Two Limited Time Home Assistance Programs in Minneapolis

There are two new assistance programs available in Minneapolis for home buyers and home owners, but act fast because they are limited in availability and funds.

First, Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis is offering home buyers in North Minneapolis a $5,000 forgivable loan towards the down payment of a home if a purchase agreement is signed by May 31 and the sale is closed by August 15. If the new owner lives in the home for 5 years, the interest-free loan will be forgiven. There are no income restrictions for qualifying. Loan funds for this program are limited to $100,000, so when it's gone, it's gone!

Second, homeowners and buyers in foreclosure-impacted neighborhoods of Minneapolis can apply to the City’s Rehab Support Program. It has a fund of $750,000 with which to finance to complete improvements, potentially increasing the home’s market value. The pilot program offers loans of up to $20,000 at zero-percent interest. Funding the City received from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency will be matched dollar for dollar by the homeowner from any other source they choose. Approximately 50 loans will be available through this program. The program is available to qualified homeowners and buyers in neighborhoods where 10 percent of the housing stock is in foreclosure. Eligible neighborhoods are: Shingle Creek, Lind-Bohanon, Webber-Camden, Cleveland, Folwell, McKinley, Jordan, Hawthorne, Willard-Hay, Harrison and Near North on the city’s Northside and Central and Bryant neighborhoods on the Southside. Check out the City of Minneapolis website to view further restrictions.

If you're a home owner or home buyer that fits these qualifications in Minneapolis, it could be worth looking into these programs.


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...

Minneapolis Near North Community Highlights

The Near North Community can be found on the north and west side of Minneapolis. It is bordered to the south by Bassett’s creek, to the west by Penn Avenue, to the north by Lowry Avenue North, and to the east by I-94, Lyndale Avenue North and the Mississippi River.  Contained within it are six smaller neighborhoods.

Hawthorne - The Hawthorne neighborhood is in the northeast corner of the Near North community in Minneapolis. The neighborhood is bounded by the Mississippi River on the east and Emerson Avenue on the west; Broadway Avenue is the southern extent and Lowry Avenue is the neighborhood’s northern boundary.  The Hawthorne neighborhood is named after the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in 1804. The Hawthorne neighborhood is also the home of Farview Park, the oldest park of Minneapolis, the Nellie Stone Johnson School, and the Orvin Olson Park near the Mississippi River. Home to nearly 6,000 residents, Hawthorne is nearly twice the size of most other Minneapolis neighborhoods. Hawthorne is mostly residential, with many single-family houses. There are some multi-family dwellings available. 

Jordan – West of Hawthorne is where one can find the Jordan neighborhood.  Jordan is bound on the north by Lowry Avenue North, on the east by Emerson Avenue North, on the south and west by West Broadway Avenue. It gets its name from a neighborhood junior high school, which was built in 1922 and named after Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Emeritus Charles Morison Jordan.

Jordan is mainly a residential neighborhood. Home prices in the Jordan area are well below the Minneapolis median price for single and multi family homes.  Jordan homes are about evenly divided between rental and owner occupied housing. With a population of nearly 10,000, Jordan is one of the city's...

Minneapolis Southwest Community Highlights

The Southwest Community of Minneapolis consists of several neighborhoods loosely bordered on the north by 36th Street and on the east by Interstate 35W, with city limits serving as western and southern boundaries. 

Linden Hills – In the northwest corner of Southwest Minneapolis is the upscale, well-developed Linden Hills neighborhood.  Linden Hills is bound on the north by 36th Street West and Lake Calhoun, on the east by William Berry Drive and Lake Harriet, on the south by 47th Street West, and on the west by France Avenue.  Linden Hills is one of the larger neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The neighborhood was named after the linden trees and rolling hills that can be found in the area.

Linden Hills first was developed during the 1880s to lure homebuyers into leave downtown for homes on Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Since that time, most of the original cottages have been replaced by a number of home types, like ramblers, colonials, Tudors, and bungalows. The Lake Harriet-Como Streetcar line passes through the neighborhood between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun.

