Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hoping to purchase a Sacramento home after completing a short sale? Fannie Mae is extending the waiting time period...

Hoping to purchase a home after completing a short sale of your prior home? -- this is important! Fannie Mae has announced some BIG changes for home buyers who want to purchase a home after a short sale. These changes take affect on August 16th, 2014 and will have a significant impact on the required wait time to purchase another home.

For the last several years, a home buyer with a past short sale could finance another property purchase using a 20%+ downpayment after just two years from the closing date of their short sale. This was great for many people, and I have worked with clients who fell into that segment...I sold their home as a short sale, and 2 years later, their financial circumstances had improved and they'd saved enough for the 20% downpayment.

After August 16th, 2014, Fannie Mae will no longer allow this, and the waiting period will be FOUR YEARS. Ouch! If you are a buyer and this applies to you -- either accelerate your home search asap, or figure out "Plan B" for your financing. You do not have to close your purchase by August 16th, however you DO have to be in contract for the home you are purchasing by that date, AND have your lender submit your loan file through the automated underwriting system. To be safe, you should probably be in contract on or before August 13th so your loan officer has time to get this done for you.

You are probably thinking, "What are the Plan B options if I'm not in contract to purchase a house in Sacramento before the cut-off?"

Well, if you have more than 20% down, then you may be able to find other lenders with "portfolio" loans (aka, loans that do not have to conform to Fannie Mae standards) that may be willing to do your loan. I know of one lender who work with buyers just months after a short sale with 30% down, however the interest rates are going to be a little higher than conventional rates, and you will probably not be able to do a 30-year fixed loan. It would be a 5 or 7 year ARM (fixed rate for the first 5 - 7 years and then adjustable after that).

Another option if you are 3 years past the anniversary of your short sale is an FHA loan. FHA loans require a minimum of 3.5% downpayment which is far less than 20% down, however these loans come with a string attached that a buyer would not have to deal with on a 20% down conventional loan: mortgage insurance. This can add costs to the transaction and to the monthly mortgage payment.

Neither one of the Plan B lending scenarios are the end of the world, however they'd either require a longer wait or more money down.

So buyers, if this describes your scenario -- do some strategic planning with your loan officer and Realtor! And do it today.

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