Too Good To Be True? United States Department of Agriculture offers a ZERO down payment loan. These loans are commonly referred to as USDA guaranteed loans and are a great option for potential home buyers with little or no money for a down payment. The qualifications for these loans are much like any other loan with a few more conditions The home must be in a USDA qualified area— this is the case for most of Coos County, Curry County and Douglas County. The website—usda.gov has address lookup tools if there are any questions. It must be your primary residence and you cannot own another home. Your household income must meet certain family size and county requirements. If your family size is 1-4 and the property is in Coos, Curry or Douglas County the income limit is $82,700 annually Family size 5 or more $109,150 Some common misconceptions are the house must be in the country—not true as long as it is in an eligible area—use the look up at usda.gov to search by address. Another frequently asked question is ‘”Do I have to be a first time home buyer?” While this program is used often my first time homebuyers, it is not limited to first time homebuyers. Credit history has to be acceptable. The guideline is no more than 1 late payment in the last 12 months, rental history has to be excellent, no outstanding judgments and bankruptcy must be discharged for at least 3 years. USDA loans have a little stricter guidelines than some other programs when considering how much the house payment is compared to monthly income. Best practice is to check with your local lender. The biggest advantage of this program is no down payment required. Often the transaction can be structured so sellers may pay closing costs, allowing buyers to have little or no out of pocket costs. The home must be in a finance-able condition—which means, it has to be safe, sound, and sanitary per an appraiser’s opinion. A Realtor can help answer questions about whether a property may qualify or not. There are some special considerations when the property is a manufactured home. Check with your lender. The Real Estate market is extremely competitive. The best strategy is to obtain a pre-approval from a USDA approved lender and know that your scenario will qualify for this loan. This will give potential buyers for homes in the price range that the income chart will allow the best opportunity to be successful. It takes a team of professionals to make this happen. Do not hesitate to contact a local lender (I’d love to help) and a local Realtor to help you negotiate the most favorable terms for your purchase.