The USDA Rural Development 502 guaranteed loan program offers 100% mortgage financing throughout qualified locations in Florida. With relaxed qualifying terms, minimal mortgage insurance and no loan limits, this program is perfect for FL first time home buyers in 2024.
While it might seem to be too good to be true on the surface, USDA mortgage loans come with a few eligibility requirements. However, if you and the house meet the USDA’s income and location criteria, the program could be a good option for you.
The key eligibility limitation for the USDA program is that the house has to be in what the USDA considers a “rural” area. Now, it’s important to understand the USDA’s definition of rural is relatively broad. In fact, many suburb locations surrounding Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Gainesville FL and Tallahassee still have eligible areas. Overall, if you aren’t in the middle of a congested metropolitan area, there’s a good chance that your property will be eligible. Call us at ph: 800-743-7556 to talk about your area.
The USDA doesn’t impose any official price or loan amount limits on the home that you buy. On the other hand, the USDA’s income rules do impose a debt to income ratio limit for home buyers. Given that the USDA usually applies a 29 percent front-end debt-to-income ratio to determine how large your mortgage payment can be, a family making $5,500 per month ($66,000 per year) would be limited to a monthly payment of around $1,595, which is $5,500 per month multiplied by the 29% housing ratio cap.
As your income goes up or down, your maximum payment can also fluctuate up or down. Then again, the program also has the flexibility to allow higher monthly payments for otherwise well qualified Florida buyers.
USDA Rural Housing limits the type of property that can purchase. You aren’t allowed to use a USDA loan to purchase a property with additional units or with any additional structures that you might use for income. For instance, a barn or a legal (and rentable) in-law unit could likely be ineligible, while a small storage shed probably would not.
The USDA limits the properties that you can buy based on their condition and quality. The property has to have adequate mechanical systems and be termite-free. It also has to meet the USDA’s standards for being decent, safe and sanitary. The home must meet all the same HUD standards that apply to other government home loans like FHA, and VA. To qualify for a USDA loan, a home must have a hard or all-weather road leading to it as well.
The home the USDA will approve for you varies based on your income and its location. The USDA imposes income limitations that vary by area, and your household income can be no more than 115% of the area’s median income.
The income limits in most Florida counties with a household of 1–4 members are $110,650. Please see all the latest USDA income limits here. As for the property, USDA will permit any single-family home that is located in a USDA-approved area, please find the USDA eligibility map here. You can look up your city or an actual address to see if it’s approved. Keep in mind, USDA is not concerned with the home seller or whether the home is being sold as a regular sale, foreclosure, etc. The actual location of the home is what’s important.
Questions? Just submit the short Info Request Form on this page for fast service. You can also contact us at 7 days a week at ph: 800-743-7556 Please be sure to also read all the USDA FAQ’s by clicking here.