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How to Find USDA Loan Eligible Homes (Quickly)

Quick Summary

  • You can use an online map to see which locations are eligible for a USDA loan.
  • The USDA has no restrictions on the type of property you can buy with the loan as long as it is less than 2,000 square feet.
  • The USDA requires that the home meet structural and living condition requirements.

After passing the USDA loan pre-approval stage, the next step is to find a home that will qualify for the mortgage and meet all of the home requirements for this specific type of loan. This isn’t always the most straightforward step in the loan process, but it’s one of the most important.

From appraisals to finding eligible locations, we’ll explain the concepts you need to know before going USDA loan house hunting in this article. The information provided will serve as a guide to assist you in finding the right home more quickly and intelligently.

Is My Home Eligible for a USDA Loan?

Any form of property that is intended to be used for income generation will not qualify for a USDA loan. It is also important to note that the borrower must be the primary resident of the property they intend to buy. Apart from these rules, the house also has to meet certain living conditions and property requirements.

  1. Functional water system. Water, plumbing, and trash collection must all be available and adequate in the home.
  2. Accessibility. The property must be reachable by road, driveway, or other means.
  3. Proper installations of systems. Before a loan may be accepted, the house’s heating, cooling, and electrical systems must be built efficiently.
  4. Structurally sound. The home’s foundation must be free of cracks and structurally solid enough to withstand the same number of years as your loan.
  5. Proper roofing must be installed. The roof must be correctly installed and have at least two years of life left. There should be no holes, leaks, or cracks discovered after the inspection.

If you’ve ticked all these details off your list then your house is sure to pass any required appraisal and qualify for a USDA loan. The same applies with refinances and USDA construction loans.

What Homes Are USDA Loan Eligible?

Because USDA loans are intended to encourage and develop America’s more rural areas, there is a common misperception that there are specific restrictions on the sort of housing you can purchase with the loan.

This is not true; USDA loans can be used to purchase homes in subdivisions, townhomes, and even gated communities. The USDA’s rules alter on an annual basis, but there are no restrictions on the types of residences that can be purchased.

What zip codes are eligible for USDA loans?

If you’re trying to use an online map to find areas that qualify for USDA-Rural home loans putting in your ZIP code while entering an address will make your search more accurate.

What Cities Qualify for a USDA Loan?

Doing a broad search of cities to know if they qualify for a USDA loan can be overwhelming but the quickest way to find out is to use a USDA loan map, it’s that simple.

All you have to do is:

  • Use the USDA online map tool to do your search in
  • To ensure accuracy, enter the area address and zip code before pressing the search button.
  • The map will show you whether or not the location you entered is eligible for a USDA loan.
  • You can print a copy of the map to help you with your physical search.

What Constitutes a Rural Area for the Purposes of a USDA Loan?

According to the USDA, a rural region is one that is located outside of a major city and has a population of no more than 35, 000 people. This is one of the main reasons why USDA loan properties cannot be larger than 2,000 square feet.

Because these places are not part of or affiliated with urban areas, the USDA analyzes their access to mortgage credit, which is why they are the only areas where a USDA loan can be used to purchase a home..

Bottom Line

The first step toward finding homes that qualify for a USDA loan is to do a broad search online. For areas that are not identified, you can call a USDA-approved lender to confirm.

Following that, you must find a home that meets all USDA requirements and proceed to the next step of your loan application, which is to sign a purchase agreement. Before your home can be approved, it will usually need to be appraised.


Are USDA loans a good investment?

A USDA loan may be appropriate for you when purchasing a home. The Rural Development Loan Program of the United States Department of Agriculture is designed for homeowners with low to moderate income yet low interest rates and monthly mortgage payments. The USDA loan has numerous advantages that make it an appealing option for many applicants.

What constitutes a rural address?

Just because a property is in a rural area does not preclude you from qualifying for a USDA loan. Many rural and suburban areas are classified as rural but do not have a census-designated place. Using this online search tool, you can buy in any area that qualifies.

Are USDA loan payments cheaper?

They can be. USDA loans usually end up being much cheaper than FHA loans, and often have lower interest rates as well. This can make a large difference in your monthly payments and save you money in the long run.