Paths to Becoming a First-Time Homebuyer

Owning a home has traditionally been part of the “American Dream”, but in today’s financial climate some Americans doubt they can afford the dream. The good news is that there are many programs available today to assist first-time homebuyers in obtaining a mortgage. Here are more details about the programs and options available.

What are my Options?

When looking at your mortgage options, often the first place to focus is the down payment requirement. Different loan programs have different requirements, with some appealing more to first-time homebuyers. Programs like an FHA loan, backed by the Federal Housing Administration, requires just 3.5% down. To qualify, you must have a minimum credit score and there are some upfront costs along with monthly premiums as well. Even with the additional costs, it may be the right choice for you especially since the FHA loan allows a gift to the homebuyer for the amount of the down payment. There is also a Conventional loan program offered with as little as 3% down for first-time homebuyers. This program may require a higher credit score and have income limits, however, if you qualify it is a great option.

Another path to homeownership runs through some state or local assistance programs. While these programs typically do not offer the actual financing, they can often provide down payment assistance or help with closing costs. For example, with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency you can purchase a home with as little as $1,000 down. You can inquire about available programs through your local or state housing agency, however, Cambria Mortgage and your Mortgage Consultant are experienced with these loans and can help you learn what programs and assistance are available for you with one simple phone call.

Who is Eligible?

While the specific rules vary by program and state, some basic guidelines revolve around your credit score, income, employment and price of the home. When looking at your credit score, it is common to need a certain score to qualify for some first-time homebuyer assistance programs, but those scores can vary so it is best to consult with your Mortgage Consultant for details. Income limits may also apply as many programs are designed to help low to moderate-income households. Eligibility is often dictated by the local median income and can be more for households with multiple occupants.

Employment can offer its own set of benefits with programs specific to teachers or public safety workers. The Good Neighbor Next Door program is offered by HUD and is open to law enforcement, primary school teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.  The program can offer discounts on the price of homes in the program as long as the buyer agrees to stay in the home for at least three years. There are also programs offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac such as the Home Ready and Home Possible programs. At Cambria Mortgage we are very familiar with these programs and can discuss all the particulars with you during a free consultation.

How do I Find Programs in my Area?

While you can start with an internet search, the amount of programs can be overwhelming. Working with Cambria Mortgage you can speak with a dedicated Mortgage Consultant that will take the time to get to know what your goals are and help you find the right program for your needs. With our extensive experience with all different programs and loan options, we can walk with you through every step of the home buying process and help you achieve your dreams.

Call Cambria Mortgage

To get started, call Cambria Mortgage at 952-942-0110 or visit CambriaMortgage.com. Our team of experts will provide personal, hometown service with sound advice and impeccable attention to detail at every step of the process.

Britt Peltola

Britt Peltola

Marketing Director

WFSH: Work From SECOND Home Life?

The weather is growing cold and many snowbirds are starting to make preparations to head south… Sound appealing but not quite at the snowbird stage of life yet? Can you still get in on the warm weather action? With the current changes to many people’s working environments you may be able to live the snowbird life while still maintaining your working routine. Read on for the benefits of owning a second home.

15 Fun Things to Do This Fall

Sure, a lot about our daily lives has changed in 2020, but the earth hasn’t stopped turning meaning we are coming full speed into fall. If you are looking for fun activities that are COVID-19 safety approved, we have a list for you. Before you head out to a new location, however, make sure to check out the procedures for guests as a lot of places will have mask or reservation requirements. Take a look below to find some ideas to get you having fun this fall.

How The Election May Affect the Housing Industry

There are a handful of factors that impact mortgage rates. Most of them, ones you’d never think to consider. For example, the weather impacts rates; when natural disasters take place like a hurricane or earthquake, rates tend to decrease. More expected, generally speaking, when the employment situation and economy improve you can expect rates to increase. But what happens when there is a presidential election?

At-Home Office Must-Haves

In March and April chances are we were winging this whole working from home thing… After all it was only temporary, or so we thought. But, it’s nearly October and many of us are still living this same song and dance. If you find yourself setting up shop to work from your kitchen table, check out a handful of things we think you definitely cannot live without during this extended period of working from home.

Mortgage Payment Breakdown: Where Does Your Payment Actually Go?

