Category Archives: Home Buyer Confessions

Down Payment Assistance in Minneapolis

Here’s another great incentive for buying a home in the city of Minneapolis: The Pohlad Family Giving Foundation originally dedicated One Million Dollars towards creating a down payment assistance program for home buyers in the 55411 zip code.  The program was expanded to also include the 55412 zip code as well.

These are areas in North Minneapolis that have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis as well as a stereotype for being rough neighborhoods and declining markets.  The program is administered by the Neighborhood Housing Services of Mpls (NHS) and comes in the form of a deferred loan in the amount of $8,000 for owner occupants.  The other great part is that you do NOT have to be a First Time Home Buyer to qualify for the program.

The eight thousand dollar loan is forgiven if you live in the property for 7 years, and there are no income restrictions for the program.  This is valid for all types of single-family residential properties (detached single-family, townhome, condo) as well as duplexes.

As always, you’ll want to consult with your lender and real estate agent before proceeding or expecting to qualify for the program.  There are certain other requirements than have to be met before you can access the funds.

If you would like more information on this, or any other assistance programs, please contact me.

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Confessions of a First Time Buyer

First Time Home Buyer MNOne thing I like to do when working with real estate buyers in MN is to receive feedback.  Not just on myself and personal service, but the home buying process and the market conditions as perceived by my clients.

Here’s a few comments on the 2009 Twin Cities Housing Market by a First Time Home Buyer client of mine, Kris F. from Golden Valley:

‘When I decided it was time for me to buy my first home, I wanted as much information as possible about the process and what to expect. A coworker told me about a home buying seminar where you could get the most up to date information. I went to the seminar and ended up getting a mortgage officer and realtor out of the deal!

Within a week or so I was preapproved for a home loan and had a realtor helping me look for what would best suit me. I got as much or as little hand holding as I wanted. As long as I did what was asked of me and asked as many questions as I could, I felt fine and the process was quite painless.

I was a little dizzy at first, with how fast that first week went. I was also nervous about poking around other peoples homes, not to mention that I really had no idea what to look for or what was important to me. I decided to check out a few open houses before I started the official search and after poking around, I was slightly more able to define what I wanted, making me more comfortable with the process.

Despite my newfound ideas of what I thought I wanted, Steve still had to guide me a lot. Luckily, I had hired a person to point out the good and bad for me, which helped me to slow down and really process what things meant for me and my lifestyle. Trust me: this is where you want to listen to the professional.

It turns out that I liked the very first property I saw with Steve (go figure). I confessed about 10 houses in that I liked the first place and wanted to buy it, but he was not going to let me off the hook that easy. We saw it again, along with a number of other places, and then I was definitely sure. We sat down and made an offer, a process I care not to remember and couldn’t if I tried (somewhat long and confusing). If it weren’t for my interpreter/realtor I would still be trying to figure out the jargon.

I am now happily moved into my new home, and consider myself a very lucky homeowner. I have heard the horror stories and was ecstatic not to be a victim. I hope your process goes as smoothly as possible, and good luck!’

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Confessions of a First Time Home Buyer

Hole Patch
(This is a picture of the house Jason purchased)

One thing I like to do when working with real estate buyers in MN is to receive feedback.  Not just on myself and personal service, but the home buying process and the market conditions as perceived by my clients.

Here’s a few comments on the 2009 Twin Cities Housing Market by a client of mine, Jason V. from North St. Paul:

‘It would be so easy to criticize the home buying process in this market.  Homes are not “selling themselves” anymore especially at the lower price points.

Of the 60+ homes I looked at in person with my Realtor only one of them was actually staged for a showing.

The vast majority of homes on the market are being sold because they have to be sold, not because the home owner wants to.

This can lead to disappointment on the side of the home buyer because a good chunk of the homes shown will not have that fresh coat of paint, the smell of fresh baked cookies or bread and soft music playing to give a feeling of “home” that they are looking for.

More likely they will find holes in the walls, dirty floors, unkempt lawns and in some cases a serious lack of copper in the house. “It’s gonna take a lot of work, time and money to fix this place up” is the main thought one gets when visiting a home for sale these days.

Is it the process? Not really.  It’s the market. I don’t believe that will change until the economy rebounds and houses start to be sold by home owners motivated by personal choice rather than being forced to sell it by a bank.’

[contact-form 6 “Signature 2”]