Category Archives: Minnesota First Time Home Buyer

First Time Home Buyer Assistance Minnesota

first_time_home_buyer_assistance_minnesotaThere is first time home buyer assistance Minnesota, and now’s a great time to take advantage of such assistance.

For quite some time, the housing stock inventory in the Twin Cities region was a bit stagnant, but times have changed. In the 13-county metro area, inventory levels are up this year, with about 17,000 places to choose from! To put this into perspective, there are now more homes to choose from in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2014 compared to 2013, 2012 and 2011. Finally.

In other good news, not as many homes are in foreclosure lately, and the number of desirable traditional homes for sale has increased. If you’ve been thinking about buying a home in Minnesota, this is the right time to do it.

MN housing is dependent on several factors. Is the state seeing job growth? Is consumer confidence up or down? Are families stressed out and just trying to get by, or are they in stable financial situations? For the most part, Minnesota’s economy is doing better than other states, which means people are in the mood in Minnesota to buy homes. And now that there are more homes to choose from, that’s a win-win situation. Minnesota is also unique in that it offers people options to finance the biggest purchase of their lives.

With first time home buyer assistance available in Minnesota, you could conceivably move into your new place this year. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new place to call your own? A new place means you get to decorate it with furniture pieces, artwork, plants and more. It’s a time of new beginnings. Depending on your income and the purchase price of the home you’re interested in, Lake Area Mortgage may be able to help assist you with the purchase process.

Call Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 or email [email protected] to discuss available options for first time home buyer assistance in Minnesota.

First Time Home Buyers in Minnesota

first_time_home_buyers_in_minnesotaFirst time home buyers in Minnesota should consider moving to Shakopee, a city that’s southwest of downtown Minneapolis.

Shakopee has about 37,000 people, and is located on the south bank bend of the Minnesota River. Long known for its attractions like a family amusement park and horse racetrack, Shakopee is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region, and it’s growing.

Indeed, Shakopee is one of the fastest growing cities in the Twin Cities region, nearly doubling its population between 2000 and 2010.

First time home buyers in Minnesota would be wise to look at homes available for sale in Shakopee, with its abundance of nice, traditional homes for sale. It’s an ideal place to live, with many young families moving in, appreciating its small-town charm.

In historic downtown Shakopee, locals and tourists alike enjoy the boutiques and restaurants, along with riverside concerts and summertime car shows. Shakopee combines traditional charm with modern convenience– no wonder it’s growing. People want to live, work, shop and play there.

People often move to where the jobs are and where the good schools are, right? Shakopee Public Schools include five elementary schools, two junior highs and one senior high school. If you have kids, they will get a good education in Shakopee schools. The city also has a campus of the Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, a private career college offering programs in business, health sciences, legal sciences, multimedia and design and information technology. Shakopee benefits from a great location in Minnesota– it’s a short car ride away from big city life as well as quiet, rural areas.

Do you need down payment assistance to move to a nice house in Shakopee? If so, contact Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 to ask about available options. Lake Area Mortgage helps first time home buyers in Minnesota, so they can afford the places they want to live and enjoy their new homes.

First Time Home Buyer Programs Minnesota

first_time_home_buyer_programs_minnesotaFirst time home buyer programs Minnesota offer people some very good deals. One program in particular is known as the Minnesota Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate, or “MCC” program.

MCC is one of the best first time home buyer programs Minnesota because it allows first time home buyers to claim 35% of their mortgage interest as a federal income tax credit each year. Many people take advantage of this program because it can reduce their federal income tax liability and save them up to $2,000 per year. The MCC program also involves low-interest mortgage options and access to loans for help with making a down payment and/or closing costs. The goal of MCC is to help Minnesotans afford housing.

In addition, MCC is one of the popular first time home buyer programs Minnesota because of several worthwhile options. For instance, MCC offers a conventional product with no mortgage insurance, using only a 3% down payment. Or, for those who are looking for lower private mortgage insurance rates for conventional-insured loans, MCC can connect you with those, again at only 3% for the down payment. Meanwhile, MCC includes a FHA 203 (k) streamlined purchase/repair product option, in case you’re the type of person who likes “fixer-uppers” and doesn’t mind owning a first house that needs some work done to make it livable.

Are you wondering if you’re eligible for the benefits of the MCC program? Your income has to be at or below certain limits, and the home you’re looking to purchase has to be under the $298,125 acquisition cost limit for the Twin Cities’ 11-county metro area. Please consult your tax adviser with additional questions

Designed to help people with the biggest purchase of their lives, first time home buyer programs Minnesota help financially jumpstart the purchase process. To find out what options are available to you, specifically, please call Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 or email [email protected]

Minnesota Housing

minnesota_housingWhile people live all over the great, big state of Minnesota, the biggest metro area is Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, housing some 3.7 million people. It is the second largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago.

