home financing

Actionable Tips For First Time Home Buyers in 2018

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Whew! It seems everything has accelerated in the past couple of years. You graduated from college, got married, landed a nice job, and now there is a child on the way. Your apartment in Chicago on the 32nd floor is just not going to do it anymore, so it’ s time to think about purchasing your first home. Where to even start? Well, how about starting right here. Here are some great tips for first time home buyers.

Tips for First Time Home Buyers: Your Realtor

First Time Homebuyer Broker

Establish a relationship with a buyer’s agent. You’re looking to your agent for tips for first time home buyers, so after you explain your needs and price range, this person will find properties for you to view, make the appointments, keep a record of what you have seen, negotiate deals and write up offers to purchase. And guess what, there is no cost to you, since the seller pays all commission expenses!

Next Tip: Clean Up Your Credit History

Bad MN credit can be a problem as it can injure your ability to get good bank financing at the lowest possible rate. Go to Credit Karma, look at your credit score, view your credit report, and dispute any errors you find.

Tip #3: Pay Down Those Cards

As any Minnesota mortgage lender will tell you, if you have a high credit utilization rate, your projected monthly mortgage payment will be higher. Savvy first time home buyers plan well in advance to reduce credit card balances.

Tip #4: Work on Those Student Loans

As Student Loan Hero tells us:

“Spending a few more years getting your student loans or other debts paid down could mean that you would qualify for a lower interest rate or a higher loan amount. Once you have a better credit history and more secure income history, you will have more options available when you finally are ready to take that leap into homeownership.”

Become aware of the many repayment options available to MN student loan holders, and strengthen your monthly cash flow.

Tips for First Time Home Buyers - Student Loans

First Time Home Buyer Tip #5: Save for that Down Payment

You will be asked to show that you have anywhere from three to ten percent or more down-payment money available. While some lenders allow you to accept this money as a gift from your relatives, others like to see that you have saved it. Few lenders, however, will accept a borrowed down payment.

Tip #6: Be Realistic and Discerning

Our friends at U.S. News tell us:

“When you look at houses, focus on the right things. Don’t be distracted by the owner’s odd décor, paint colors, dirty carpet or anything that is easy to change. Granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances are easy to add later. You can’t easily add another bedroom, a better location or a more functional floor plan.”

Tip #7: Be Serious and Ready to Go

Don’t casually look for houses without having a plan to move if you find your dream house. You could find a gem on day one, but be stuck for six months in an apartment lease. Great opportunities may present themselves fleetingly, and you need to be ready. But be prepared to take some time to shop around for home insurance — don’t forget about this!

Tip #8: Check Out the Neighborhood at Different Times of Day

That nice, quiet three-bedroom dream home may turn out to be a nightmare if you only saw it on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Check traffic patterns and activity at different times before you make an offer.

Tip #9: Talk to the Neighbors

Homebuying Neighbors

No one can give you a more realistic view of the area than someone that has lived there for years. Knock on doors, talk to people you see, and frankly ask them if the neighborhood is a good place to live. You’d be surprised at the genuine answers you will receive.

Be sure you check in on the home and neighborhood safety as well. You don’t want to become just “another statistic.”

Final First Time Home Buyer Tip: Don’t Give Up

If you have found your dream home, but have been turned down for conventional financing, there are alternatives. C4D, our company that specializes in helping those with bad credit in Minnesota, may be able to help you find your path to home ownership through a contract for deed. Go here to find out more about this legitimate and widely used method that can get you into a home even if you have credit issues.

And if you’re looking for even more tips for first time home buyers, you can check out some more great information from our friends over at Bankrate. They have a fantastic blog post which shares many more tips for first time home buyers. You can check it out here.

Buying a House After Foreclosure

Buying After Foreclosure: Your Next Steps

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While many people think that foreclosure, like bankruptcy, signals financial death, this is simply not true. The chart below shows that distressed Minnesota home sales have significantly fallen, but if you lost your home to foreclosure, contrary to what you might have read, you may find yourself in the market for buying a house after foreclosure.

Distressed Home Sales

What Is Foreclosure?

Our friends at Investopedia define foreclosure like this:

Foreclosure is the legal process through which a lender seizes a property, evicts the homeowner and sells the home after a homeowner is unable to make full principal and interest payments on his or her mortgage, as stipulated in the mortgage contract.

Here’s why it might have happened to you.

