2008-05-29 / News

USDA offers loans, grants to home owners

By Connie L. Dearman USDA Rural Development

Roscommon County residents in need of loans to either buy homes or repair their own have found help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA Rural Development can make owning a home affordable for low-income home buyers. The direct loan program allows families and individuals to buy homes with no money down and affordable monthly payments.

To qualify for the program, an applicant's adjusted gross income cannot exceed 80% of the median income for the county. In Roscommon County, a family of four can qualify with an adjusted income of up to $40,950. The applicant(s) must also demonstrate the ability to repay the loan.

The maximum amount an applicant can borrow in Roscommon County is $148,000. However, other than the maximum cost, there are a few restrictions on what type of home can be purchased. For example, a borrower can choose to purchase an existing home, a traditionally constructed new home or a manufactured home.

Home owners with difficulty affording needed repairs may also be able to take advantage of Rural Development programs. Home repair loans are up to $20,000 and are available with an interest rate of only 1%. Grants of up to $7,500 may also be available for homeowners over age 62.

Both home repair loans and grants have maximum income requirements. In Roscommon County a household of two can make up to $20,500. The loan or grant must be for essential repairs such as a new roof, furnace, plumbing or electrical repairs. Connecting your home to a municipal sewer system is another eligible expense.

For information on Rural Development's Direct Single Family Housing loan programs, please call (989) 345- 5470 ext. 4 or toll-free at (800) 944-8119 and ask for West Branch or TDD (517) 324-5169.

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