USDA no-down-payment financing for people looking to buy homes in the Birmingham area will continue to be available after September 30th, despite earlier reports from the Agency that the popular loan program would wind down permanently at the end of the month.
How long will USDA financing remain in effect? Not even the government—which administers the program—is saying.
The loan program will “continue for some period,” according to Rich Davis, acting Administrator for USDA’s Rural Housing Service.
Many Buyers were concerned that loss of the program would reduce their chances of being able to buy a home in places in Shelby Co. including Chelsea and Calera, areas the government considers rural, and therefore eligible for USDA financing.
In the meantime, a new 100% conventional loan program has been introduced, and which would be a back-up for some Buyers who had wanted to purchase with USDA financing.
If you’re thinking of buying a home, figuring out what loan is best for your particular situation—whether it’s USDA or something else—can get confusing.
Your best bet is to contact a Lender knowledgeable in the many loan programs that are available in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area before you buy.
If you’re thinking of buying a home in several areas near Birmingham using 100% loan financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you’ll have to go a different route.
Effective October 1st, homes in Chelsea, Calera, Moody and Pleasant Grove—areas that have been eligible for USDA’s no-down-payment funding—will no longer qualify.
Current loans that are already in USDA’s processing system as of October 1st will be honored.
The removal of these areas comes as a result of a decision that these communities are no longer considered rural.
USDA’s loan program has been very popular…Colleen and I have helped many first time Buyers over the years with purchasing a home using this financing.
This does not necessarily mean that you’re out of options if you’re trying to get a 100% financed loan for a home in these areas.
A new 100% conventional loan program has just been announced that may be a suitable alternative.
Offered by several area Lenders, the new loan program is currently available at a fixed rate of 4.75% to Buyers who qualify, and has reduced mortgage insurance. And, unlike USDA loans, this new loan is not restricted by area.
Here are a few Lenders in the area you can contact for more information:
First Federal Mortgage
Home Mortgage of America, Inc.
With two days left to spare, the government has decided not to allow a change to take effect that would have meant the removal of Calera as one of the communities eligible for no-down-payment home mortgage financing.
Congress has passed a resolution that preserves the areas where homes are eligible for USDA loans. The bill must be signed by the President before becoming law, but that is expected to happen shortly.
USDA loans are popular with many Buyers because they can be an affordable way of purchasing a home. The loans are available for properties in specific geographical areas designated by the government.
The decision by Congress means that the home we currently have listed in Calera will continue to be eligible for USDA’s no-down-payment financing:
If you want to buy a home in Birmingham’s Chelsea or Calera area using USDA no-down-payment financing, you may be wise to buy sooner, rather than later.
March 27th is the deadline by which earlier reports indicated that USDA would be dropping those areas from its list of eligibility.
But Gloria Jackson, a Lender with First Federal Mortgage in Birmingham who has spoken with USDA, says exactly what will happen by the end of the month remains unclear:
You can reach Gloria by calling 205-965-2167. Click here for her website and e-mail link…
When you can get into a nicely upgraded 3BR home (with new granite counters, new stainless appliances, new paint, new flooring and more) for less than $103,000 and, then, on top of everything else, get a no-down-payment loan…well, that’s a seriously good deal.
This is yet another case where you could own your own home for less money than it would cost to rent.
The home is located at 2148 15th St in Calera.
It’s less than a ten minute drive to I-65, making access north into Alabaster, Pelham and downtown Birmingham easy.
What makes this so outstanding is the price: $102,900.
Check out our narrated video that shows the treats awaiting inside:
If you know of someone who might be interested (or if you are), we’d suggest acting sooner, rather than later. Deals like this don’t last long…
Good news if you’re looking to buy a home in several areas close to Birmingham…
The U.S. Dep’t. of Agriculture has just announced that a previously planned October 1st change which would have meant the end of federal mortgage funding for two areas in Shelby Co. has been put on hold until late March of 2013.
More than 90 communities nationwide—including Pleasant Grove in Jefferson Co. and areas in Walker and St. Clair counties—had been targeted to lose their eligibility, effective October 1st. Yesterday, however, Dallas Tonsager, USDA’s Under Secretary for Rural Development, issued a notice saying the changes would not take effect next week.
