Category Archives: Minnesota

4 Great Neighborhoods To Live In When You Work In Downtown Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis is a high-energy city with gorgeous architecture, a bustling nightlife, elegant hotels, and the perfect blend of natural beauty and modern style. With some of the best shopping in the area, one of the most diverse art and music scenes in the area, and over 200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and skiing, this versatile city offers something for everyone who visits. And for those lucky enough to snag a job in the stunning downtown district, Downtown Minneapolis provides extensive avenues for networking, entrepreneurial opportunities, and professional growth.

If Downtown Minneapolis is where you’re working, you’ll definitely want to check out these four surrounding neighborhoods that put you close enough to work that it’s not an outrageous commute every day, but far enough out that you can experience a whole different side of the city when you head home. If Minneapolis is a big move for you, there are plenty of trusted realtors in the area who can do everything from finding you the closest house to your office, explain a break down of the escrow fees, or help you find a lender to work with.

Elliot Park is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the area and has a wide variety of real estate options. From sprawling, older homes to high-rise condos, moving to Elliot Park means having plenty of options. High-end luxury apartments with breathtaking views of the downtown skyline are popular options for young professionals who work Downtown. It is also home to many large churches that are active in the community, North Central University, several gorgeous public parks, and local restaurants that give this neighborhood its own unique personality. One of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the city, Elliot Park has its own story and personality, just like the diverse group of people who live there.

Loring Park offers some of the best urban living outside of Downtown. It is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with miles of sidewalks for walking, running and biking that run in front of a mix of modern and historical apartment buildings, restaurants, churches, schools and sidewalk boutiques. For upscale apartment living, Loring Park offers many excellent options. With classic, turn of the century brick buildings that have been converted into luxury apartments and condos, Loring Parks offers a more artistic and creative vibe than its neighboring communities. Many of the homes for sale are older and rich with history and sell for anywhere between $159,000 to $375,000.

The Warehouse District, also called North Loop, is a unique, artsy blend of coffee shops, art galleries. Converted loft condominiums and modern apartments. People love this are because it gives off the “living in the heart of the city” without all of the crowds, noise, and traffic. It is a city rich in history, with many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is a fast growing neighborhood has seen an increase in creative and “techy” businesses in the area, mainly because the available warehouse space, ease of public transportation and the local amenities work well with their vision. This family-friendly community is a prime place to buy real estate. Apartments are plentiful, but luxury, single-family homes can also be found in the heart of the neighborhood.

Luxury living at its finest can be found on Nicolette Island, an island in the Mississippi River just north of Saint Anthony Falls. There are numerous homes with a long, interesting history for sale, as well as upscale apartments and luxury condos. The wide variety of real estate options makes Nicollet Island a popular place for young professionals who are just getting their feet wet, as well as established business owners who appreciate the upscale vibe that can be found throughout the island. Gorgeous, million dollar homes built at the turn of the century overlook the water, and high-end apartments define high-rise living.

Working in Downtown Minneapolis means passing breathtaking skyscrapers, navigating the skyway system, crossing the Stone Arch Bridge, or passing through Gold Medal park, all just on your typical commute to the office. If your occupation has brought you to Downtown Minneapolis, living in some of the surrounding neighborhoods is the best way to stay connected with the community, live in luxury, and be part of a city rich in culture and diversity.

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.

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.

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.

MN REO Foreclosures

The current residential shadow inventory as of July 2011 declined slightly to 1.6 million units, representing a supply of 5 months, CoreLogic reported today. This is down from 1.9 million units, a supply of 6 months, from a year ago, and follows a decline from April 2011 when shadow inventory stood at 1.7 million units. The moderate decline in shadow inventory is being driven by a pace of new delinquencies that is slower than the disposition pace of distressed assets.
Highlights from the report:
Of the 1.6 million properties currently in the shadow inventory, 770,000 units are seriously delinquent, 430,000 are in some stage of foreclosure, and 390,000 are already in REO.
As of July 2011 the shadow inventory is 22 percent lower than the peak in January 2010 at 2 million units, 8.4-months supply.

MN First Time Home Buyers Choosing Your Neighborhood

With home prices falling, you are looking for a neighborhood that has a greater likelihood of holding its value with future appreciation. How do you know what neighborhood is not as stable and which will appreciate over time?

Bankrate.com says judging a neighborhoods worth over the long haul comes down to two main factors: Jobs and access to amenities.

For example, Andrew Schiller, creator of NeighborhoodScout, says signs of long-term opportunities for jobs in an area would be low unemployment, high household income, large or prominent colleges and universities, and seats of federal or state government. He says the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good resource, particularly its Local Area Unemployment Statistics map, which provides unemployment information by metro area and county, as well as its Current Employment Statistics, which tells you how many people are employed in different sectors of the economy in a certain area.

As for judging a neighborhood’s amenities that can generate long-term value, Schiller cites characteristics like a neighborhood that offers a variety of nearby retail stores, low crime rates, parks, distinctive architecture, and good public schools.

2011 Freddie Mac Standard Loan Modification

Struggling homeowners that have Freddie Mac mortgages will have a new opportunity for loan modifications beginning next month.

The new option is called a Standard Modification. It is intended for borrowers who are ineligible for a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan modification, or have previously defaulted on a HAMP or other loan mod. If you are approved, the mortgage principle and monthly payment will be reduced by at least 10 percent, making the payments more affordable.

To qualify, you must be at least 60 days past due on your mortgage. If you are not at least 60 days past due, you could qualify if you can prove that you are in imminent danger of default. This would mean you must provide proof of an eligible hardship and providing verification of income.

Mortgages that are approved for modification will have their interest rates modified to 5 percent and the amortization period extended to 40 years from the time of the modification.

Similar to HAMP, borrowers approved for the program must undergo a three-month trial period during which they must keep up with their new payment schedule before the loan modification is finalized and made permanent. Lenders approving the new standard modification will receive cash incentives of up to $1,600 per homeowner approved to encourage them to finalize a borrower’s status within 2 months of the end of the trial period.

Lenders may begin trial modifications for approved homeowners under the program as soon as Oct. 1, 2011. As of Jan. 1, 2011, all borrowers seeking a loan modification of any type on a Freddie Mac-supported mortgage must be evaluated for eligibility under the program.

The new Standard Modification replaces the existing Freddie Mac loan modification called a Debt Coverage Ratio, which now is being referred to as a Classic Modification. The government’s HAMP loan modification will continue to be available as well.

CLick Here Does Freddie Mac Own My Mortgage