By Kenneth R. Harney | Los Angeles Times
An important resource for first-time home buyers and others who find themselves in unfair competition with deep-pocket investors bearing cash just got better: The two biggest players in the mortgage market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are now giving non-investor shoppers 20-day exclusive rights to bid on and buy new listings they are selling.
During the 20-day “first look” period, investors will be excluded from submitting bids. To qualify, non-investor buyers will need to commit to making the home their principal residence for at least a year. The idea, according to Fannie and Freddie officials, is to encourage greater owner occupancy, stabilize neighborhoods that have seen significant numbers of foreclosures and generally help out shoppers who find it difficult to outbid all-cash investors.