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In a bid to unload foreclosures, Fannie Mae showers thousands on buyers, brokers

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 4, 2010 06:53 AM

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It's kind of like the home buyer tax credit all over again - this time with a foreclosure twist to it.

With its stockpile of foreclosed homes rising by the day, government-owned mortgage giant Fannie Mae has characteristically decided to throw money at the problem - and lots of it. After all, there's lots of inventory to move - 150,000 foreclosed homes and condos at last count.

Home buyers who scoop up a foreclosure special before the end of the year can get 3.5 percent of the final sales price to put towards closing costs, under the latest Fannie Mae sweetener for foreclosure buyers.

That means $8,750 towards closing costs on a $250,000 home - a significantly better deal than the old $8,000, home buyer tax credit.

And as they say, that's not all. Fannie Mae will also provide buyers with a low cost, fixed rate mortgages with down payments as little as 3 percent. Even somewhat tarnished credit is not necessarily an obstacle, the troubled mortgage giant explains in a write-up on its new housing initiative.

Don't worry brokers, there's a bone here for you, too - a $1,500 bonus per sale if you manage to sell a Fannie foreclosure.

All sounds pretty desperate, at least from the perspective of Fannie Mae and its growing financial problems. It's stock, once in the $67 dollar range, is now down to 27 cents.

However, if you are looking for a home, it probably can't hurt to check out what Fannie can do for you. The catch is that is has to be a Fannie foreclosure - here's a link to the site.

I took a quick gander. Boston and its environs has an wide assortment of condos - lots of one-bedrooms Revere, Chelsea and Dorchester, more than a few below $100,000.

I also took a look at the western suburbs - Middlesex County - and got a different menu altogether. More than a few single-family homes,but in the $300,000 range and up.

Happy hunting!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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