There are several good reasons why you may want to seek out a USDA home loan when buying a home in the Atlanta area. On the positive side, these loans offer 100% percent financing. That means no down payment is required to secure your mortgage.
They also provide competitive mortgage rates and lower-than-average mortgage interest (PMI). In addition, a USDA loan can enable a home buyer with a low-to-moderate income to buy a house when they might not be able to qualify for other loan programs.
Unfortunately, USDA loans are reserved for rural home buyers. There are certain towns, counties and regions throughout the country that the USDA has designated as approved markets for USDA mortgage loans. You will not be able to qualify for a USDA home loan if buying property within Atlanta city limits or most suburban areas in the Atlanta Metro region. However, if you are interested in buying a home, land or investment property a bit further outside the city, you will definitely want to look into USDA loan programs.
What is a USDA Home Loan?
USDA home loans are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are available to all home and property buyers, but are limited to markets deemed as “rural” by the USDA. The map of qualified regions updates every few years and the USDA mortgage qualifications are always changing slightly, so it is important to check with your mortgage lender or mortgage broker to see if you might be eligible.
USDA Loan Requirements
A USDA loan will have specific requirements for both the borrower and the property. The borrower (the home buyer) will have to have what is considered a low-to-moderate income based on the area in which they are buying. The USDA will calculate the median income for your market and compare your personal income. The income limits will vary by region and also by property type. For example, the income limits will be higher if buying a multi-family property instead of a single-family home. The mortgage lender and USDA will also review your income source(s), employment history and existing debts to determine if you qualify.
In addition to the borrower’s eligibility, the property itself must qualify for a USDA mortgage loan. You can check the current eligibility map on the USDA website to see which Georgia counties classify as “rural” and where USDA loans are allowed in our state. Eligibility is based on the population of the region. You will have to look outside of the greater Atlanta area as the city and its suburbs will not qualify for the USDA loan program.
Can I Get a USDA Loan in Atlanta?
The simple answer to this question is no if you are planning to buy within the Atlanta Metro area. However, if you are willing to look into more rural Georgia counties, you may be in luck. A USDA home loan can be a great option for an Atlanta home buyer if they are willing to make a longer commute or have the ability to work from home (whether on a part-time or full-time basis). Today’s work landscape often allows for more remote living and work opportunities.
A USDA loan may also be appealing for those who are looking to buy a larger piece of land to build a home or invest in a multi-family property. One good thing about USDA loans is that there are fewer limits on the types of property you can purchase compared to other loan programs like FHA mortgages.
However, it is critical that the property you buy is utilized as your primary residence. This is an important requirement attached to USDA loans. For example, if you buy a multi-family property, you will need to occupy at least one of the units as your home. You can rent out the others, though, so this may be an appealing option for some to offset homeownership costs.
If you are planning to buy a house or condo in Atlanta or in the suburban markets surrounding the city, you will not be able to get a USDA loan. You will still want to talk with your mortgage broker or lender about other discount loan programs and home financing solutions. You may qualify for an FHA loan or a conventional mortgage loan with a low interest rate and good terms. Those with military backgrounds or currently in service will want to consider a VA loan. VA loans also offer 100% financing and no down payment requirements, along with many other great benefits beyond what you might get with a USDA loan.
The point is, if you are truly serious about buying a home in the Atlanta area—and you have your finances in order—you should be able to find an affordable mortgage funding solution. Contact Moreira Team | MortgageRight today to get started. We can help you explore all your options, including USDA loans, FHA loans, VA loans and other programs.
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