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Joe Scherer's Blog

By Joseph Scherer | Agent in Dakota County, MN
  • Buying a Lake Elmo Home With a VA Loan

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lake Elmo, Financing in Lake Elmo, Property Q&A in Lake Elmo  |  August 26, 2011 7:59 AM  |  600 views  |  1 comment
    One increasingly common financing option in Lake Elmo for Minnesota home buyers is available through the VA. This type of financing has increased nationally by about 20% over the last couple of years due in part to the increasing number of our veterans returning from the service. Additionally with the loss of other options for zero down payment loans in Minnesota, the VA offers a benefit that offers eligible buyers a unique opportunity to buy their home with no down payment.

    Many veteran home buyers misunderstand the fact that they may use their VA financing benefit multiple times. As a result veteran home buyers do not necessarily need to be a MN first time home buyer in order to use their VA benefit. This can be a perfect solution for veteran's who own homes and who want to sell their home despite having minimal equity. Since they will be able buy their next home with no down payment with a Minnesota VA loan they can more easily sell their home despite receiving no proceeds from the sale.

    Lake Elmo VA Loans: First Determine Your Eligibility

    Veterans must determine two things to see if they will be qualify for a VA loan. First they must see if they are eligible for a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE). They can apply for the Certificate of Eligibility online or more simply right through their Minnesota mortgage banker. There are several categories for eligibility and I encourage veterans to check with the VA or to research their eligibility online

    While Lake Elmo VA home loans require zero down payment, there still are closing costs which the veteran must pay to various people who help them get the loan. To address this issue, the VA allows the buyer to negotiate with the seller to pay up to 4 per cent of the purchase price towards their closing costs. This is an extremely common strategy used to buy Lake Elmo real estate today and most home sellers have been prepared to pay this expense as long as they can arrive at the net sales price they need in order to sell the home.

    Lake Elmo VA Loans: Get Preapproved for Free

    The second thing a Lake Elmo veteran should determine is if they qualify for the standards of the VA home loan. I encourage all veterans to talk with a MN mortgage banker to get preapproved for MN VA loans before we go out shopping for a home. By going through the preapproval process the banker will review your financial scenario to determine if you meet the requirements for a VA loan. This important first step is usually free and requires no commitment to buy on the part of the buyer. In fact, many mortgage lenders offering VA loans will do this right over the phone.

    City of Lake Elmo, MN

    With just a little over 8,000 residents residing amidst private neighborhoods and farmland, Lake Elmo has a small town feel despite its proximity to St. Paul. Situated in Washington County, homeowners in Lake Elmo have a brief commute to most of the major employers of Saint Paul, MN. Much of the city of Lake Elmo is part of Stillwater schools, ISD 834. If you're looking to buy or sell real estate in Lake Elmo, please send me an email or give me a call and I'm glad to help!

    If you are a Lake Elmo veteran and are interested in buying your first home please just give me a call. Whether you currently own a Lake Elmo home or are looking to buy your first home, Lake Elmo VA loans can be a great way to buy a home. With rates at record lows combined with lower property values many veterans have found that it is cheaper to buy than to rent!

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

  • Is a Savage Townhome Right For You

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Savage, Financing in Savage, Property Q&A in Savage  |  August 24, 2011 5:09 AM  |  611 views  |  No comments
    There are many good reasons to go out searching for Savage townhomes for sale. Over recent decades this type of home has offered Americans homeownership with a more care-free lifestyle. With lower house maintenance costs and affordable prices, many people find it more conducive to their lifestyles. So what are the pros and cons to living in a Savage townhome?

    Savage Townhomes Prices

    Savage townhomes for sale are quite often priced more favorably than traditional single family housing due in part to the use shared walls and common areas. The townhome association to which you will be required to belong is responsible for upkeep of these common areas as well as some of the exterior maintenance of your home as well. This can make buying a Savage townhome especially appealing to busy first time home buyers as well as to retirees who prefer not to deal with that type of upkeep.

