Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You’ll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.
One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In Minnesota, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in Minnesota were lowest in January. On average, homes were $21,257 less expensive. While in August — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $7,937 more than the annual average.
In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Minnesota.
|Best Month ForListing priceJanuary5.4% lower than averageHousing inventoryJune11.7% more homes to choose fromMortgage ratesDecember2.87% interest for 30-year mortgageRealtor.com data (October 2020)|
Bankrate data (December 2020)
If you’re interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting pre approved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.
You can fill out the form below to be instantly matched with a licensed lender who knows the area and can guide you through the process.
Minnesota is known for its harsh winters, so buying in the winter is rarely ideal. However, if you find a home on the market during that time, the sellers are almost certainly extremely motivated to sell and you could get a great deal.
If you want to shop when the most homes are available, consider looking during the spring and summer. This is the real estate busy season in Minnesota, however, so expect high-quality homes to move quickly.
Right now most of Minnesota is a seller’s market, meaning that there are more buyers than homes available. That results in homes selling for higher prices, especially if there’s a bidding war for a property. However, it’s possible that things are slowly shifting toward buyers in the Twin Cities area.
To get the best deals with reasonable house-hunting weather and a variety of homes available, look for houses in Minnesota in the late summer and early fall. You’ll still have homes to choose from but you’ll have far less competition.
Best Places to Buy a Home in Minnesota
Curious where the best places to live in Minnesota are? Here are five cities to consider. They rank highly in terms of housing, job opportunities, culture, and much more.
Rochester. Rochester, MN is ranked #2 on Niche.com’s “Best Cities to Buy a House.” Home to the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota-Rochester, you’ll find a strong economy and plenty to do in this affordable city. The median home price is only $176,100, and there is incredible access to arts, culture, and a thriving food scene.
Minneapolis. Minneapolis and its many suburbs are great places to live because you get access to a strong job market, a diverse population, and strong schools. It’s more expensive, as you might expect of a larger city, but is much more affordable than other major cities.
St. Paul. The other one of the Twin Cities, St. Paul is also an excellent choice if you’re buying a home in Minnesota. Where Minneapolis is more urban, St. Paul has a suburban feel. You’ll find less expensive housing than Minneapolis as well. There are good schools and an above-average job market in St. Paul.
St. Cloud. With a population of 67,093, St. Cloud is an affordable town with a median home value of only $145,500. It’s relatively diverse in terms of age and education, and there are a variety of job options as well. Schools are above average and you’ll find a historic downtown and a lot of fun to enjoy.
Northfield. With excellent schools and a mix of college students, young families, and retirees, there’s something to love for everyone in Northfield. The median home values are slightly above the national average, but the employment options are top-notch.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal on a Home in Minnesota
Now that you know the best time to buy and some great cities to consider, it’s time to think about how to get the best deal on your dream home. Here are some tips!
Find a Great Minnesota Real Estate Agent
When you’re buying a home in Minnesota, you don’t want to go it alone. A seller’s agent will negotiate with you to get the highest price possible, and you need an agent on your side to make it fair. A low-cost full-service buyer’s agent will also clue you in to great deals and help you move quickly once you find a home you like.
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Work with your agent to determine what you’re looking for in a home. What are your must-haves, and what features are simply nice? What kind of budget are you working with? Do you want to do any repairs, or are you looking for a home that’s ready to go from day one? Once you set your goals, your agent can help you find your dream home.
Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Minnesota, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
For example, in Minnesota a typical house is worth $275,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $981. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $928.
|Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.|
It’s easy to start your home buying journey – answer a few questions to get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
Negotiate For the Best Possible Price
You’ve found your dream home, it’s time to put in an offer! Your agent can help you choose an offer that’s favorable to you but acceptable to the seller. You may need help negotiating as well. After the inspection comes back, there may be more negotiations if repairs are needed.
Next Steps to Buy Your Minnesota Home
Use that cash toward your down payment, your closing costs, or just pocket the cash! It’s up to you. Ready to get started? Let’s find your dream home!