Category Archives: MN First Time Home Buyer

MN First Time Home Buyer 2018

MN-first_time_home_buyer_2016Congrats MN first time home buyer 2018: this is your year to own a home. Before you take the big step to actually buy that house, though, there are some things to keep in mind.

First, examine your finances, including savings, income and available gifts from family members, in order to get an idea of a price range you can afford at this time. Of course you’ll need to consider your expenses, too. Things like your credit rating, the amount needed for the down payment, and current mortgage interest rates all need to be taken into account. If you can find a MN first time home buyer 2018 class to take locally, in person or online, do it. Education can truly help the first time home buyer avoid costly mistakes.

Next, it’s a smart idea to align with a professional real estate agent whom you can trust. Realtors are the negotiators for buying and selling homes. Since they do real estate for a living, they know more than you or the average person. A well chosen realtor can aid you as a MN first time home buyer 2018. He or she knows all about the necessary paperwork, contracts and other things that make up your large investment.

If possible, start the mortgage process before you even make an offer on a home. Obtaining a “pre-approval” letter from a lender will show sellers you’re serious, and that you’re qualified to borrow money to buy the house.

Perhaps the “fun” part of the whole process is picking out potential neighborhoods/streets where you’d like to buy a place, and then visiting “open houses” to see what the places look like inside. Come up with a list of things you “really want” and try to find a home in your budget that has all or most of those things.

When you find a place you love, as a MN first time home buyer 2018 be sure to contact Lake Area Mortgage at 651-209-2900 to learn about home buyer down payment assistance currently available.

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.

MN First Time Home Buyer Loans

MN_first_time_home_buyer_loansMN first time home buyer loans are available for those who qualify. Did you know, for instance, that Minnesota’s Anoka County partners with the state’s Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) to offer mortgage programs for various types of home buyers including first time homebuyers in the 11-county metro area? The 2015 program started in April and runs through the end of November or until funds run out. In some cases, additional funds may be given out to help with closing costs and/or down payment assistance.

The MHFA’s MN first time home buyer loans program is called “Start Up.” To be eligible for it, you cannot have owned a home within the last three years. You must use a MHFA-approved lender who will determine whether or not you have acceptable credit. As for numbers, the home purchase price cannot exceed $307,300 and the household combined income cannot exceed $86,600 (for 1-2 people) or $99,500 (for 3+ people). These limits can change, so you should check the MHFA website for current info. You’re also encouraged to check with your lender to see if you qualify for a Mortgage Tax Credit Certificate. These deals are meant to get more people investing in home ownership in Minnesota.

To take advantage of the “Start Up” MN first time home buyer loans program, at least one member of your household must attend a home buyer course and receive a certificate of completion. In Anoka County, ACCAP is a HUD-certified counseling agency that offers the “Home Stretch” class, which will satisfy MHFA’s education requirement. For class information or to register, you can contact ACCAP at 763-783-4747 or visit their website.

Should you need a MN first time home buyer loans “Start Up” information packet mailed to you, call Linda at 763-323-5764. The packet will include a list of MHFA-approved lenders which will help you start the loan process. If you need to call the MHFA, their number is 651-296-8215.

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.

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.

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 infoLAM@lakeareamtg.com 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.

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.

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)