    This does not mean that the maintenance of the home is free, of course. As a part of your responsibility for living in a Savage townhome you will be required to pay a monthly association fee. This fee covers a variety of things but the extent to what it covers can vary from one association to another. For example while your association dues might include insurance for your dwelling in one association, you might have to pay that separately for that in another. It is important to check into these things before you make your decision to buy since your monthly association dues can vary significantly.

    Having developed into a popular bedroom community to the Twin Cities, Savage, MN has almost tripled in population over the past twenty years. Filled with affordable real estate for sale, Savage, MN has become a great spot to look for homes for the Minnesota first time home buyer. Conveniently located just southwest of Bloomington, living in Savage means you will have a short commute to the major employers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since the community has a busy Park and Rec program, it seems like homeowners of Savage always have something fun to do. If you're thinking of buying or selling Minnesota real estate, please take a moment to send me an email or give me a call.

    Savage townhomes for sale: Towhouse or Condo?

    If you are using an FHA loan to buy your Savage townhome, be certain to investigate how the homeowner's association was originally formed before you make your offer. In many cases in MN, townhome associations were formed as a condominium association to save fees for the developers. If the townhome association is actually a condo, FHA will require that the association has been approved by FHA. If the condo association is not yet approved by the FHA, the process for getting FHA condo approval can be time consuming and a bit aggravating for all involved and may delay your purchase closing.

    Savage townhomes for sale: Pros

    • Lower maintenance lifestyle
    • Less expensively priced housing
    • Shared amenities such as recreational areas l
    • Often a small back yard
    • No neighbors located below or above as is common in condos

    Savage townhomes for sale: The Cons

  • Townhome association monthly dues
  • Small yard or occasionally no yard at all
  • Shared walls can result in hearing noise from neighbors
  • Get Preapproved for Mortgage Financing

    The first part in the process of buying a house is to get prequalified for financing. This means that you meet with a local mortgage lender who analyzes your credit, income, assets, and debts. In the prequalification application they can tell you what types of Minnesota first time buyer programs you might be qualified for. This critical first part can be done over the phone and most lenders will even do this with you when you are off from work.

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

  • Buying a South Saint Paul Townhome: Pros and Cons

    Posted Under: Home Buying in South Saint Paul, Financing in South Saint Paul, Property Q&A in South Saint Paul  |  August 4, 2011 5:41 PM  |  473 views  |  No comments

    Out Looking for South St. Paul townhomes for sale?

    As you begin your property search for South St. Paul townhomes for sale, let’s take a minute to talk a little bit about the pros and cons of townhome living. Millions of homeowners enjoy the benefits of living in townhomes and it might be a perfect housing solution for you. Just like with any type of real estate purchase it is important that you understand the subtleties of any home style that you purchase before signing on the dotted line.

    South St. Paul townhomes for sale are often priced significantly less than traditional single family houses due in part to the use shared walls and common areas. The townhome association to which you will be required to belong is responsible for upkeep of these common areas as well as some of the exterior maintenance of your home as well. This can make buying a South St. Paul townhome especially appealing to busy first time home buyers as well as to retirees who prefer not to deal with that type of upkeep.

    This does not mean that the maintenance is without cost, as you know. As part of your financial responsibility for owning a South St. Paul townhome you will have a monthly dues you must pay to the association. These dues cover a variety of things but the extent to what it covers can vary from one South St. Paul townhomes for sale association to the next. While your monthly association dues might include insurance coverage for your dwelling in one homeowner's association, you might have to pay that separately for that in another. It is important to check into these things before you make your decision to buy since your monthly costs of living in that particular home can vary widely.

    Community Info For South Saint Paul

    Just south of downtown St. Paul, MN you will find the great city of South Saint Paul. Rich in Minnesota history, South Saint Paul is one of the original meat packing districts in the U.S. Because South Saint Paul is located in Dakota County first time buyers can may well benefit from the Dakota County first time home buyer program. With a well developed program for Park and Rec in South Saint Paul it seems there's always something to do! With an affordable average sales price for housing this is an ideal location for the MN first time home buyer. Are you ready to search for homes in South Saint Paul? Let's take some time to discuss the possibilities!

