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Fannie Mae’s summer surprise for all-cash buyers, investors

Rule change allows buyers to tap equity soon after purchase

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Fannie Mae quietly made a rule change last week that could be of huge significance for cash buyers of houses -- whether they're investors or owner-occupants -- starting immediately. Call it cash-outs for all-cash players.

The company modified its long-standing requirement that all-cash home purchasers must be on the title for at least six months before pulling out money from the house by obtaining a mortgage. Now you can do it -- if you qualify -- virtually overnight.

Under Fannie's new "delayed financing" option, buyers paying cash to gain a competitive advantage -- lower prices, cleaner and quicker deals than purchasers requiring financing -- can now turn around and pull out substantial money from the transaction shortly after settlement.

Given the growing role of all-cash purchases in many markets, Fannie's change could create n...