Des Moines, Iowa, Jun 25, 2012 -- All Americans should have access to safe, decent, affordable housing, and now is a great time to buy a home or refinance your current one. Interest rates are at historic lows, while housing prices in many communities are at their most affordable levels in nearly a generation.
National Homeownership Month is celebrated every year in June. Expanding and preserving homeownership is a major part of the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous rural America.
Since 1949, USDA housing programs have played a vital role in ensuring that rural residents enjoy the same homeownership opportunities that are available to urban residents. During the last three years USDA Rural Development housing programs have assisted 7,400 rural Iowa families with home loan purchases, either through a direct home loan or working with a local lender to provide a government-backed loan guarantee. These loans, which were made in all 99 Iowa counties, totaled $694 million.
In my position as USDA Rural Development State Director I travel extensively around the state. My conversations with rural Iowans often focus on the special qualities that make rural Iowa great -- the people, the sense of community and the rural ethic. One of the challenges mentioned most often is housing and access to a safe, affordable place to live.
USDA Rural Development’s no-down-payment programs can help.
One program provides a federal guarantee on home loans made by approved lenders to moderate income households in eligible rural areas. The loan provides qualified borrowers up to 100-percent financing on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, while eliminating the need for a down payment or private mortgage insurance.
We also have a direct home-loan program where we serve as the lender and provide 100-percent financing on home loans to eligible rural residents.
For both programs eligible homes must be located in a community of 20,000 persons or less.
In most cases, a family of four with an adjusted annual income of up to $74,750 may qualify for the guaranteed home loan program. If that same family’s adjusted annual income is less than $47,450 they may also qualify for a direct loan.
Homeownership is good for families, good for communities, and good for the economy. Owning a home is the American Dream and the Obama Administration housing’s policies are helping to strengthen rural communities and drive the nation’s ongoing economic recovery forward.
For more information about home loan programs through USDA Rural Development, please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
I’m proud to be a part of a USDA that is helping lead the way to our nation’s economic recovery.
A healthy and prosperous America relies on a prosperous rural America. By finding ways to make affordable homeownership a reality for rural Americans, USDA Rural Development is committed to preserving and expanding this cornerstone of an America that is built to last.
Bill Menner was appointed USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa in July 2009.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices in Iowa including a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.