There are many different programs available to first time homebuyers. First time homebuyers are generally considered anyone that hasn’t owned “real estate” in the last three years.
Assistance is available from:
State of Minnesota
Several Minnesota Counties
Several Minnesota Cities
Specific neighborhoods within Minnesota Cities
No interest loans
Reduced interest fixed loans
Down payment grants
Many of the programs can be combined to offer larger amounts of assistance in certain situations. For example, using Ramsey County’s program and the State’s program we’ve had a buyer get $23,000 in down payment assistance!
First-time Homebuyer Specialists:
Because we work with so many first-time homebuyers, we know what’s going on in the marketplace. We’ve been awarded the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council because of our experience and level of education. You can move toward home ownership with confidence, knowing you’re working with competent, experienced professionals.
How do I qualify?
For no cost or obligation, click here and fill out your contact information. A specialist will contact you shortly to help you get started. Even if you’re not ready to purchase now, we’ll work with you to make your dream a reality. You may qualify regardless of your credit situation. Again, there is no cost or obligation to get started.
What about Rent-to-Own?
Rent to own can be a good thing in certain situations. However, leases (rent-to-own agreements) aren’t regulated like mortgages are. Governmental authorities have many consumer protection laws designed to prevent homebuyers from predatory mortgage lending practices.
Mortgage loans are given by banks that are closely regulated and audited by government authorities. There are interest rate limits call “usury limits,” which are rates the bank can’t charge you more than. Leases are given by private parties and, in most cases the leases aren’t regulated or inspected. Lease terms and costs can vary widely – because there is no “standard” lease or government monitoring, a landlord can put any clause, or rule, in the lease. Because it’s a legal binding contract, in most cases you must abide by it. There are typically no rate limits, so the landlord could charge you tens of thousands of extra dollars! If you are only one day late on your lease payment, you could potentially lose all of the equity that you’ve earned to date. With a mortgage there is a legal “redemption period” where you can “redeem” yourself and bring your loan up to date.
Most landlords will have to get a mortgage to purchase the home for you. The landlord has to make their payments too. Even though you may make all of your payments on time, if the landlord doesn’t make their payments to the bank, the house could be foreclosed upon, and you could lose all of your equity and money invested!
Rent-to-own is a gamble. Especially since most landlords want money from you up front, called “option money,” which is typically non-refundable. Rent-to-own can be a good thing if you have a reputable landlord with reasonable terms. If you do choose to use the rent-to-own option, you should always seek competent legal advice from the appropriate professional. It’s your future and money that you’re dealing with.
This article is not to be construed as legal advice. If you desire legal advice, please consult the appropriate professional.