There is help for people facing foreclosure

The Minnesota Homeownership Center and Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota have entered into a partnership aimed at helping homeowners facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 to keep their mortgages in good standing and avoid foreclosure.

The two organizations will administer up to $10 million in relief through Minnesota’s newly established COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP)

To qualify for assistance, Minnesota households must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Income at or below 300% of federal poverty guidelines, with a preference for those at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Have an eligible expense incurred after March 1, 2020, that is past due. Housing assistance funds can only be used for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020.
  • Be unable to make one or more payments owed because of the public health emergency due to unemployment, illness, or another COVID-19 related issue.

The program covers past-due housing expenses such as:

Germania Bank Building
Germania Bank Building – 6 W 5th Street – Corner of 6th and Wabasha
  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent payments
  • Contract for deed payments
  • Manufactured home park lot rents and payments
  • Utility payments
  • Homeowners Association fees

For more details go to the Minnesota Home Ownership Center  

I’ll never forget the great housing crash of a decade ago where banks foreclosed and then turned around and sold the houses at much lower prices making the houses affordable for new owners.

The banks made it through the foreclosure crisis and remained profitable while some homeowners never recovered.

Selling your stuff to “make money”

I keep seeing these ads on how to sell clothing and household items as a way to “make” money. The items being sold are items that the seller already owns.

spare change

To make money that way a person would have to sell the items for more than they paid for them so that there is a profit.

Most of the time people who sell items that they have used get less for the item than what they paid for it which means they lost money. Buying stuff and selling it for a lower price than you bought it for isn’t a way to make money it is a way to lose money.

If your closet is filled with items that you don’t need or want you might want to stop buying stuff for a while.

In the advertisements people, mostly women are using the money to pay for vacations, cars, and houses. A better and easier way to save up for a big purchase is to buy less instead of reselling used items every month.

Buying less has other advantages. It doesn’t help billionaires fund moon exploration or run for president but buying less might mean being able to live in a smaller home or apartment which can save enough money each month to pay for vacations and cars.

Condos are now more FHA friendly

Starting today, October 15, 2019, it will be possible to buy a condo using an FHA loan even if the condo project (building or complex) does not have FHA approval.

E 6th street
E. 6th street – mears park

Up until now, FHA loans could only be used if the condo project was approved for FHA financing. Approved condo buildings are rare in St. Paul.

There are some rules it isn’t like you can buy any old condo with an FHA loan.

“As of October 15, FHA will insure mortgages for selected condominium units in projects that are not currently approved.  An individual unit may be eligible for Single-Unit Approval under the following conditions:

  • The individual condominium unit is located in a completed project that is not approved;
  • For condominium projects with 10 or more units, no more than 10 percent of individual condo units can be FHA-insured; and projects with fewer than 10 units may have no more than two FHA-insured units.

Minimum Owner-Occupancy Requirements

FHA will require that approved condominium projects have a minimum of 50 percent of the units occupied by owners for most projects.

FHA Insurance Concentration in Condominium Projects

FHA will only insure up to 50 percent of the total number of units in an approved condominium project.”

If you are buying a condo and wish to use an FHA loan talk to your lender. What is an FHA loan? Short for “Federal Housing Administration” These loans require less of a down payment.

If you own a condo this means that there may be a larger pool of qualified buyers. If you would like to buy a condo you may be able to do so with an FHA loan. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in selling your condo or in buying one.