Q: What's the "First Look Initiative?"
A: Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) is a government sponsored enterprise, one of two federal agencies that purchase home loans from lenders. It was established to purchase existing closed mortgage loans from savings associations in the secondary market and to resell them as securities. HomeSteps® is the Freddie Mac sales unit responsible for marketing and selling Freddie Mac real estate owned (REO) homes.
Through HomeSteps®, Freddie Mac offers owner-occupant homebuyers the opportunity to purchase homes without competition from investors during the first 15 days of the home being listed in MLS. You don't need to be a first time homebuyer, but you must be purchasing the home as a primary residence. And both you and the real estate agent representing you must sign an affidavit affirming that you will occupy the home.
Investors can submit offers at any time, but those offers won't be considered until after the 15-day period set aside for owner-occupants. You and your real estate agent will know if a home is eligible for the First Look Initiative because it will be included in the MLS property listing information. If you don't have a buyer's representation agreement signed with a real estate agent, get one! There is no cost to you since the seller typically pays the real estate commission.
Check to see if the First Look home comes with a limited 2-year home protection policy and up to 30% savings on new appliances. Many do.
There is not a lot of First Look residential real estate for sale in the Addison, Texas area, but there are a few homes in this progam. You can search for First Look homes on the HomeSteps® website.
I have just submitted a offer for a client on a home in the First Look Initiative. The home is reasonably priced and there is at least one other offer from someone wanting to occupy the home, plus several offers from investors (but those investor offers will not be considered until after the 15 day period is over). This buyer did not set out specifically to find a home through HomeSteps®, but we're taking advantage of the opportunity to purchase without competition from investors.
Part of Freddie Mac's mission is to stablize communities and support housing recovery. HomeSteps® and the First Look Initiative is a great way to do that.