Buying A House After Foreclosure: The Reasons

You may have faced foreclosure for one or a combination of the following reasons:

  • Major illness
  • Job loss
  • Spousal death
  • Predatory mortgage practices
  • Adjustable rate loans
  • Unexpected relocation
  • Divorce
  • Excessive credit card debt
  • Lots of student loan debt
  • MN Bad credit

Regardless of the cause, you can take steps now to first rebuild your credit, and subsequently find yourself buying a house after foreclosure.

Credit Repair

Credit Repair for Foreclosure

The first thing to do is repair your credit. If you have overwhelming debt and are continually making payments late, it will be difficult to make progress. It is important to become cash flow positive in order to begin chipping away at your debt, and a legitimate credit counselor or a good financial advisor can help you here. If you don’t feel that you will ever be able to get out from under your particular debt situation, bankruptcy may be an option since this would give you the proverbial clean slate to begin again.

Everything Has Its Price

If you have gone through foreclosure, you already know that foreclosure will quickly drop your credit score – maybe 100 points or more. Bankruptcy can do the same thing, so there will be a time period when no one wants to lend you any money. You can rebuild your credit but it means being diligent and taking small steps. This FICO chart explains what categories constitute your credit score:

Buying A House After Foreclosure

Get A Card

The first way to repair your MN bad credit is to get a credit card. This may have to be a secured card; in this situation you deposit money with the credit card company and basically borrow against it. You do this because if you make on-time payments, these will be reported to the credit bureaus, and your credit score will rise. Make sure you are never late on any payments, and that you do not make the same mistakes that got you into trouble the first time.

Time Is Your Friend

If three years have passed since your foreclosure and you have had stellar credit since that time, it will be possible for you to get a mortgage.  You probably will have to come up with a 10 percent down payment, and lenders will be a lot happier if they see that you have saved that amount. Still, you will face a load of scrutiny, and you will pay a higher loan interest rate. You may be turned down by a number of lenders, and that can be a frustrating process. Keep in mind, you can find ways to make quick cash. For example, you could use the ibotta referral code to save a few bucks and get your finances in order.

Contract for Deed Financing

This is where your friends at C4D can help. We are a legitimate Minnesota business that helps people with bad credit issues, and we help them become homeowners. Our process looks like this:

  • You find your dream home.
  • You fill out our online application.
  • We contact you.
  • We determine if we can help.
  • If so, we buy the home.
  • Then we sell it to you utilizing a MN contract for deed.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Bankruptcy and/or foreclosure are traumatic financial events, but you can certainly recover from them, and we are here to help!

Buying A House In Minnesota

Buying A House In Minnesota: The True Cost

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You already know that home buying a house in Minnesota is complicated, but if you haven’t been through the process there are many details you need to be aware of. Even if recently you bought a car and felt like you were on your game at the dealership, buying a house is definitely like playing in another league.

Here’s what you really need to know:

Everyone Likes to Get Paid

Home deals regularly generate multi-hundred thousand-dollar deals, and lots of people want a piece of that. Lawyers, Realtors, title companies, surveyors, paralegals and even more groups are all in the hunt for your money, so let’s look at some of the costs.

Realtor Commission

Buying A Minnesota House Realtor Commission

Standard real estate commissions are six percent of the total deal with the amount split between Realtors or real estate agents involved. Even though this amount is almost always paid for by the seller, you can bet that it has been rolled into your purchase price.

Title Policy

When you buy a property, you must be sure that you are not purchasing someone else’s problems. Title companies insure that you will have a clean title; if something comes up later—like a lien the title company did not uncover—the title company will have to make things right at their expense. This can cost you $1500 to $2000, however.

Document Preparation

Lending institutions love to charge for you document prep, even if they are only cutting and pasting into a form document. This can set you back $500 or more.

Attorney Review

The same goes for the cost of having the bank’s lawyer review the deal. This can cost $150 – $500. And if you need more information about real estate law, check out this real estate law resource.

Buying A Minnesota House Using Attorney

Underwriting Fees and Application Fees

Lenders also may charge you random amounts for merely applying for your loan. The due diligence they normally perform is often charged as an underwriting fee.

Fee For Buying A House in Minnesota

So, you go to the bank, they approve your loan and they give you an interest rate. You’re done, right? Not so fast, because the bank many times will charge a fee to lock in your interest rate for a fixed time period. Don’t forget to include this fee in your budget!

