Changes To USDA Eligible Areas

Dated: 04/02/2018

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One of your NO MONEY DOWN options is about to go away! Contact us NOW to see if there is still time to qualify for this loan program!

One of the benefits that Lake County, Fl has had to attract new residents has been that virtually the entire County has always been eligible for USDA loans. Over the last several years, the popularity of Orlando has caused some of the surrounding cities to grow in population. Whether it is people from cold weather climates, Foreign investors, retirees or the fact that Florida has friendly tax benefits, the Orlando area has seen some tremendous growth.

All of this growth has been a blessing and a curse for the area. Growth provides opportunity, but infrastructure, employment, and affordable housing have been impacted negatively for residents. South Lake County has been one of the areas that have seen a boom in new housing construction. According to, the population has increased in Clermont alone over 240% since 2000. The City of Clermont estimates that the current population is over 35,200.

Housing starts continue to grow, over 4,000 new homes are already approved for this area alone. That being said, the USDA map is finally being overhauled and Clermont is being eliminated as eligible. Other Lake County areas affected by the new maps are Tavares(county seat), Mount Dora and Eustis. It has been reported that many of these cities have double-digit residents that live below the poverty level and these changes will directly impact their access to affordable housing.

The map changes are scheduled to take effect in June 2018

Is a USDA loan right for you?

It is an especially attractive option for first-time buyers looking for a no money down purchase. Plus, many don’t realize subsequent buyers may even use USDA.

If buying a home and the buyer wants to purchase with no money down, has a 620 – 850 credit score, desires the seller pay all buyer closing costs, as well as have a fixed principal & interest payment.  USDA guaranteed loans offer exactly these type of scenarios. USDA benefits include:

  • 30-Year Fixed Rate

  • No Money Down Purchase

  • Lowest mortgage insurance & funding fee of government loans

  • Seller paid costs to 6% of the purchase price

  • Down to 620 credit scores

USDA Eligibility Deadline

If you are cutting it close to the June 4th deadline, it is important to understand the rules of the change date. First of all, the property must be in an eligible area. ( check if the area you want is eligible HERE) If purchasing a home that changes from eligible before June 4, 2018, to ineligible afterward, the loan may still be approved if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Signed, ratified purchase contract dated before June 4, 2018

  • Loan application date with property address before June 4, 2018

  • Loan Estimate issued by the lender within three days of application date

  • The applicant meets all other USDA eligibility guidelines

USDA Household Income Limits

Besides property eligibility and underwriting guidelines, USDA has a maximum income limit. Plus, it does not go by borrower income. Rather, it goes by the total household income.USDA divides the income limits into two categories: 1 – 4 person household and 5 or more person household. Typical limits include:

  • 1 – 4 person household = $78,200 5+ person household = $103,200


If you would like to see if you can qualify for a USDA loan, we have a list of preferred lenders that specialize in USDA and VA loans. Give me a call to discuss your situation and to get started before these areas of Lake County are eliminated forever from the program.


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