Often referred to as “a small town in the City,” Linden Hills has excellent housing opportunities, interesting boutique shops, unique restaurants, and a variety of parks with many amenities.  The Linden Hills shopping district can be found at 43rd & Upton, offering an eclectic mix of shopping and eating venues which can’t be found any where else. The Linden Hills Co-op offers grocery alternatives and Great Harvest Bread Company has been a landmark in the community for years.  Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun are an easy walk from nearly anywhere within the neighborhood. The lakes provide a variety of activities, like swimming, sailing, and walking or biking ride along paths that connect to the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.

East Harriet – To the...

Minneapolis’ Northeast Community Highlights

Northeast community of Minneapolis is composed of 13 smaller neighborhoods. The Northeast community blends old architecture, classic housing, bustling commercial districts, and industrial work centers as well as new residential high-rises, suburban cul-de-sacs, and a popular art scene. The Northeast community is part bedroom neighborhood and part job center for the City of Minneapolis. The prominent features of Northeast include ornate churches and massive grain silos and mills, both of which help to create a unique skyline. Formerly known as the City of Saint Anthony before it was annexed into Minneapolis, Northeast is sometimes referred to as Nordeast, reflecting the history of northern and eastern European immigrants and their language influence.

Columbia Park - The Columbia Park neighborhood in northeast Minneapolis is bound on the north by 37th Avenue Northeast, on the east by Central Avenue Northeast, on the south by 27th Avenue Northeast and St. Anthony Boulevard, and on the west by University Avenue Northeast, 4th Street Northeast and the Mississippi River. Phew! The Columbia Park neighborhood received its name for three reasons. The first has to do with the actual Columbia Park, an area park which has a challenging 18 hole golf course, playground area, walking trails, archery course, horseshoe pits and picnic areas. The second coincides with the park’s acquisition in 1892, which is referred to as the “Columbian” year, 400 years after Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas. Finally, the third reason is a nod to the adjacent suburb to this neighborhood, Columbia Heights.

In addition to Columbia Park, the neighborhood also includes a smaller park, Hi View park, with a children's wading pool and basketball courts. Other highlights of the neighborhood include the walking paths along the Mississippi and the St. Anthony Parkway Bridge.


New Minneapolis Loan Program

On April 4th of this year, the Minneapolis city council approved a new loan program for buyers who purchase a single-family dwelling, or duplex, in 18 specific Minneapolis neighborhoods. The chosen neighborhoods have experienced higher than normal levels of mortgage foreclosures. The program, named the Minneapolis Advantage loan program, offers a $10,000 zero percent interest loan that is forgivable over five years to anyone buying a home in key neighborhoods.

The loan can be applied towards down-payments and/or closing costs. The loans can also be used by the buyer to offset any repairs that will be done to the home. Any amount that is not spent must be returned and will be deducted from the loan. The Minneapolis Advantage loan does not apply for investment properties, however. Not only must you live in the home, but you must occupy it within 60 days following purchase. The loan will not accrue interest and will be forgiven at a 20% rate each year over 5 years as long as you live in the home. If the property is sold, the mortgage is paid off in full, or you move out during that 5 year period, the loan amount will become due.

Minneapolis neighborhoods which are spearheading this program include Camden, Weber, Folwell, and McKinley. These neighborhoods are already offering an additional $4,000 for homes bought in their areas. Combined, the two offers effectively offer up to $14,000 towards the purchase of a home. Harrison neighborhood also has $4,000 in mortgage assistance that can be added to the program and an additional $15,000 that can be spent towards renovation of the home, bringing the potential amount to $29,000!

Nearly anyone can take advantage of these offers. More great news? The offer is not based on any home price! Whether it’s a $150,000 home or a $350,000 home, the benefit is the same.

The City of Minneapolis intends to have the program ready in May....