Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

Minnesota_Housing_Finance_AgencyThe Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is about helping put Minnesotans into the homes they need and want. In particular, the state’s Economic Development and Housing Challenge Fund (aka the Challenge Fund) is designed to meet the housing needs of workforce communities across the state, and nearly all working households in these communities fit income guidelines for this flexible, proven and feasible affordable housing program.

The Challenge Fund provides the infrastructure needed to serve working households through both affordable rental and homeownership options. In other words, it helps provide relief for households currently paying too much of their paycheck toward their place to live, as well as for the construction of certain types of housing hardworking Minnesotans need but don’t have enough of to choose from at this time.

In 2014, nearly 575,000 Minnesotans were “cost burdened,” paying more than 30% of their income for housing. While jobs are plentiful, some employers are having a difficult time recruiting and retaining employees because there’s a housing shortage when it comes to affordable housing which doesn’t eat up a working person’s paycheck.

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Employment and Economic Development are currently working together to identify workforce hotspots across the state in need of nice, ideally located, affordable housing units close to where jobs are. These “hotspots” are located within 10 miles of a city with job growth and/or within 10 miles of a long commute community. There are about 77 of these types of communities which could stand to add between 4,500 and 7,500 rental units/affordable housing.

The Challenge Fund is smartly set up to quickly allocate funding to provide diverse housing solutions across the state. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency plays a key role in this in order to ensure that job growth is not hindered by a lack of housing. The initiative is leveraging employer contributions, philanthropic dollars, and direct investment from local communities around the state to meet goals and continue to make Minnesota an attractive, affordable place to both live and work.

Minnesota First Time Home Buyer Mortgage

Minnesota_first_time_home_buyer_mortgageMinnesota first time home buyer mortgage obtainers should consider buying a home in Andover, MN.

Andover is a safe, growing community in which to live, work and play.

Home to about 32,000 residents, Andover, which was once a stop on the Great Northern Railway, is a place where people want to live, as indicated by its median home price, which is about 14% higher than it is in the Twin Cities metro as a whole. Minnesota first time home buyer mortgage obtainers should definitely consider Andover.

Parents with kids look for areas with great schools, and Andover is one of those places. Andover is part of two of the finest school districts in the state. St. Francis School District 15 covers the northern section of the city, while Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 serves the south 4/5 of the city. Crooked Lake Elementary, Andover Elementary, Rum River Elementary, Oak View Middle School and Andover High School are all located within Andover and are part of School District 11. Meadow Creek Christian School is also located in the city.

Andover’s modern City Center Complex is located at the intersection of Crosstown Boulevard and Hanson Boulevard and is home to the city offices, Public Works Department, Community Center/ YMCA and the Senior Center. Andover is served by a full-time Police Department through a contract with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department. A professional paid on call volunteer Fire Department also serves the community.

Commercial activities in Andover have increased with construction of a number of new businesses throughout the city. The city is currently marketing several parcels in Andover Station North, a commercial/retail area located north of Bunker Lake Boulevard and west of Hanson Boulevard.

On average, 50 new homes are constructed each year in Andover, with a wide variety of lot sizes, architectural styles and price ranges.

The city has more than 400 acres of community and neighborhood parks, including Kelsey Round Lake Park, a 136-acre nature area for hiking, skiing and environmental observation.

Minnesota first time home buyer mortgage obtainers should contact Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 to discuss available options to get them a nice place in Andover.

Minnesota First Time Buyer Assistance

Minnesota_first_time_buyer_assistanceMinnesota first time buyer assistance is available for those who want to make the investment in a new home in the Twin Cities metropolitan region.

In 2015, the Twin Cities housing market is strong. Thanks to favorable interest rates, pending sales increased by 21.8 percent in the cold month of February. To put it another way, 3,834 homes had signed purchase agreements that month, representing–get this–the largest year-over-year increase since October 2012. Not too shabby, huh?

