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First Time Home Buyer Programs and Counseling

first_time_home_buyerAre you a first time home buyer in Minnesota? If your answer is “yes” there are some things you should be doing to prepare for the purchase of your first home. Minnesota offers in-person or online homebuyer education programs to help you learn about the process of buying a home and make smart decisions. These are valuable resources that save people a lot of headaches.

The in-person workshops are called “Home Stretch,” and feature a classroom learning environment, where an experienced teacher shares with you and others important knowledge. It’s a chance to hear from mortgage lenders, real estate agents and/or home inspectors about what they do and what it’s like to connect with them in order to complete the first time home buyer process in Minnesota. The “Home Stretch” program has been going strong for more than two decades, helping over 100,000 Minnesotans navigate the home buying process.

For those who prefer to learn online, on your own schedule, and in the comfort of your pajamas, Minnesota offers “Framework,” to guide you through home buying topics in a high-quality, interactive way. Already thoroughly tested by first time home buyers, “Framework” works, and works well. It meets the National Industry Standards and all the requirements of the HUD Housing Counseling program, so you are guaranteed quality content from an independent source. In addition, many lenders have approved “Framework” to meet their requirements for homebuyer education.
Minnesota is fortunate to have programs like “Home Stretch” and “Framework” to help guide first time home buyers.

Besides getting a good education about the ins-and-outs of buying a home, get your credit score/report to be the best it can be—mortgage lenders care about that information, as it affects the rate you’ll pay and whether or not they’ll choose to work with you. Your credit report should be checked for errors, such as accounts that aren’t yours or late payments that were actually paid on time. Furthermore, if you can get in the habit of paying your bills “on time” as well as paying down the balance(s) on your credit card(s), your credit score can improve in as little as two months.

It’s a good idea to establish a working relationship with a local real estate agent who can help you find the “right” house to buy in a neighborhood you’d feel comfortable in. The agent can also help you with the piles of paperwork involved in the home buying process.
Finally, realize that Minnesotans who may need some financial assistance to buy a home have options, including a monthly payment loan or a deferred payment loan, with details here: http://mndownpaymenta.wpengine.com/down-payment-assistance/.