Origination Fee

This is free money for the bank. They may charge one percent of your total loan just to give you the privilege of borrowing money! If you need a more clear definition of the origination fee, you can take a look at this resource from Investopedia.

Discount Fee

Mortgage Interest Rate

If you want a lower interest rate when you’re buying your house in Minnesota, you can pay upfront. This is sort of like the $199 per month car payment that requires $3,000 at signing. And when it comes to your interest rate, take a look at a few of the major factors that determine the actual rate.

Credit Report Fee

The bank can access your credit report for free—so can you at Credit Karma—but they might charge you 35 bucks anyway. Remember, pay your bills on time, take out smart loans for other purchases and make sure you keep track of changes to your credit score. It’s a very important piece of the home buying process.

Homebuying Credit Score

Appraisal

You know that you are buying a house in Minnesota at market rates, but your bank wants to be sure, so they will send a $500 appraiser out to confirm that the sales price meets the neighborhood comps—of course at your expense. For more information about what an actual appraisal means, check out this real estate appraisal resource from Wikipedia.

Home Buying Appraisal

But Wait

That’s not all as the bank may even charge you a wire fee to send your loan proceeds to the seller. Creative financial institutions are constantly looking for more ways to add costs to your home buying transaction, and you may be even charged a signing fee for executing your loan documents!

Having Trouble?

Remember, traditional financing for buying a house in Minnesota isn’t always the only way to go. We at C4D make home ownership possible through MN contract for deed. If you are having trouble with the bank, have large student loan debt, have MN bad credit, have liens, judgments, or just need an alternative financing solution, be sure to contact us; we’ll do everything we can to make your home ownership dream come true.

Bad Credit Home Financing: The Bad Credit Blues

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So, you’re at a company happy hour listening to your co-workers talk about their new home purchases. Becky just closed on a four-bedroom steal close to downtown and is looking for remodeling contractors. William finally finished a complicated deal where he traded a rental property and another investment property for equity in a new home. Stephanie has perfect credit and her husband works at Goldman so she’s complaining that she can no longer get a mortgage rate below four percent.

And you’re still in your cramped old apartment on 10 1/2 Ave S. in St. Cloud. You have student loans, a couple of late credit card payments, a few parking tickets that have gone to collection, a delinquent hospital bill from when you drunkenly fell on the sidewalk, and you’re just thinking, “WTF, am I ever going to be like everyone else? I’ll be renting forever.”

You’re thinking that bad credit home financing is impossible.

Bad Credit Home Financing

There’s Always a Way

Lots of famous people have said, “don’t give up,” and while we’re sure you don’t want to see their names listed here, the basic premise is true. If you have MN bad credit, if you have been turned down for a mortgage, if the only credit card offers you get are from an Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and if the only auto dealer that will talk to will happily sell you a used car — but at 29 percent interest — YOU CAN STILL OWN A HOME!

Home Financing Credit Issues

Alternative Financing

 Creative people find creative ways to get a home purchase accomplished, and here are some ways to try:

  • Get a co-signer
  • Fix your credit
  • Have someone else buy it for you
  • Win the lottery (yeah, sure…)
  • Investigate rent-to- own
  • Engineer a contract for deed sale

Bad Credit Home Financing … Yeah, Right 

OK, so one through four above are long shots like Colin Kaepernick getting picked up by New England next year, but the last two methods can work. Wikipedia defines rent-to-own this way:

Rent to Own Bad Credit Home Financing

“Rent 2 Own also known as rental-purchase, is a type of legally documented transaction under which tangible property, such as furniture, consumer electronics, motor vehicles, home appliances and real property, is leased in exchange for a weekly or monthly payment, with the option to purchase at some point during the agreement.”

That’s all well and good, but there are some issues here. Miss a payment and you’re gone. You’re not really gaining equity—just some down-payment dollars. There are lots of scams that have been traditionally associated with rent-to-own.

The Better Choice

To be honest we really like contract-for-deed. In Minnesota, it’s a very popular home financing method. It’s regulated, it’s not uncharted territory, and many, many people have found their way to home ownership through contract for deed MN. There is a great place to find out valuable info regarding this often-used financing method, and that is C4D. We are reputable, know what they are doing, and have a really informative website. Whether you work with us or not, realize that there are ways to get a home — just be diligent, creative, and do some research.

