As they say, knowledge is power, and in the case of the Federal Housing Authority’s new HAWK
pilot program, it could also mean a big savings on your mortgage. HAWK, which stands for “Homeowners Armed With Knowledge”, would grant discounts on mortgage insurance for FHA loans if home buyers sign up for housing counseling.
Under the program, buyers who sign up for counseling both before signing a contract to buy a home and before closing will earn a 50-basis-point reduction in their upfront mortgage insurance premium, and 10 points off of their yearly premium. When every percentage point matters, this could be the difference in someone buying a home or not, especially if their credit is less than stellar. The FHA is hoping that the more buyers know about the mortgage process the less likely they will be to default on their loan, and the potential savings gives home buyers a big incentive to sign up – they estimate owners could save as much as $9,800 on a loan of $180,000.
The four-year HAWK pilot program is projected to begin this fall after the public comment period ends in August, and buyers may be able to sign up for the program by the end of the year. HAWK is just one element in the FHA’s “Blueprint For Access” plan, which aims to find ways to give more people, especially those with credit scores lower than 680, access to mortgages and home ownership. To learn more about real estate in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent
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