Blog :: 10-2011

USDA Loans and Vermont Real Estate- What Can They Offer Buyers?

Kevin Pearia from USDA is spreading the word on USDA loans, and how they can HELP buyers in today's market. He contacted us at Dousevicz Real Estate to help in their cause, and asked that we include a write up on our blog. We're happy to help! You may be surprised at the amount of areas in Vermont that actual qualify-- it's not just for the extremely rural areas of our state! You'll find properties that qualify within a short commute to Burlington, South Burlington, Williston, Essex, and many more. Some of these towns even qualify themselves. USDA offers competitive rates, no down payment requirements, and much, much more! Here is the piece from Kevin- Thank you! Why USDA Loans Aren't Just for Farmers The USDA home loan program was originally established to help promote the development of rural areas by providing an easy and affordable mortgage to interested home buyers. Traditionally thought of as a home loan for farmers, the USDA actually provides a variety of loans that can be used for everything from housing to business expansion. The USDA Home Loan, however, has become one of the most popular of the USDA Loans. What are the Benefits of a USDA Home Loan? Contrary to popular belief, USDA home loans aren't just for homes in highly rural areas. Several homes located on the outskirts of major metropolitan area, or in developing areas of already established cities and towns qualify for USDA Loans. Choosing to purchase a home with a USDA loan is highly beneficial to borrowers because of the numerous ways the program reduces out-of-pocket expenses. Conventional lending programs might offer slightly lower interest rates, but they also require high down payments, near perfect credit, and generally high closing fees which can make financing a home almost unaffordable to most. However, USDA loans are 100 percent guaranteed by the government which allows lenders to offer eligible borrowers benefits they would normally be unable to obtain. In addition to flexible loan terms and competitive interest rates, the USDA program makes a home purchase more affordable by: Requiring no down payment Not having loan limits Requiring no private mortgage insurance What if a Single Family Home Loan Isn't for Me? The monthly mortgage of a single family home isn't always affordable, yet safe and comfortable housing is still a need of nearly every family in Vermont. The USDA recognizes this, and offers several programs to help families with lower incomes obtain quality housing. Mutual Self-Help Loans help low-income families build houses by all them to help each other build homes. The Rural Rental Housing makes renting more affordable. There are also several loans available to make the purchasing of land easier. The USDA home loan, and most of its other housing lending programs, has the most lenient eligibility requirements of any government backed lending program currently on the market. Aside from seeking to purchase a home in a USDA-approved area, borrowers must simply be able to afford monthly mortgage payments and not have an income that exceeds the area's median by 115 percent. The USDA home loan program is suited to most individuals seeking to purchase a USDA-deemed rural home. However, lenders will usually require a mid-range credit score of 620 or higher in order to approve the mortgage loan. Even if you have an imperfect credit history or believe that you may not be eligible, interest homebuyers are still encouraged to contact a USDA loan specialist. Kevin Pearia Content Director for

Buying Vs Renting in Vermont- Should I buy that home or condo, or continue to rent?

Most agents won'ttell you this, butit really depends on your own personal situation- first and foremost. Look at your work situation, for example. Do you think you will be at your job for a few more years? If not, are you committed to staying in Vermont, for example, if you leave (or lose) your job? Be real with yourself...if you are unsure, continue to rent.Buying should not only be a financial choice, it should be a lifestyle choice. If buying seems like a good near to mid term option, then start your search- the timing is great right now, in particular in Vermont. Why? Because our rental market is "tight", so say the least. Dousevicz Real Estate occassionally works with renters, and we even develop our own rental projects- we know. Most vacancy rates for rentals in Chittenden County are BELOW the 3% mark, and there are even areas like South Burlington and Burlington where they are BELOW 1%. This means too things for potential renters:
  1. Low inventory to chose from for rentals. You probably won't find an apartment up to your criteria, location, and quality!
  2. High rent amounts. Yes, very high. One bedrooms can go for up to $1300, and two bedrooms can go for up to $1700. Wow.
Maybe buying is looking better? When we look at the current market, you may be able to afford that condo or home of your dreams. How? Two main aspects:
  1. Inventory- there's plenty of it, even in Chittenden County and towns like Burlington, Colchester, Essex, and South Burlington, both for condo's and homes. Competition is GREAT for homebuyers because it equates to LOWER prices--the oposite relationship to #1 above, HIGHER rents.
  2. Low Interest Rates. Yes, we've all heard- they are at record levels. Not just record levels people, levels we may NEVER see in our lifetime! 3.9%! Wow...that means your $ goes a loooooong way when you buy a home or condo, and overall affordability raises considerably.
Here's a great article from the WSJ that does a much better job explaining housing affordability:
In Summary, think you have some job stability for the next few years? Think that a move to a home or condo would be good for you and your family? Have you run the numbers on renting vs owning? You may just discover that you could actually SAVE money by buying vs renting- if so, give us a call. We'll walk you through the process, and start showing you some GREAT places for a GREAT value. Dousevicz Real Estate 802-87904477 ext 103 or