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Joe Scherer's Blog

By Joseph Scherer | Agent in Dakota County, MN
  • Lake Elmo Townhomes For Sale

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Lake Elmo, Home Buying in Lake Elmo, Financing in Lake Elmo  |  August 30, 2011 8:28 PM  |  593 views  |  No comments
    As you begin your search for Lake Elmo townhomes for sale, let’s take a minute to talk a little bit about the pros and cons of townhome living. Tens of millions of Americans enjoy living in townhomes today and it might be a perfect housing solution for you. As with any type of Minnesota real estate purchase it’s important that you understand the subtleties of any home style that you purchase before signing on the dotted line.

    Prices for Lake Elmo townhomes for sale

    Lake Elmo townhomes for sale are quite often priced more favorably than traditional single family housing largely due to the 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 Lake Elmo townhome especially appealing to busy first time home buyers as well as to retirees who prefer not to deal with that type of upkeep.

    Lake Elmo Townhomes: Association Dues

    This fact does not mean that the maintenance is without cost, as you know. Included in your responsibility for residing in a Lake Elmo townhome you will need to pay monthly association dues. These dues cover a variety of things but the extent to what it covers can vary from one Lake Elmo 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 investigate these points before you buy a Lake Elmo townhome since your monthly association dues can vary significantly.

    Lake Elmo Community Information

    With just over 8,000 residents living amidst private neighborhoods and farmland, Lake Elmo has a small town feel despite its proximity to St. Paul. Located in Washington County, homeowners in Lake Elmo have a short commute to the major employers in Saint Paul. Most of Lake Elmo is part of Stillwater schools, ISD 834. If you're looking to buy or sell real estate in Lake Elmo, please don't hesitate to give me a call.

    FHA Financing and Lake Elmo townhomes for sale

    If you are using an FHA loan to buy your Lake Elmo townhome, be sure to check out how the association was formed before you make you write any purchase agreement. In many cases, the associations for townhome communities were actually formed as condominium associations 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 it is not yet approved by FHA, the process for getting it approved can be time consuming and could possibly delay your loan closing by weeks.

    Lake Elmo townhomes for sale: Pros
    • Lifestyle with low maintenance
    • Less expensive prices for homes
    • Shared amenities offered through the association
    • Often a back yard
    • Unlike condos--no neighbors up and down
    Lake Elmo townhomes for sale: Cons
    • Monthly association dues
    • Smaller yards or sometimes no yard at all
    • Shared walls can result in hearing noise from neighbors
    Get Pre-qualified

    The first part in the process of buying a house 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 doing so 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 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  |  599 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.

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