Fourth quarter starts our seasonal swing with pricing and inventory, which makes Fall a good time for first time home buyers. Even though our inventory is still below normal, there are less buyers now that school has started and many residents are preparing to head south for the winter. This means more options for buyers and less multiple offers. 

  There will be less new listings entering the market in the fourth quarter, but less buyers mean less showings for homes that are on the market, which typically brings price reductions. Most sellers would like to close before the end of the year, so average prices are at their lowest in November and December.

  There are down payment assistance programs available for first time home buyers in Chisago County, and the seller can pay the buyer’s closing costs, which means the buyer can purchase with little or no money down. There may be income limits and home buyer classes may be required.

  In Chisago County there are 58 homes priced at $200,000 or less that are eligible for FHA or VA financing. This means the sellers believe their home is in good enough condition to pass the FHA or VA appraisal requirements. FHA and VA loans allow buyers to have lower credit scores and down payments than conventional financing.

  There are 30 new construction homes under $200,000 in Chisago County that are available for FHA, VA, or down payment assistance programs. There are 5 homes on the MLS with .5 to 2 acre lots under $200,000.

  North Brach has the highest number of single family homes on the MLS that qualify for FHA or VA financing. Taylors Falls has the highest number of townhomes in this category. 

  An experienced real estate agent and loan officer can help you determine the best financing and negotiation options for the property you would like to buy.

  Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.