    One item to note is that in almost all associations, the interior contents of your home will not be covered by the association insurance. This means that you will want to also maintain “walls-in” insurance which is comparable to renters insurance, which is an additional annual fee to your insurance company. If you are getting a mortgage for your South St. Paul townhome you will be required to buy and maintain this type of insurance for your home.

    South St. Paul townhomes for sale: Pros

    • Low maintenance lifestyle
    • Less expensive homes
    • Shared amenities offered through the association
    • Often a back yard
    • Unlike condos--no neighbors up and down

    South St. Paul townhomes for sale: Cons

    • Monthly association fees
    • Smallish yards
    • Shared walls can result in hearing noise from neighbors
    Find Out What You Are Qualfied For

    The first step in the home buying process is to get preapproved for mortgage financing. This simply means that you talk with a local lender who will review your credit, income, etc. In this discussion they can tell you what types of Minnesota first time buyer programs you might be qualified for. This critical first part can be done over the phone and most lenders will arrange to talk with you when you're off work, even in the evenings or weekends.

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

  • Buying an Eagan Home With a VA Loan

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Eagan, Financing in Eagan, Property Q&A in Eagan  |  July 28, 2011 5:58 AM  |  450 views  |  No comments
    One increasingly common mortgage option in Eagan for home buyers is available through the VA. This type of mortgage financing has increased by about twenty per cent over the last couple of years due in part to the sheer number of our returning veterans. Additionally with the loss of other options for zero down payment loans in Minnesota, the VA offers a benefit that offers eligible buyers a unique opportunity to buy their home with no down payment.

    Eagan VA Mortgages: Not Just For The First Time Buyer

    Many veteran home buyers misunderstand the fact that they may use their VA financing benefit multiple times. As a result veteran home buyers do not necessarily need to be a MN first time home buyer in order to use their VA benefit. This can be a perfect solution for veteran's who own homes and who want to sell their home despite having minimal equity. Since they will not need a lot of money to buy their next home with a MN VA loan they can sometimes afford to sell their home without receiving any proceeds from equity in order to buy the next.

    Eagan Veterans First Step: Determine Your Eligibility

    Eagan veterans should discover two things to see if they will be eligible for a VA mortgage. First they should research if they are eligible for a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE). They can apply for the Certificate online or even just through their Minnesota mortgage broker. There are several categories for eligibility and I encourage veterans to check with the VA or to research their eligibility online

    It is important to note that he Certificate of Eligibility offers a guarantee to the lender which helps to offset some of their losses in the event of a foreclosure. This guarantee is paid for by the veteran in the form of the “VA funding fee” which is typically financed on top of the mortgage loan. The VA funding fee is waived by the VA for those veterans who have service related disabilities.

    Eagan VA Loans: Get Preapproved for Free

    The second thing a Eagan veteran should determine is if they can get prequalified for a VA loan. I encourage all Minnesota veterans to get preapproved for MN VA loans before we go out shopping for Eagan homes. When you go through the preapproval process the banker will review your financial scenario to determine if you meet the requirements for a VA loan. This critical first step is usually done at no charge and can be done within a few days. In fact many MN VA lenders will do this right over the phone.

    The Community of Eagan

    If you are planning a move to the southern metro you will want to check into Eagan real estateCITY. Due at least in part to its convenient access to the Twin Cities metro, the City of Eagan has grown rapidly over the years. As recently as fifty years ago Eagan had only about 3,000 residents, but as of the 2010 census now has over 64,000. Of course, this means that most of the housing stock is in newer neighborhoods. Because Eagan is in Dakota County, qualifying first time buyers might want to check out the Dakota County First Time Home Buyers program. For a taste of what's happening in Eagan, go to their Community Events page.

    If you want to buy a home in Eagan using VA financing feel free to give me a call or send me a quick email. Whether you have a home to sell or are ready to buy your first, Eagan VA loans can be a great way to buy a home. With interest rates at record lows combined with reduced property values many veterans are finding that it is cheaper to buy a home than to rent!

