Yes. However, there is no reduction in the labor contribution to the building group for any participating family. In cases where one of the future owners cannot physically do construction, work, arrangements, for additional work from approved helpers must be made by the participant. There are also house plan modifications available when there are special needs in a household.
Yes. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, legal resident aliens, or U.S. nationals. Applicants must also have the ability and willingness to perform the required labor. They must be able to provide their own basic hand tools (for instance: measuring tape, hammer, speed square, nail apron). And they must be able to provide their own transportation to and from the work sites.
Once all the members of a group have been qualified, NWRHA will conduct pre-construction training and orientation. Part of this process will include determining work schedules that accommodate each household's other obligations.
After the pre-qualification interview, if the individual(s) are eligible for the program they will by placed on a waiting list. