Fewer Fredericksburg Area Homes to Qualify for RD Loans in 2013

Local officials in the Department of Agriculture (USDA) are saying that Rural Housing eligibility areas will change as of March 2013 based on the 2010 Census.  Far fewer homes in Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties will be eligible for Rural Housing (RD) loans after the changes.  One USDA employee in the Richmond, Virginia state office estimates that Stafford County will be virtually eliminated as RD eligible.  Spotsylvania may lose nearly half of the addresses that currently qualify for RD financing.  

RD are very popular among savvy home buyers because the mortgages are among the few available that still offer no money down purchases.  No money down purchases with a variety of loan products were common during the mid 2000’s housing boom.  Today, VA loans to military veterans and RD loans are among the very few no money down products that survived the housing and mortgage crisis.

RD loans are supposed to service rural areas based on census data.  However, eligible areas haven’t been updated in years.  Spotsylvania and Stafford have grown like teenagers over the past two decades.  Consequently, built-up areas such as England Run and Stafford Lakes, including town homes, are still eligible for RD loans.  These communities are just off US 17 and are only a traffic light or two from I-95.

RD Guaranteed Loans are available from lending institutions certified by USDA to issue the mortgages that government-backed much like FHA loans. A second RD product, Direct Loans, are issued directly from USDA.  RD Direct loans are subsidized providing a very low payment for buyers with modest incomes.

Fredericksburg area home buyers who aren’t veterans need to move quickly if they want to take advantage of no-money-down RD financing.  Attractive Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania neighborhoods including South Oaks, England Run, Lancaster Gate, Holleybrooke, Salem Fields, and Red Rose Village are still RD eligible.  All are commuter friendly with easy access to I-95, commuter rail, Fredericksburg, Quantico, and points north.  USDA hasn’t said where the new lines will be drawn.  However, it is likely that these and many other communities will disappear from the RD eligible list next March.






An Early Spring

From Exit 130:

We’ve seen an early spring this year whether its Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms to my apple trees a few miles south in Spotsylvania County.  Real estate in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area has experienced an early spring as well.  Agents report multiple offers on move-in ready properties priced under $250,000.  For example, a four bedroom, brick front Colonial in the Spotsylvania County  neighborhood of Ashleigh Park neighborhood was listed for $230,000.  It sold last week after five days on the market.  The owners had eleven offers

MRIS, the Washington area multiple listing service, reports that there were 120 sales in Spotsylvania County during the month of February.  That’s up from 101 during February 2011.  Petrhaps what is even more interesting is that 42 of the homes sold in February 2012 sold in less than 30 days.

Most of the action is in moderately priced homes.  The average Spotsylvania sold price was just under $210,000.   Only seven properties priced above $400,000 sold during the month.

While the homeprices appear to be slowly moving up (2.8% higher in February 2012 than February 2011), most homeowners who purchased their homes between 2004 and 2008 are are still a long way from positive equity.  Buyers have ruled the market over the past few years with bargain prices and historically low interest rates.  However, we may be seeing a market shift in moderately priced  property with some advantage back to the sellers.

Spring Apple Blossoms

Andy & Elaine's Apple Tree


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