A:

Yes, you can buy homes directly from Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association, or FNMA) is a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) established in 1938 to expand the flow of mortgage money by creating a secondary mortgage market. As a secondary market participant, Fannie Mae does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it keeps liquidity flowing to mortgage lenders (e.g., credit unions, local and national banks, thrifts and other financial institutions) through the purchase and guaranty of mortgages made by these firms.

When foreclosures arise on mortgages in which Fannie Mae is the owner/investor, or when properties are acquired through deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure or forfeiture, Fannie Mae attempts to sell the properties in a timely manner in order to minimize potential impacts on the community. Fannie Mae uses the HomePath brand to sell its properties: HomePath.com is the Fannie Mae website where homebuyers and investors can search for and make offers on Fannie Mae-owned properties, and HomePath Mortgage offers buyer financing products for the properties. In some cases, special financing may be available through HomePath Mortgage and HomePath Renovation Mortgage. These mortgage products are available until October 7, 2014, after which time they will be retired and new financing "flexibilities" will become available. These include expanded seller contributions for owner occupied properties, and lower down payment options for buyers with multiple financed properties.

HomePath.com includes only properties that are owned by Fannie Mae, and include single-family homes, town houses and condominiums. Fannie Mae uses local real estate professionals to prepare, maintain and list the properties for sale. Buyers can view listings on the HomePath.com website, and most listings have photographs, property descriptions and other details, including school and neighborhood information. The number, type and sales prices vary greatly by market, as does the condition of the properties. While some homes are move-in ready, others require repairs or even extensive renovations. Each property is sold in "as is" condition, meaning that the buyer accepts the property "as is." Visit www.homepath.com for more information.

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