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7 Communities You Could Buy In With USDA Rural Development

^UPDATED FOR 2015: This article was originally published in September 2012, and featured seven specific RD eligible properties that were available for sale.  As you can imagine, these properties are not for sale anymore, but we wanted to share seven great communities that are RD eligible. Whether you're looking for a property on the coast in North Carolina, or a small historic home in French Lick, IN, the RD mortgage can help make your dreams a reality. Happy house hunting! 


The USDA Rural Development (RD) mortgage loan option lets you buy an eligible home with 100% financing. This means that you don't need a down payment* to buy your house. But what does "eligible home" mean? It's basically a geographic rule. USDA does have income limits also, but an eligible house must be in an area considered "rural."

Download our Rural Development Fact Sheet and start planning your move today!


Here's a look at 7 great communities where you could buy with USDA rural development**

  1. A South Haven, Michigan home near Lake Michigan. It's just a few miles from Blue Star Highway and very close to the big lake. South Haven falls under the rural development-eligible area!
  2. Heidecke Lake, Illinois is within the rules for RD. The nearby town of Morris, IL has several homes for sale.
  3. Love country music? You can't buy a home in Nashville Tennessee with rural development, but some nearby towns are eligible. Check out Pleasant View, Tennessee which has many great homes not too far from the big city.
  4. French Lick, Indiana is known for its natural springs and French trading post history. There's also a casino there. And yes, it's RD-eligible. You could buy a home in French Lick and finance 100% of the purchase price.
  5. How does a home near Lake Erie sound? Port Clinton, Ohio falls under this mortgage option umbrella. With many communities nearby like Marblehead and Catawaba Island, it's definitely a place to consider.
  6. U of M fan? Are you a Wolverine to the bone? You can't get a home in downtown Ann Arbor with USDA rural development, sorry. But you could find a zero down home in Saline, MI nearby.
  7. Settled in 1709, Beaufort, North Carolina is the third-oldest town in the state, and has been listed as one of "America's Coolest Small Towns", and is RD eligible!

You can check the USDA rural development neighborhood eligibility here

Again, rural development  allows a home buyer to borrow 100% of the appraised value of an eligible home to buy it. Of course this means you don't need to have a down payment. The main requirement is that the property needs to fall within certain geographical areas, outside the city limits of major metropolitan centers.

No, this doesn't mean you have to live "way out in the sticks." Yes that's an option, but not necessary. Many areas that fall under the Rural Development umbrella are actually more suburban than you'd expect. Small towns and villages often fall into this category.

Here's the fancy explanation from our brainy folks: Under the Guaranteed Loan program, USDA Rural Development guarantees loans made by private sector lenders like AmeriFirst Home Mortgage. A loan guaranteed through RD means that, should the individual borrower default on the loan, RD will pay the private financier for the loan. You work with AmeriFirst and make your payments to us.

Learn more with the USDA rural development fact sheet at the button below.

Download an RD Fact Sheet

*no down payment does not include closing costs such as escrow funds
**this is meant to be used as an example of homes that would likely meet eligibility requirements for USDA rural development - this is not a guarantee that the home would qualify
***links are not meant to be endorsements of any business and do not mean that business endorses us - we're merely offering examples of these homes

(creative commons photo credit)

^This post was originally published on September 19, 2012, and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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