The American Dream: Immigrant Homeownership

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The housing market needs immigrants, and the gap between native-born and immigrant homeowners has been shrinking for several years. But housing for immigrants is a tough subject to navigate. And the biggest question is … is it possible for more immigrants to become homeowners in 2018?

There are many ways to enter the U.S. legally. For example, student visas are relatively easy to get if you are enrolled in a US educational institution. Since foreign tuition rates may be higher, many universities recruit foreign students and will actually help them receive visas.

If you are a non- US citizen starting a business and you plan to invest money in it and therefore create American jobs, there are visas available. You can get a visitor’s visa–for vacation purposes–or you can apply for an immigrant visa. You may be able to get a green card that allows you to work in the US. If you do remain in this country after your visa has expired, however, you become undocumented, and that can lead to difficulties.

I’m Staying Here Anyway

Whether you have a green card, a student visa, a business or professional visa, or whether you may be here illegally, you may decide that you want to buy a house. Maybe you’re tired of renting, are pretty sure that you are not going to have legal trouble if you stay, and like most Americans, you want to build future equity. You may have read that even financially secure US citizens may have trouble getting mortgages. If that’s the case, should you as a non-US citizen even consider buying a house, and furthermore, can you even do it?

Yes! It Can Be Done

President Trump’s failed university offered this advice to its students in a 2010 blog brought to us by The Weekly Standard.

“First of all, you do not have to have a social security number to buy or sell a home in the U.S. Some mortgage lenders require one; however, there is not a law requiring one. You do need to have some form of government issued identification, even if it is from another country (such as a passport or driver’s license).

Those without a social security number will need an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) number which is issued by the IRS to foreign nationals for paying taxes on money they earn in the U.S. (The author) noted that while it is difficult for illegal immigrants to get mortgage loans, several banks have programs designed for those immigrants. ‘Lastly, it is not illegal to own real estate in the U.S. even if one is in the country illegally,’ she wrote. ‘If getting a mortgage is not an option, one can always pay cash.’”

Housing for Immigrants

Problems That Can Arise If You Don’t Have the Cash

While a cash purchase may be completely legal, obtaining a mortgage–if you don’t have the cash–can be difficult for the following reasons:

  • Hard to prove foreign income.
  • Banks may not believe your foreign accountant.
  • Lenders may fear that you will be deported.
  • Thin credit or no credit history.
  • Bad credit MN.
  • No ITIN or SSN.
  • Low credit score.
  • Other legal issues.
  • Massive student loan debt.

Immigrant Housing No Cash

Housing for Immigrants: What Now?

So, you’re here, you’ve found a great home, you have a job, you can afford a modest mortgage payment but you just can’t convince a lender to take that risk and allow you to become a homeowner. Now is the time to think non-traditional financing. With a contract for deed, you can pay for your home on installments, and after you have completed all of your payments, you will own the property. These transactions can be accomplished by two willing parties without concern of bank denial. There are even reputable Minnesota lenders like C4D that can help you do this.

Rent-To-Own

Contract for deed’s cousin, rent-to-own might also be a viable option. NOLO says, “A rent-to-own agreement is made up of two agreements: a standard lease agreement, and an option to purchase; these may be incorporated in one document or two separate documents.” In this scenario, a portion of your rent goes toward a down-payment that you can use to obtain future financing.

Rent To Own for Immigrants

Exotic and Risky?

Don’t let a conservative banker derail your plans for home ownership. Of course, alternative home financing plans can be costlier and have some inherent risks. Didn’t you take a risk, however, when you came to the US in the first place?

Just Do It

As we have shown, they are ways to purchase a home even if you’re not a US citizen. Make sure you understand all of the options available to you and start with a bank or mortgage broker, and if that doesn’t work, consider MN contract for deed or rent to own, even if you have bad credit or immigration issues.

For more immigrant housing resources, view the links below:

Should I Buy A House?

Are You (Actually) Ready To Buy A House?

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Should I buy a house? This is the question that almost every 20- or 30-year-old must answer at some point in time. But are you getting terrible advice from parents and friends? Or do they actually know what they’re talking about? But is buying what’s best for you individually? There are so many questions to answer.

And to add to the endless questions, your parents did it, your friends and co-workers are doing it, everyone says it’s the American dream, but buying a home is a major obligation, and while there are great reasons for joining the club, there are equally important reasons for waiting.

Let’s first look at the top five reasons you should NOT buy your first home just yet:

Should I Buy A House?

