USDA mortgages stands for United States Department of Agriculture.

Originally, the program was designed to help families with moderate income buy rural housing. Or, homes in the country, far away from the city.

Today, with urban sprawl, you can get a USDA mortgage close to work or other city life.

Here are the highlights of USDA Mortgages

  1. Down Payment: 0% down payment
  2. Closing Costs: average @2.5% of the purchase price, can be paid by you or the seller.
  3. Credit Score: Minimum 580.
  4. Interest Rate: depends on credit score and loan size; the better your credit, the larger the loan, the lower the interest rate.
  5. Primary Home only - no vacation homes or investments.
  6. USDA rates are a bit higher than FHA mortgages, but they are still an excellent bargain.
  7. Lower monthly mortgage insurance costs (PMI) versus FHA.
  8. Most of Florida - the loan amount is capped at $285,000.
  9. No large savings are needed to qualify for USDA loans.
  10. The location of the home determines if it will be a USDA loan.
  11. The home can be a regular sale, short sale, foreclosure home or bank owned home single family, townhome or approved condo.
  12. Mobile/Manufactured homes and “build on your own land” not available.
  13. Applies for First-time home buyers, or move-up buyers.
  14. No special first-time buyer’s class, down payment assistance, or bond money is needed.
  15. There are income limits – your family income has to be at or below the county median. About $92,000 per family.

Many homes in the Manatee-Sarasota Counties area are eligible for USDA $0 down mortgages.

First, anything EAST of Route 75 is eligible.

Second, a stretch WEST of Route 75 is also USDA territory. Here, anything South of Route 64 (Manatee Ave), which tracks the Manatee River, down to Ward Lake, then tracking Honore Avenue until University Parkway is also USDA eligible.

Third, huge parts of Palmetto and Ellenton are USDA.

Most of central Florida are eligible. One has to go outside the main thoroughfares of the large urban areas, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami, to find homes.

Write or call me if you want to see if you or a property is USDA eligible.

Chris Luis, Florida’s Favorite Mortgage Broker., 941-219-4381