Also of note– new listings were up by 23.2 percent in February, with almost 5,700 new homes available for sale in the metro area. With inventory like that available, take advantage of Minnesota first time buyer assistance with your down payment and mortgage paperwork, and such, available from Lake Area Mortgage should you need it.

Again, 2015 is heating up nicely as the first two months saw more Minnesota real estate buyer and seller activity than for any one month in 2014. The Twin Cities enjoys a diverse and robust economy with the nation’s lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area. Good job prospects helps fuel the strong housing market.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering about statistics: price per square foot these days is about $120. A home is typically on the market for about 106 days. And traditional home sales are up while foreclosure/short sales are down– that’s a good thing, by the way… Overall, prices are rising.

Consumers seem to be pretty confident about the economy in 2015, such that the housing market is both stable and growing. With mortgage rates around 4 percent instead of the more typical 7 percent average, now is a great time for Minnesota first time buyer assistance from Lake Area Mortgage. Call 651-209-2900 to talk about help available to take you from renting to owning, so that you can enjoy the benefits of owning your own house in beautiful Minnesota.

First Time Home Buyer Incentives Minnesota

first time home buyer incentives Minnesota

First time home buyer incentives Minnesota mean you can make the move from renting to owning– it is possible.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is a great place to look for a place to live. First time home buyers should know that there are typically some 17,000 homes for sale, which makes the search for what you want easier than in other parts of the country.

As the nation’s economy continues to rebound from the 2008 “rough patch,” the mix of real estate sales in the Twin Cities is lessening for distressed properties (fewer foreclosure/short sale pendings) and instead swinging back toward traditional homes. If you were wondering what an average home sells for in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, consider that the median sales price is around $220K.

For many people, the 2008 economic crash meant they weren’t ready to buy a new house anytime soon. Thankfully, though, some years have passed, and there seems to be more consumer confidence and the housing market is “back on track” with what people have come to expect.

Nowadays, first time home buyer incentives Minnesota include down payment assistance available from the helpful folks at Lake Area Mortgage, so now’s a great time to look for and purchase a Minnesota home.

In 2015, there are plenty of homes to choose from in the Twin Cities region, and median price gains  every year in recent years illustrate that the market is a healthy one. Therefore, buy now, and expect the value of your home to rise if conditions stay the course.

If you’d like to explore what loans are currently available to help finance the purchase of your new Minnesota home, click here and/or call Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900. First time home buyer incentives Minnesota exist in a state which does its best to help its people live where they want in nice homes.

Anoka County First Time Home Buyer, MN Down Payment Assistance

Anoka_County_First_Time_Home_BuyerAn Anoka County first time home buyer knows that they’re moving into a place where suburban communities mix with open land, with good access to the Twin Cities, but rural enough for breathing room and relaxation at home. The region used to be known for its many fur traders in olden times. Today, Anoka County has many people with German, Norwegian and Swedish ancestry.

The hustle and bustle of big city life is not what you’ll find in Anoka County. It’s a laid back area known for outdoor recreational opportunities. Located about a half hour drive north of the Twin Cities, An Anoka County first time home buyer finds themselves living in the fourth most populous county in the metro area– it’s a growing, thriving place–yet not too overrun with people and buildings to feel cramped.

Do you own a boat? Do you like to fish? Anoka County is a great place to do both activities. Ice fishing in the winter is popular here.

Some of the places you should consider looking at as an Anoka County first time home buyer include the communities of Andover, Blaine, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, and Fridley. In Blaine, you can visit the National Sports Center as well as the Northtown Mall. Columbia Heights features the landmark Heights Theater, built in 1926. And Coon Rapids is home to Bunker Beach, Minnesota’s largest outdoor water park, open during the summer months. On Main Street in Anoka, you can see theatrical productions for a reasonable price at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage where patrons will tell you there’s not a bad seat in the house.

From culture to nature, Anoka County is a gem of a place to live in MN. By the way, The Mississippi River and The Rum River run through Anoka County. If you like living on or near rivers and lakes, become an Anoka County first time home buyer with the help of Lake Area Mortgage. Call 651-209-2900 to ask about down payment assistance and more.