Why You Should NOT Buy

  1. Everyone is telling you to do it

Just because you just got married, graduated from college, got a great job or turned 30 doesn’t mean that you automatically need to buy a home. Individual circumstances are always different, and don’t take the home ownership path just because someone else tells you it’s time to do it.

  1. You got a new job and must move

It can be stressful to suddenly find out that you have to move because of employment changes. Still, that’s not a good reason to think you have to immediately re-create your present living circumstances by buying a house. Those that quickly buy houses in an unfamiliar city sometimes find out that if they would have waited, they would have chosen a different neighborhood. Furthermore, if you think you may be transferred again within the next five years, renting may be a better option.

  1. You got pre-qualified for a mortgage

Don’t borrow money just because you can. If you qualify for a mortgage today and are financially prudent, you will probably qualify in the future without much difficulty. While mortgage qualification is paramount, it should never be the only reason to purchase a home.

  1. You are loaded with debt

 Millennial Debt

*Check out how many Millennials are NOT buying homes because of debt!

If you are just getting by and carry large credit card balances, high-payment car loans and a lot of student loan debt, you may want to make sure that you can afford a mortgage payment + taxes + insurance + maintenance + furnishings. If you can’t, then wait until you can.

  1. You found a fixer-upper!

Too much HGTV may be bad for your financial health. While it’s fun to watch the Property Brothers fight through yet another renovation, reality TV sometimes skips a lot of steps and if find out you need a supporting beam and don’t have $10,000 to pay for the work, you might have been better off renting.

OK, so that takes care of the reasons not to but a home; now look at these reasons to jump into home ownership:

Why You Should Buy

Buying A Home

  1. You are finally ready

If you have saved a downpayment, your overall debt situation is good, you don’t like giving the landlord money every month with no return for you, and you really like cutting the grass, you might be ready to buy a home.

  1. You want to build equity

Go to bankrate.com and calculate an amortization schedule. Even though your equity may be slow to build, a portion of every mortgage payment will go toward your principal balance. A 30 year mortgage means just that—after 30 years you will own your home and your mortgage will be gone.

  1. You’re in control at work

You know when you have job security and also when things may be tenuous. If the future looks great, you have one less thing to worry about, and it may be the right time to become a homeowner.

  1. Mortgage interest deduction

Even though the latest tax bill dinged the mortgage interest deduction for the rich and famous, you can still benefit if you itemize deductions. Remember however, that the standard deduction has been significantly increased, so talk to your accountant about this one. Ask about property tax deductions also.

  1. We fear change

Home ownership takes a big “what if” out of the picture. As long as you make your payments, you can stay in your home. If you rent, you could be facing a different situation at lease-end, or if, for example, your apartment building is sold. Homeownership brings needed stability as it’s great knowing that you are in control.

But Wait — You Have Options!

Remember, bank mortgages aren’t the only way to finance homes. There are rent-to-own plans and better yet, MN contract for deed situations available. Alternative and non-traditional financing are two great paths to homeownership, so if you do have bad credit, large student loan balances, judgments, levies or just general bad credit, find a company like C4D that can help you.

Real Estate Blogs

19 Amazing Real Estate Blogs To Follow In 2018

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The real estate industry has changed a lot over the last decade. New technologies have impacted the industry in a huge way. It’s hugely important to keep up with new technology, consumer psychology and other innovations that change the way real estate agents do the job. A great way to stay in tune with the industry is to consistently read the top real estate blogs of 2018.

Whether your customer base is primarily young professionals, millennials, baby boomers or even retirees, it’s critically important for you to be aware of what’s happening in your ever-changing market. These sites can help you stay informed and communicate more efficiently with your clients:

National Blogs

Inman

Inman is a techy blog that also has some great stories about Realtors’ experiences in the field. In addition, it has a great pop-up that links to valuable 2018 market predictions.

Bigger Pockets

This site is more entrepreneurial and features articles about real estate investment like, “10 Lethal Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Real Estate Investment.” If you have clients that are considering flipping properties, Bigger Pockets a nice place to send them.

Redfin

Redfin is a traditional web real estate portal like Trulia, but unlike others, Redfin also makes money as a real estate brokerage. Even though you might consider them a competitor, it’s certainly valuable to see what they are doing. This site is like the CNN of standard big real estate sites, and is full of varied information.

Realtor.com

While Redfin’s site may look like CNN, the one is similar to MSN, with generic and wide-ranging articles like “Pending-Home Sales Tumble to a 3-Year Low as Housing ‘Crisis’ Worsens.” This site is more newsy than bloggy.

