In California, for example, Fannie had 2,136 properties listed, many below $200,000. Listings range from a $139,000, two-bedroom single-family house in Big Bear City to a $700,000 three-bedroom home in South San Francisco. Buyers in San Diego could pick up a two-bedroom condo for $394,000.
So if you or someone you know is thinking of a home purchase, check out HomeSteps and HomePath listings online. If you qualify and keep your eye on the clock, you just might get a chance to buy a new home with mortgage terms you can afford — without worrying about fat-cat investors muscling in and outbidding you with cash.
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