USDA Home Loan Underwriting Updates

USDA Home Loans NCUSDA is quickly becoming one of the Country's most popular mortgage loan programs, and with that, the USDA Rural Development Offices are getting backlogged!

USDA Home Loans are 100% (plus) mortgages - for more information about the program click here.

Because of this increase in volume, there have been several recent AN (Adminsitrative Announcements) from them regarding documentation types, and clarification of guidelines. 

  • Gift funds are allowed with USDA Home Loans, however gift funds are not considered as cash reserves, or as a compensating factor.
  • Gift Funds may be used for closings costs, voluntary downpayment, and to cover the guarantee fees, however (again) they will not be considered as cash reserves for a compensating factor waiver.
  • USDA only allows us to count 60% of the Vested Amount in an IRA, Keogh or 401K account (normally we count 70-75%) for reserves - we do need the MOST recent statement on the account.
  • CASH ON HAND can be considered, however the Lender must know how the cash was accumulated, and over what period of time.  Our experience is that CASH ON HAND is very difficult to use in a mortgage transaction... but for the right borrower, we do have this option.USDA Now Allows Swimming Pools!

HERE'S A BIG CHANGE, effective May 28, 2009 (good through end of May 2010)

IN GROUND SWIMMING POOLS ARE PERMITTED WITH THE USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program... "as long as loan funds are not used to finance the contributory value of the swimming pool. "

The Announcement further clarifies that, "Typically, a swimming pool has value and adjustments are made for comparable salesthat do not have swimming pools. It is possible that a swimming pool does not have a contributory value. The appraiser should address such in their appraisal report. An appraiser must not indicate that a swimming pool has no value simply because "this is a Rural Development guaranteed loan." Under USPAP, the appraiser should address the swimming pool under local market conditions. For example, if the swimming pool has a torn lining, and is not usable, the appraiser may conclude that it has no contributory value."

For More Information on recent Appraisal Changes and USDA Mortgages, click here!

If you have questions about USDA home loans, please call Steve and Eleanor Thorne,Professional Mortgage Originators, 919-649-5058

Comment balloon 3 commentsEleanor Thorne • July 15 2009 09:54AM


Good information Eleanor.  Also Tempo now is considering adding USDA funding as a selection to our MLS sheets.  Hope that passes as it would be great to know if a listing qualifies for it or not.


Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) almost 10 years ago

Pamela!  OMG!  That would be a HUGE tool!  Also... it would be nice if they added an Energy Efficiency Block - so you would know if they home qualified for lower bills!

Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) almost 10 years ago


This is awesome news!  I already, clicked, and sent it to a bunch of my buyers:)  Thanks for sharing the good stuff that we all can use:)  Saved in my favorite places, too!  I'll let you know if we go for it!

It's a Good Life!


Posted by Frances C. Rokicki, Broker-Mentor,CRS (Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC) almost 10 years ago