Fannie Mae has launched a new program that’s intended to give public entities and buyers looking for a home to live in, rather than a property to flip, a first crack at homes Fannie has foreclosed on.

Under Fannie Mae’s "First Look" initiative, only offers from buyers who intend to be owner occupants and buyers using public funds will be considered during the first 15 days a property is on the market. Offers from investors will be considered only after the first 15 days have passed.

Response to a pilot program launched August has been positive so Fannie Mae is now rolling the program out nationwide, the company said in a press release. A Freddie Mac spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the company has similar pilot programs.

In Minnesota, Fannie Mae said the City of St. Paul’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority has been acquiring and rehabilitating homes for resale to homebuyers. In the past four months, that agency has closed on five Fannie Mae properties and has 24 more offers in process.

In Pasco County, Fla., the Pasco County Community Development Division partners with local nonprofits to acquire and repair foreclosed properties, offering homebuyer assistance such as gap financing, downpayment assistance, or closing-cost assistance to low- to moderate-income buyers. Working with its partners, Pasco County has purchased 10 Fannie Mae bank-owned (REO) properties in the past six months.

Buyers using Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds from HUD, local housing trust funds, or charitable foundation funds may also qualify for incentives including deposit waivers, the ability to renegotiate an offer after obtaining an appraisal, and extra time for closing.

Homebuyers can search for Fannie Mae’s REO properties at Properties owned by Freddie Mac can be found at


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