Chances are you know exactly how much you make your check out for every month when you pay your mortgage, but do you know what you are actually paying for? As a company, we talk a lot about interest rates and closing costs when investigating a refinance or purchase, however, once all the paperwork is signed it’s easy to lose track of the exact terms of our mortgage. Let’s take a deep dive into exactly what your mortgage payment is allocated toward. Read on for a full mortgage payment breakdown.

Halloween in the Time of COVID

In the latest of 2020 gut-punches, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has now recommended no door-to-door trick-or-treating due to the novel Coronavirus. This recommendation comes out in an attempt to keep everyone safe in a year struck by a global pandemic, but it doesn’t have to mean there will be no spooky fun on Halloween. We scoured the internet for Halloween activities that meet the guidelines while giving you and your family a chance to gather some treats...and maybe a few tricks!

Get a Fresh Feel with a Budget That’s No Big Deal

Chances are, you’ve been looking at the same indoor scene more than usual as of late; it’s understandable if you’ve grown tired of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a refresh with minimal work and a small budget? You’re in luck... We’ve put together some ideas for giving your home a big update with little effort and minimal money.

Yesterday and Today: What Low Interest Rates Actually Mean

One of the phrases companies love to use right now is “historically low rates” (guilty!), but what does that actually mean? Is it just lip service getting people intrigued or is there more to it than that? We took a look back at the last 30 years of data to show you what exactly goes into the phrase we all love so much.

Is 2020 Still Your Housing Year?

We don’t think anyone would disagree with stating this year has been unexpected, difficult and confusing for most everyone... but especially for prospective homebuyers. Those who planned on 2020 being the year they jumped headfirst toward their dream of homeownership may now find themselves doubting that idea altogether. Fear surrounding another housing crash like that of the last recession still lurks, however all signs are still pointing toward a positive housing climate.

10x Our Team Blew Us Away

At Cambria Mortgage our team’s primary goal is to make it easy for clients to finance or refinance a home. It’s important to us that our clients feel at home before they even find one; here are 10 instances where we were especially blown away by post-closing feedback.

Convert to Calm | Create a Home Oasis

The environment in which we live can make a big difference for our emotional state. We’ve put together a few ways you can easily create a calming area that promotes a healthy mindset. Read on for tips on creating your own home oasis.

But First, Get Pre-Approved

If you’re thinking about buying a home this year, I’m sure you already have many things on your to-do list. Maybe you have been looking into reevaluating your budget and saving for a downpayment; you’ve probably started to get an idea of what your credit looks like; heck, you may have even begun to dream up your future home online. The list goes on… But what is the #1 thing you should do right now?

Celebrate Homeownership Month with Cambria Mortgage

June is here, and you know what that means… It’s officially summer and school is out; the longest day of the year comes and goes; wedding season is typically in full swing. But what else? National Homeownership Month. We celebrate a key American value and the cornerstone of our economy every single day of June.

Back to Basics: How to Create (and Stick to) a Budget

For many, the recent global health crisis has thrown us a financial curveball. With any budget, and especially with the amount of uncertainty at large, it’s important to periodically examine your finances to make sure you are optimizing your assets and preparing for the future. If you do not currently have a budget, this is a great place to start. Read on for tips to create, and live by, a budget.

Stay at Home Stay-cations

It’s no secret that many people are getting the itch to travel now more than ever. We’re feeling restricted and cooped up. Let’s face it, we’re in need of a vacation that just can’t happen in our current circumstances. So, we improvise. In this article, we’re laying out our favorite ways to get a little R&R with a mini “staycation”.

Preparing to Purchase: 5 Things to Do to Get Ready to Purchase Your New Home

Buying a new home is an exciting prospect. The spring and summer housing market is heating up and rates are low ‒ you are ready to take the leap…right?! If you are feeling compelled to ‒ or maybe just pondering the idea of ‒ making the move into a new home purchase, make sure you don’t hit any potential bumps along way by following our tips below.

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Space

No matter if your outdoor space is a city balcony or a sprawling acreage in the country, having a space you love is key to enjoying the short summer months. Read on for tips to add some charm and charisma to your outdoor space.

Creating Opportunities Using Tools We Already Have

Oftentimes, opportunities don’t create themselves. It’s up to us to set goals and make a plan to achieve those goals… There will be many instances where we must regroup and rethink our plan along the way too, especially now. While a lot of what is happening right now is being handled on a day-to-day basis, having a plan is still possible and we have the power to create opportunities for ourselves. Whether you’re looking to branch out and build a business, find a new job or just curate new friendships… read on for suggestions on how to avoid feeling derailed and unsure of what to do next and instead build that door to opportunity.

