Only in Minneapolis: Build You Dream House and Get Paid for It

A house under construction

Would you be willing to buy a vacant land and receive a financial incentive in return? Minneapolis offers this kind of arrangement.

The Minneapolis Homes program will provide up to $20,000 to those who will buy vacant lots in North Minneapolis and build new homes there. If you are a firefighter, a public school teacher, or a member of the police force, you will get an additional $5,000 incentive.

Sounds good? Read on to learn more about the program.

Program Mechanics

The program will first require interested people to plan a budget for their purchase, including a review of their mortgage options. Prospective buyers will need to receive homebuyer education to learn about affordable housing and credit issues, among others.

Next, you will need to find a general contractor or homebuilder that has been involved in a similar project over the last two years. Buyers will also have to choose the design of their homes, from simple aspects such as residential Christmas light installation to more complex work, such as floor plan and elevation.

The Minneapolis City Council and Residential and Real Estate Development will screen all applications within 90 days after submission prior to granting approval.

Housing Boost

The city launched the program to revitalize housing supply in the northern area, where real estate investments have been scarce. The 2008 foreclosure crisis and 2011 tornado also affected the region. Still, officials expect that the program will attract significant interest from people, since designing their own houses is a rare opportunity.

There has only been one applicant since the acceptance of submissions in April, according to Roxanne Young Kimball of the city economic development division. This means that people will still have more choices for buying properties in the area.

The city’s program provides a good opportunity for those who want to save on the costs of building their dream houses. After all, it’s not often that you get paid for designing and building your own house.