Is Lack of a Down Payment Keeping you from buying your first or next home???
There are many down payment assistance programs available from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, community development agencies and many counties and cities throughout Minnesota. These programs are for first time home buyers and move-up or non-first time home buyers. A lot of these programs have income restrictions, geographic restrictions, credit and debt ratio requirements, or required classes or education for participants, but some of them can get you up to $25,000 towards a home and many of the them work together, allowing you even more assistance!
You really owe it to your self and your family to see what programs may be out there to assist you with your home purchase. Since researching all the down payment assistance programs out there is a VERY big job, I have set-up a website with a simple fill-in form that will help you see what you and your family may qualify for.
Go to my site, DO I Qualify for Down Payment Assistance, and fill in the quick form for a list of programs that may work for you as well as additional information.
Two of the most popular programs out there are offered through MNHFA (The MN Housing Finance Agency) and information on their programs can be found online at The MN Homeownership Center. MHFA has a down-payment assistance program for first-time home buyers called, "Start-Up," and they also have a program for non-first time homebuyers called, "Step-up." For the most part, these are interest-free loans to help you with your down-payment and closing costs. Both of these programs require a minimum investment of $1000 or 1% (whichever is less) from the homebuyer, the rest of your money for a down-payment and closing costs may come from assistance programs, and I can assist you with getting the seller to also help pay your closing costs. These programs have minimum credit requirements (including a 640 score currently), maximum income limits, and you must be able to qualify for fha or conventional financing. Here are links to flyers on these programs: START-UP for 1st time Homebuyers and STEP-UP for non-1st time Homebuyers.
Check out MHFA's website for even more programs for homebuyers: Loan Programs for Homebuyers.
Many cities and counties also have their own programs which can be used in addition to or in place of the MHFA programs. Scott County, Dakota County, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Edina, Plymouth, Minneapolis & Brooklyn Center, St. Louis Park, and St. Paul are just a few of the cities with money available for homebuyers in their city. Some of these programs offer up to $25,000 or $60,000 in assistance or loans!
In short, there are many down payment options available out there for both first time and non-first time home buyers- don't let the lack of a down payment keep you from realizing your dream of home-ownership!
One of the easiest ways to get a list of programs you may qualify for is to fill out this quick Down-Payment Qualifier form on my website. The form doesn't request any personal data or even your last name, but with a list of communities you are looking to buy a home in, your family size and approximate income, I can get you a list of programs that you may qualify for, saving your time and possibly thousands of dollars!
A word on Lenders....Most of these programs require a certain type of financing or that you work with an approved lender. Too many times I see buyers meet with a lender who either isn't knowledgeable or approved to offer these programs, and then the buyer either doesn't learn about these programs or feels locked-in to a lender who cannot or will not provide the program that may offer the most benefit for the buyer. It is imperative that you meet with a lender or lender(s) who are approved to offer the programs that may be the best fit for you, even if this means shopping around a bit.
You also want to make sure you work with a lender who has a lot of experience dealing with these complex programs, a good place to find a list of these lenders is on MNHFA's website at: Approved MNHFA Lenders, but I would still call the lender first and ask a few questions about the down payment program you are interested in. Also, ask how many loans of these type the lender has done in the last year, not every lender has done all of these programs, but their answer may give you some insight on how willing they are to go the extra mile to learn what they need to assist you with the best loan program for your needs.
Finally, you want a lender who will put your needs first, one who will be very responsive and one who is willing to work through any challenges that keep you from getting the best deal out there. If you fill out the quick Down-Payment Qualifier form on my website, I will email you a list of lenders I feel may be the best fit for you based on the down payment assistance programs you qualify for. There are a lot of programs out there and a lot of options, and it can become very overwhelming at times, but the sooner you call or fill out the form, the sooner you can get on the road to homeownership!
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