Your Future Home: Up Close & Personal…at a Distance

If you find yourself taking the online home search to a whole new level during this Stay at Home order, you’re not alone. The housing market is booming and–just like you–consumers are still buying homes. While new guidelines are being implemented and the way we buy homes is changing, the need to be fully informed is not. For your benefit, we have compiled a list of tips for diving into your next potential neighborhood from a distance.

Quarantine Baking: It’s a Thing

If you are currently sheltering in place, or have made the transition to working from home, you may have picked up some new hobbies to keep you busy. It seems that many people have turned to baking during this time judging by the amount of recipes floating around the web! If “Quarantine Baking” has become one of your new hobbies, check out the recipes we sourced for you below. Make sure you take some great photos and tag us on Facebook if you make any of them!

Celebrate Mom From Afar

This year Mother’s Day celebrations may look a little different. Despite being in quarantine, there are still ways to make the one who gave you life, cared for you and shaped you into who you are as a person (no pressure) feel loved and appreciated. Check out some unique ideas that show mom you care while still maintaining social distancing measures and keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Hop, Skip and Plant Your Way to Spring Curb Appeal

Throughout most of the country spring has officially sprung, even in the frozen tundra of the upper midwest (finally). Along with the spring sunshine comes new growth and blooming gardens that brighten up our homes and lives. To make sure your curb appeal is on point, check out these spring tips below.

Tips for Getting a Mortgage Virtually

To many, the mortgage process may seem daunting to begin with… add a pandemic to the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster right? Wrong. While things around the office definitely look a lot different while we are in the midst of social distancing, things aren’t all that different when it comes to the mortgage process. Being we live in a world of advancement and technology, we were ready for a situation like this and haven’t missed a beat. Here are a few of our most helpful tips to make the virtual mortgage process a breeze.

Good News from the Housing Market (Why This is NOT 2008)

The most popular phrase during this pandemic seems to be, “during these uncertain times…” Some may even use this phrase when referring to the housing market. While a comparison to 2008’s housing crisis is certainly reasonable, the current housing market shows positive signs that keep us optimistic and show this is not a do-over of 2008. Read on for factors in the current housing market that show things are looking up.

Simple Ways to Recharge

It feels like day 572 of quarantine and chances are—at least once during this uncharted time—you’ve felt mentally depleted. Whether that is a product of the news coverage, juggling work with having the kids home 24/7, missing loved ones or just wanting to leave the house without fear of sickness… we understand. We’ve put together a list of five simple ways you can recharge your batteries and get back to feeling 100% again.

Ideas to Support Local Businesses and Keep Your Community Strong

Pandemic or not, choosing to shop small makes a difference; but during times like these the difference is even greater. For many locally-owned businesses, consumers choosing to shop small may be the difference between continuing to serve our communities post-pandemic or closing its doors for good. Local businesses are essential for our economy; they provide goods and services along with employment opportunities and a sense of community. These small businesses have been there for us, now it is our turn to be there for them.

3 Things You Can Take Control of Today

While the world is indeed still spinning around, sometimes it seems as if it is spinning out of control. The feelings of uncertainty and anxiety you may be experiencing during this time are valid. But it’s our hope that we can help you feel a better sense of security and control. Here is a list of three main things you can always take control of.

5 Tips for Transitioning to Homeschooling During School Closures

In a time of school closures and social distancing, a lot of parents are being thrust into the life of homeschooling their children. Even if your child’s teacher has put together a comprehensive distance learning packet for you to draw from, the proposition of being your child’s teacher can still seem daunting. Here are some tips we put together to help you get through this time stronger, and hopefully smarter, than ever.

Finding Joy in Times of Uncertainty

When everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to be grateful. Ironically, it seems in times of stress–when we need a positive outlook most–we forget how great the life we are living really is. If the current state of our world has been weighing you down, here are some ways you can find the joy you’ve been missing again.

Secrets for #WFH Success

Many companies are encouraging employees to practice social distancing on a whole new level by avoiding coming into the office altogether and instead, working from home. For many of us, working remotely is a new practice. Some may be jumping for joy—we see you millennials—while others may be feeling a little out of sorts. No matter your attitude on the situation, we’ve put together a list of our best tips for staying productive while working from home.

