JONESBOROUGH, Tenn., Jun 17, 2011 -- Buying a home can be one of the largest investments a person makes, so timing is everything. For Shirley Snapp, it took hard work and dedication to make sure she was ready when the timing was right.
Two years ago, Snapp decided she wanted to move into a home of her own to raise her teenage son; however her credit rating needed some attention. She began working to repair it and increase her monthly income and eventually enrolled in a homeownership counseling course offered through Eastern 8 Community Development Corporation.
Snapp completed the homebuyer counseling course and with the help from staff at Eastern 8, submitted a home application through the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, Inc. (FAHE) Demonstration Program for funding through Rural Development. In addition to funding through RD, First Tennessee Development District utilized funds from Northeast TN/VA Home Consortium to provide down-payment assistance to Snapp.
Finally with the combined help of these entities as well as the Kingsport Housing Authority, Snapp was able to move into her home and can proudly say she is a homeowner.
“The house is beautiful,” Snapp said. “I’m just so happy to have it and be a homeowner.”
"With all that’s been happening in the housing market, finding the right home to match with the right loan product for your circumstances can be a frightening prospect," said Greeneville Area Director Joe Woody. "Fortunately we have a lot of experience helping people achieve, and maintain, the American Dream of owning the home that's right for them."
Eligibility is based on family income and varies by county. For example, a four person household living in Washington County with an adjusted household income up to $39,850 may qualify for a low-interest home loan through USDA. Rural Development staff helps applicants calculate their adjusted family income and complete the application process.
Rural Development home-loans may be made without a down payment and eligible applicants may qualify for loan financing up to 100 percent of the appraised value. Depending on an applicant’s income, monthly payments may be based on an interest rate as low as one percent. Loans are typically made for 33 years at a fixed interest rate, with a maximum loan amount of $143,600 in Washington County.
Rural Development also works with private lenders to increase the number of affordable home loans they make in rural areas by providing a federal guarantee on mortgages for families and individuals with moderate household incomes. Loan-guarantees are also available to private lenders that finance the construction, acquisition or rehabilitation of affordable multi-family rental housing in rural areas.
In addition, Rural Development makes home-repair loans to alleviate unsafe conditions, make repairs or add needed space. The interest rate on these loans is one-percent and payments may be spread over as much as 20 years to keep the monthly payments affordable. In some cases grants are available for elderly or disabled homeowners who need to correct health or safety deficiencies, improve accessibility or alleviate overcrowding.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. With supplemental funding through the Recovery Act, the agency assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses with more than $1.3 billion in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. More than 86 percent of these investments will be paid back with interest. The rest is at work creating jobs, broadening the local tax base and increasing opportunities in education, training, healthcare and public safety.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Northeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Greeneville at 423-638-4771 ext. 4, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1490, or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397