Minneapolis Homes BUILD
Vacant lots owned by the City of Minneapolis are available for purchase for new home construction.
See our summary guide (pdf) for a brief overview of program steps and our program manual (pdf) for a more detailed description of program requirements. See also the Site Plan Review for helpful zoning information on new home construction.
For a list of properties available for lease or purchase as community gardens or urban farms, see the Minneapolis Garden Lease Program website.
Step 1: Establish your Budget
The first step to purchasing your home is determining your household’s mortgage amount.
Qualifying for a Mortgage
Connect with a FREE Homeownership Advisor through the Minnesota Homeownership Center to review your credit report, mortgage options, and connect to downpayment and closing cost assistance). If your household is not mortgage ready, this list of financial counseling agencies can assist you with credit repair, budget counseling, and saving for a downpayment.
- Homebuyer Education
Minneapolis Homes financial incentives require homebuyers to attend home buyer education. Low cost home buying workshops are available in multiple languages. Counselors will work with home buyers to determine affordability, credit issues, and make lender referrals.
Homebuyers must complete homebuyer education through:
Financing Products for New Construction
The Minneapolis Homes program offers an incentive for homebuyers to purchase North Minneapolis vacant lots up to $20,000 and build a new home. For additional financing options, see this list of financing products for construction of new homes (pdf). The financing list is provided as a resource. There is no requirement to use financing from this list and the list does not represent an endorsement or recommendation by the City of Minneapolis.
Step 2: Find a Qualified Builder
Our program requires identification of a general contractor or builder with construction experience on a similar project within the last two years.
- General Resources
Ensure your builder or general contractor has an up to date license with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and is well reviewed by the Better Business Bureau. The Builders Association of the Twin Cities Member Directory is a potential search tool.
- Builders in Minneapolis Programs
This list of builders and developers (pdf) have completed homes through City of Minneapolis programs within the last three years. The list is updated annually and provided as a resource. There is no requirement to use builders from this list and the list does not represent an endorsement or recommendation by the City of Minneapolis.
Step 3: Select your Home Design
Work with your builder to review available home designs within your budget. Our program requires submittal of your budget for home construction and your home concept including the floor plan and elevations (what the home looks like from the street) with your offer for a vacant lot.
Step 4: Apply for a City of Minneapolis Vacant Lot
See the “How to Apply” drop down menu below for offer documents.
Documentation of financing for the full project cost is required with your offer to purchase. A pre-approval letter from a financial institution, cash, credit, or a net sale sheet from a realtor for a pending property sale are all acceptable sources of financing. Land Bank Twin Cities offers financing for new developers.
Additional resources are available through a competitive RFP process that will be posted on the CPED RFP website.
Available Lots and How to Apply
The sale of properties to prospective purchasers is contingent upon meeting program criteria and is subject to the approval of the City Council. Prices are determined by appraisals and are not negotiable. The City has the right to refuse any and all offers received.
Submitting an Offer
Offer to purchase for new construction on vacant land (pdf): A homebuyer incentive for building new homes on City-owned vacant land is available for application.
Below are sample offers to purchase that can help applicants ensure they have completely filled out the offer documents:
Example Offer 1: a rehabilitation proposal from a developer that intends to sell the home for owner occupancy.
Offers can be e-mailed to [email protected] or hard copies submitted to:
City of Minneapolis - CPED
105 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401
ATTN: Minneapolis Homes
After offers are submitted, there is typically a 90 day review and approval process by the Residential and Real Estate Development staff and the Minneapolis City Council.
Applicants are encouraged to research properties thoroughly. Below are links to resources that could be of assistance:
- Property Info: for information about the building, zoning, sales, inspections, tax, assessment, and license history connected to a property.
- Minneapolis Zoning Code: for information about the allowable uses within different zoning designations click on “Primary Zoning Districts”.
- Major public works improvement projects: lots located along streets with major improvements planned may have future assessments. Contact the Public Works department for more information.
- Topographic maps: the City of Minneapolis encourages development of accessible or visitable housing on sites with suitable topography.
- New Construction Process Guide and Checklist: an overview of the steps required to build a new 1-2 unit home in the City of Minneapolis.
Please note: our interactive lot list map and table will only work with the following browser versions:
Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Android 4.4 or later
Apple Safari on Mac and iOS 8.x or later
Internet Explorer 11 or newer
Mozilla Firefox 3.x or later on Windows and Mac
Last updated Aug 31, 2018