The American economy has had some challenging years, to say the least, and according to the Minnesota Housing Partnership, nearly a quarter million Minnesotan households pay over 50% of their income on housing. Ideally, people should be paying about 30%– not over 50%.
Minnesota, in general, has a tight housing market—there just aren’t that many vacant apartments, for instance, in the Twin Cities metro area.

Keep in mind that Minnesota has a diverse enough economy that it isn’t in as bad a shape as many other states. Therefore, there’s more of a demand for Minnesota housing because the state has two things others want: jobs and population growth.

One of the major reasons Minnesota housing is lacking in space for people is that building permits issued for multi-unit and single-family homes hit extreme lows in the past couple years. In other words, the population grew, but the housing stock did not keep pace. And, like many other cities, developers tended to chase the well-heeled crowd, constructing expensive, luxury apartments, condos and homes, such that affordable places to live became harder and harder to find.

Thankfully, though, there is encouraging financial help available for low income residents of the state. For instance, did you know eligible Minnesota Housing borrowers have access to three down payment and closing cost loan options? In other words, there is help “out there” to help people achieve their goal of successful home ownership. In some cases, money is loaned to help home buyers rehab properties that need some repairs—a good way to improve the housing stock affordably.
A quick call to Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 can connect you with a wealth of information regarding affordable Minnesota housing opportunities available at this time.

First Time Home Minnesota

first_time_home_minnesotaSo you’re looking at buying your first time home Minnesota? If you’ve been paying monthly rent for a while, you know that you don’t get that money back. However, buy a house and you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes. Not bad, huh?

When buying a first time home Minnesota, look for an area to live where you think you’d feel safe and comfortable. It should be in a place that’s near to the things you love, such as a particular church, library, shopping center, or friends/relatives. Keep in mind the distance between the potential house and your job—will it be no commute (working at home), a quick commute (10-15 minutes by car or bus), or a long commute (over an hour) to get to and from work? That’s one of the major decisions you have to make when considering your first time home Minnesota. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind a “fixer-upper,” you can probably find a very affordable first time home and remodel it to your liking.

A home can be considered an investment, as it may appreciate in value in the coming years. For example, you might buy your first time home for $100,000 and ten years later it’s worth $150,000. There are usually some good deals on first time homes in Minnesota, so be on the lookout, in particular, for “HUD homes.” The lender (usually a bank) has foreclosed on a HUD home because the person who purchased it couldn’t make the payments, so the lender then owns it and wants to sell it at market value quickly.

As a first time home Minnesota, you may be eligible for some good deals because of the fact that you are a first time home buyer. To find out about Minnesota down payment assistance for your new home, contact Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900.

First Time Home Buyer Incentives

Who is a first time home buyer? You might be surprised to learn that there is more than one answer to this question. Of course someone who has never owned a home before is considered a first time home buyer but, unknown to many, other people not fitting that description might also be considered first time home buyers. Here are others who count as first time home buyers:

  1. An individual who has not owned a home for at least three years is also considered a first time home buyer.
  2. First time home buyers can also be displaced homemakers or single parents who have only owned a home with a former spouse.
  3. If you owned a home that was not permanently affixed to a foundation, such as a mobile home, you could be considered a first time home buyer.

The U.S. government wants low- and moderate-income families or individuals be able to own homes. At the same time the government and mortgage lenders recognize that purchasing a home is quite costly and offer first time home buyer incentives to help people become homeowners who might not otherwise be able to.

First time home buyer loans are available through Minnesota Housing, which offers three down payment and closing cost loan options referred to as “Start Up,” “Step Up,” and the “Mortgage Credit Certificate.” All of these affordable loans are meant to help finance the buying and/or repair of homes so people with limited incomes or savings can obtain affordable housing.

If you fit any of the first time home buyer descriptions above call Lake Area Mortgage, a Division of Lake Area Bank at 651-209-2900 and discuss your situation and needs with an experienced team member who can help you navigate the various loan programs available to you. We will work with you plan a course of action and give you the advice you need to help you get financial assistance buying your first home in Minnesota.

6 Things First Time-Home Buyers Need To Know

6 Things First-Time Home Buyers Should Know in 2014

Assistance for first time home buyers in Minnesota is readily available. Here is some important first time home buyer advice and information you should know before you make your purchase.

  1. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a zero down mortgage option for “rural development.” You may be thinking, “But I don’t want to live on a farm!”  but keep in mind that certain areas you wouldn’t think of as “rural” may actually qualify for USDA rural development financing.
  2. Military veterans may use the VA mortgage loan to finance their first home.
  3. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has a 203(b) loan which typically has a lower down payment requirement, lower monthly insurance premiums, and lower closing costs than other mortgage loan programs. First time home buyers should look into the FHA loan.
  4. If you’re thinking of buying a foreclosed home, a HomePath Mortgage may be of interest. With a low down payment, no mortgage insurance required, and no appraisal needed, a HomePath mortgage can help you buy a fixer-upper for your first home. Also look into what’s called HomePath Renovation, a loan to help finance the purchase and remodeling of an investment home, lending up to 35% of the as completed value—no more than $35,000.
  5. Got your eye on a home that needs major rehab that will cost more than $35,000? Apply for the full FHA 203k loan, which will help you make necessary structural repairs so you can have a nice first home. A variation on this is the 203k Streamline loan for homes that need minor repairs, up to $35,000.
  6. First time home buyers should talk with a mortgage consultant. They’ll check your credit score and help you see where you’re at financially, and whether or not you’d qualify for a mortgage.

