Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, the nation’s third largest retail mortgage lender, announced the Fairway Community Access program (FCA), a new program to aid prospective first-time homebuyers currently residing in select communities across the country, including Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Memphis, Tennessee; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The FCA program aims to help eligible individuals within the designated markets navigate the higher home prices and mortgage interest rates that may be barriers to taking the first step to homeownership.
“More and more people can no longer afford housing in their own communities,” said Cynthia Vasileiadis, Fairway’s Executive Vice President of Fair Lending. “Housing prices are near all-time highs and rents are increasing at record rates. Fairway is taking action that will make it easier for residents to buy their first home in the local neighborhoods they already know and love.”
Fairway’s FCA program is designed to reduce the impact of high down payments and closing costs as an obstacle to homeownership. FCA offers qualified first-time homebuyers up to $7,500 toward a newly purchased home. That figure comprises a $7,000 credit toward the buyer’s down payment or closing costs and up to $500 in the form of an appraisal credit** if an appraisal is required for the transaction. To qualify for the FCA program, applicants must currently reside in the designated communities and be first-time homebuyers with no ownership interest in any other properties. Additionally, the home purchased must be the homebuyer’s primary residence — no second home or investment properties qualify.
The targeted communities are majority minority markets. A recent survey showed that while 72% of white households are homeowners, only 42% of Black households own their home. Research from the Center for Responsible Lending and the National Fair Housing Alliance has shown that this disparity is commonly due to lower wealth among minority families, and the national income gap makes it more difficult for Black and minority families to accumulate sufficient savings to purchase a home.
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In addition to the $7,500 of financial assistance, the FCA program will offer warranty assistance. If the borrower elects to purchase a home warranty, Fairway will provide a credit for a 1-year home warranty to help provide financial protection that will cover unexpected home repairs and replacements on home systems, including electrical systems, plumbing, water heater, washer, and kitchen appliances due to normal wear and tear. The FCA program will also provide education on the homebuying process and connect applicants with mortgage professionals and other resources in the local community who will serve as buyer advocates to help applicants achieve their homeownership goals.
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