Why Refi? What it Means to Refinance and Why You Should Look into it

Interest rates, interest rates, interest rates. That seems to be the only thing in the headlines regarding mortgages these days. The TV, radio and internet ads are all telling you NOW IS THE TIME TO REFINANCE! But why? What does it mean to refinance and what do you have to gain? Read on for the many reasons to refinance to see if it really is time for you to take a closer look.

Catch More Zzzzz’s Without Counting Sheep

Everyone loves a good night’s sleep, but for some it is as elusive as the perfect selfie. With small changes you could see an improvement on your nightly slumber. Read on for how to improve your sleep habits and wake-up feeling rested and refreshed.

A Look Ahead to 2019

A review of 2018 and a look ahead to 2019 may look a little frightening from a financial perspective, however,…

Seasonal Migration; Not Just for The Birds

As the weather takes a turn for the worse, the thought of getting away to a warmer climate becomes more appealing. The term “snowbird” is often used to describe those who migrate from colder climates to sunny locations for extended periods each year. Becoming a snowbird and owning a home in another state can provide more than just a respite from the cold. Read on for more about the benefits of being a snowbird.

Fall Décor Trends

When the seasons start to change it is fun to be able to update our surroundings with new and exciting décor. Read on for Etsy’s six fall home décor trends:

Learn to Love Your Space Again for Free

Making changes to your decor can get expensive, but leaving things the same can make you long for an update. Before you throw in the (old) towel, read on for tricks to redecorate your space for free.

Planning The Perfect Picnic

The time for long days spent in the sun and nights by the fire has arrived. Take full advantage of your time outdoors by planning a picnic for your next outing. Here are some tips to help you plan.

Why A Preapproval Is Key to Your Home Buying Success

Home values are rising. Inventory is low. If you are looking to purchase a home right now, these factors can heavily influence your search. Having a preapproval for your mortgage used to be a nice thing to have; today it is essential and here’s why.

Liven Up Your Space with an Indoor Garden

While the calendar may say it is spring outside, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. If you are getting tired of the winter blahs it may be time to spruce up your space with an indoor garden. Read on for tips to green up your digs.

Tips to Get Ready for Entertaining

As the holiday season approaches, there are many opportunities to entertain friends and family. Getting prepared for all of these events doesn’t have to take all of your time and energy. Here are some quick tips to ensure you can enjoy your gatherings.

Should I Buy an Investment Property?

Owning and investing in real estate has the ability to provide many short- and long-term financial benefits. In fact, we often hear about some of the world’s wealthiest people being involved in real estate investing. Before deciding to purchase your first investment property, make sure it is right for you by doing your research and being prepared. Read the tips below for getting started with investment properties.

Organize Your Closet Like a Pro: 10 Tips to Elevate Your Style Storage

Not surprisingly, celebrities often enlist the help of professional closet organizers to help keep their massive wardrobes in check. In fact, Kim Kardashian got her start as a closet organizer for many celebrities in the early 2000s. Below are tips from professionals that you can use in your own closet to keep things in order.

10 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

When making the decision to sell your home or purchase a new one, it is important that you are comfortable working with the real estate agent you choose. The sale and purchase of a home are large transactions and you want to be sure that you are finding the right fit, not just the easiest or first person you meet.

Buying Vs. Renting: Why Now Is a Great Time to Become a Homeowner

The choice between buying a home and renting is among the biggest financial decisions many people will make. Homeownership has long been touted as the American Dream, but you may wonder if you are ready to make that dream a reality. Read on to learn why now is a great time to make the jump from renting into homeownership.

Ready for a Retreat? Tips for Purchasing a Second Home

When summer finally hits and you start to dream of getting away on the weekends, it might be time to start looking at purchasing a second home. There are many reasons to purchase a second home and only some of them are financial, however, those reasons should not be overlooked.

Designing Your Home to Sell

When looking to get the most out of your home sale, the topic of staging may have come up. By highlighting your home’s strengths and downplaying its weaknesses, you can help yourself attract the most potential buyers.  Here are some tips to help you stage your home like the pros: 

How to Host the Perfect Summer BBQ

Summer in the Midwest means time outside. On these beautiful summer days there is nothing better than a BBQ to bring friends and family together. Here are some tips on how to host the perfect summer BBQ.

Building Your Dream Home

Many people dream of being able to design and build their dream homes to their exact specifications. Building a new home can be a dream come true, but it can also have its challenges. Read on for more information about building your dream home and construction loans.

