Zero-down USDA Guaranteed Loans are the most popular rural development mortgage program in Florida. These loans are available for anyone with low to moderate income to purchase a home in approved rural areas with no down payment.  The USDA Guaranteed Loan Program is also the favorite no-down payment mortgage in Florida for non-veterans today, and can be used for a broader range of applicant incomes than USDA Direct Loans.

What are Florida USDA Loans?

The USDA loan program was created by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, also known as “USDA RD”. USDA Guaranteed Loans (also known as USDA Section 502 Guaranteed Loans) are a mortgage program for low and moderate income mortgage applicants. Florida USDA loans provide low-cost, government insured mortgage options that suit a variety of home buying needs. The most common mortgages offered through USDA are known as “Guaranteed” loans. USDA Guaranteed Loans are 100% financing mortgages, which means you can use them to buy a home with no down payment.

Florida USDA Loan Requirements

USDA loan requirements mainly focus on the home loan applicant and the property. First off, the home must be located in an approved rural areas to be considered eligible for USDA financing. Second off, the home buyer must meet all income requirements set forth by USDA. These income limits are established through a combination of debt-to-income ratios and income ceilings that equal 115% of the area median income (AMI) for the particular area. Statewide, Florida carries a median household income of $55,660, but that can vary from county to county. Ultimately, the applicant must also meet all lender requirements for mortgage approval which include:

  • Credit Requirements
  • Income Requirements
  • Documentation Requirements

Florida USDA Loan Limits

USDA doesn’t set specific maximum loan amounts for guaranteed mortgages. Instead, local limits are determined by a combination of the area USDA maximum income limit and the borrower’s debt-to-income ratios. This approach means that guaranteed Florida USDA loan limits are fluid and based upon numerous factors. The limits listed below are based on approximate calculations. Actual guaranteed loan limits may vary.

1-4 Person Households
5-8 Person Households
Baker County, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Bradford County, FL$306,000$391,000
Calhoun County, FL$306,000$391,000
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Columbia County, FL$306,000$391,000
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
DeSoto County, FL$306,000$391,000
Dixie County, FL$306,000$391,000
Fort Lauderdale, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$340,000$431,000
Franklin County, FL$306,000$391,000
Gainesville, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Glades County, FL$306,000$391,000
Gulf County, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Hamilton County, FL$306,000$391,000
Hardee County, FL$306,000$391,000
Hendry County, FL$306,000$391,000
Holmes County, FL$306,000$391,000
Homosassa Springs, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Jackson County, FL$306,000$391,000
Jacksonville, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Lafayette County, FL$306,000$391,000
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Levy County, FL$306,000$391,000
Liberty County, FL$306,000$391,000
Madison County, FL$306,000$391,000
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$340,000$431,000
Monroe County, FL$391,000$500,000
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL MSA$323,000$408,000
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Ocala, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Okeechobee County, FL$306,000$391,000
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Palm Coast, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, FL HUD Metro FMR A$306,000$391,000
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Port St. Lucie, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Punta Gorda, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Putnam County, FL$306,000$391,000
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Sebring, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Suwannee County, FL$306,000$391,000
Tallahassee, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Taylor County, FL$306,000$391,000
The Villages, FL MSA$306,000$391,000
Union County, FL$306,000$391,000
Wakulla County, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Walton County, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Washington County, FL$306,000$391,000
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL HUD Metro FMR Area$340,000$431,000

Additional USDA Limits

What is the maximum amount that I can borrow with a USDA Loan?

The maximum amount for a USDA home loan in Florida is determined by:

  • Maximum Loan Amount: There’s no set maximum loan amount for USDA rural home loans in FL. Instead, your debt-to-income ratios dictate how much home your can afford (29/41 ratios). Additionally, your total household monthly income must be within USDA allowed maximum income limits for your area. Maximum USDA Guaranteed Loan income limits for all areas can be found at here.
  • Maximum Financing: The maximum USDA Rural Development Loan amount in FL is 100% of the home’s appraised value plus the 1% USDA RD Loan guarantee fee.

What types of loans does USDA offer in Florida?

Two USDA home loan options are presently available in Florida for single family households. These programs are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by way of its Rural Development Housing Loans:

  • Florida USDA Guaranteed Home Loans – Guaranteed Loans the most common Rural Housing Loans in Florida, because they accommodate higher income limits and 100% financing for home purchases. USDA Guaranteed applicants may have an income of up to 115% of the median household income for the area, which average $55,660 across the state. Specific area income limits for the program can be viewed here. All USDA Guaranteed Loans carry 30 year terms and are set at a fixed rate.
  • Florida USDA Direct Home Loans – USDA Direct Housing Loans in Florida are less common than USDA Guaranteed Loans and are only available for low and very low income households to obtain homeownership, as defined by the USDA. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI); low income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI; moderate income is 80 to 100 percent of AMI. Click here to see area income limits for this program.

What factors determine if I’m eligible for a USDA Loan in Florida?

To be eligible for a USDA loan in Florida, your monthly housing costs (mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, and insurance) must meet a specified percentage of your gross monthly income (29% ratio). Your credit background will be fairly considered. A 620 FICO credit score is generally required to obtain a USDA Rural Housing Loan approval through most lenders. You must also have enough income to pay your housing costs plus all additional monthly debt (41% ratio). These ratios can be exceeded somewhat with compensating factors. Applicants for loans may have an income of up to 115% of the median income for the area. Families must be without adequate housing, but be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance.

How much money will I need for the down payment and closing costs?

Rural Development Mortgages in Florida require no down payment and they allow for the closing costs to be included in the loan amount (appraisal permitting).

What property types are allowed for USDA Mortgages?

While USDA Guidelines do require that the property be Owner Occupied (OO), they also allow you to purchase condos, planned unit developments, manufactured homes, and single family residences.

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