Closing-cost credit, agent bonus pay off
It's not unusual to find 400 to 500 Long Beach, Calif., homes listed for sale on any given day. When I talked with Shandrow in mid-October, he noted there were 85 Fannie Mae homes available for sale in that market, which was a significant percentage of the local total. Shandrow Group, itself, had worked on between 10-20 Fannie Mae properties already during 2009.
In Long Beach, you don't see a lot of Fannie Mae properties for sale at $400,000 to $500,000 -- they are definitely focused under the $200,000 price point, said Shandrow.
"Right now, the way California prices are, you can get a home at reasonable prices: a 2-bedroom, 1-bath for $200,000 in a decent neighborhood. The Fannie Mae loan stands at 3.5 percent and it is giving you closing costs. And what's also great, mortgage insurance (and appraisal fees) is not necessary. For the first-time buyer, it is hard to get better than this."
From our perspective as brokers, Shandrow added, "we are excited when we come across buyers that qualify for homepath.com financing and (are) able to buy a homepath.com property. It makes our job easier. Financing these days is very difficult.
"What's great about homepath.com is it's more of a streamlined application process. It's quicker and the escrows are easier to close. We love this program."
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade," has been ranked as a top-selling real estate investment book for the Amazon Kindle e-reader.
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