New Home Buyer Programs

A new round of home buyer programs have started or will be starting soon in the Twin Cities.

First, the Minneapolis Advantage program will help at least 200 people buy of foreclosed or vacant houses in targeted areas of the city. It offers as much as $10,000 in forgivable loans toward a down payment, closing costs or repairs for vacant or foreclosed single-family houses or duplexes.
Applicants who earn less than 80 percent of area median income ($64,720 for a four-person family) are eligible if they buy a foreclosed house or one vacant more than 30 days in these neighborhoods: Bryant, Sheridan, Lind-Bohanon, Venture Village, Whittier, Audubon Park, Holland, Phillips West, Cleveland, McKinley, Harrison, Powderhorn Park, Webber-Camden, Midtown Phillips, Folwell, Near North, Central, Willard-Hay, Jordan, Hawthorne, East Phillips or Beltrami.

People earning less than 120 percent of area median income ($97,080 for four people) are eligible for help with purchases of such houses in the above neighborhoods plus the Corcoran, Bottineau, Regina and Victory neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are adding to the city's incentives.
Please visit the Minneapolis Advantage program website to learn more.

Next, there are two new programs to buy homes in Saint Paul that will begin soon.

The first is the federal Take Credit program. Take Credit has a fund of $8 million worth of tax credits for qualified first-time homebuyers who purchase homes in St. Paul. It is meant to help up to 130 first-time homebuyers who meet certain limits on income and the price of the home being purchased. (I think this program applied to homes in Minneapolis, too, but the specific details for the city weren't provided - it is the Pioneer Press, after-all).

The second program is specifically for St. Paul though, and that is what is being dubbed as the Heroes program. The Heroes that qualify for this loan program include veterans, members of the U.S. armed forces, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, health care workers and certain public sector employees. The city will spend $500,000 to provide $15,000 loans to about 33 people in the heroes program

Finally, there is a new program offered for people who want to buy homes in St. Louis Park. To attract new homeowners, people who work in the city can get a $2,500 grant to buy a home there through the Live Where You Work program. For the purchase of a foreclosed house, Saint Louis Park will chip in another $1,000. The only prerequisites are that one of the owners must work in the city and that they meet the income caps. Grants do not have to be paid back, either so it's basically free money to buy a home as long as you also work in Saint Louis Park.

So, there you have information on some of the most recent housing program to go into effect or are about to take effect. All this is on top of existing home buyer programs in the Twin Cities and an $8,000 federal tax credit for first time home buyers that make their purchase before December 1. If you've been on the fence about buying a house, it really may be time for you to take the plunge.

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