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

  • Looking for Golden Valley Rental Townhomes?

    Posted Under: Financing in Golden Valley, Rent vs Buy in Golden Valley, Property Q&A in Golden Valley  |  July 27, 2011 8:52 AM  |  491 views  |  No comments

    Golden Valley Rental townhomes: Should I Rent One Or Buy?

    If you are in the hunt for Golden Valley rental townhomes, hold on for a moment and consider the differences between renting townhomes versus owning. Since it is more expensive today to rent townhomes than to buy one isn’t it at least worth it to consider saving some money by buying a home?

    Golden Valley rental townhomes will typically have the advantage that you can get be released of a lease arrangement in about one year's time. This advantage comes at a cost, however, , in that your rent payments will often times exceed those of a house payment. Additionally the rental deposit may well be in excess of the entry cost required for buying a home when considering all of the down payment assistance programs available for MN first time home buyers. Finally, perhaps the real cost in renting is the fact that you are helping someone else buy their home with your rental payments helping make THEIR house payments.

    The advantages may certainly be worth it, despite the high cost of renting, to rent if you will be moving again to a another city at the end when your lease expires. I tend to think that if you buy a home today you should plan on staying in it for a few years while the market develops.

    Benefits To Buying Golden Valley townhomes

    With all of the benefits available to the MN first time home buyer today, it is hard to know where to start in terms of listing the benefits. The State of Minnesota now offers special loan programs through its Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to offer reduced interest rates as well as down payment assistance. Additionally many communities today offer additional down payment assistance loans or grants that both reduce what you need for cash to close as well as reducing your monthly payment.

    First Step: Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

    One of the more important factors in buying a home is to get preapproved. Most buyers leave it to the last minute because it is the least fun part of the entire home buying process. It is always important however, especially for the MN first time home buyer to get preapproved for a hoome loan before searching for a home. Please email me and I will help you with getting started in the process with a Minnesota mortgage banker.

    Golden Valley Information

    The great City of Golden Valley is suburb of the Twin Cities, lying on the western edges of Hennepin County. With major employers such as Tennant Company and Honeywell, Golden Valley, MN is also has the headquarters of Pentair and General Mills. With a well developed Park and Rec department Golden Valley can offer everyone something to do for recreation. Just 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis people living in Golden Valley have access to a wide variety of social activities. If you are think about selling a home or buying Golden Valley real estate please don't hesitate to give me a call.

    If you have not yet thought of buying a townhomes I would like the opportunity to discuss with you about the benefits of both rental homes in Golden Valley versus buying a home. I encourage you to take the first step which is to email or call me.

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

  • Blaine Rental Homes: Time to buy or rent

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Blaine, Financing in Blaine, Property Q&A in Blaine  |  July 22, 2011 8:20 AM  |  608 views  |  No comments

    Blaine Rental homes: Advantages of Buying vs. Renting

    If you are looking for Blaine rental homes, let’s pause for a minute and consider the difference between renting homes versus buying. Since it is more expensive today to rent homes than to buy one isn’t it at least worth it to consider saving some money by buying a home?

    Blaine rental homes, of course, have the advantage that you can get out of the lease contract in 12 months. I want you to remember that this advantage comes at a cost, however, in that your rental payments will often exceed those of a house payment. Additionally the rental deposit may well be in excess of the entry cost required for buying a Blaine homes after considering all of the down payment assistance programs available for first time home buyers. Finally, perhaps the highest cost in renting a homes is the fact that you are helping someone else buy their home with your rent payments helping to make the payments of your landlord.

    Still, the advantage may certainly be worth it to rent a homes if you will be moving again to a another city at the end when your lease expires. I tend to think that if you buy a home today you should plan on staying in it for a few years while the market develops.

    Benefits To Buying Blaine homes for the First Time Buyer

    With all of the great benefits available to the MN first time home buyer today, it is hard to know where to start in terms of benefits. The State of Minnesota now offers special loan programs through its Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to offer reduced interest rates as well as down payment assistance. Additionally many communities today offer additional down payment assistance loans or grants that both reduce what you need for cash to close as well as reducing your monthly payment.

