This article is a section taken from MA for People Who Are Age 65 or Older or People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability (MA-ABD), a part of the revisions and additions to the Minnesota Health Care Program Eligibility Policy Manual.

Non-Homestead Real Property

 Non-homestead real property is land and buildings or immovable objects attached permanently to the land but is not the person’s principal place of residence. Non-homestead real property is generally counted as an asset; however, it is considered unavailable during the time a person makes a reasonable effort to sell the property.

Evaluating Non-Homestead Real Property

Equity value of non-homestead real property is determined by subtracting encumbrances from the estimated market value (EMV) found on a property tax statement. An encumbrance is any legal debt, such as a mortgage, lien, loan, purchase contract, or security interest. It must be supported with evidence of:

  • The original amount owed
  • The outstanding principal balance
  • The schedule and amount of payments due on the principal balance

Equity value of non-homestead real property is counted toward the asset limit, unless:

  • The property is determined to be unavailable, due to a legal or actual barrier to obtaining or disposing of the property.
  • The person is making a reasonable effort to sell the property.

What is a reasonable effort to sell?

A reasonable effort to sell has three criteria:

  • Attempting to sell the property, which means:
    • Listing the property with a real estate broker, or
    • Advertising the property for sale using one or more public forms of advertisement available to residents of the geographic area where the property is located.
  • Listing an appropriate price for the property. The asking price should be the EMV on the tax statement, except when the accuracy of the EMV is disputed.
  • The owner must not reject any reasonable offer to buy the property.

The asking price can be the fair market value (FMV) determined by a licensed real estate appraiser if a person disputes the accuracy of the EMV. Neither a letter from a real estate agent with a recommended market price nor comparable listings from the immediate neighborhood are acceptable. A person who disputes the EMV but cannot afford an appraisal can request a new EMV determination from the county in which the property is located.

Reasonable efforts to sell the property must continue until the property is sold in order to continue the exclusion.

What is a reasonable offer?

An owner must attempt to get offers for the EMV or the verified FMV if the owner disputes the EMV.

  • No minimum length of time is required for an owner to try to get offers close to the EMV (or FMV). The reasonable length of time is based on the local market, or the time period designated in a real estate contract.
  • The property must be offered for sale on the open market before the owner may accept an offer lower than the EMV (or FMV).
  • An offer for less than two-thirds of the EMV (or FMV) is not considered reasonable.

Legal Citations

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 1a

CREDIT: The content of this post has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota Healthcare Programs Eligibility Policy Manual, originally published by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

This is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Healthcare Eligibility Policies.