September 03, 2011

100% Financing Still Available with Rural Housing Guaranteed Loans!

More people may be able to become homeowners with the help of the Rural Housing Service Programs. The USDA Rural Housing Service has various programs available to aid low- to moderate-income rural residents to purchase, construct, repair, or relocate a dwelling and related facilities. USDA rural housing loan programs allow qualified home-buyers to get loans with minimal closing costs and no down-payment.

Founded in 1949 to spur home sales and development in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s popular direct and guaranteed rural housing loans are one of the few places in America people can still get a mortgage with no money down at competitive rates.

Borrowers do not have to be lower income and in fact can make slightly more than the median income for the area. To qualify for the government guaranteed loans, borrowers can earn up to 115 percent of the median income for the area. The property does not have to be located in a rural area. The property can be relatively close to a major urban area.  The borrower should check to be sure the property they are interested in is in a qualifying area that complies with the program’s rural mandate.

Section 502 Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan Program

Under the Guaranteed Loan program, the Rural Housing Service guarantees loans made by private sector lenders. A loan guarantee through RHS means that, should the individual borrower default on the loan, RHS will pay the private financier for the loan.

The purpose of this loan program is to enable eligible low- and moderate-income (up to 115 percent of the Area Median Family Income) rural residents to acquire modestly priced housing for their own use as a primary residence. The program is available for the purchase and repair of existing and newly constructed dwelling.

There is no required down payment, but families must be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance. In addition, applicants must be without adequate housing and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, yet have acceptable credit histories. Loans are made for up to 30 years.

Section 502 Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program

Under the Direct Loan program, individuals or families receive direct financial assistance directly from the Rural Housing Service in the form of a home loan at an affordable interest rate. These loans may be made to eligible applicants to buy, build, repair, renovate, or relocate homes, to provide related facilities, or to refinance home debts under certain conditions.

Applicants for direct loans from RHS must have very low or low incomes. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); low income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI. There is no required down payment, but families must be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance. In addition, applicants must be without adequate housing and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, yet have reasonable credit histories. Loans are typically made for up to 33 years (38 for those with incomes below 60 percent of AMI and who cannot afford 33-year terms).

What’s different this year?

Usually by August, the program runs out of money and applications are put on hold until more money becomes available with the beginning of a new federal fiscal year on October 1. This year, President Obama signed a resolution that doubled the size of the USDA’s Rural Development Service’s Section 502 single family guaranteed loan program.  At this writing, the USDA has only two months to spend $11.2 billion on the no-down payment rural development loan programs.  This is a record amount at this juncture in the federal fiscal year for the program that provides no-down payment mortgages to borrowers in rural and suburban markets.

Where can this program be used?

A perfect example of where the USDA’s direct and guaranteed rural housing loans can be utilized is for the property at 335 Pine Valley Road, Salisbury NC.  This one story, 3-bedroom 1972 brick ranch-style home with spacious yard, is just outside the city limits of Salisbury.  Financing for this home could be obtained using the USDA loan programs.  This is a solid and affordable house at $125,000 for 1,500 square feet of living space in the peace and quiet of Salisbury’s country side.  And in just a 10-minute drive, the owners can take advantage of the wonderful amenities in Salisbury’s city limits: shops, restaurants, a vibrant cultural scene, and much more. 

Additionally, this home very near Hurley Elementary school, a nice feature for a young family with school-age children!  To have a closer look at this house and to understand how to use the USDA Section 502 loan program to purchase it, contact Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846.

More about the Section 502 Loan Program

Section 502 loans can help low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas, and build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. An snapshot view of the program includes:

Eligibility

Applicants for loans may have an income of up to 115% of the median income for the area. Families must be without adequate housing, but be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance.  In addition, applicants must have reasonable credit histories.
Approved lenders under the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program include:
  • Any State housing agency;
  • Lenders approved by:
    • HUD for submission of applications for Federal Housing Mortgage Insurance or as an issuer of Ginnie Mae mortgage backed securities;
    • the U.S. Veterans Administration as a qualified mortgagee;
    • Fannie Mae for participation in family mortgage loans;
    • Freddie Mac for participation in family mortgage loans;
  • Any FCS (Farm Credit System) institution with direct lending authority;
  • Any lender participating in other USDA Rural Development and/or Farm Service Agency guaranteed loan programs.
Terms

Loans are for 30 years.  The promissory note interest rate is set by the lender.  There is no required down payment. The lender must also determine repayment feasibility, using ratios of repayment (gross) income to PITI and to total family debt.

Standards

Under the Section 502 program, housing must be modest in size, design, and cost.   Houses constructed, purchased, or rehabilitated must meet the voluntary national model building code adopted by the state and HCFP thermal and site standards. New Manufactured housing must be permanently installed and meet the HUD Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards and HCFP thermal and site standards.  Existing manufactured housing will not be guaranteed unless it is already financed with an HCFP direct or guaranteed loan or it is Real Estate Owned (REO) formerly secured by an HCFP direct or guaranteed loan.

Approval

Rural Development officials have the authority to approve most Section 502 loan guarantee requests.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for the USDA’s direct and guaranteed rural housing loans and have a house in Rowan County, North Carolina in mind, call Greg Rapp/Wallace Realty at 704.213.6846 to let him help you get your loan and your new home.