First-time homebuyers seeking to buy a house through Fannie Mae's HomePath® program can receive a significant hand-up from a new program the company announced today.  The new BuyerReadyTM program will allow qualifying buyers to receive closing cost assistance of up to 3 percent of the purchase price upon completion of an online homebuyer education course.

HomePath is the program through which Fannie Mae collects, manages, and markets its foreclosed property.  The owned real estate (REO) is typically sold through local real estate agents. 

The homeownership training course is conducted completely on line and consists of nine half-hour sessions.  Fannie Mae has partnered with Framework, a non-profit created by the Housing Partnership Network and the Minnesota Homeownership Center to design and conduct the course which covers the complexities of home buying and the responsibilities of homeownership.

To obtain the closing cost assistance, as much as $4,500 on a $150,000 home, the buyer must complete the entire training course and receive a Certificate of Completion before making an offer and must request the assistance when the initial offer is made. Fannie Mae will also reimburse the $75 cost of the training at time of closing.

Only buyers who have not owned a home for the past three years and will occupy the prospective purchase as a primary residence are eligible.  Auction, pool, and investor sales are not included in the program. 

"Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process," said Jay Ryan, Vice President of REO Sales, Fannie Mae. "We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time homebuyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the home buying process. Closing cost assistance provides a cushion many first-time buyers need to more confidently face the financial responsibilities of homeownership."

Potential program participants can sign up for the training course at