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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

USDA Rural Development’s Housing Programs expand to assist more rural Iowans

Jul 19, 2017

Recent changes to USDA Rural Development’s home loan programs mean more rural Iowans can now achieve their homeownership goals.

Earlier this year the maximum mortgage limit for a USDA Rural Development direct home loan increased to $220,532, a jump of nearly $3,700 from the previous mortgage limit.

Also, a typical income limit for a one-person household using the USDA direct home loan program to purchase a home in an eligible rural Iowa community or area is now $41,250. For a family of four a common limit is $56,600.

Income limits vary by county and household size, so applicants are encouraged to contact USDA Rural Development staff for limits in their specific area by calling (515) 284-4444 or emailing DirectIA@ia.usda.gov.

“Homeownership provides a strong foundation to help build household wealth, start a business, fund education through home equity, or give someone a chance to build a better future,” said Timothy Helmbrecht, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Iowa.

The interest rate for USDA Rural Development’s direct home loan program is 3.25 percent for a 33-year term. The program can be used to assist rural Iowans with buying a home, financing the construction costs of a new home or making significant home repairs.

Program features include no down payment and long-term, fixed-interest-rate financing. Also, payment assistance with interest rates as low as 1 percent may be available to applicants with qualifying incomes.

The lower interest rate makes monthly payments affordable, and often may be less than rent. For example, a $100,000 loan at 3.25 percent would have monthly principal and interest payments of $413. If an applicant qualified for a 1-percent loan the monthly payment would be only $297.

USDA Rural Development also offers a guaranteed home loan program with a typical income limit for a one- to four-person household of $78,200 with no down payment required. Applicants work directly with their lenders to establish mortgage rates and terms.

Loans, and some grants, are also available from USDA Rural Development to help qualifying homeowners make needed repairs to their homes.

Applicants are encouraged to contact USDA Rural Development staff before September 1, 2017 to take full advantage of all the agency’s housing programs.

Contact USDA Rural Development for further information about housing programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling (515) 284-4444, visiting www.rd.usda.gov/ia, or emailing DirectIA@ia.usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mt. Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

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