In 2010 home buyers I represented, as a group, received more than $55,000 in downpayment assistance funds. The majority of these funds were zero percent, deferred repayment loans that would not have to be repaid if the buyer lived in the property for 5 years or more. Translation - most of it was FREE money!

In 2011, home buyers I represented, as a group, received more than $100,000 in downpayment assistance funds. The funds varied from $2,500 to $49,000 per home buyer.

In the years since, I've seen numerous buyers - and sellers - benefit from these downpayment assistance programs.  Not only do these programs help buyers purchase a home, they also help sellers achieve a sale.

Sometimes these programs are tied to a specific house, a specific City, or a specific neighborhood. Sometimes not - it varies. The one thing all of them had in common is they helped people get into a home - often a much nicer home than they ever imagined.

There are many misconceptions about downpayment assistance programs. The main thing to know is if you are going to owner occupy a property, it's probably worth checking around to see if there are any funds available in the community you'd like to live. Although you may not qualify for every program or any program, why miss out on thousands of dollars of free money by not taking the time to do a little research?

On this website, there is a link to a very comprehensive guide put together by the MN Homeownership Center of available down payment assistance programs. I also spend a significant amount of my time tracking down programs the majority of consumers have no idea exist, particularly funds tied to specific properties. There are cities who are looking to meet affordable housing goals, and right now several cities in the metro are working with for-profit and non-profit developers to buy foreclosed homes, renovate them, and resell to owner occupants - with down payment assistance available for the eventual homeowner.

These programs are not well-publicized and they are often complicated and confusing for loan officers and real estate professionals to figure out. Sometimes there are income restrictions, sometimes not. Sometimes you have to be a first time buyer - but sometimes not. Is getting thousands of dollars of free money worth spending a little time researching what's out there?

My goal, as a Realtor, is to help my buyer take advantage of these programs to achieve homeownership. I have an extensive network of loan officers who are willing and capable of helping my buyers find and obtain this "free money." Why not work with an agent who believes you should get as much help as possible to buy your new home?

Call or email me for more info. I am here to help!

Stephanie Gruver
RE/MAX Results