Minnesota First Time Home Buyer Real Estate Blog

Why You Need to Hire a Buyer's Agent When Purchasing a Home

I’m often asked about how to go about buying a house without hiring an agent. Honestly, you really do not want to do this. Today I will explain why having a buyer's agent is a good thing for you. To start, you should realize that buyer's agents are paid by the seller. To learn more, watch my short video.


Top Minneapolis Neighborhoods First-Time Home Buyers Should Consider Right Now

Best Minneapolis Neighborhoods For First Time Home BuyersSo what makes a great neighborhood? Well, most answers you get to this question will largely depend on who you ask. But many first time home buyers might say it’s that perfect combination of affordability and close proximity to nearby amenities and attractions that truly make for the ideal place to look for a new home. 

In Minneapolis, plenty of neighborhoods offer all sorts of desirable characteristics from top-notch curb appeal to walkability and easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Some neighborhoods are even defined by a certain trait or two, which may or may not help determine whether it’s the right location for you. If you’re a first time home buyer in Minneapolis, however, some neighborhoods will undeniably be a better fit, starting with the few we’ve listed below…


Named for legendary pioneer Pierre Bottineau, the Bottineau neighborhood should be considered a great choice for any first time home buyer. Most streets are tree-lined and quiet, and most homes for sale in Bottineau were built pre-1940 and have plenty of charm and character throughout. Larger homes tend to jump up into the $300,000s but look for the majority of houses to price somewhere between $200,000 and $250,000.


Holland has definitely seen a rise in popularity...

Down Payment Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

Down Payment For a Minnesota HomeMost home buyers need to borrow money in order to purchase a home, which means they’ll also need to come up with at least some money up front for a down payment. And while the concept of a down payment might seem fairly straight forward, questions and answers regarding a down payment are much more wide-ranging than you may thing. Let’s take a closer look at just some of the down payment FAQs we’ve seen over the years below….

Q: Why is a down payment required?

A: Above all, a down payment can be a strong indicator that borrowers have the financial discipline to purchase a home and keep up with monthly payments. But along with that, more money down also helps minimize risk to lenders as well. Simply put, the larger the down payment, the less likely borrowers will default on an unpaid loan balance and lose whatever money was put down.

Q: Can a seller contribute to a down payment?

A: No, however sellers can contribute to other home buying fees like closing costs and inspection fees, which enables buyers to put more money down initially.

Q: Can I use funds from retirement accounts to make a down payment?

A: Although withdrawing funds from a 401K or other retirement savings account is possible, it isn’t recommended. In most cases you’ll be hit with heavy taxes or early withdraw penalties, which could end up costing you more in the long run.

Q: Why should I make a larger...

What Is a Standard Down Payment?

Many first-time homebuyers don’t understand what constitutes a standard down payment. The short answer is that there isn’t one. There are many good down payment assistance programs in Minnesota that allow first-time homebuyers get into a home with as little as $1,000 down, but ultimately the best down payment solution is whatever works best for you. We’d be happy to give you information to figure out what the best scenario would be for you. To hear more, watch my latest video.

Additional Down Payment Resources


Down Payment & Closing Cost Loans: A Quick Overview

Minnesota Down Payment LoansSaving up for a down payment and the closing costs associated with buying a home may seem like a challenging, or even impossible, task for some buyers. But with various programs and government-backed financing options available to buyers just like you, buying a home might just be an obtainable goal, even without all that money up front. 

If you’re someone who may not quality for zero down financing, exploring Minnesota’s down payment and closing costs assistance programs should be your next course of action. 

In Minnesota specifically, The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers first-time home buyer loans of up to $15,000, which can be used for a down payment, closing costs, or a combination of the two. 

To qualify, borrowers must not have owned a home within the last three years, and must also have a credit score 640 while meeting the required income limits. In addition, this Monthly Payment Loan will also have an interest rate equal to your first mortgage rate, and the loan term can stretch out for as long as 10 years. 

For additional information about down payment/closing cost loans...

What Is the Average Down Payment?

Today we will be addressing a question we hear all the time: What does the average down payment on a home look like? The answer is not as cut-and-dry as some might think. On a national level, the average buyer tends to put down about 20% of the total purchase price. But first-time homebuyers often submit a far lower amount. To learn more, watch this short video.

Additional Down Payment Resources