MN First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs

#1 Top Producing Team for 2011 and 2012 in the entire State of Minnesota

First Time Home Buyers Entire MN 11 county metro Up to $10,000 down payment assistance.
Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Isanti, Sherburne, Wright, Chisago, Scott, Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington First Time Home Buyer Programs

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My team was awarded the 2011 and 2012 housing partnership award for our lending committment and top production for 1st time home buyers using Minnesota Housing products in support of affordable housing. Minnesota Housing Website.

Minnesota Housing 2010 and 2011 Award Recipient 


40 thoughts on “MN First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs

  1. John Schuster

    Joy is both my personal lender and the lender I recomend to ALL of my clients! As a real estate broker in the Minneapolis / St Paul area, I am lucky to have found Joy Bender and her Zero Down Payment programs. Many times she can get my buyers into home with no (zero) to very little money down! She is also the best loan officer I have found for Investor and Rehab loans.

  2. Ngia Le

    I was a first-time homebuyer and had many questions about the whole process abeit I had taken a home-buying class before (which Joy had me take for the the HOME HELP loan). She answered all of my questions quickly and made everything understandable. I felt very comfortable working with Joy and team. They made sure that everything go as smoothly as possible and had MY best interest at heart. Awesome quality for any professional! Joy and the Lake Area Mortgage team were just AWESOME to me! Not to mention, she stayed at my housewarming party for most of it! That’s the kind of interpersonal relationship you will develop having Joy as your loan officer.

  3. Molli O'Rourke

    As a first time home buyer i was nervous about all of the details that go into your Mortgage. Joy and all of the staff were fantasic. They were efficiant, Friendly, Knowledgeable and took the time to explain things to me. I would work with her again in a heartbeat!

  4. Choua Vang Moua

    I really enjoyed working with Joy Bender through this really big and important purchase. Joy and the team are really sweet and respectful people. They returned my calls and emails right away. Joy is truthful and honest about the process. She knows what she’s doing and she knows what kind of programs are out there so she made sure that she fond every resource possible for us. I will definitely work with her again in the future and recommend her to family and friends.

  5. Cathie Pascavage

    Joy is our “go to” gal! She has helped our office to sucessfully close many deals that had been deemed not “do able” by other lenders in the area. Joy is professional and fast. There are very few challenges that Joy is not up to. She has a great team all with the same goal….get the loans closed. We appreciate Joys fast turnaround, her knowledge and her professionalism. We highly recommend Joy for any lending needs.

  6. Victor Villafan

    I’m a real estate agent who has worked in the twin cities area for the past six years. My personal experience working with Joy Bender has been exceptional, She has made my work a lot easier and makes the loan process more pleasant for me and my clients who are very happy with her work, and extremely satisfied with the loans and the down payment assistance Joy has been able to obtain for them, She is very professional and knows what she’s doing very well. In my personal opinion Joy is one of the best loan officers in the business, I referred all my clients to her

  7. Annabelle Thelemann

    In Real Estate we say time is of the essence, and Joy Bender gets that. An agent has to get the buyer qualified quick and the offer written even quicker. You don’t get a second chance in this market, and your paperwork has to be right or your buyers can lose their dream home. Joy Bender and Lake Area Mortgage understand that and their response time is unprecedented ! Don’t leave home without them !!!

  8. Marcy Isenberg

    Joy is a very knowledgeable and well informed Loan Officer and is always updated on what is transpiring in the market today. Joy keeps her clients well informed throughout the entire application process so that at the closing table there are never any surprises, I have closed for a number of years for Joy’s clients and they all speak very highly of her performance of a loan officer. I would highly recommend Joy Bender as your Loan officer, she is a take charge person who gets the job done!

  9. Tiffany Larson

    Joy Bender from Lake Area Mortgage is fantastic to work with! She is very knowledgeable at customizing loan programs that fit each individual buyer. I send all of my first time home buyers to Joy because of all the lenders that I know, no one knows how to find down payment assistance like Joy.

  10. Brent Breen

    I have been in Real Estate Sales since 1994 and have come into contact with hundreds, actually thousands of lenders over the years and I can attest to you that she is Top Notch in the industry and one of the Best in her Field when it comes to lending and especially down payment assistance! I am amazed at her professionalism and ability to deliver what she says when she says! I have had many lenders make promises to me and my clients over the years that they never deliver on. There is nothing more frustrating especially when you’re talking about one of the biggest financial decisions you make in your life. Joy Bender can and will and does deliver time after time! She specializes in down payment assistance and I highly recommend using her!

    Brent j. Breen Net Worth Realty, Inc.

