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This page is currently under review by our community-based Steering Committee.  Please check back for updates.

Not quite ready to apply for home ownership?
We've created some worksheets, and links to resources to help you prepare.



First time home buyers programs                        

Minnesota Homebuyer Education Programs  


Veterans or Active Military           
US Dept. of Veteran Affairs 



Grants and home loans for disabled home buyers in 2023

Overcoming Common Home Buyer Hurdles

How to raise your mortgage FICO score

How to get a loan with a high debt-to-income ratio

Financial Counseling

Lutheran Social Service 

Community Action Duluth


Mortgage Calculators

Minnesota Mortgage Calculator


Government Agencies & Resources 

Federal Housing Finance Agency

Minnesota Home Ownership Center

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund


Down Payment Assistance

MHFA (MN) Mortgage and Downpayment Loan Programs (  (zero interest loans) from MHFA ($17,000 payment loan, $12,500 deferred loan only available with MHFA Mortgages)

WHEDA (WI) Available Programs | WHEDA 
(DPA loans are zero interest within income limits or same as mortgage)

CBC Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Programs

(loan is forgivable only after 30 year mortgage is paid off) CBC Mortgage Chenoa Fund (native corporation, unclear if only available to native people) 

CAD FAIM 3:1 Match FAIM Matched Savings Account ( (income and asset limits, timelines)

GNDH Suggested Mortgage Lenders



Corey Verhel  or  Jesse Verhel 


North Shore Bank 


National Bank of Commerce  

Mortgage Options other than obvious choices:

Sunrise Bank - Twin Cities based socially responsible bank with lots of mortgage options: Home Mortgage Lending | Sunrise Banks Minnesota


Community development financial institutions:


Native-owned Bank with branch in Cloquet:
Home Mortgage | Woodlands National Bank | Onamia


Section 184 Guarantee loan for tribal members: (


Black-owned Bank offering mortgages:

Home | Columbia Savings & Loan Association ( 


MHFA Mortgages offer down payment assistance loans through several local banks: Find a Lender (mn


ITTN Mortgages (for non-citizens): Center Releases Guide to Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Mortgages in Minnesota - HOCMN


USDA Section 502 Direct Loan Program (if we build outside Duluth/Superior): Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans in Minnesota | Rural Development (


* These worksheets are NOT required for application.  They are just tools to help you get a clearer financial picture.



Your annual Income before taxes:                                                          $_______________

Co-applicant’s annual Income before taxes:                                        $_______________

All other household annual income                                                        $_______________


TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME                                                       $_______________*

(*Total income defined as the total gross income received by ALL members of a household over 18 within a 12-month period.)


What is your total household size?                                 ______________

Household Area Median Income (AMI):   ☐ 100-115% AMI

Mortgage pre-qualification letter. In addition to meeting our income guidelines, we will ask that you provide GNDH with a mortgage pre-qualification letter.  A pre-qualification or pre-approval letter is a document from a lender stating that the lender is tentatively willing to lend to you, up to a certain loan amount. This document is based on certain assumptions and it is not a guaranteed loan offer.  


See the list for  mortgage lenders we highly recommend .

Screen Shot 2023-06-26 at 1.26.12 PM.png
AMI Chart



To help determine what your household can afford for monthly mortgage payment: 


TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME*     $ ______________ 

Divided by 12 (months)     =                   $ ______________
x .30 (30%) =                                           $_______________**


* Include income of all household members over 18

** Housing expenses (including your mortgage payment and associated taxes and insurance) should be no more than 30% of your total Household Income at time of purchase to be considered affordable.



What is your current mortgage/rent payment?         $_______________


How much do you currently pay for utilities per month? 

Electric                                      $_______________        

Gas                                             $_______________

Water                                         $_______________

Other                                         $_______________

TOTAL                                       $_______________


TOTAL current Mortgage/Rent + total utilities            $_______________

GNDH Homes are  100% electric (use no natural gas or propane).  Affordable because many of the utility expenses are reduced (our homes use only 30% of the energy required by comparable sized homes) or virtually eliminated if the home is equipped with solar panels (net zero).

What are your debts?* 

Credit Card(s) balance           $_______________

Educational Loan(s)                $_______________

Vehicle Loan(s)                        $_______________

Boat or ATV Loan(s)               $_______________

Child care                                  $_______________

Other Loan(s) or Debt(s)       $_______________

TOTAL                                                                                 $_______________



Affordability Sample
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