USDA Rural Development Map – Not Changing

USDA Mortgage Florida

Great news for Florida homebuyers looking to purchase a home in the rural eligible suburbs of Florida’s major cities –   USDA announced another delay in the new map implementation. This means many popular locations outside of Orlando, Tampa FL, Sarasota, Naples and Jacksonville will remain eligible for a few more months, see below –

Congress enacted a Fiscal Year 2015 Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through December 11, 2014. The CR included a general provision extending all policies currently in effect. As a result, the CR effectively extends eligibility for all FL communities that are currently eligible for USDA Rural Housing Programs through the term of the CR 12/1//2014.  USDA Rural Housing postponed of any changes to eligibility that were previously scheduled for October 1, 2014. Basically residents in these communities will continue to have access to critical Rural Housing programs for a couple more months, please continue to use the current USDA maps.  It is important to note that if Congress further extends the CR, the Rural Definition will also be extended through its term.  Stay tuned to the blog for important updates on this subject.

Please note the timeline below:

  • The new map starts 12/11/2014 – please click here and view the Future Eligibility Areas of the left side. This map shows all the approved locations after 12/11/2014.
  • In order to be approved for a house that is eligible under the current (old) map homebuyers will need to do the following: Insure they are under full contract no later than 11/28/2014 to leave enough time for the lender to underwrite and send the file to the USDA office. This generally takes a few weeks.  REMEMBER –  the USDA loan is a two step approval process – First,  the lender underwrites the files, Second, USDA rural housing does the final review.
  • Your file will just need to in receipt of USDA no later than 12/11/2014 to be eligible under the current maps – you do not need to close by this date. You can close later if you like.

Questions about any of  these map changes?  Please reach out to us by submitting the quick info request form on the right side →  or call (904) 302-6060

2014 USDA Rural Development Map – Not Changing

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First Time Homeowners, Consider USDA

first time buyersUSDA home loans have been helping Florida residents become homeowners since the 1940’s. USDA and Rural Housing has invested well over $54 billion in helping people purchase their own homes.  USDA and “Rural” often are associated with just farmers or ranchers – but many more people than just people who live in the country are getting USDA loans and seeing what a great loan program it can be. Let’s face it, there just aren’t many 100% financing mortgage options available for homebuyers anymore. First Time Homeowners, Consider USDA.  Many homeowners who are shopping for a home outside a major city are surprised to learn that many properties qualify for a USDA loan even though they can hardly be considered “rural”.  Even all the homebuyers around Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, Gainesville, Ocala, Tallahassee – should take a close look at USDA before making their choice.

Who type of borrower can qualify for a USDA loan?

USDA loan eligibility is determined by the location of the property, not the seller of the property.  So depending on your area in Florida,  the property is located it may be eligible for a USDA financing. Click here to view the USDA property map.  When qualifying for a USDA loan in 2014 – 2015, it is very similar to qualifying for other loan programs like FHA and Conventional loans.  it is important to have a current income that you can document, a decent credit history and demonstrated ability to repay the loan. Not all lenders and banks have experience helping people with USDA loans, so it is important that you choose a lender with the experience and underwriting capability available in house for USDA loans. Regardless of where you are located in Florida or Georgia, we can help.  Just call (904) 302-6060 or submit the short info request form on the right side → for a quick call back

Just to be clear, the USDA loan is also commonly referred to the following names below:

Rural Housing Loan

Rural Development Loan

“RD” Loan

502 Guarantee Loan.

USDA Loan Highlights:

  • USDA loan is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture – Federal Government.
  • True 100%  –  No Money Down financing.
  • Can be used to buy a new home or refinance an existing USDA mortgage  .
  • Many regular home buyers  can qualify – just not for farmers.
  • Moderate income limits apply – based on family size. Read about USDA income limits here.
  • No Prepayment Penalties.
  • Purchase: 2% upfront fee that can be rolled into the loan.
  • Refinance: 2% upfront fee that can be rolled into the loan.
  • 0.5% annual fee that is included in mortgage payment and paid monthly.
  • Competitive 30 year fixed interest rates.
  • No maximum loan amount.
  • No limits on cash contributions.
  • Not restricted to first time home buyers
  • Home must be occupied as your permanent residence.

USDA Loan Eligibility:

The two critical factors with USDA eligibility are the location of the property, and the income of the household.  If you are unsure about any of these things, please reach out to us by submitting the quick info request on the right side →   We are also happy to assist buyers with the loan application and pre approval requirements.

USDA Streamline Refinance Pilot:

If you are a homeowners that currently has a USDA loan,  you may be eligible for the USDA streamline Pilot refinance program. It is currently a pilot and is being done in certain states and is helping people save on their mortgage. Learn more about the USDA Pilot Refinance here.  Interest rates are low and the Pilot program is set to expire soon – contact us before times runs out.

