What Is a Fannie Mae HomePath Property?

Written by Steven PorrelloSeptember 14th, 20227 minute read

Eligibility | Benefits | Drawbacks | Should you buy a HomePath home? | Steps to buy a Fannie Mae HomePath property | Special financing options | Summary

A Fannie Mae HomePath property is a home that has gone through a foreclosure and is now owned by Fannie Mae. You can browse these properties on the HomePath platform, though you’ll need a real estate agent to submit an offer.

HomePath properties can be extremely attractive to home buyers, especially those priced out of the general market. Fannie Mae sells these below market averages, requires only a 3% down payment and gives owner-occupants (home buyers in search of a primary residence) priority access to HomePath properties.

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Of course, buying a HomePath property isn’t without risks. These homes sell “as is” and might need significant repairs or renovations. Depending on where you want to buy, inventory might be low. And you have to act fast — within 30 days!

Below is a breakdown of who qualifies for a HomePath property, as well as the steps you need to take to bring one to the closing table.

Who qualifies to buy a HomePath property?

Any prospective home buyer or investor can buy a HomePath property if they meet the following criteria:

  • Down payment of 3%+ of the home’s purchase price
  • Debt-to-income ratio of <38%
  • Credit score of 620+


Can real estate investors buy HomePath properties?

Yes, real estate investors can buy HomePath properties, but they have to wait 30 days after a property is listed to make an offer. All HomePath properties come with a 30-day “first look” period for owner-occupants (home buyers who are looking for a primary residence), which gives them first dibs.

What are the benefits of a HomePath property?

✅ Below-market prices: Fannie Mae will often price properties low to sell them fast, so you can find some great deals.
✅ Less competition: owner-occupants get first dibs on new properties (listed within past 30 days).
✅ Variety of property types: you can find single-family homes, condos, two-unit houses (duplexes), and even land.
✅ Special financing: Fannie Mae lowers the barrier to entry by offering affordable mortgages, lower down payment requirements (3%), and closing cost assistance to first-time home buyers and low-income earners.

» JUMP: Fannie Mae financing options

What are the drawbacks?

❌ As-is properties: expect to spend money on repairs and renovations. More often than not, the property will need some work.
❌ Partial or no disclosures: because the property is sold “as is,” the previous owners don’t have to disclose any known problems, damages, or needed repairs.
❌ Potentially undesirable neighborhood: you might not find a property in your target neighborhood or zip code.
❌ Long closing process: it can take up to 45 days before you finally close on the home.
❌ No contingencies: Fannie Mae accepts no contingencies, including home sale contingencies. In other words, you can't wait to sell your current home before buying a new one.

Who should buy a HomePath home?

A HomePath property is an affordable option for low- to middle-income households, first-time home buyers, and general buyers who've been priced out of the overall market. Because these homes are foreclosures, however, the ideal buyer can pay for repairs and renovations out of pocket.

HomePath might NOT be ideal for real estate investors in a hurry. Owner-occupants always have first dibs on these properties, so house flippers and investors have to wait 30 days before they can make offers.

Keep in mind HomePath isn’t the only platform to find great property deals and foreclosures. You can also find foreclosed properties from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or you could discover them yourself while out driving for dollars.

» MORE: How to Buy a HUD Home | Realtor Asking for Proof of Funds: What's Next?

How to buy a Fannie Mae HomePath property

  1. Find a realtor
  2. Set your budget
  3. Get pre-approved
  4. Find and tour HomePath properties
  5. Make an offer
  6. Inspect the property
  7. Close on the home

1. Sign up and find a real estate agent

Fannie Mae requires you to have a real estate agent to submit an offer on a HomePath property.

When you create an account on HomePath’s website, you’ll add your buyer’s agent, and they’ll get an email asking them to join. Once they agree to some terms, they can submit offers on your behalf, mediate negotiations, and upload documents at closing.

» Our friends at Clever Real Estate match you with top local agents — for free! Interview as many agents as you'd like, or walk away at any time.

2. Determine your budget

Here's how you can calculate your budget:

  1. Plug your gross monthly income and debt into Fannie Mae’s affordability calculator.
  2. Click the “Payment Info” tab on the calculator to see your maximum monthly mortgage payment. Compare this with your current rent or housing payment to determine if you can afford more or less home.
  3. Review your budget with an agent. Your real estate agent can look over your budget with you and spot holes you’re not seeing yourself. Remember to account for any repairs you'll need to make once you buy the home.

