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By G. Steven Bray
The USDA Rural Development loan is a great option for homebuyers in rural locations. It requires no down payment and has lower monthly mortgage insurance than an FHA loan.
The loan is only available in areas that USDA considers “rural,” but USDA’s rural includes some areas you might not expect. USDA provides an eligibility map you can use to determine if a particular property is eligible, and a new map went into effect on Jun 4th, which narrowed the eligible area just a bit.
The biggest changes I noticed in the map are around Austin. Most of the fast-growing suburbs of Hutto, Buda, Kyle, and Leander were eligible under the previous map. Now, they’re ineligible. However, more distant suburbs, like Dripping Springs, Liberty Hill, Bastrop, and Taylor remain eligible.
In the Houston area, the expansion of the ineligible areas occurred mainly to the south and southwest and around Conroe. The I-10 corridor to the west and east, and the I-69 corridor to the northeast appear unaffected.
Around the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, more of the fast-growing 380 corridor is now ineligible, but otherwise the metro escaped mostly unaffected.
In the San Antonio area, more of the 281 and I-35 corridors are ineligible as is the suburb of Boerne. However, the boundary to the west appears unchanged.
We’ve got a link to the eligibility map on our Web site or in the text version of our blog.