Auburndale, Aventura FL, Avon Park, Bal Harbour, Bartow, Bay Harbor Islands, Boca Raton, Bonita Springs, Boynton Beach, Bradenton, Brooksville, Cape Canaveral, Cape Coral, Casselberry, Celebration, Chipley, Cinco Bayou, Clearwater, Clewiston, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Crystal River, Dania Beach, Davie, Daytona Beach, Deerfield Beach, DeFuniak Springs, DeLand, Delray Beach, Deltona, Destin, Dunedin, Eagle Lake, Edgewater, Edgewood, Eustis, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meade, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach,Fort Pierce, Fort Walton Beach, Fruitland Park, Gainesville, Greenacres, Green Cove Springs, Gulf Breeze, Gulfport, Haines City, Hallandale Beach, Hawthorne, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Highland Beach, Hollywood FL, Holly Hill, Holmes Beach, Homestead, Hypoluxo, Indialantic, Jacksonville, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Key Biscayne, Key West, Kissimmee, LaBelle, Lady Lake, Lake Alfred, Lakeland, Lake Mary, Lake Park,Lake Wales, Lake Worth, Lantana, Largo, Lauderdale By The Sea, Lauderhill, Leesburg, Lighthouse Point, Longboat Key, Longwood, Maitland, Marco Island, Margate, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Miami, Milton, Minneola, Miramar, Mount Dora, Naples, New Port Richey, New Smyrna Beach, Niceville, North Miami, North Miami Beach, North Port, Ocala, Ocean Ridge, Ocoee, Okeechobee, Oldsmar, Orange Park, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Oviedo, Palatka, Palm Bay, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Coast, Palmetto, Panama City Beach, Pembroke Pines, Pensacola, Pinecrest, Pinellas Park, Plant City, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Ponce Inlet, Port Orange, Port St. Lucie, Punta Gorda, Rockledge, St. Augustine Beach, St. Cloud, St. Petersburg, Safety Harbor, Sanford, Sanibel, Sarasota, Satellite Beach, Seaside, Sebastian, Sewall’s Point, Shalimar, Stuart, Surfside, Tallahassee, Tamarac, Tampa, Tarpon Springs, Tavares, Temple Terrace, Titusville, Treasure Island, Valparaiso, Venice, Vero Beach, Wellington, West Melbourne, West Palm Beach, Weston, Wilton Manors, Winter Garden


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100% Financing for FL Teachers

Teacher - FloridaDid you know that 100 percent financing USDA is one of the most popular home loan options for FL teachers?   Many public government workers like Teachers, Police, EMT, Firefighters prefer the USDA mortgage because you can purchase a home with little money out of pocket.  Let’s face it, most government workers aren’t exactly making the huge salaries to afford large down payments for housing, teachers included.  Most Conventional loan program require at least 10% for a down payment…. who has that?

Not only is the USDA loan Florida’s last 100% home loan for non military buyers, it also allow many other great benefits :

  • Reduced monthly mortgage insurance or “PMI”. This allows for lower monthly payments.
  • Home seller can pay buyers closing costs.
  • Interest rates are low, and fixed terms.
  • No special first time home buyers class or school needed. No grant or waiting.
  • Any livable single family home is ok, as long as located in USDA approved area.

Read about all the USDA loan benefits here and see if getting pre approved for the USDA loan is loan is right for you!  Also check out the most commonly asked USDA FAQ’s here.   Please contact us at Ph: 904-302-6060 with questions.

Serving all of North Florida Teachers and public service workers – Duval County, Clay County, Baker County, Nassau County, Columbia County, Madison County, Bradford County, St. Johns, Flagler County, Volusia County. Alachua County, 100% Financing for FL Teachers

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USDA Loan Financing, Purchase Process

USDA Mortgage Florida

Purchasing a home is a pretty big deal for most people. This is certainly true for first time home buyers, many who use the 100% USDA for financing. Below we will discuss some of the USDA loan processing steps and what you can expect. USDA is a great choice for first time buyers since pretty much all of central south FL (Immokalee, La Belle, Moore Haven, Clewiston, Pahokee, Arcadia,  Okeechobee) is eligible for the program!

USDA Rural Housing Loan Pre Qualification:

The USDA loan application starts the entire loan process. Once a lender has gathered information about a borrower’s income and debts, a determination can be made as to how much the borrower can pay for a house. Since different loan programs can cause different valuations a borrower should get pre-qualified for each loan type the borrower may qualify for. In attempting to approve homebuyers for the type and amount of mortgage they want, lenders look at two key factors. First, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and, second, the borrower’s willingness to repay the loan.

