As long as there are jobs to lose, illnesses to fall prey to and other hardships to endure, foreclosures will be a sad fact of life. In the case of foreclosures, one person’s tragedy is another’s opportunity, because foreclosed homes can be some of the best deals on the market. The federal government sells its foreclosed homes through its agencies responsible for backing the loans, such as FHA, Veterans Affairs, USDA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Each has its own method of offering properties for sale, and the latter uses a program called HomeSteps.
Go to freddiemac.com. Scroll down the page until you find a link titled “Buy a Freddie Mac Home.” Click on the link.
Scroll to the end of the text and click on the “Start your search now” link. Fill in all the boxes indicating the city, county and state in which you want to search homes and use the pull down-menu to indicate your price range. Click the “find homes” button. Click on the address of any home that piques your interest.
Call your real estate agent and ask for an appointment to view the home. If you like the home and want to purchase it, ask your real estate agent to help you fill out an offer to purchase.
See a mortgage lender to determine if you can obtain financing for the home, if you won’t be paying cash. If you qualify, ask the lender for a pre-approval letter.
Supply your agent with the documents required by Freddie Mac. These include your mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds if you’ll be paying cash, as well as a certified check to deposit as earnest money in the amount your agent determines is suitable for your area
Sign the purchase agreement and the required HomeSteps contract addendum that your agent will supply. Your agent will package all of the documents together and send them off to the listing agent, who will electronically submit them to Freddie Mac.
Offers are accepted, denied or countered within four to five days.
Freddie Mac will not entertain offers contingent on the sale of other property, or those that request credits for repairs. Freddie Mac also won’t allow the buyer to make repairs to the property before closing.
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