What is a USDA loan?
USDA loans are an attractive option for those looking to settle into rural areas, as they often require zero down and low interest rates, along with the ability to roll closing costs into the loan. Created by the US Department of Agriculture, the Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program "assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas".
There are income restrictions and owner-occupancy requirements, along with area restrictions for this program, although the program is not solely for rural areas (designated areas within towns, suburbs, and even major cities may meet USDA requirements). Benefits include no down payments, low interest rates, and no lot size restrictions.