Finding your own
home sweet home
THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS WITH TWO RIVERS
A step-by-step guide
STEP 1: Check to see if your gross monthly income meets the limits for your household size
A home purchase is a major decision and has many steps, whether it is a land trust home purchase or not. The first step in buying a community land trust home is to see if you are eligible. This model of homebuying is made possible by special funding from federal, state, local and private sources. Because of that, applicants must meet income limits to show the need for assistance. The chart below shows the gross monthly income limits for your household size. These limits are set by Minnesota Housing (MHFA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If your gross monthly income (your income before taxes and deductions from your paycheck) is at or below the amounts shown in this chart for your household size, you may qualify for a home through our organization.
2021 Income Limits
If you meet these income limits, go on to Step 2.
If your gross monthly income (matched with the size of your household) is higher than the amount listed above, you are not eligible to apply for a Two Rivers Community Land Trust home.
If you have any questions about this, reach out to us. Our contact information is at the bottom of this page.
Please note: these income limits are changed annually. They will be updated for 2022 when new limits are released by MHFA and HUD.
STEP 2: If you met income limits, submit a pre-application to find out if your budget is ready for a mortgage.
To approve a home loan, lenders want to know that your budget can manage the cost, month after month. A mortgage payment cannot take too much of your gross monthly income. For that reason, a formula is used that will give your debt-to-income ratio. Lenders look at this ratio, so we do, too. That is why before you go too far into the homebuying process, Two Rivers Community Land Trust provides a Pre-Application for you to fill out and submit to us. We look at the basics of your finances to see if you are eligible to move ahead in the process.
STEP 3: If your pre-application is approved, we will send you the full application. Fill out our full application, get pre-approved with a lender and contact a realtor.
Once we receive your Pre-Application, we use that information to check your debt-to-income ratio (remember that from Step 2?). If it shows that you have between 25 - 30% of your income to put toward a mortgage, you can then fill out a full application with Two Rivers. A community land trust home purchase has more details than a typical home purchase. For this reason, your choices of lender and realtor are very important. Two Rivers works with lenders that have experience with community land trust home sales because they understand the process. In the same way, realtors that understand community land trusts are better prepared to serve you. For lists of lenders and realtors that we work with, contact us.
We will let you know the reasons your pre-application was not approved.
We will supply you with resources to contact that can help you improve your finances.
We invite you to reach out to Two Rivers CLT in the future to reapply.
If your pre-application is denied:
STEP 4: Work with your team to keep moving your application along.
The staff at Two Rivers CLT will work alongside you to process your various official and financial information. Much of that information is the same that is required for your home loan processing; some will be additional documents that you will need to supply. It's important - and to your benefit - to stay in communication with Two Rivers and your lender to keep the process moving. There is an end in sight, and it's getting closer - a new place to call home.
Your full application should be turned in to Two Rivers Community Land Trust. Two Rivers will work with you from here to get all of the required financial and legal information together to create your homebuyer's file. (A list of required documentation can be found here.)
You should be working with a lender and have a pre-approval for a home mortgage, or have one in process.
The realtor you are working with should be in contact with Two Rivers CLT.
You, Two Rivers, your lender and your realtor should be working together. The goal is either closing on a specific home that Two Rivers has available, or it is to have your application and all of your required information complete so that you can be on our waiting list for our next available home that meets your needs and fits your budget.
At this point:
STEP 5: Your homebuyer file is nearing completion.
Two Rivers continues to work with you, your lender and your realtor to get you to a closing date on a home, or to have you ready for the next available Two Rivers home.
STEP 6: You have a closing date or a completed file for the next Two Rivers home that fits your needs.
Things you can do to prepare for the homebuying process:
Make sure your budget is in good shape, or start addressing things that need to be improved.
Know what your credit report says; use the link below to get a free copy.
Work on paying off any debt that you can.
Take a homebuyer's class. Two Rivers requires that applicants take two classes: one of them is our own. You can find more information about classes from the links below.