  11. Jesse Gunderson

    I had a great experience working with Joy. She always kept me informed
    of what I need to do and have on hand to make sure that things worked
    out as smooth as possible with my short sale home purchase. She was
    always looking out for me and when it came to getting the closing nailed
    down she did a great job on her side to get it all pulled together so
    that I could close on the day that I wanted too. I would strongly
    recommend anyone looking to purchase a home to work with Joy. They will
    not be disappointed. I wasn’t. Thanks again Joy.

  12. Rob Pascavage

    This is a fantastic program. Joy is a very thorough loan officer and has a great turn around time. You can “take it to the bank” if Joys says she can make it happen. She is very professional and knowledgeable.

  13. Chris Slanga

    Joy Bender and the rest of the team at Lake Area Mortgage truly provided my wife and I with a pleasant experience in purchasing our first home. She worked swiftly and accurately to make the process go very smoothly.

    Thank you Joy!
    12/14/2010 Chris and Mallory Slanga

  14. Wade Fields

    Joy and Michelle were excellent during the entire process. We were working with a severely condensed timeframe and they did everything humanly possible to make the process successful. Ultimately, we are getting the house we dreamed of and huge part of our success were the people at Lake Area Mortgage.

  15. Brooke Woolford

    Joy, thank you so much for helping my client Zeni with the purchase of her first home! She was very happy with your help with getting her the $5000 for down payment assistance. Thank so much for helping her through the process and getting her deal to closing! I look forward to working with you again in the future!

  16. Pa Vang

    Joy you were very proactive with your service and made sure everything was in line financially to make the deal possible Thank You !!!

  17. Artemisa Boston

    We have been working together like a team for a few years Joy is successful because she tries to do the best for our clients especially when they have credit challenges and need down payment help.. We have really happy clients grateful to have a home.

    Realty Executives

  18. Lynn Frantzen

    Joy Bender and her exceptional team helped hold together a very difficult transaction for my buyer. At the very last minute we needed to change financing programs and they were able to redo the entire loan in 2 weeks. My buyer and myself are extremely appreciative of their hard work. Joy even called to check in when she went out of town. Thank you! L&D Realty Network

  19. Elizabeth Sibet

    Joy and her team successfully closed yet another transaction for my clients. Her team obtained clear to close before we expected, as usual, long before the bank’s title issue was cleared up and helped fight to get the bank to pay for the buyer’s lock extension. As always, I am very impressed with their service and ability to work together in order to get to the closing table with happy clients. I’ve experienced to many loan officers who don’t communicate and who have repeated closing delays and appreciate I don’t have to worry about that with Joy’s team.

    Elizabeth Sibet Keller Williams

  20. Sydney de Boer

    Joy and Michelle with Lake Area Mortgage communicated well and worked hard through out the pre-approval process, through out the final process of my mortgage, and never missed a beat even when my credit was hit with a negative mark and met my final closing date with great success. Thanks ladies!

    words from the heart. Syd

  21. Jerry & Oanh Fabiano

    Thank you very much for helping us with our first time home lone!

    From the first time I talked on the phone with you I knew I could count on your knowledge and professional advise to help us find a loan that was best for us.
    Thank you Joy for not giving up on us when it seemed like we could not get the employment verification paperwork etc needed from my company to finalize the loan!

  22. Katie Huebner

    Joy & Michelle were great at helping me through the pre-approval process all the way up to closing by being so detail oriented and organized. They ensured I was able to receive their services and help with my down payment assistance through a state program I was unaware of until speaking with Joy. I will highly recommend their services to anyone who I run into. Joy, let me reassure you that I am so grateful for you and Michelle. I have heard so many horror stories from other homebuyers and your team was great! Everyone I have talked to can’t believe how smooth you made the entire process for me. Thank you! Katie H.

  23. Mohamed Selim

    I would like to thank and your team for all your hard work and helping me
    through this process. You’re amazing. The down payment assistance program is an amazing program that allowed me to reach my dream of owning a home. I am now a proud owner of a my dream home. I can’t thank Joy and her team enough for all their hard work, expertise, and dedication. Joy is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the program. She is so helpful and is committed to helping people. I couldn’t have done it with out Joy and her team. Thank you!

  24. Thresa Piatt

    Thanks you so much Joy for all your help!