2017 Mortgage Forecast

As 2016 draws to a close, we’re grateful for the strong housing market, which has enabled us to help hundreds of individuals and families invest in real estate, purchase new homes and vacation homes, and reduce their interest rates. As we look ahead to 2017, we anticipate the local housing market will remain strong.

Color Your World: How to Pick the Perfect Paint

With the holidays just around the corner, October is a perfect time to give your rooms a fresh coat of paint in a fabulous new color. But, unless you’re a design professional, it can be challenging to pick the perfect palette with confidence. Here are some tips for getting it right the first time.

Countdown to a New Home

Thinking of buying a new home? The experts at Cambria® Mortgage™ can help you streamline the process, make the right decisions, and enjoy a smooth, stress-free experience.

5 Common Mortgage Myths: Get the Truth from Cambria Mortgage

The idea of getting a home mortgage loan can be daunting, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. The good news is that many long-held beliefs about mortgages are no longer true. Here, the experts at Cambria Mortgage explain some of the most common misconceptions.

Staging Your Home: 5 Tips for Success

With robust buyer demand and a limited supply of homes for sale, homes in this area of the country are generally selling faster than last year, with prices close to—and often greater than—their asking prices. To maximize this opportunity, consider staging your home.

Vacation Homes: How to Buy a Piece of Paradise

Do you find yourself returning to the same pristine lake every summer, wishing you owned your own piece of paradise? If so, it might be time to listen to your heart and consider buying a cabin or other vacation home. We asked Matt Helling, Vice President of Sales and Operations at Cambria Mortgage, for his advice and insights.

5 Classic Home Styles and How to Spot Them

There’s just something special about a traditional home. Crafted of timeless brick, stucco, masonry, and wood, these charming houses are filled with warmth and character. If you’re in the market for a classic home, here’s how to spot five beloved home styles.

5 Tips to Enhance Your Home’s Security

According to the FBI, a home burglary occurs somewhere in the United States every 15 seconds, with the majority of residential break-ins happening in daylight while homeowners are away from their houses or condos. When it comes to home security, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has some sage advice.

Blue Skies for Homeowners: What to Expect in 2016

If your list of New Year’s resolutions includes refinancing your existing mortgage or buying a new home, now’s a great time to get started. “We’re very optimistic about the economic outlook for 2016,” says Matt Helling, Vice President of Sales and Operations at Cambria Mortgage. "With historically low mortgage interest rates, attractive programs, and a loosening of credit guidelines, 2016 looks to be a strong year for homeowners."

Ready. Set. Entertain! Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

As much as we look forward to the holidays, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can often feel like an endless round of decorating, cooking, and entertaining. To reduce stress and prevent holiday burnout, use these tips to make this season easy, enjoyable, and memorable.

Remodeling ROI: How to get the biggest bang for your renovation buck

If you’ve been thinking about remodeling your home, you’ve probably realized that it’s both an emotional and financial decision. For example, if you love to cook, a new kitchen with a chef-grade stove may bring you countless hours of joy and entertainment. But if you might be selling your home within the next few years, you also want to know the kitchen will pay for itself when the “For Sale” sign goes up in your front yard. Here are some tips to help you get the biggest bang for your renovation buck.

Get the Low-Down on Down Payments

A happy family that chose a home loan that best suits their needs and budget. Whether you’re considering building a brand-new home, rehabbing a mid-century treasure, or buying a historic downtown loft, you’ve probably realized there are two key things to consider—what you can afford as a monthly mortgage payment, and what you can afford to “put down” on your home as a down payment.

It’s Home Tour Season!

As home design enthusiasts know, summer is an exceptionally exciting time, because it’s when home tours are in full swing. Starting in June with the Artisan Home Tour and the Luxury Home Tour, home tour season offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the endlessly inspiring world of architecture, construction, and design.

5 Easy Ways to Create Beauty and Value

Spring is a great time to amp up your home’s curb appeal. Set aside a sunny Saturday and use these five easy, cost-effective ideas to jump-start your efforts. P.S. Once the neighbors see the fruits of your labors, don’t be surprised if they start spiffing up their own homes!

There’s No Place Like Home

At the end of The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy clicks her heels three times, chanting, “There’s no place like home,” she’s not thinking of a rental apartment. While we appreciate rentals, especially in the form of beachfront summer cottages, Tuscan villas, and Tribeca lofts, we have a special affinity for the word home. No matter where we grew up, home has a feeling of permanence, and a sense of comfort and peace in our busy world.