Buying a Home
Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime - and one of the most stressful. After all, a home mortgage loan is the largest contract most of us will ever sign. Add to that the unfamiliar terminology and the endless stacks of legal documents, and it's not surprising that many people are confused by the whole experience.
But buying a home doesn't need to be a headache. In fact, with a little preparation, it can even be fun. Below you will find valuable information on resources and educational tools available to help you understand the home-buying process and to better prepare you for successful homeownership.
Minnesota Housing and Bloomington HRA Bloomington Homebuyers Initiative
This initiative also includes down payment assistance, and a guide to find the right lender for the potential homeowner. Minnesota Housing offers affordable loan programs to layer on top of a mortgage including down payment and closing cost loans up to $12,000. They also offer affordable, fixed interest rates for the life of the loan.
Homebuyer workshops and counseling
Home Stretch, a two-part program of workshops and individualized counseling, is offered by the Minnesota Home Ownership Center and is especially recommended for First-Time Home Buyers.
Attend a workshop to help you:
- Determine your financial situation.
- Understand credit and credit issues.
- Discover the types of home ownership.
- Learn the role of the lender.
- Gain understanding of the loan closing process.
- Know your legal rights and responsibilities as a home owner.
Participate in our individualized Home Stretch counseling to help you:
- Explore financing options that best meet your household needs.
- Identify barriers to home ownership.
- Present solutions to remove barriers preventing home ownership.
- Create and implement a plan to help you become a successful homeowner.
For workshop listings throughout the Metro area, including some that are geared toward primarily serving our Spanish-speaking population, visit http://www.hocmn.org/buyingahome/home-stretch-workshop/
HUD has put together a list of 100 questions and answers to provide you with a foundation of basic knowledge to get you started.
That information has been divided into, and will cover, the following categories:
Need more help understanding what settlement costs you might incur when purchasing a home?
What type of loan is ideal for you? There are many options out there.
- For a quick overview, provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association, go to
- VA loan eligibility - loans for those who have served in the Military. For answers to frequently asked questions, go to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
- What is "contract for deed"?
First-time home buyer programs
What about assistance for down payment and closing costs? Minnesota Housing is a state agency that provides first mortgage programs and down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, non first-time homebuyers and those looking to refinance. For more information about these programs, please visit www.mnhousing.gov or call 651-296-8215.
How much can you afford?
These affordability and mortgage calculators are helpful tools in determining how much you can afford on your home purchase.
The Minnesota Attorney General's Office puts out a great publication called "The Home Buyer's Handbook."
As you begin to seek information on home buying, you may see or hear terms that you are not very familiar with.