MN Housing in Washington County, MN Down Payment Assistance

mn_housing_in_washington_countyMinnesota is a big state. You could choose to live anywhere in Minnesota, but for the purposes of this article let’s consider MN housing in Washington County.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Washington County, it’s at the easternmost end of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. If you’re in Washington County and head east, you’ll soon be in Wisconsin.

Washington County is spread out over 423 square miles, with a variety of housing options to choose from in a wide range of different settings. You can live in suburban Oakdale (near St. Paul) or if you want a more rural feel, Afton, which reminds many people of Northern MN. MN Housing in Washington County is also popular for people who want resort-like settings, with stylish and serene lakefront and riverfront homes. Minnesota is known for its many lakes, and they’re all over Washington County. You should check out beautiful Lake Elmo in particular. Stillwater, MN is the county seat, and it overlooks the St. Croix River.

You get the best of both worlds– well three worlds actually– when you live in Washington County. One moment you’re in “the city,” and the next you’re in “the suburbs,” and soon after you find yourself in the rustic, rural areas where there are farmlands, wide open spaces and splendid vistas.

Lake Area Mortgage, a division of Lake Area Bank, can help you find and buy MN housing in Washington County. Down payment assistance is available for qualified buyers. Call Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 before you start searching for a new place to live– Lake Area Mortgage is in the business of helping people with the process of purchasing a new home in Minnesota, and Washington County is one of those beautiful places where people want to live, work and play! It combines natural beauty with modern amenities and facilities.

Purchasing a New Home in Minnesota, MN Down Payment Assistance

Purchasing_a_New_Home_in_MinnesotaIf you’re thinking of purchasing a new home in Minnesota, you’ve heard of Minneapolis and St. Paul, aka “the Twin Cities.” But there are other communities nearby you should know about, and one, in particular, is a place worth noting– St. Anthony.

As a “first-ring” suburb of Minneapolis, St. Anthony is five miles away from the center of Minneapolis and eight miles from St. Paul. Even though it’s relatively close to the “big cities,” St. Anthony has the charm and character of a small village. In fact, it’s referred to as “The Village” by locals. With about 8,000 people, St. Anthony is small enough that you can know your neighbor if you want to, as well as the names of the people who work at the local stores and restaurants. The infrastructure is set up so the community works well for walkers, bikers and drivers.

Interestingly, St. Anthony is a place where little to no new construction of homes occurs. But that may change in the coming years, as people from downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota start looking for places to move.

When you’re thinking of purchasing a new home in Minnesota, St. Anthony is not the place to look– it doesn’t have brand new homes. It does, however, have classy, beautiful traditional homes with character. And it’s a walkable area, with nice parks, a municipal golf course, and good schools. Residents love living in “a village within the city,” and recreational amenities like Silver Lake and bike paths make it a nice place to raise a family.

Lake Area Mortgage, a division of Lake Area Bank, can help you find and buy a nice home in St. Anthony, MN. Down payment assistance is available for qualified buyers. Call Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 before you start searching for a new place to live– Lake Area Mortgage is in the business of helping people with the process of purchasing a new home in Minnesota.

First Time Home Buyer 2015, MN Down Payment Assistance

first_time_home_buyer_2015Do you plan to be a first time home buyer 2015? Now’s a good time to start looking around at homes for sale in the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul region. Did you know that inventory is up almost 9 percent from last year? That means there are more homes for you to choose from at this time– over 18,000, actually.

When there’s a limited supply of homes available on the market, competition can get fierce. However, buyers right now don’t have to compete as much as they used to because there’s “enough to go around,” as they say. Indeed, there are new builds as well as plenty of traditional homes on the market for the end of 2014 and into the beginning of 2015.

Did you know the median sales price is $219,000 for the region? So half of the homes are under that price, while the other half are above. Prices have steadily risen in Minneapolis-St. Paul for the past 30 years.

Today there are less foreclosure and short sale closings than in years prior– and that’s a good thing. It means the housing market and the local economy are in balance.

