April 23rd, 2015 8:40 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
Fannie Mae recently announced
that it will allow down payments as low as 3% for qualified first-time
homebuyers. This presents an opportunity for homebuyers who may not have the
resources to make a large down payment. Homebuyers should work with their lender
to find out if they meet eligibility requirements for the low down payment
option, including underwriting, income documentation and other standards.
To be eligible for this 3% down
payment option, at least one buyer must be a first-time homebuyer (in this
case, "first-time homebuyer" means that at least one buyer hasn't
owned any residential property in the past three years). Homebuyers can finance
their home purchase under Fannie Mae's standard conventional mortgage or its
which offers enhanced eligibility terms and includes homebuyer education.
In addition, current homeowners
whose mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae may be able to refinance their loan up to
97 percent of the property value (known as 97% loan-to-value or LTV) with a
limited cash-out option.
Not every homeowner will
qualify for a low down payment option, and there are many things to consider
when buying and financing a home. This site can help you understand your
options. Review our Buy section which includes steps to help you Get
Started. Then contact your lender to find out what financing options
work for you.
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