Category Archive USDA Rural Housing

How Much Money Do You Need to Buy a Home?

One of the biggest concerns of first time home buyers when they’re looking at getting their first mortgage is just how much money they’re going to require. Qualifying for a mortgage is the first step in the process, but it is important to understand if you will need cash for your purchase and if so, how much.

Understanding what you’ll be responHome Purchase Down Paymentsible for paying for in cash is good information to have before you even submit a mortgage application. The specific costs can vary depending upon the state that you live in, the cost of your home and to other factors, but here are some basic things to consider that should be considered.

Down Payment Required for a Mortgage

In order to qualify for a mortgage, you will likely have to produce a down payment unless you are using a VA (Veterans Administration) or USDA Rural Housing Loan . The specific amount required for a down payment depends upon state guidelines as well as the type of loan. FHA mortgage loans offer the competitive down payment options for those who qualify, requiring 3.5% of the purchase price down.

Mortgage Closing Costs

In addition to requiring money for your mortgage down payment, you’ll need to save money for closing costs. This is something that you may be able to get paid by the seller of your new home, but as this is not something that is guaranteed, it is wise to have some money on hand to pay for all of the costs of purchasing a home that cannot be rolled into your mortgage. If you present a mortgage lender an offer that does not include closing costs covered by the seller, often as a first time home buyer, you are required to prove that you have the money to cover them. Depending on your local market environment and location, 1.5% to 3% of the purchase price may be a fair estimate for your closing costs, and somewhere in this range is what a mortgage lender will typically need to confirm.

Target Purchase Price and Other Considerations

Since the location, cost and your unique financial and credit attributes can affect what you will need to put down when you purchase a home, we can help you better understand the estimated amount that you’ll need to pay when buying a home. More importantly,  we can help you understand and target the home purchase price that suits your specific needs an finances so you can be prepared in advance to make your first home purchase!

USDA Home Loan Qualifying and Income Limits

The USDA does indeed set income limitations for qualifying for the USDA Rural Home Loan, but a little known fact is that most folks have “adjustments” to their income that will help them to qualify for the USDA Rural Development Home Loan.

The USDA will Review two types of income for qualifying for the USDA Rural Development Home Loan:

  1. Adjusted Household Income
  2. Repayment Income (Gross Earnings)

What do the USDA Rural Development Home Loan guidelines consider as “Adjusted Household Income”? It is basically gross income MINUS any eligible deductions.

Here is a list of 7 eligible deductions for qualifying for a USDA Rural Development Home Loan.

  1. $480 deduction for each child under the age of 18
  2. Verified childcare expenses
  3. $480 deduction for disabled dependents 18 years old or older
  4. $480 deduction for a full time student 18 years old or older
  5. $400 deduction for any eligible elderly family member
  6. A deduction for the care of children 12 years of age or younger, to the extent necessary to allow a member of the family to be gainfully employed
  7. A deduction of the amount of which the aggregate of the following expenses of the household exceeds 3% of the gross annual income: medical expenses for elderly family, Reasonable attendant care, auxiliary apparatus expenditures for dependent family members.

These adjustments to income can help you qualify for the USDA Rural Development Home Loan if your basic income puts you over the limit.

Jamie is a senior loan consultant at AnnieMac Home Mortgage and specializes in USDA and VA mortgage products.  If you have any questions feel free to contact him at 856-505-6718 or email him at