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USDA Rural Development Options in Wisconsin

 

couple walking over bridgeWisconsin residents: If you're looking to take the plunge into home-ownership and have a property in a rural area in mind, there may be a USDA Rural Development loan available to make this dream come true. 

The Benefits of Home-Ownership

Maybe you have an independent spirit, and want to take on the world on your own. Getting out into the world as an adult is only one benefit of owning your own home. Here are some more:

  • Homes are a good investment--the kind that makes you money over time. Buying a home while you're young gives you more time to watch its value grow.
  • Being a homeowner gives you more borrowing power. Banks and other lenders will open up more lines of credit to you.
  • You can claim more in tax deductions if you're paying a mortgage--so enjoy that money back after tax season!

Wisconsin's Rural Areas

Why would you want to set down roots in one of Wisconsin's rural areas?

  • City life is stressful! Research suggests that urban dwellers have higher instances of depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues.
  • Make the most of your property--enjoy a large backyard or a garden. You'll have the space, not to mention peace and quiet!
  • Cost of living--including the price you will pay to purchase the property--is lower in rural areas than in urban or suburban ones.

If you know you're looking to buy a home in a rural area, below are some resources that may help you.

 

USDA Rural Development in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin branch of the USDA Rural Development Department is focused on revitalizing rural areas through more first-time home-ownership, as well as providing assistance to current homeowners in rural areas who need assistance maintaining their homes.

This state office has several options that can easily take you from a month-by-month tenant to a proud homeowner:

  • Guaranteed Loans for Single Families
  • Direct Loans to Single Families

Let's take these options one-by-one to see if they work for you.

 

Single Family Guaranteed Loans

This USDA Rural Development program is aimed at getting folks from the moderate income bracket into home ownership. The loan must be used to finance a home in an eligible rural area. No down payment is required. The loan can also be used to cover cost of repairs to a property, as well as cost incurred in closing the house. This loan will result in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Regular, dependable income
  • U.S. citizenship, or legal resident status
  • Income that falls in the moderate bracket in the area the property is located.
  • Ability to demonstrate plan for repayment of the loan

The Property Must:

  • Be located in a qualified rural area
  • Meet HUD guidelines
  • NOT be producing other income
  • Be a home which resides on a permanent foundation
  • Be occupied by the owner

Single Family Direct Loans 

This is the right program for you if you're looking to purchase or construct a new home. This loan can also be used to finance home repairs or reconstruction. This subsidized loan can be used to make a down payment on a home. It may also be applied to make home improvements or repairs.

There is one stipulation: You may only apply for this loan if you are unable to obtain credit from any other lender.

You should anticipate a repayment period of about 33 years.

Eligibility Requirements:

 

  • The family income must not be in the 80th (or higher) percentile of income (in the county in which the new property is located.)
  • U.S. citizenship, or legal resident status
  • You must have a good credit history, and be able to document this during the application process
  • More details here
Other Resources 

So stop losing money on rent and make that dream of owning your own home come true!

 

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5 Reasons Not to Skip Your Home Inspection

You found a house you love—hooray! But with lots of other buyers breathing down your neck, you feel like you need to act fast. To make your offer more attractive to the seller, you might be tempted to skip your home inspection, but here are five good reasons not to! 1.) Not all problems are obvious. It’s easy to spot issues like a crack in the sink or a broken light fixture. But do you know how to recognize foundation problems, termite infestations, outdated wiring, or sewer system problems? Trained home inspectors do and taking the time to have them go over the entire property before you sign the papers can prevent you from buying a headache instead of a home. BOTTOM LINE: The great thing about an inspection is that if you see major problems you’re unwilling to take on, you can change your mind and walk away. 2.) You may not be able to afford the repairs. If you’re like many new homeowners, you may not have much set aside to pay for needed repairs after saving up for your down payment and closing costs. While you may not mind waiting a bit to repaint or update appliances, waiting on problems like leaky roofs, broken plumbing, or infestations will only make them worse, and some issues, like broken furnaces, may need to be repaired right away. BOTTON LINE: You don’t want to go deep into debt to keep your home safe and comfortable. Instead, it’s worth negotiating with the seller to pay for repairs. If they refuse, you can simply walk away. 3. Some problems can make it harder to insure the home. Getting home insurance is essential because lenders need to see an insurance policy before you can close on your home—and of course, you’ll want to have your home protected in case anything goes wrong. However, some companies may decide that your home’s older electrical systems, plumbing, or building materials make it too risky to insure. BOTTON LINE: If essential updates are needed, the only choices are to ask the seller to pay for them, pay for them yourself if you can afford it, or walk away from the deal. 4. Serious issues can affect the resale value of the home. Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make. However, if it has major problems, instead of building your wealth, it could turn into a lousy investment that threatens your financial well-being. BOTTON LINE: While a home inspection typically costs a few hundred dollars, it’s an excellent investment in your peace of mind and financial health. 5. Some problems can threaten your family’s health or even your life. This sounds scary, but it’s no exaggeration. Issues like lead paint, black mold, radon (an odorless radioactive gas), or carbon monoxide leaks can cause serious and sometimes fatal health problems. BOTTON LINE: These issues are also easy to miss without a professional home inspection, and it’s simply not worth taking the risk. While it’s not easy to compete with other buyers who are bidding for the house you want, home inspections are one area where you don’t want to cut corners. To protect your physical, financial, and mental health, there’s no substitute for a professional home inspection.

6 Tips on How to Buy a House in Today's Market

Buying a home may be the American dream. But with escalating home prices, rising interest rates, low inventory, and inflation, as a first-time buyer, you may be wondering if that dream is out of reach.

Let's Talk FHA Loans

  If apartment living is getting old, or you've outgrown your parents' basement and house rules, you may be thinking about buying your own place. For this reason, you may be interested in learning about home loans that offer low and no-down payment options and have flexible lending requirements. One of these is the FHA loan. Let's take a closer look. 

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