REwired

Rewired describes itself as “open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy.”

Here you will find articles ranging from the history of property valuation to the extent that high student loan debt is affecting mortgage qualification rates. Lots of more in-depth blogs here.

Bankrate News

Bankrate was one of the first, and is still the go-to site for many that are looking for a wide variety of loan rate calculators. It also boasts a good section that covers straight real estate financing news in a no-frills manner.

Geek Estate

This site claims that they “analyze Real Estate Technology and trends, and provide advice for tech savvy agents, brokers, technology vendors, consultants, and entrepreneurs.” We would definitely agree, and if you lean to the tech side, or just want to know how to begin to upgrade your business systems, Geek Estate provides great info.

REtipster

Investor Seth Williams says that his site will show you how to make money in real estate with less risk and more personal free time. If that isn’t the best of all worlds, what is? Worth a look, though.

RISmedia

Rismedia’s real estate site features news, blogs, advice, and some good general information. Not our favorite for cutting edge info, but still a good place for general guidance with an abundance of varied articles.

Rentec Direct

While this site focuses on landlords and their tenant issues, it also addresses tenant concerns like “What to do if you are facing eviction.” If any of your clients are landlords or want to ascertain the real costs of renting a property, this is a good place to start.

Agent Image

Agent Image is a real estate web development site. As you know, it’s critical to have an easily readable, modern and up-to-date site, and Agent Image will get you there. There are also blogging and SEO guidelines here.

Property Shark

Property Shark deals with high end properties in luxury destinations. Sample articles outline the 10 most pricey US zip codes, and if you have any interest in the upscale market anywhere in the US, this site is for you.

Realty Times

Realty Times is a nice general real estate newsletter with lots of agent tips and advice. It includes a useful local market outlook section and is easy to navigate.

Local Blogs

Minnesota Real Estate Journal

If you are familiar with your city’s local business journal, you’ll like what you find here: Local news, features, trends and advice all presented in a business-friendly manner. You’ll find all of the latest Minnesota property development news here.

MPLS Realtor

This is the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ site, and is loaded with membership news, education opportunities, and market research. This is an excellent place to visit at least once a week as you keep abreast of major trend changes.

Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Local business journals are usually real estate intense, and this one is no different. You can find a few breaking real estate news articles every week, along with information about the top agents and where they are currently working. Their Top 25 lists are invaluable marketing tools.

Homes MSP

Homes MSP is a ReMax site. That said, there is some good information there—especially if you want some new recipes (!) Anyway, if you have some extra time, take a look.

REjournals

They say they are “the midwest’s leading source for real estate news.” No too many informational blogs, but there is a nicely updated Midwest real estate market section.

MN Property Group

This is another Remax site with listings interspersed with some worthwhile posts. You do need to check the pulse of the local market, and looking at sites like this will give you insight into what’s happening.

That’s a lot of reading, and we know you’re undoubtedly busy, but be sure to spend some quality self-education time adding to your cumulative local and national market knowledge.

For additional blog posts (new posts every Monday) from the C4D Crew, check out this page.

Typical Down Payment On A House

Your Typical Down Payment On A Home

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Buying your first Minnesota home can be an exciting yet stressful time. You want to find the perfect property in the perfect neighborhood while negotiating a great price, and you want to get all of this done before someone puts in a better offer. You also want to find the ideal down payment on a home. That’s hugely important. So, what’s next?

Once you have accomplished that, you still must obtain financing, and that opens a load of uncertainty. First time Minnesota homebuyers have a lot of questions, and one of their main worries is, “how much money do I need for a down payment?” Whether you are working with a realtor contract or looking for alternative financing like a contract for deed, this LendingTree chart is helpful as it shows state by state average required down payments:

Down Payment House Chart

Consistent

As you can see, average down payments fall into the 11 to 13 percent range. This doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t alternatives. Actually, in today’s mortgage landscape, you can expect to pay somewhere between three and 20 percent of the sales price as a down payment. Government backed FHA loans do have that three percent first-time buyer down payment rate, and you can obtain some VA loans with no money down.

Higher Risk?

