Monday, November 18, 2013

Help with home repairs in Minnesota

As this weekend's storms that damaged or destroyed entire towns in Illinois and Indiana have proven, the weather in the upper Midwest can be brutal on our homes.  But even if you haven't experienced devastating storm damage, every home will eventually need repairs and major systems (furnace, roof, etc.) will require replacement.  Informed consumers who take the Center's homebuyer education course, Home Stretch, or our online version, Framework®, understand that owners should strive to save 1-2% of a home's purchase price EVERY YEAR for future maintenance.

At the Minnesota Homeownership Center, we understand that setting aside funds for future maintenance can be difficult and sometimes repairs or maintenance of major systems can occur unexpectedly.  For that reason, every quarter the Center produces a Home Rehab/Repair Matrix that helps homeowners identify home repair and rehab programs throughout Minnesota that can help with emergency repair, energy efficiency, lead hazard abatement and other general repairs.  Some of these programs are outright grants that cover the cost of the repair/rehab while others are loans, usually with below-market interest rates.  Most of the programs are designed for low- to moderate-income homeowners and have income limits.

The most recent version of the Home Rehab / Repair Matrix is now available and contains information on dozens of programs that can help Minnesota homeowners with repairs or maintenance on their homes.  

For a copy of the complete Home Rehab / Repair Matrix, as well as additional information for homeowners, visit the Center's website, here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 14th Is Give To The Max Day

As faithful readers of this blog know, the Minnesota Homeownership Center’s mission is to promote and advance successful homeownership in Minnesota, with a focus on serving the needs of low- and moderate-income families and emerging markets.

At the core of this mission is the belief that everyone can achieve long-term homeownership if they enter through the right door—prepared to make wise, informed decisions for their families.

This year, the Minnesota Homeownership Center is celebrating 20 years of advancing successful homeownership. Over these 20 years, the Center has changed the lives of more than 200,000 Minnesota families. 

The Center provides homeownership education and counseling to ensure that every Minnesota family pursuing homeownership enters the transaction only when prepared and empowered with the information needed to make decisions that will sustain their housing and communities for years to come. We are the central resource for foreclosure prevention resources in the state and provided critical services during the foreclosure crisis.

For more information about our work, visit our website at

If you haven't already chosen an organization or two to financially support during this year's Give to the Max day... we'd love for you to choose us!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Do It By The Numbers!

Numerologists claim that there is a mystical connection between numbers, or series of numbers, and events that happen in your life.  Here at the Homeownership Center we can’t answer paranormal questions but we can say that there REALLY IS a number that impacts your financial life and long-term homeownership success.

That number is your credit score.

The good news is that this number isn't mysterious… you can learn what your score is and – even better – learn how to improve it.

Your credit score is important.  A  low score not only means that you'll pay higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other loans, but it can also prevent you from getting an apartment, keep you from being hired for a job you want, or cause you to pay more for insurance coverage.

A strong credit score is the key that unlocks the door to better loans, cheaper car insurance and more.  YOU CAN build a good score and LSS Financial Counseling, a member of the Homeownership Advisors Network along with US Bank and Freddie Mac want to show you and your clients practical ways to improve your score at a free event next week:

  • Learn how to improve your score after a financial setback
  • Understand the credit scoring system and the steps to take to improve your score
  • And much more.

Event Information: 

DATE:   Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
TIME: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
LOCATION:   Center for Changing Lives 
                      2400 Park Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55404

The event is FREE and everyone who attends will be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift card door prize!