    Being a single mother of two is not easy. With all the programs now days, It helps people like me buy a house that don’t have thousands of dollars to put as a down payment. Being a first time home buyer, I never knew that all the programs even existed, but with the help of Joy…..she made it possible for me! Thanks Thresa Piatt

  25. judy lee

    It was a pleasure working with you and Michelle. As a first time home buyer, I was very confused going about to get a home. During this whole process, I didn’t feel like I was walking through this by myself, because you were always reachable. Either by phone or email, you always seem to get back to me really quick. Thank you for always being very patient with me. A friend asked me, “How come your process of buying a home went so fast?” And I was proud to say “Because I am working with a really good team.” I aways hear how other people complain about their first time buying a home being so complicated and I got to say, thanks for not putting me in the same boat as everyone else. My first time buying a home experience was great! Thank you very much! Judy Lee

  26. Grace

    “Joy and her team did a great job getting us into our first home. Their service for faultless and the downpayment assistance she got us was the reason we could have a home. She worked very hard and was very polite and helpful throughout the process.”


  27. Jonathan Held

    Joy, we are grateful for your expertise with MNhousing products. Michelle – you were awesome with your explanations.

  28. Deb & Gary Clough

    We are totally satisfied with working with Lake Area Mortgage. We were very satisfied with Joy Bender. If you needed any questions answered she was right there with the answer. She was prompt and she was very knowledgeable. Michelle Robinson was also very nice to work with. If she asked for anything and you sent it she would always respond with a thank you. We would definitely recommend Lake Area Mortgage to people. Thank you.

    Deb State of MN

  29. Lynette

    Thank you so much for working with us. We could not have endured the grief without you on our side! We’ve been doing done work on the new place and are planning on moving this month. You very knowledgeable of our type of loan and made the navigation process easy and fast. As first time homebuyers, we had many questions and were always very professional and quick in responses. We have recommended her to many of our friends and will continue to do so after such a great experience. Thanks Joy!

  30. Lori and Anthony

    Joy, you and Michelle have been fantastic with getting my concerns and questions answered in less than a 24hr turn around time, weekends included! You have made us feel that our first home buying experience is as important to us as it is to you and your team. We appreciate the hard work, diligence, and professionalism of our file handling. I am very thankful that I came across your site Joy!

    Lori and Anthony

  31. Deb Johnson

    My experience working with Joy Bender and her team at Lake Area Mortgage has been wonderful. Their attention to detail is unsurpassed in the industry. Good communication is one of the key factors in any transaction, and they are always very responsive to my requests. If Joy and her team say they can get it done, you can rest assured it will get done. Very professional and efficient. Deb Johsnon Perkins Team RE/MAX Results

  32. Jonele Jensen

    You and your team have been very helpful throughout the mortgage process. My questions were always answered promptly and courteously. If I hear of anyone seeking a mortgage I will recommend you.

    Thank you for everything. Jonele Jensen

  33. Walter O'Neal III

    I just closed on my first home. Joy and her team were wonderful. They asked for so much information up front during the pre-approval process that I was frustrated but, once that process was completed; they had everything they needed upfront, so I wasn’t scrambling to get them information last minute and we closed smoothly with no issues. I would definitely recommend working with Joy and her team. Thank you for helping me purchase my home! Walter O’Neal III

  34. Eugene Puckhaber

    Joy, Your team has been very responsive to our requests and questions and also seem to be very knowledgeable. I would certainly recommend your mortgage services to a friend!

    Regards, Gene

  35. Edie Sher

    It is always a pleasure working with you. You are extremely knowledgeable & professional.
    I am always confident when you handle a file it will close. I expect the best & you never disappoint. Without hesitation I would refer you to colleagues & clients.

  36. Courtney and Matt

    For all of the questions I had, there was not one that was left unanswered. The patience of everyone was much appreciated. Every now and then I may have asked a lot of questions at once, and one was left behind; but all I needed to do was remind someone and they would answer it right away. Overall I would recommend Lake Area Mortgage to others and I have been very satisfied. Everyone also worked very hard to verify all the needed documents and make sure that everything ran smoothly. I have heard some horror stories about mortgage companies and I did not have to experience one with you. Thank you all very much for your hard work! Sincerely, Courtney and Matt

  37. Ravil Integra Realty

    Outstanding work!!! I am very impressed! 2 week close on a short sale approved in 8 days with appraisal and title not ordered until 8 days ago from when we received the short sale acceptance letter. Approved very early in advance for our deadline with the redemption is up in 5 days. Ravil Integra Realty

  38. Ethelyn

    It was a pleasure working with you and Michelle. As a first time home buyer, I was very confused going about to get a home. During this whole process, I didn’t feel like I was walking through this by myself, because you were always reachable. Either by phone or email, you always seem to get back to me really quick. Thank you for always being very patient with me. A friend asked me, “How come your process of buying a home went so fast?” And I was proud to say “Because I am working with a really good team.” I aways hear how other people complain about their first time buying a home being so complicated and I got to say, thanks for not putting me in the same boat as everyone else. My first time buying a home experience was great! Thank you very much! Judy Lee

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