Today, Fannie Mae tweaked their HomePath program a bit more by offering three percent in closing cost assistance if eventual home buyers complete an online homeownership course.
The credit can be used to pay for standard home buyer closing costs, points, and prepaids.
In order to qualify for the offer, you must be a first-time home buyer, defined as someone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years.
Additionally, you must purchase a HomePath property, which you can find on their website by conducting a property search, and reside in it within 60 days of purchase.
I’ve mentioned in the past that it’s slim pickings over at HomePath, and many of the properties are either in questionable shape and/or in fringy areas.
However, if you can find a nice home you like via HomePath this offer can be pretty worthwhile.
HomePath Ready Buyer™ Program
The new initiative is referred to as the “HomePath Ready Buyer™ Program,” and is offered in conjunction with a nonprofit by the name of Framework Education.
In a nutshell, prospective buyers must complete a 9-module homeowner education course that includes a quiz at the end. Kind of reminds me of online traffic school.
It includes the following course material:
– Pitfalls to avoid
– How much you can afford
– How to decide what home to buy
– How to choose the best loan
– How to lower your down payment
– What to include in your offer
– What happens at closing
Each module takes roughly thirty minutes to complete and can be taken entirely online, and even from your smartphone. Fancy.
Fannie also boasts that the testing exceeds the standards of both HUD and National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.
So you’re probably going to learn a lot about being a homeowner, which is always a plus, and certainly a good way to reduce defaults on the associated mortgages.
Once the course is completed, you receive a Certificate of Completion that can be downloaded and then included with an initial offer for the purchase of a HomePath property.
The online course does cost $75 upfront, but Fannie says it will be reimbursed if you successfully close on a contract. I believe it’s covered via the 3% closing cost credit.
In order to be eligible, the request for closing cost assistance must be made at the time of the initial offer via the HomePath Online Offers system and can only be submitted on or after April 14, 2015. So make sure your real estate agent remembers to include it!
If the lender restricts the amount of seller contributions, the credit will be reduced to the allowable amount.
Additionally, it should be noted that home buyers with total closing costs under three percent will not receive the difference as a credit.
Read more: How to reduce your closing costs.