Ability to repay the mortgage is verified by your current employment and total income. Generally speaking, mortgage companies prefer for you to have been employed at the same place for at least 2 years, with no sizable gaps in employment history. The borrower’s willingness to repay the mortgage is determined by examining how the property will be used. For instance, will you be living there or just renting it out? Since USDA only permits home purchases for primary homes (owner occupied homes)  the home will be obviously occupied.

USDA Mortgage Programs and Rates:

To properly analyze a mortgage program, the borrower needs to think about how long he plans to keep the loan. If you plan to sell the house in a few years, an adjustable or balloon loan may make more sense. If you plan to keep the house for a longer period, a fixed loan may be more suitable. USDA loan are currently only available in a secure 30 year fix term. However, FHA loans do still offer adjustable rate terms. With so many programs from which to choose, each with different rates, points and fees, shopping for a loan can be time consuming and frustrating. An experienced mortgage professional can help clear the air and recommend the most suitable mortgage program based on your needs and goals.

USDA Mortgage Credit Reports:

Most people applying for a home mortgage don’t need to worry about the effects of their credit history during the mortgage process. However, you can be better prepared if you get a copy of your Credit Report before you apply for your mortgage. That way, you can take steps to correct any negatives before making your application.

A Credit Profile refers to a consumer credit file, which is made up of various consumer credit reporting agencies. It is a picture of how you paid back the companies you have borrowed money from, or how you have met other financial obligations. There are five categories of information on a credit profile:

  • Identifying Information
  • Employment Information
  • Credit Information
  • Public Record Information
  • Credit Inquiries

NOT included on your credit profile is race, religion, health, driving record, criminal record, political preference, or income.  If you have had credit problems, be prepared to discuss them honestly with a mortgage professional who will assist you in writing your Letter of Explanation or “LOE”  A loan officer knows there can be good reasons for credit problems and financial difficulties. Maybe you were laid off, hurt, etc.  If you had problems that have been corrected (reestablishment of credit), and your payments have been on time for a year or more, your credit may be considered satisfactory.

The mortgage industry tends to create its own language, and credit rating is no different. Credit scoring is a statistical method of assessing the credit risk of a mortgage application. The score looks at the following items: past delinquencies, derogatory payment behavior, current debt levels, length of credit history, types of credit and number of recent inquires in the last 90 days. The most common score (now the most common terminology for credit scoring) is called the FICO score. This score was developed by Fair, Isaac & Company, Inc. for the three main credit Bureaus; Equifax (Beacon), Experian (formerly TRW), and Empirica (TransUnion).

FICO scores are simply repository scores meaning they ONLY consider the information contained in a person’s credit file. They DO NOT consider a person’s income, savings or down payment amount. Credit scores are based on five factors: 35% of the score is based on payment history, 30% on the amount owed, 15% on how long you have had credit, 10% percent on new credit being sought, and 10% on the types of credit you have. The scores are useful in directing applications to specific loan programs and to set levels of underwriting such as Streamline, Traditional or Second Review.

The following items are some of the ways that you can improve your credit score, thus improving your interest rate:

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Keep Balances low on credit cards, under 50% of the limit.
  • Check that your credit report information once a year to insure it’s accurate.
  • Be conservative in applying for credit and make sure that your credit is only checked when necessary.

A loan applicant with a score of 720+ credit score is considered an A+ borrower. USDA loan borrowers in this category qualify for the lowest interest rates and their loan can close in a couple of days. A score below 680 but above 640 may indicate underwriters will take a closer look in determining potential risk. Additional processing documentation may be required before final approval.

Borrowers with credit scores below 620 are not normally not eligible for government mortgage financing. Most lenders will have in house requirements on minimum credit score requirements.  620 is the min requirement for most mortgage companies when offering USDA, FHA or VA home loans.   All things being equal, when you have less than perfect credit, all of the other aspects of the loan need to be stellar. Income stability, assets- savings, debt to income ratios  play a larger role in the approval decision. Keep in mind a sufficient credit score does not guarantee loan approval.  Every lender has additional requirements (overlays) in regards to any borrower that has a past Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Short Sale. Credit patterns, such as a high number of recent inquiries or more than a few outstanding loans, may signal a problem. Since an indication of a ‘willingness to pay’ is important, several late payments in the same time period is better than random lates.

USDA Loan Underwriting:

Once the processor has put together a complete package with all verifications and documentation, the file is sent to the underwriter. The underwriter is responsible for determining whether the package is deemed an acceptable loan. If more information is needed, the loan is put into ‘suspense’ and the borrower is contacted to supply more information and/or documentation. If the loan is acceptable as submitted, the loan is put into an ‘approved’ status and then clear any outstanding loan conditions.