    First Step To Buy A Home: Get Preapproved

    For many MN first time buyers the big, intimidating question is where do I start the process? Your first step to home ownership is to get preapproved for a first time buyer's mortgage. By doing so you find out how much you are qualified for so that we can search for homes in the right price range.

    Blaine As A Community

    When looking to buy a suburban home to the Twin Cities consider the city of Blaine as a great possibility. With a very active Park and Rec department Blaine offers all the benefits of a Twin Cities suburb. As a neighboring community to the Twin Cities, Blaine has more than doubled in size over the last 30 years. Located mostly in Anoka County, some other portions of Blaine can be found in Ramsey county as well. Please take a minute to view this brief video which was produced by the City of Blaine, MN. If you are thinking about about buying or selling Blaine real estate, please give me a call or send me an email.

    If you have not yet considered buying a homes I would like the opportunity to talk with you about the benefits of both renting versus buying a home. Please take a moment to call or email me.

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

  • Shoreview First Time Home Buyers-Avoiding Major Mistakes

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Shoreview, Financing in Shoreview, Property Q&A in Shoreview  |  July 21, 2011 8:15 AM  |  446 views  |  No comments

    Are you beginning to plan to buy your first home in Shoreview, Minnesota? There are some simple things that I would like to share with you about Shoreview real estate to help ensure you avoid some of the bigger mistakes that many first time buyers make. With some simple preparation you can avoid some of the most painful pitfalls.

    Shoreview Community Info

    The City of Shoreview is an awesome place to consider if you are considering buying a home. Situated in Ramsey County is conveniently located just north of St. Paul, MN. Shoreview got national press when Family Circle magazine named it as the <="" a="">fourth best place to live in their 2008 article. With seven lakes in the community Shoreview offers plenty of recreation opportunities. If you're searching for affordable Minnesota housing Shoreview is a great opportunity to consider.

    1) Get preapproved for your first time home buyers loan first! I have met far too many first time buyers who find their home before they get prequalified for a home loan. It can be a painful experience to go through the work of finding the ideal home only to find out you are not yet ready to qualify for a home loan. You can get preapproved with my preferred MN mortgage lender right over the telephone, even after normal business hours. There is no cost and no obligation so why not start the process immediately?

    2) Get educated about the process of buying a home as soon as you can. You can learn a great deal at a first time home buyer seminar or at a Home Stretch Worshop available through many communities around the Twin Cities. There is so much to know about the home buying process that it is well worth it to learn as much about it as you can…and as early as you can.

    3) Get a home inspection on the house you buy. While a professional home inspection is not usually required by your lender it can reveal major potential problems in the house before you are fully committed to the purchase. You can negotiate a transaction with a contingency upon a satisfactory home inspection so that if it comes back bad, you can back out of the transaction. Some first time home buyers will skip the home inspection because of the cost involved. This cost is cheap when compared to making a purchase of a home that later reveals multiple problems.

    4) Take good care of your credit after preapproval. After you have received your preapproval for a home loan your lender still might need to check your credit again. Make your payments on time and do not open up any new credit. You should avoid additional credit inquiries after your preapproval to avoid a reduction to your credit score.

    5) Do not spend your down payment money before closing. Your MN mortgage banker will give you a good faith estimate at loan application including an estimate for how much money you will need at closing. Make sure to save your money so that you're not caught in a bind on the day of closing.

    First Step To Buy A Home: Get Preapproved

    For many MN first time home buyers the big question is where do I start? Your very first step towards buying your first home is to get preapproved for a mortgage. By doing so you find out how much of a loan you are qualified for so that we can research homes in a comfortable price range.

    Joe Scherer
    Sales Executive, Licensed Realtor in Minnesota 
    Century 21 Premier Group 
    jscherer1111@gmail.com 
    Cell 612-991-6365 
    1660 S. Highway 100, Suite #578
    Parkdale Plaza
    St. Louis Park, MN  55416
    With a focus on Twin Cities real estate and surrounding communities.

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