Individuals or families who want to purchase homes in rural areas often find USDA loans to be the best option.
For eligible applicants, they can offer an opportunity for a person or family to purchase their dream home without having to meet some of the stringent requirements often found in conventional mortgage loans.
What is a USDA Loan?
Offered through the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA loans are mortgage loans for rural and suburban homebuyers. Unlike many other mortgage loans, they require no down payment. Their purpose is to improve the quality of life and economy in rural America.
They also offer low-interest rates to eligible applicants and are also relatively easy to get for those who meet the requirements. More than 126,000 families were able to purchase and upgrade their homes in 2017 through the Rural Development program.
What Are Requirements for a USDA Loan?
Despite it being said that these loans are very accessible, applicants still must meet the eligibility requirements, which are listed below.
- Must be U.S. citizen or U.S. no-citizen national or qualified alien.
- The property must meet program criteria.
- Must meet income levels.
- Purchase must be for main occupancy.
- Must be legally able to obtain financing.
- Must provide proof of willingness to make payments on time.
- Must not have been banned or suspended from participating in federal programs.
Are There Requirements as to How the Money Can Be Used?
There are requirements on how the loan proceeds can be used, but they are quite generous.
- For new or existing residential property to be used as your home
- For a site with an existing or new dwelling
- To refinance a current eligible loan
- For repairs or remodeling an existing dwelling
- To install features for a household member with a physical disability
- To pay fees for connection and cost of utilities
- For a pro-rata share of property taxes to be paid at closing
- For necessary household equipment like laundry appliances, heating and cooling equipment, wall-to-wall carpeting, ovens, ranges and refrigerators
- To purchase energy efficient products (solar panels or insulation)
- For installing broadband service to the dwelling
- To pay for preparation costs, including landscaping, driveways, foundations, trees and fences
How Do USDA Loans Help Low-Income Home Buyers?
They can help low-income home buyers in many ways. When consumers can’t purchase a home or obtain a mortgage loan, it’s usually because they can’t afford a down payment. Or it can be that they can’t afford high monthly payments that may result from high interest rates. USDA loans are known for offering homebuyers lower interest rates than they’d find with conventional loans, which mean lower monthly payments.
Another bonus, and probably the biggest one, is the zero-down payment feature. A large down payment requirement is probably the biggest reason aspiring homebuyers cannot buy homes today. If a homebuyer must put down 20 percent on $150,000, that comes to $30,000. By not requiring a down payment, the USDA loan is very much helping low-income individuals become homebuyers.
If the USDA loans sounds like it might be the right loan for you, and you think you may meet the requirements for the loan, don’t wait another second. Contact us at First Choice Lending Services. Speak with our qualified loan specialists and see what we can offer you.