If you can’t pay cash for your new home you’ll need a mortgage and, if you’re not in the market for a luxury home, you’ll need a mortgage created for those with a more modest income.
Thankfully, the United States government offers several programs, including the VA loan, the FHA-backed loan and the USDA Rural Development guaranteed loan. If you aren’t a current or former member of the military, you’ll have only the FHA and USDA products to choose from if you want a government-guaranteed loan. While both products have advantages and disadvantages, let’s take a look at those of the USDA guaranteed loan.
If you are short on cash and long on the desire to own a home, you’ll be glad to learn that the USDA loan was created specifically for low-to-medium income homebuyers. It requires no down payment and the borrower can use gift money to cover closing costs and even accept up to 6 percent of the sales price from the seller in the form of closing cost concessions.
These are, of course, compelling reasons to consider using the USDA mortgage program, but there are other advantages as well:
Taking the bad with the good may be the name of the game if you’re interested in participating in this zero-down loan program, so let’s get to the “cons” of the USDA guaranteed mortgage.
While the fact that you must earn a low-to-moderate income to qualify for the USDA guaranteed loan may be considered an advantage, it may be a disadvantage if you earn over the maximum allowable income (see your lender to determine the current limits).
There are also eligibility requirements for the property you hope to purchase. Chief among these is that it must be considered “modest,” without luxury features, such as a swimming pool. The home must also be located in an area designated as “rural” by the USDA.
The USDA defines rural areas as “open countryside, rural towns (places with fewer than 2,500 people).”
If you hope to use the home as a rental, you won’t qualify for the program—it’s open only to those borrowers who intend on living in the home.
Here are a few other “cons” of the USDA Guaranteed Loan program.
There is more to know about this program and we aren’t lenders but we are happy to put you in touch with the appropriate professional.
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