USDA Loan Closing:

Once the loan is approved, the file is transferred to the closing and funding department. The funding department notifies the broker and closing attorney of the approval and verifies broker and closing fees. The closing attorney then schedules a time for the borrower to sign the loan documentation.

At the closing the borrower should:

  • Bring a certified cashier’s check for your down payment and closing costs if required. Personal checks are normally not accepted by closing agents.
  • Review the final loan documents. Make sure that the interest rate and loan terms are what you agreed upon. Also, verify that the names and address on the loan documents are accurate.
  • Sign the loan documents.
  • Bring identification and proof of insurance.

After the documents are signed, the closing attorney returns the documents to the lender who examines them and assuming everything is in order, arranges for the funding of the loan.

Please click to the link →  to read all the most frequently asked USDA Rural Development questions.  Buyers that have questions about applying for the USDA can submit the information request form on the right side.  Serving homebuyers of rural central south Florida –  Immokalee, La Belle, Moore Haven, Clewiston, Pahokee, Buckhead Ridge, Arcadia,  Okeechobee FL, Avon Park, Lake Placid, Sebring.  Ph: (904) 302-6060

2014, 2015 USDA Loan Financing, Purchase Process

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Q&A – How long does the USDA mortgage closing process take?

Question:  I’m about to be under contract on my first home. I would like to have an idea on how long the USDA mortgage process takes to complete so I have time to prepare for my move.

Thank you – J. Naples / Orlando, FL

Answer: Once you are under a fully approved contract, the USDA mortgage closing process will take around 35-45 days to complete.  The exact time depends on the city/county your new home is located. Once the lender underwriting is complete, your USDA home loan has to go through a secondary approval process with the USDA / Rural Development office.  The USDA office has different turn times that can change frequently. However, 40 days is a safe bet to complete the entire processing/closing process here in Florida ( as of October 2014)

Need a USDA home loan pre approval ? Please contact us at or just send  the short request form on the right side to be contacted →

USDA Mortgage Source is Florida’s Primary resource for all 100% USDA / Rural Development mortgages. Pensacola , Ocala , Clearwater , Bradenton and everywhere in between – please visit our main web site at or call 904.302.6060 to learn more about the benefits of 100% USDA / Rural Development home loans here in Florida. We are available to serve you seven days a week.

Servicing the following Florida cities and counties:

Apopka | Aventura | Boca Raton | Bradenton | Brandon | Cape Coral | Clearwater | Clermont |Cocoa Beach | Coconut Creek | Coral Gables | Crestview | Crystal River | Daytona Beach | DeLand | Deltona | Delray Beach | Destin | Dunedin | Englewood | Fernandina | Flagler Beach | Fort Lauderdale | Fort Myers | Fort Pierce | Fort Walton Beach | Gainesville | Green Cove Springs | Hallandale | Hobe Sound | Hollywood | Homestead | Inverness | Jacksonville | Lakeland | Lake City | Lake Mary | Live Oak | MacClenny |Melbourne | Miami | Milton | Mount Dora | Naples | Ocala | Ocoee |Ojus | Orange Park | Orlando | Ormond Beach | Palatka| Palm Bay | Panama City | Pensacola | Pompano Beach | Port Charlotte | Port St. Lucie | Punta Gorda | Santa Rosa | Sarasota | Siesta Key | Springhill | St. Augustine | St. Petersburg | Sunny Isles | Tallahassee | Tamarac | Tampa | Titusville | Venice | Vero Beach | Weeki Wachee | Wesley Chapel | West Palm Beach | Winter Garden | Winter Haven | Winter Park | Winter Springs | Zephyrhills | Florida | Fla |FL

Alachua | Baker | Bay | Bradford | Brevard | Broward | Calhoun | Charlotte | Citrus | Clay | Collier | Columbia | Dade | De Soto | Dixie | Duval | Escambia | Flagler | Franklin | Gadsden | Gilchrist | Glades | Gulf | Hamilton | Hardee | Hendry | Hernando | Highlands | Hillsborough | Holmes | Indian River | Jackson | Jefferson | Lafayette | Lake | Lee | Leon | Levy | Liberty | Madison | Manatee | Marion | Martin | Monroe | Nassau | Okaloosa | Okeechobee | Orange | Osceola | Palm Beach | Pasco | Pinellas | Polk | Putnam | St. Johns | St. Lucie | Santa Rosa | Sarasota | Seminole | Sumter | Suwannee | Taylor | Union | Volusia | Wakulla | Walton | Washington | County | 2014, 2015, USDA mortgage closing process


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