Image by thinkpanama via Flickr
Last Friday, Fannie Mae rolled-back one of its least popular mortgage guidelines updates of the last 12 months.
Effective March 1, 2009, real estate investors can once again own and finance up to 10 individual properties. The restriction reversal does come with new minimum requirements, however.
Homeowners buying a 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th home must meet the following standards, as set forth by Fannie Mae:
- 720 credit score
- 25% downpayment for a 1-unit (30% for a 2-4 unit)
- No mortgage delinquencies in the last 12 months
- 6 months of reserves for each investment property
In other words, Fannie Mae is re-opening the lending spigot for real estate investors with good credit, a sizeable downpayment and ample reserves.
According to Fannie Mae, the change rationale is that experienced investors can "play a key role in the housing recovery". Until now, foreclosure auctions have gone at less than full speed because investors unable to pay cash have been halted by the existing 4-property Fannie Mae limit.
Going forward, expect a more expedient foreclosure liquidation nationwide which should, in turn, provide further support for the housing market.
And lastly, not to be forgotten, homeowners with more than 4 properties can finally participate in the ongoing conforming mortgage Refi Boom. Until now, they've been stymied by the 4-property restriction, too.