PEQUOT LAKES - A new housing development in Pequot Lakes is attempting to create a community-friendly neighborhood and offer affordable homeownership options for first-time homebuyers.
Trailside Estates is located just north of downtown Pequot Lakes, on 15 acres with access to the Paul Bunyan Trail. There are 53 lots with two completed homes and two being built. The development has preserved 40 percent of green space for homeowners, which will include a gazebo, a playground and a city park.
The development was made possible when the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership was awarded $150,000 from the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency through the Building Better Neighborhoods program.
A model home for sale at Trailside Estates, a new housing development in Pequot Lakes. The home is selling for $164,000. Brainerd Dispatch/ Jennifer Stockinger » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Jason Krebsbach, CMHP program manager, said the funding was awarded because of the partnership between the CMHP, Pequot Lakes and Car-Col Construction.
Krebsbach said CMHP applied for the funding after Jeff Torfin of Positive GMAC Real Estate in Baxter and Carl "Corky" Smith of Car-Col Construction of Brainerd approached CMHP about creating an affordable housing development in Pequot Lakes. Krebsbach said the Building Better Neighborhoods program was a good option for the development and the city agreed to be part of the partnership.
Krebsbach said each home will feature a different design and most of the homes will be smaller and on more compact lots to provide more affordable options for first-time homebuyers.
"Back in the day, people had front porches and they'd sit outside and visit with their neighbors," Krebsbach said. "The subdivisions today have gotten away from that and we want to bring that back. We want the development to have more street appeal and to be more friendly."
With the topography of the land, the development will give homeowners a feeling that they're living in the woods.
The entrance to Trailside Estates, a new housing development in Pequot Lakes and part of the Building Better Neighborhoods program. Brainerd Dispatch/ Jennifer Stockinger » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Car-Col Construction will build all of the craftsman-style homes. Smith said there are several home designs to choose from, which includes a tuck-under in which the garage is under the home, a walk-out and a two story. No two homes that sit side-by-side will be built with the same designs and colors.
The homes will range in price from $164,000 to a market-rate of up to $250,000.
Torfin said the development is not only geared for first-time homebuyers, but homeowners who can afford a market-rate home. Torfin said the housing development goal is to have a mixture of younger and older families for a more diverse and healthy neighborhood.
Torfin said affordable housing at Trailside Estates means there are financing options available to help the first-time homebuyer get into a good loan and into a home.
If you go
Trailside Estates open house, Pequot Lakes.
10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Geared for interested buyers, Pequot Lakes City Council members and Pequot Lakes Housing Redevelopment Authority members.
For more information, contact Jason Krebsbach at the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership at (800) 203-9301 or Jeff Torfin of Positive GMAC Realty at 829-6233.
Individuals must be at or below 80 percent of the state median income limits, have a stable income and decent credit to qualify for the program.
"These are clean 30-year loans, and with the grant money available, people can get a loan with zero percent financing," Torfin said. "Our goal is to get people into homes."
Krebsbach said there are several financing options for first-time homebuyers, including zero to low-interest rate mortgages, gap financing of up to $15,000 and monthly payment assistance for the first three years of the mortgage.
Krebsbach said the $150,000 granted for the project will go to the homeowner to purchase a home, not the developer. Homeowners must meet Greater Minnesota Housing Fund or the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency requirements in order to receive assistance through the program, which includes that a buyer is at or below 80 percent of the state median income limits, has a stable income and has decent credit.
Krebsbach said 40-year mortgages are available at the same interest rate as a 30-year loan.
"With all the negativity in the media about foreclosures and that the housing market is bad, I'd like to tell people right now that if they do things the right way, are buyer educated and work with these financing products we have that it's a great time to buy a home," Krebsbach said. "The interest rates are low and people can get a good price on a good home."
Pequot Lakes will maintain the park, which will be a city park.
"It's nice to have a developer who sees the value of a park in their development because it's a nice feature for young families," Pequot Lakes Mayor Cathy Malecha said.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.
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