First time home buyer programs

So you have decided to buy a home, you are not sure what to do and who to talk to!  What do you do first, who should you talk to first?  Help!  Sound familiar?

Some people say talk to a realtor, others say talk to a loan officer – it's up to you!  A realtor will want you to meet with a loan officer to make sure you can buy, a loan officer will get your approval done and make sure you connect with a realtor.

Do you qualify for any first time homebuyer programs?  Ask your lender to see if there are programs available to you.  Some areas have more programs than others.  Some lenders may not know of any programs.  If that is the answer from the lender you are talking to and you think you qualify for something, talk to another loan officer.  I just had a client in my office yesterday that qualified for a couple different programs.  Another lender told her that she only qualified for one program and there weren't any other programs available to her.  That lender may not have known about the other programs or may not have been approved to do the other programs.

There are many different programs available in Minnesota, some are all over the state such as MN Housing, others are specific to one area. 

MN Housing will allow you to buy a home if your income is under the income guidelines and you are a first time homebuyer.  They have a couple different programs depending on your situation.  There is a start up program and a mortgage credit certificate program, they also offer down payment assistance. 

Dakota County has a first time homebuyer program for those buying in Dakota County.  They offer a mortgage credit certificate program along with a down payment assistance program.

Minneapolis has several different programs depending on the area you are buying in.  Some of their programs are specific to a neighborhood, some offer grants, others may be a deferred down payment assistance program.

Ask your lender what you can qualify for and if it makes sense for you to use the program.  Many of these programs also require a recapture tax – this usually only applies if you sell the home within 9 years and you are over the income limits – again talk to your loan officer.  This may not affect you at all but you need to be aware of it.

There are many different programs in Minnesota, ask to see what you can do.  Most require that you are a first time homebuyer and that your income is under a certain level.  If your loan officer doesn't know of any programs it may be a good time to ask another lender  — just to make sure there isn't something out there that would benefit you!

Leslie Vanderwerf,  NMLS ID#335509, American Mortgage & Equity Consultants, NMLS#150953 – EmailWebsite


Written By

Currently a Senior Loan Officer at Cross Country Mortgage LLC, it's hard to believe I have been in the mortgage business for more than 25 years and have worked with Sharlene since 2000! I love sharing mortgage insights here each week and helping people finance their homes. Listening helps me find the right program for you!

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