When you’re looking for a new home in the countryside, the USDA home loan might be ideal for you. If you’re someone who prefers to live in a smaller town, or in a rural or suburban area, rather than a big city, the US Department of Agriculture wants to help. The USDA-backed mortgage makes homes in a less-populated setting more affordable than ever. You’ll find many attractive properties in the Chambersburg area, including the nearby boroughs of south-central PA, that fit the USDA’s definition of rural.

Basics of the USDA Loan

USDA home mortgages come in a variety of specialized types. None of them require a down payment, and all offer very low interest rates (even as low as one percent), for homes set in rural areas on the USDA map. The rural area boundaries on the USDA map may change from time to time. Some of the USDA-eligible areas may surprise you, so it is always a good idea to check the most recent USDA map for these loans or ask your lender to check for you.

USDA Loan Advantages

The USDA loans finance up to 100 percent of your rural home purchase if you qualify. With no down payment and attractive interest rates, USDA lenders help make home ownership accessible for low-income to moderate-income buyers. To qualify, you’ll need a good or average credit history—and you’ll need to choose a home that sits in a rural area as defined by the USDA map. You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer for these programs. Luxury properties are not typically eligible for USDA financing, and the home must be your primary residence. (No vacation homes, secondary homes, or investment properties can be financed through USDA.)

USDA Loan Types

Location is a major qualifying factor for USDA loans and other requirements include:

USDA Single-Family Direct: The income limit for this USDA mortgage is below 80 percent of the area’s median income. You may use this home loan to buy, repair, and/or renovate your chosen rural-area house. The direct USDA loan is made from the local USDA office rather than through a lender.

USDA Single-Family Guaranteed: This version of the USDA mortgage is targeted to people with an income below 115 percent of the median area income.

USDA Rural Repair and Rehabilitation: If your earnings are below 50 percent of the area median and you’re age 62 or better, this form of USDA home improvement loan could work for you. This loan is intended for those who cannot get an affordable loan or credit line from a typical bank or lender. You can use the loan funds to correct any safety or health hazards in your rural house or improve the property. Part of your funding may be given to you as a grant, which you don’t need to repay.

USDA Mutual Self-Help Loan: This USDA homebuilding loan is intended for low-income families (below 80 percent of area median income), who lack safe, clean housing, and cannot qualify for a loan or credit line from a lender/bank. The USDA loan can be used to build or buy a rural home. Family members generally need to perform sweat equity and work on building the home.

We Make Applying for a USDA Loan Easy

If the USDA loan sounds like it could work for your needs, speak with a Homespire Mortgage representative. We believe in making the application process simple and stress-free for local residents in the Chambersburg area of PA. We serve multiple boroughs of Franklin County, including Greencastle, PA, Fayetteville, PA, Mont Alto, PA, Shippensburg, PA, Mercersburg, PA, and Waynesboro, PA.

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