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Building Community Blog

As with any big decision in life, it’s a good idea to do your homework. Same is true if you’re looking to upgrade your status from home renter, to homeowner. We’re not just talking about the house itself or its location (though a little research there is strongly encouraged!). What we’re talking about is exploring your payment options.

Though a home loan is something you’ll be paying off over time, don’t let the word “loan” scare you away from taking the next step. First-time homeownership is an exciting and rewarding experience, and yes, just about every homeowner has had to take out a loan at some point. And just like rentals, there are also ways to make homeownership more affordable.

Whether you want a lower down payment or a lower interest rate, there are many affordable housing loan options available to Twin Cities residents and first-time homebuyers, and we’ve done some of the homework for you. Here are just a few options to get you started:

Even if you haven't paid them, chances are you've heard of "closing costs" associated with buying a home. But what are mortgage closing costs? What do they mean? And why do you have to pay for them?

In short, when you “close” on the purchase of a property, ownership of that property is legally transferred to you, the buyer. More often than not, paying to purchase the property requires borrowing money from a bank in the form of a mortgage. Mortgage closing costs are those expenses that are required in order for the bank to originate the mortgage. These costs can vary, but they often equal between two percent and five percent of the purchase price. This means, if you're buying a home for $100,000, your mortgage closing costs could range between $2,000 and $5,000.

Prior to your closing, you will receive a closing disclosure statement with specific fees listed. Here are some of the fees you will likely see and what they mean:

Buying a house is a very exciting experience and you’re probably eager to get the process started. You may even already have a jumpstart on what you’re looking for in a home, but have you asked yourself: "Where should I live?" This is something important to consider when buying your first home. If you’re not quite sure what to look for in a neighborhood, here are some things to consider in scouting your ideal spot.

If you’re starting your search for a home, and considering buying a home that's in need of renovation, you could be eligible for an FHA 203(k) loan. This type of loan allows you to convert a true fixer-upper into a beautiful home. But is this federally-guaranteed home improvement loan the right option for you?

It definitely has potential, but you should consider the advantages and disadvantages as carefully as the renovation work you're willing to take on.

So, you've got your eye on a house. It's a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, split-level home in a safe and friendly neighborhood. It's everything you've dreamed of having in your first home. But you're curious about whether you qualify for a home loan and want to find out if you can secure a mortgage.

Before mortgage lenders start using industry words you don't understand, it's important to learn some basic loan terms when considering first-time homeownership. The information will be helpful as you embark on this journey of a lifetime.

It's safe to say that the first-time homebuying journey can be daunting, scary, exciting, confusing, disappointing, nerve-wracking, fun, and emotionalall at the same time. One of the best tools a homebuyer can use in navigating this complex journey is a trusted realtor partner. We checked-in with a few local realtors (Julia, Nene, and Adade) to gather some tips on things to consider when looking for a qualified realtor.

Are you wondering what one month's rent could get you in the homeowner's world?

You’re not alone. For some renters-turned-homeowners, the money they were spending on rent turned into additional square footage, an extra bedroom or bathroom, or even a backyard.

If any of those added home benefits sound appealing to you, check out these 8 signs you may be ready to buy a house.

If you’re considering buying a home, it might be time to understand a mortgage. Taking on a mortgage can be intimidating, but you’ll be better prepared if you know what’s in your payment. The acronym PITI is a simple way to remember the elements of most mortgage payments: Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.
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