Posted by Ashley Zoerner on
There was a time when the suburbs, and other rural parts of the country, were thought to be a place for white-picket fences, two point five kids, and mini-vans. The idea was that it’s where to go when you’re ready to “settle down.” While this may still be the case for many, these areas are becoming more alluring to a wider demographic. In this blog post, we’ll look at why this may be, along with how you can say goodbye to the city and make the move to greener pastures.
One reason why many people have considered moving away from dense areas has been the Coronavirus pandemic. Recent data from the Pew Research Center shows that 22% of Americans have relocated or know someone who has since the COVID-19 outbreak. For some, it’s the desire for more space as the use of restaurants, public transit and entertainment has waned during quarantine.
According to the National Association of Realtors® 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the median size of an existing home purchase was 2,060 square feet before COVID-19. In the first quarter of 2020, however, newly-built single-family homes had a median 2,291 square feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Suddenly, big backyards and spacious living areas are looking more appealing to a more diverse population.
In addition, the rise of teleworking amid the pandemic has many realizing that their newfound freedom allows them to work from more affordable locations. It's recently been reported that nearly 2 million households currently renting could now become homeowners. We’re also witnessing U.S. households growing for the first time in over 160 years. Considering all the aforementioned factors, it’s no wonder that sparser areas of the country are seeing an uptick in interest.
A revitalization of less populated areas of the country began several years ago. In 2013, The New York Times coined the term “hipsturbia” to describe areas outside cities that were working to mimic the appealing attributes of city life. Things like mixed-use spaces in walkable locations were attracting millennials—especially those saddled with student loan debt—who couldn’t afford to live in expensive city high-rises. While this trend was going strong before the pandemic, COVID-19 has given means and opportunity to more folks who perhaps hadn’t considered rural living.
When it comes to financing a home in today’s climate, Silverton Mortgage has options that other lenders don’t. Our Silverton Secure+ program allows eligible borrowers to secure a mortgage even before finding a home—giving buyers a competitive advantage in a market where multiple offers are becoming increasingly common. There are also several low to no down payment options for those who may not have enough saved or have less-than-perfect credit. Perhaps the most beneficial loan program to accommodate this new trend is a USDA loan.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan program was designed to help improve the lives of those in rural America through homeownership. Today, the USDA loan program offers low-interest mortgages with zero percent down that are designed for Americans who live in rural areas and may not have the credit to qualify for a traditional mortgage. This program promotes economic development in areas that may not see significant growth otherwise.
Many people may be surprised to find that they meet the standards to qualify for a USDA home loan. First, you must be a U.S. citizen or have been granted permanent residency. You’ll also need to provide proof of income. While there are income limits to qualify for a USDA home loan, it varies by location and household size. You can find what the limits are for the county where you live here. Many believe that you must live in the middle of nowhere to qualify for a USDA loan, but the reality is that 97% of the United States is eligible.