HUNTINGDON, TN, Jun 12, 2013 -- Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task. Some home seekers will view hundreds of different houses before finding the one to plant their roots. Others decide on something to meet their immediate needs with the goal of finding a dream home later.
Life changes drove Elizabeth Davidson to search for a place to live closer to family and her daughter’s school. The 70-mile roundtrip commute to work each day was draining her financially and the idea of renting a home with all of the associated costs did not feel like the right move to make. Her mother, Melissa Peterson who works with USDA Farm Service Agency, a sister agency of USDA Rural Development (RD), recommended Elizabeth talk to an RD specialist about the best way to take the steps to homeownership.
"It’s a scary feeling," said Davidson. "The entire process seems so big. Decide where you want to live, find a house, then all the paperwork. I was nervous. But once I started working with Mary Hickman, I realized it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. And today, I can say I’m a homeowner."
After some time researching the homes available in the area, she found a home right for her, closer to work and a short distance from her grandmother; in the same neighborhood her mother grew up in.
In April, Davidson closed on her new home and is already adding various upgrades and minor improvements with her own sweat equity.
"Partnerships and projects like this give families an opportunity to support each other and build toward a great quality of life. The can help for each other day to day and building a healthy community too," said Hickman.
Rural Development (RD) home loans may be made without a down payment and eligible applicants may qualify for 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 $131,100 in Carroll County.
Eligibility for federal home loan programs is based on family income and varies by county. For example, a four person household living in Carroll County with an adjusted income up to $38,100 may qualify for a low-interest home loan. Rural Development staff will help applicants calculate their adjusted household income and complete the application process.
Those who already own a home may be eligible for an RD home-repair loan to alleviate unsafe conditions, make repairs, or add needed space. The interest rate on these loans is fixed at one-percent and payments may be spread over as much as 20 years to keep the monthly payments affordable.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in northwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Union City at 731-885-6480 ext. 4, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1497 or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).