Rural Development funds released
For the past four months, home buyers, mortgage bankers and Realtors in Arkansas have waited for the restoration of guaranteed loans through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.
Justin Moore, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Arkansas, said the money guaranteeing those loans was released on Wednesday. The Rural Development program, he said, has been a boon to Arkansas homebuyers as it’s one of the very few mortgage products left that requires borrowers to pay no money down when taking out a loan.
“It opens up new financing opportunities for home buyers,” he said. “100 percent financing in rural areas.”
The Rural Development program was funded when the new federal fiscal year started on Oct. 1. However, the popularity of the program meant the Rural Development funds were exhausted by May – well before the new fiscal year.
Congress, in an attempt to help keep the program going until the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, approved more funding for Rural Development loan guarantees on July 30. Lenders and home owners have waited since then for the money to be released so mortgages can be written.
The program is administered through local banks and Arkansas buyers have benefited substantially through the years as eligibility for Rural Development loans is tied to population. People buying homes in sparsely populated areas are eligible for loans through the program while those in urban areas are not.
The definition of “rural” is somewhat confusing in Arkansas, too, in that homes in growing cities such as Bentonville and Bryant are eligible for the loans and there are few counties in the Natural State that contain any ineligible areas.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.