Fannie Mae financing options

If you can't find a property within your proposed budget, Fannie Mae offers special financing to help home buyers afford properties outside their price range.

A HomeReady Mortgage allows qualifying home buyers to buy a single-family house with as little as a 3% down payment. Depending on your level of income and credit score, Fannie Mae may also waive the mortgage insurance on your loan, which is typically required for down payments less than 20%.

To qualify, you’ll need a credit score of at least 620, and your income should be in the low-to-median range for your area. First-time home buyers must also complete the HomeView course.

» Not sure if your income is median or below? Use Fannie Mae’s free Median Lookup Tool to find out.

While not exactly a mortgage, the HomePath Ready Buyer program offers first-time home buyers up to 3% back of their total loan to help cover closing costs.

For a total mortgage amount of $300,000, Fannie Mae would give you $9,000 to use toward closing costs (usually 3–6% of your total mortgage).

Applicants must complete the HomeView education course and submit a completed Fannie Mae Form 1017.

3. Get a mortgage pre-approval

While not a strict requirement, a mortgage pre-approval can turn your estimated budget into a concrete price range that shows listing agents you’re serious about buying a HomePath property. Some sellers and realtors also ask for proof of funds.

It won't guarantee a mortgage, but it does show that a lender reviewed your finances.

To get a preapproval letter, you’ll need to show the following things to your mortgage lender:

  • Proof of income: W-2s (or 1099s), plus any additional income from real estate, investments, or side hustles
  • Proof of assets: bank statements that show you have enough savings to cover the down payment and closing costs
  • Debt statements: any debts you currently owe, such as car loans, credit cards, mortgages, or personal loans

Mortgage pre-approvals involve hard credit checks

A lender will run a hard credit inquiry, which could temporarily lower your credit score by 5 or more points.

4. Find and tour HomePath properties

You can search HomePath’s online database and filter results by:

  • ZIP code or neighborhood
  • Price range
  • Number of beds or baths
  • Property type
  • Property status (e.g., “Just Listed,” “Coming Soon,” and “Price Reduced”)

If you intend to use the HomePath property as your primary residence, you’ll have 30-day priority access to new listings over other buyers (house flippers, real estate investors, etc.).

You might still face some stiff competition for HomePath properties, especially in hot real estate markets. Your agent can help you act fast and coordinate tours for new listings.

5. Make an offer

Once you find a property you like, your agent can submit an offer to Fannie Mae on your behalf. Your agent might reach out to you to get answers to some questions, such as:

  • Are you using public funds? If so, what type?
  • Will you be using the seller’s closing and title provider?
  • How much earnest money will you offer?
  • What date do you want to close?

After the agent submits your offer, you can track its status under “My Offers” in your HomePath account. You’ll start receiving notification when other offers are submitted, and if yours isn’t the highest, Fannie Mae will give you a deadline to revise it.

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you must finish the HomeView education program before submitting an offer.

6. Inspect the property

If Fannie Mae accepts your offer, you'll have 10 days to conduct a thorough inspection of the property. Since these properties are foreclosures, you might find some serious structural damages whose repair cost pushes the home out of your budget range.

If you find that the property has far more costly damages than you were expecting, you can back out of the offer (as long as you’re still in that 10-day window). Just ask the property’s listing agent for a termination form, and list why you can’t go through with the sale.

7. Close on the home

You’ll get an email from Fannie Mae saying, “Congrats!” and a flurry of documents-to-be-signed will come your way. You can expect to sign the Property and Sale contract first (electronically), and then Fannie Mae will send you the completed contract.

After that, you’ll write your check for the closing costs and down payment, and your lender will wire the funds to purchase the home.

It can take around 45 days for you to close on a HomePath property. To make the process go faster, it’s best to stay organized and on top of any documents received (or requested) from Fannie Mae.

» Clever offers eligible buyers 0.5% cash back on the purchase price of their new home after closing. Find out how much you can save!

Summary

  • A HomePath property is a foreclosed home that's now owned by Fannie Mae. It can be an affordable option for first-time home buyers and low-income earners.
  • To buy a HomePath property, you'll need a HomePath account and a real estate agent.
  • Owner-occupants (non-investor buyers) get priority access to new listings for 30 days.