ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 19, 2014 – A favored mortgage product in some areas of Florida will undergo changes on Oct. 1, 2014. The USDA/rural housing mortgage is offered in areas – many times in outlying areas of major cities – with population up to 35,000 and “rural in character.”

To determine if an area is eligible for the program, the USDA has created maps and an online search tool where a buyer can key in a prospective home’s address and find out if a USDA loan is possible. The maps get updated regularly based on U.S. Census data.

Many homes in the current rural map will remain in the updated rural map. However, some homes in the current map will no longer qualify for a USDA mortgage after Oct. 1 unless Congress takes action to postpone the change.

Prospective homebuyers looking at a property in a currently qualified area may find that it won’t qualify after Oct. 1. In that case, a contract must be signed and the mortgage accepted by Oct. 1 if they hope to secure USDA funding. However, due to potential paperwork delays, Realtors are advised to start the process as early as possible to avoid a last-minute problem.

The USDA currently has two search engines online. A specific address can be checked, or a map can show the broad areas impacted by the map changes.

To view the map, visit the USDA website.

To see check current addresses that qualify for the USDA program, select the applicable type of housing under “Property Eligibility.” To see if the address will be included after the Oct. 1 changes, select “Future Eligible Areas.”
© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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