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July: Time to think about the Homestead Credit Refund!

BlogPic_HomesteadCreditSummer is in full swing here in Minnesota: the sound of lawnmowers and weed trimmers are in the air, boats are out on the water, the kids are enjoying summer break from school, vacations have been planned and the Minnesota Homestead Credit Refund deadline is fast approaching.

Wait. What?

That’s right.  The Minnesota Department of Revenue wants to remind Minnesota homeowners that the filing deadline for 2012 Homestead Credit refund is Friday, August 15th and while the deadline for the 2013 Homestead Credit refund is still more than a year away… why not file for that refund too?

Importantly, a recent change to Minnesota law has increased the amount for the 2013 Homestead Credit Refund and has adjusted income and property tax limits!   Even if you haven’t qualified in the past, you may now qualify for a refund.

Do you qualify?

You may qualify for the Homestead Credit Refund if you meet all of these requirements:

  • You are a full- or part-year Minnesota resident.
  • You owned and lived in your home on Jan. 2 of the year you paid property taxes.
  • Your home is classified as “homestead” by the county.
  • You do not owe delinquent property taxes.
  • You meet the income requirements.

How do you get your refund?

Complete Form M1PR, Homestead Credit Refund (for Homeowners), for the appropriate year.  For the 2012 refund, you must file by Aug. 15, 2014.  For the 2013 refund, you must file by Aug. 15, 2015.

PLUS: Most homeowners can file for their Homestead Credit Refund for free on the department’s website. The Property Tax Refund Online Filing System tells you what documents you need to file online and guides you through the process.

Would you like more info?

Visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue website for more information about the Homestead Credit Refund.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Center Gains HUD-Approved Intermediary Designation

HUD_logo_1The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the Minnesota Homeownership Center’s designation as a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Intermediary.

HUD has been working to strengthen its partnerships with strong networks of multiple counseling agencies in order to leverage resources and improve consumer access to housing counseling services at the local community level. Recognized by HUD for its 20+ years of promoting and advancing successful homeownership through its network housing counseling agencies, the Center will now oversee a network of 20 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies offering housing services in pre-purchase education, one-on-one homeownership counseling, rental information, Fair Housing guidance, rehabilitation programs, Reverse Mortgage Counseling, homeless prevention support, and foreclosure prevention options.

As more first-time buyer loan programs, down-payment assistance and foreclosure avoidance programs require access to HUD-Approved counseling, the Center is pleased to be able to be a resource for consumers and counseling agencies throughout the state. With this new designation we also hope to be able to secure additional HUD funding for housing counseling services in Minnesota.

“We know that homeownership counseling and personalized assistance that help families achieve financial wellness are the best tools to prevent another housing crisis like the one we’ve recently experienced,” stated Ed Nelson of the Minnesota Homeownership Center. “Looking forward, The Center’s Network will continue providing education, guidance and resources to Minnesota families.”

Currently, the Center will continue all activities as usual, overseeing the Homeownership Advisors Network*. A complete list of agencies that are participating in our HUD intermediary network will be posted here on our website in the coming months. In addition, the Center will continue to embrace emerging technologies and tools that will prepare thousands of families for successful, sustainable homeownership and will continue to expand programming for partner agencies that will ensure that the Homeownership Advisors Network is on the cutting edge of housing and financial stability trends.

*Not all current members of the Homeownership Advisors Network will be participating with us in this HUD endeavor. Additional details will be posted soon.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

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.

Posted on: Monday, November 18th, 2013