In Minnesota, contact Lake Area Mortgage, a division of Lake Area Bank at 651-209-2900 for help with finding financial assistance, down payment assistance and more. The experienced team at Lake Area Mortgage can answer your first time home buyer questions, and guide you in the right direction to make getting that first home go from dream to reality.

MN Homeownship Rates Sink Lower

2010 Census Bureau figures released this week indicate the home ownership rate is facing its biggest drop since the Great Depression.

The home ownership rate has fallen to 65.1 percent (or 76 million occupied housing units owned by their residents) from 66.2 percent in 2000. The 1.1 percentage point drop is the largest since the Great Depression in 1940. During that time, home ownership rate dropped 4.2 percentage points, reaching 43.6 percent.

While the home ownership rate for 2010 of 65.1 percent still remains overall high, housing experts are concerned that the percentage drop from the last census may signal a future downward trend.

Since 1940, the home ownership rate has gradually been increasing nearly every decade. During the housing boom, the home ownership rate peaked at nearly 70 percent.

But tighter credit and a bleak job picture are all causing home ownership rates to sink lower, analysts say.

Among the Census findings:

  • Unemployed young adults are the least likely to own a home.
  • The home ownership rate for adults aged 35-64 are at their lowest level in decades. Many middle-aged adults may have suffered from the housing crisis of 2006, facing foreclosures or bankruptcies, the Associated Press notes.
  • The home ownership gap between whites and blacks is growing and is at its widest gap since 1960.

MN Housing Market Hit The Bottom?

Rick Sharga, executive vice president with Carrington Mortgage Holdings, says the housing market is in a “catfish recovery,” with the market hitting bottom this year but prices mostly remaining flat until 2014.

The looming shadow inventories of distressed properties are continuing to prevent prices from rebounding, he explains. Sharga, former senior vice president at RealtyTrac, says more than a million foreclosure actions failed to move forward this year due to delays, which will cause a delay in prices rebounding. Sharga made his comments during a talk at the Asian Real Estate Association of America conference last week in San Francisco.

About 800,000 REOs remain on banks’ books, with three-quarters of those not yet listed for sale, Sharga says. What’s more, an additional 800,000 homes are in foreclosure, and 1.5 million loans are delinquent, HousingWire reports.

Sharga says he expects monthly foreclosures to remain high through 2012, and REO inventories to stay elevated through 2013.

Source: Housing Market Hit Bottom: Former RealtyTrac Exec, HousingWire (Sept. 30, 2011)

First Time Minority Home Buyers In MN

The minority home ownership rate in MN has declined again which represents a prolonged trend of four years.

Minnesota housing officials state high minority unemployment rates are part of the cause. However the potential for home ownership rebounding because of record low home prices and lending rates.

Almost 75 percent of the state’s households owning their homes making Minnesota among the highest in home ownership rates in the country.

Minority households reached peak ownership in 2003 wtih just over 47 percent which is a hopeful sign that minorities were increasing wealth and entering into home ownership as MN first time home buyers.

However new census numbers illustrate MN home ownership rate for minorities is falling, indicated by Minnesota Housing Finance Agency commissioner Mary Tingerthall.

Home ownership rates dropped from 46.5 percent to 43.3 percent and that trend continued downward in 2010 to 41 percent,” she said.

Unemployment is part of the reason for declining minority home ownership rates in Minnesota. Unemployment in the general population is around 7 percent, but reaches 20 percent and higher for minorities, Tingerthall said.

“That, combined with tougher mortgage qualification standards, I think, has really landed a double whammy for communities of color.”

The MN Home Ownership Center reports there have been 100,000 home foreclosures with median home values decreasing by nearly 1/3.

Median Minnesota home values have plummeted on average by nearly a third.

However one homeowner’s pain is a potential home buyer’s gain, and there are many single family housing bargains at a time when interest rates are at record lows.

Tingerthall says, “It’s true that an average monthly mortgage payment costs more than rent.” However, the rental vacancy rate in parts of Minnesota is very low, and that puts upward pressure on rents.”

“Owners of rental properties will begin to see the opportunity for the first time in several years to raise their rents, so we’re concerned that people will really get caught in the squeeze not being able to qualify for a mortgage, at the same time seeing their rents going up.”

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency has a program that this year will help slightly more than 2,000 MN first time home buyers. The Minnesota First Time Home Buyer Program helps with up to $8,500 down payment and closing costs and requires that they take housing classes to learn how to care for their property.