Furthermore, now’s a good time to plan on being a first time home buyer 2015 as interest rates remain relatively low.

It’s actually a very good time to buy a “traditional home,” as they comprise the majority of new listings in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region.

While the median sales price is $219K, the median list price is $235K. That tells you that area homes are selling below their asking price!

Lake Area Mortgage, a division of Lake Area Bank, can help a first time home buyer 2015– down payment assistance is available for qualified buyers. Call Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 and ask how they can help you buy your first home in the next few months.

Minnesota Housing Credits, MN Down Payment Assistance

minnesota_housing_creditsWhen you are able to receive Minnesota housing credits, consider buying your first home–or a home in general–in New Hope, MN. How about that for a name? New Hope. It would look good on your stationery, wouldn’t it?

New Hope is among Minneapolis-St. Paul’s “second-ring” suburbs, so it’s not totally city and it’s not totally rural, either. It’s suburban, and adjacent to several other communities, including

Crystal, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth and Golden Valley.

If you take Golden Valley out of the equation, New Hope’s housing stock is comparable to its neighbors, whereas the price per square foot hovers between $93 and $99. New Hope is on the high end at $99, meaning it’s quite a desirable community to live, work and/or play.

Why not use Minnesota housing credits to buy a home in New Hope? At 20,000 people, it’s not too big or too small– it’s “just right” for a place for families–and breathing room.

Originally formed as a farming community, New Hope is now a nice suburban place to call home. Located in Hennepin County, 12 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis, you can get there on U.S. Highway 169, a main route in and out of the city.

If you have kids, they should like New Hope’s parks and recreation amenities, including the outdoor pool for summertime and the ice arena for hockey in the winter. There’s also a pickleball court, a “sk8 pad” for skateboarders, and gyms for working out.

Nearly every New Hope home is within a quarter-mile of a city park. Cool, huh? New Hope maintains 20 city parks with a total of more than 200 acres of green space. The crown jewel of the city’s park system is the 65-acre Northwood Park on Boone and 38th avenues.

New Hope is also home to privately run recreational facilities including a Lifetime Fitness and a YMCA, both located in the City Center area near Winnetka and 42nd avenues.

A family-oriented, suburban place, New Hope represents the best of American living these days. Use Minnesota housing credits to get yourself a house there; call Lake Area Mortgage today at 651-209-2900 to ask about financial assistance to “make it so!”

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, MN Down Payment Assistance

Minnesota_Housing_Finance_AgencyHow do you finance the purchase of a home? According to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, if you don’t have a lot of cash on hand, you can apply for a mortgage. This is a “secured loan” using your home as collateral. In other words, you’re paying off the loan over time to the entity who loaned it to you. If you can’t pay it off, that entity will own your house– and that’s what’s meant by “foreclosure.” You don’t want that.

Mortgages, meanwhile, are typically paid off over the course of several years. It’s like paying rent money for an apartment, except it’s toward truly owning your own home. Mortgages are often spread out over 15 or 30 years, giving people ample time to pay back their loan(s).

There are two parts of a mortgage. First is the principal, which is the amount you need to borrow to pay for your home and closing costs. Second is the interest. It’s what you pay the financial institution for the use of its money.

By the way, there’s such a thing as a fixed-rate mortgage whereas you have the same interest rate for the life of the loan. The alternative is the adjustable-rate loan, where the interest rate can change from year to year. You’d be wise to consult with someone from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency or a person from Lake Area Mortgage in order to determine which type is best for you and your situation.

When trying to figure if you can afford the house you’d like to buy, you should be “pre-approved” by your lender, so your ducks are all in a row when you go to bid on the house. Being “pre-approved” shows others that you have the financial means to afford a house. Mortgage lenders will work with the numbers concerning your current gross monthly income income and total debt in order to figure out your overall financial health. You ideally want to be pre-approved and then approved for a mortgage, so you can use the mortgage toward buying the house you want.

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency assists many people in the process of buying a home in Minnesota. Their website is www.mnhousing.gov.