Zero Down Payment

If your down payment is lower, your lender will perceive you as a higher risk, and the result may be a higher interest rate.  Again, government programs including the Agriculture Department’s Rural Development Program can cut your rate, but generally, the less you put down, the higher your rate may be. Also, simple math tells us that the less you put down, the higher your mortgage loan balance will be, and that of course translates to higher monthly payments. Also, consider that for most loans with a less than 20 percent down payment, you may need private mortgage insurance or PMI. This can easily add $150 or more to your monthly payment.

Typical Down Payment

Calculator.net is a great site that can help you figure out exactly what your monthly payment will be, as it walks you through taxes, PMI, homeowner’s insurance and other costs. There is even a place to enter other costs if you are, for example, buying a house with student loan debt.

Solutions

So, you’ve calculated that you need a $10,000 down payment to finance your home but are worried that it’s going to be difficult to save that amount. Here are some ideas:

  • Use your IRA.
  • Borrow from friends.
  • Search for government down payment assistance.
  • Ask your rich uncle for a gift.
  • Sell stuff.
  • Get rid of your car.
  • Ask your boss for help.

Alternative Financing

Sometimes non-traditional financing can be attained with a lower down payment. Rent to own and contract for deed are two popular alternative financing vehicles.

Contract for deed mn is a popular non-traditional method used to purchase homes. Rocket Lawyer tells us,

“under a Contract for Deed, the buyer makes regular payments to the seller until the amount owed is paid in full or the buyer finds another means to pay off the balance. The seller retains legal title to the property until the balance is paid; the buyer gets legal title to the property once the final payment is made. If the buyer defaults on the payments, the seller can repossess the property. In some states, a seller who repossesses a property must reimburse the buyer for the fair value of improvements to the house, as well as a reasonable amount for rent.”

Again, those that choose a contract for deed transaction many times find that down payment requirements are more flexible than those of traditional financial institutions. At C4D, we can handle all facets of Minnesota contract for deed transactions; they may be worth checking out. And as always, never enter into any real estate contract without first consulting legal counsel.

Bad Credit Score Home Financing

Buying A Home With Bad Credit: Is It Possible?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Buying a home with bad credit can be virtually impossible for some people. And if you’re a person who is impacted by a terrible credit score (reasons below), then renting a home or apartment may seem like a great idea.

You’ll have no taxes, no maintenance, no real long-term commitments, and you won’t be stuck with a property you don’t want if you decide to move. But when you realize that your monthly rent payment is just like a car lease payment with none of it applying to equity, you may decide it’s time to become a homeowner. If your credit score is low, and you are unable to qualify for a mortgage, then you you may want to look at non-traditional financing.

Here are some reasons that you might not qualify for a mortgage loan:

  • you have delinquent student loans,
  • overdue credit cards,
  • late auto payments, or
  • bad Minnesota credit.

And just take a quick glance at this chart and you’ll see why student loans are such a HUGE issue.

Buying A Home with Bad Credit - Student Loans

If this is the case for you, and you truly are serious about buying a home with bad credit, then check out these methods to buy your dream home:

Get Someone to Buy It for You

If you’re lucky enough to have a rich uncle, maybe he or she will purchase the property for you and put your name on the deed. You could make the mortgage payments and start building equity.

Work on Your Credit Score

Buying A Home With Bad Credit - Your Score

Alternative financing for people who take aim at buying a home with bad credit is sometimes necessary because your credit report is incorrect. Avoid the necessity of finding MN bad credit financing by obtaining your credit report at Credit Karma and following the proper procedures for correcting errors. The folks at myFICO say:

“It’s important to note that repairing bad credit is a bit like losing weight: It takes time and there is no quick way to fix a credit score. In fact, out of all of the ways to improve a credit score, quick-fix efforts are the most likely to backfire, so beware of any advice that claims to improve your credit score fast. The best advice for rebuilding credit is to manage it responsibly over time. If you haven’t done that, then you need to repair your credit history before you see credit score improvement.”

Do a Rent to Own

In a rent to own transaction, those looking for MN bad credit loans can purchase a home by entering into a rent to own agreement. With a very small deposit, renters can arrange for a portion of their monthly rent payments to be put toward a down payment or a reduction in the final home selling price. These transactions are complicated, however, and it’s important to gain legal representation before signing any rent to own contract.

Get a Private Mortgage

You don’t have to get a mortgage from a bank; anyone can lend you the funds. Maybe your boss, a relative or a private lender would be willing to help. You could offer to pay a higher interest rate or could offer to pay an origination fee.

