Monday, January 26, 2015

Down Payment Assistance is Available in Ramsey County for YOUR 1st Home!


Considering purchasing a first home in Ramsey County in 2015? There are many opportunities to explore before you write your offer. First time home buyers in Ramsey County have a number of amazing, often overlooked programs available to them. There are specific qualifying guidelines so it is essential to find a loan officer or mortgage broker that is well versed in the details to take advantage of these unique opportunities.
First Step In Buying a Home: Get Preapproved!
For most Minnesota first time buyers the first step is, where do I start? Your very first step towards buying your first home is to contact a real estate agent to help you a mortgage professional who knows how to work with first time buyers. Contact me and I can direct you to a local loan officer that understands mortgage assistance programs in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. The loan officer will counsel you step by step until you are pre-approved and help determine which are the best options for your financial situation. Once you know exactly how much you qualify for, we can start a home search in a price range with payments well within your budget. 

Minnesota Down Payment Assistance

There is an excellent program for down payment assistance available in the Ramsey County area. Ramsey County includes the communities of St. Paul, Maplewood, Roseville, Shoreview, New Brighton, Little Canada, North St Paul, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers a program called StartUP which can be used for either up to 5% or $5,000 worth of assistance on a Ramsey County home valued at up to $310,000. This StartUP down payment assistance is a second mortgage on your home but has no interest and requires no payments until you pay off the home. One of the unique features of the funds in this program is that it can often be used in addition with other assistance programs. 

Down Payment Assistance through Ramsey County

Ramsey County offers another great down payment assistance option for Minnesota first time home buyers up to $10,000. The FirstHome assistance program can be used with many loan programs such as VA, FHA, and conventional loans. The program can also be used with the StartUP assistance from Minnesota Housing if you qualify. Like all other programs Ramsey County has certain qualifications that the Ramsey County first time home buyer must meet. Meeting with an loan officer familiar with the program for your pre-approval is essential as they can help you determine if you are eligible for the Ramsey County FirstHome program.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program in Ramsey County Qualified homebuyers also have an opportunity to purchase newly remodeled and rehabilitated Ramsey County homes. These homes are amazingly updated and give the first time homebuyer a perfect start to home ownership. They are reserved only for first time buyers that meet the income guidelines outlined by the Ramsey County program. Several of these homes come on the market every year in communities throughout the county.


Ramsey County down payment assistance programs can be used with a variety of mortgage loans. Most typically they would be used with an FHA loans to help with the 3.5% down payment. However, if you already have a sizable down payment but need some help getting to 20% down to eliminate the need for mortgage insurance, it is possible these programs could help if you meet the income restrictions.  If you are a veteran, these programs can also work with a VA loan if you meet the qualifications.

Homebuyer Classes Required to Qualify

Most of these programs for down payment assistance will require that you attend a class for first time home buyers called the Home Stretch Workshop. Don’t worry…these are not like high school classes. There is no test at the end. They are informative and fun.
You will need to plan for a full day of classroom training. There are many dates available to accommodate home buyers schedules including evenings and weekend options. Verify that the workshop you register for will satisfies both the state and local community program guidelines if you are using more than one program.

Information about Ramsey County
Ramsey County is one of the eleven counties in the Minneapolis/ St Paul metropolitan area. It is the home to the state capital of Minnesota, St. Paul. With a population of over 500,000 it is one of the most densely populated counties in the state if not the entire U.S. First time home buyers  in Minnesota can benefit from the Ramsey County First Home program with down payment assistance up to $10,000.

NEED HELP BUYING  A RAMSEY COUNTY HOME? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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