Category Archives: MN

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.

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.

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