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USDA Mortgage Loan Program Widens Footprint — Here Are 15 Cities You Can Get 100% Financing

gorodenkoff / Getty Images
gorodenkoff / Getty Images

A lot more Americans now have access to 100% mortgage financing thanks to a major expansion of home loans provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to low- and moderate-income households.

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Effective October 1, 2023, the USDA added 1,131 new areas to its USDA mortgage footprint for 2024 while removing only 36, according to the website. The expansion comes amid a tough environment for house hunters due to the combination of high home prices, rising mortgage rates and low inventory.

First-time home buyers can purchase USDA-eligible homes with 100% financing using the USDA Single-Family Guaranteed Loan Program. USDA loans, also known as Section 502 mortgages, let buyers purchase homes with no down payment, reduced mortgage insurance rates and mortgage rates that are 0.25% below conventional rates, noted.

On its website, the USDA said eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Income cannot exceed 115% of U.S. median household income

  • Agree to personally occupy the dwelling as your primary residence

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. non-citizen national or qualified alien

You must also live in an eligible rural area because USDA mortgages are intended for modest homes in non-urban regions.

“Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, which in turn creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural areas,” the USDA stated on its website.

An analysis by highlighted newly eligible USDA cities within commuting distance of major population centers ranging between 800,000 and 10 million residents. For its analysis, used data from the USDA, U.S. Census Bureau and Google Maps.

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If you’re looking to buy a home within about an hour’s drive of a major metro area, here are 15 newly eligible smaller cities where you can get 100% USDA mortgage financing:

  1. Lake Los Angeles, California: The nearest big city is Los Angeles, 68.2 miles away

  2. Mecca, California: Nearest big city is Riverside, 88.7 miles

  3. Moapa Valley, Nevada: Nearest big city is Las Vegas, 60.1 miles

  4. Phelan, California: Nearest big city is San Bernardino, 31.2 miles

  5. Highland Oaks, Texas: Nearest big city is San Antonio, 25.8 miles

  6. Rancho Murieta, California: Nearest big city is Sacramento, 25.5 miles

  7. Wedgefield, Florida: Nearest big city is Orlando, 26.2 miles

  8. Harrisburg, Ohio: Nearest big city is Columbus, 16.2 miles

  9. Jacobson Estates, Texas: Nearest big city is Austin, 15.4 miles

  10.  Marana, Arizona: Nearest big city is Tucson, 9 miles

  11. Farmersville, Texas: Nearest big city is Dallas, 43.6 miles

  12. Lanare, California: Nearest big city is Fresno, 28.8 miles

  13. Bedford, New York: Nearest big city is New York City, 47.5 miles

  14. Springville, New York: Nearest big city is Buffalo, 34.5 miles

  15. Frazier Park, California: Nearest big city is Santa Clarita, 43.4 miles

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This article originally appeared on USDA Mortgage Loan Program Widens Footprint — Here Are 15 Cities You Can Get 100% Financing