USDA loans are popular with many Buyers because they do not require down payments. They are available, however, only in areas USDA specifically designates.
As it stands now, the changes will take effect March 27, 2013 … unless USDA or Congress takes action in the meantime.
If you’re thinking of buying a home in Shelby County’s Calera or Chelsea area and are planning on financing your purchase with a no-down-payment USDA loan, you better get moving with your purchase, because time may be about to run out.
As of October first, the USDA is expected to update the areas that qualify for its loans. For Shelby Co., this means that Calera—which has long been a popular spot for home Buyers using USDA financing—will be dropped from the eligibility list. Chelsea is also set to be dropped.
In Walker Co., Jasper will be dropped from USDA loan eligibility, as will Moody and Pell City in St. Clair Co., and Pleasant Grove in Jefferson Co.
In all, more than 90 communities will be removed from the list of qualifying areas.
The change in qualifying areas is not a 100% sure thing. At least one U.S. Congressman—Republican Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska—is pushing to get Congress to order a one year extension of USDA’s existing eligibility zones. Others pushing USDA to grant an extension include the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders and the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Why does USDA plan to change the zones? The answer lies partly with the 2010 Census. An existing grandfathering clause allowed any community considered ‘rural’ in 1990 to continue to be eligible for USDA funding until the 2010 Census, as long as it has a population below 25,000 and met other critera. That clause, which was first enacted in 1990 and extended in 2000, is now set to expire.
So, unless Congress takes action, many communities that currently qualify for USDA financing will lose their eligibility—and for many of those areas, USDA loans are the only source of federal housing funding.
Colleen and I have some exciting news to pass along…
Jeff De Shazo is joining forces with us to help folks looking to buy homes.
So, just who is this Jeff character, anyway?
With nearly fourteen years as a Realtor—he also holds a Broker’s license—Jeff is no stranger to the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area real estate industry. His knowledge of the business is as solid as you can get.
Jeff has helped individuals and families make real estate purchases throughout the region.
So, why are we joining forces? The answer is pretty simple, actually.
Jeff has always impressed us with his professionalism and friendliness.
When it comes to how we believe Clients should be served, we found that we have so much in common with Jeff that working as a Team just seems to make sense.
In addition to helping with the sales of existing homes, Jeff has several years experience in sales of new homes. That’s especially valuable these days, because there are so many opportunities to buy new homes at unheard of prices.
Jeff is a great source of information if you’ve been thinking of buying a new or existing home in the Birmingham or Shelby Co. area. Whether you’re buying again or for the first time, he’s ready to help.
You can reach Jeff at 205-223-7653, or click here to contact Jeff by e-mail.
By the way … Fisbo, our spoiled six pound poodle, has given Jeff his official seal of approval, as well…
Thinking of selling your home?
You already know there’s plenty of competition here in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area.
But now, there’s a new force to deal with. Check out our video just below. This all started when we decided to pay a visit to a recently listed Foreclosure in Alabaster’s Lake Forest; you may be interested to see what’s happening inside…
We’re ready to help you with getting your home sold, successfully, and sooner, rather than later.
Give us a call at 205.677.8696…
If you’ve been thinking of buying a home in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. area using the popular USDA loan program which allows you to buy with no down payment, you may be fast running out of luck.
USDA says the program is projected to run out of money by the end of April, and no new funding is currently anticipated.
In Shelby County, USDA loans have been responsible for many people buying homes in areas like Calera and Montevallo, as well as across many other parts of Alabama.
Because USDA loans are so attractive to many buyers—mortgage insurance isn’t required, either—they have often meant the difference between whether a Buyer is able to purchase property.
Carmell Cantrell is a Loan Officer with First Federal Mortgage in Birmingham, and has been following what may be the demise of the program she and other Lenders have worked with extensively over the years.
USDA loans could be revived if Congress acts, but whether that will happen remains unknown. If the program does, in fact, end, it will stand as a major point in real estate sales history, signaling the end of the so-called easy credit era.
Click the player below to listen to our interview with Carmell now…
…or click here if you’d like to download and listen on your personal listening device.
So … what to do if you’ve been thinking of buying a home using USDA loan program?
Experts have two words to suggest: Start saving.