Buying A Home With Bad Credit? GO FHA

Even with a low credit score, FHA loans can still be a possibility:

FICO Credit Score

These can be obtained through any participating mortgage lender. Even if you have a previous foreclosure or bankruptcy, FHA federally guaranteed loans can be a great option.

Get a Contract for Deed Deal

Minnesota contract for deed loans are commonplace. In this scenario you first find a property for sale by owner. Then, have the owner agree to sell you the property on a contract. While many contract for deed sales are straightforward, legal representation is very important here, because a sale of property already encumbered by tax liens and/or judgments, for example, can cause you big trouble.

A Great Place to Find Help

C4D is a well-respected and established company that helps Minnesota home buyers with bad credit through the process of becoming a homeowner. While there are other agencies and companies that will assist, C4D is directly plugged in to the MN contract for deed network. Maybe think about contacting us while you search for bad credit financing.

Rent to Own House in Minnesota

Rent to Own vs. Contract for Deed

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So you want to buy a house in Minnesota? You don’t want to do a rent to own deal or use some method of
“non-traditional financing.” In that case, it should be as easy as the steps below, right?

  1. Go to the bank
  2. Talk to a respectful and trusting loan officer
  3. Fill out some documents
  4. Prove income
  5. Walk out with an approval for a $500,000 mortgage with low rates like the ones shown in this chart:

Unfortunately, however, that privilege is many times reserved for those with stellar credit, while others with the following issues may have to look elsewhere:

  • Low credit score
  • Judgments
  • Garnishments
  • Divorce
  • Self-employment
  • Tax liens
  • Low debt/income ratio
  • Job loss
  • Unverified income
  • High student loan balances
  • Delinquent credit cards

Luckily, there are alternative financing methods (since renting might not be your best option as Minneapolis rent prices are skyrocketing) like rent to own and contract for deed. With new residential sales still on the upswing as shown in the chart below, non-traditional mortgage products are very popular.

Median Home Price

How Rent to Own Works

Rent To Own Details

In a rent to own scenario, you first find your house, and if the owner agrees to enter into this type of non-traditional financing, you agree to a monthly rental amount, and pay a small up-front option fee that gives you the right to buy the home within a certain time period—usually no longer than three years. It is important to have a least a portion of your rent credited to the purchase price. So, if your rent is $1000 per month, for example, try to have at least $800 of your monthly payment applied to the purchase price of the house. Of course, the purchase price should be agreed upon ahead of time, and all of these components should be outlined in your Minnesota rent to own agreement.

The Advantages

  • Your rent money is going toward equity.
  • You have a fixed price for the eventual purchase.
  • You aren’t responsible for property taxes, and possibly not for maintenance.
  • You are locked in to more than a one-year lease.

The Disadvantages

  • You will have to find financing at the end of the lease term.
  • You could lose your option money if you can’t obtain a loan.
  • If you and the seller have over-estimated the home’s value, you could be underwater at the end of the rental term.
  • The property could be encumbered by liens you aren’t aware of.
  • If you don’t finish the deal your option money will be lost.
  • If you miss a payment, the entire deal can be voided.

Contract for Deed

Many who seek alternative financing turn to MN contract for deed instead. With this process, you have an actual contract to purchase the property at a fixed price. As the Minnesota Federal Reserve has said,

“In a contract for deed sale, the buyer agrees to pay the purchase price of the property in monthly installments. The buyer immediately takes possession of the property, often paying little or nothing down, while the seller retains the legal title to the property until the contract is fulfilled.”

Minnesota is and has been a leader in the utilization of contract for deed instruments for those that need bad credit financing. The process is well-regulated and recognized by many as an efficient and reasonable home financing method for those with special credit situations. In contract for deed:

  • Your payment is not rent–it goes toward the home purchase.
  • You have no option money on the table to lose.
  • Your contract term can be longer than a rent to own agreement.
  • You have home financing at a fixed interest rate.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve

But Wait — Minnesota Is The Leader

If an unscrupulous owner sells a property that is already encumbered with liens, that can be a problem. In addition, if an owner files for bankruptcy during the contract for deed term, this can cause serious difficulties.

The Solution

A great way to avoid the pitfalls of both rent to own and Minnesota contract for deed is to deal with a reputable seller. While there are well-intentioned sellers in the contract for deed arena, companies like C4D take the process a step further as they are in the business of ensuring that the financing process is equitable, legal and fair. And, of course, never enter into any financing transaction without consulting with your attorney.