Fannie Mae has announced that it has given the green light, at least temporarily, to the use of a cost-based valuation alternative (when sales comparables are not available) that aims to eliminate mortgage lending barriers to Native Americans.The exemption from the Native Americans tribal trust and restricted lands regulation, along with various mortgage products designed for Native American borrowers, was introduced at the National American Indian Housing Council's Annual Convention in Anaheim, Calif. "Allowing alternative property valuation techniques will go a long way to helping more Native Americans achieve a home of their own," said Gary L. Gordon, executive director of the NAIHC. Although often unavailable -- given the low level of mortgage lending activity on tribal lands -- sales prices of nearby comparable properties are nonetheless required during the lending process. The new cost-based valuation alternative "will create a more robust sales market, which will eventually eliminate the need for this type of valuation technique," Fannie Mae said. The government-sponsored enterprise can be found online at http://www.fanniemae.com.

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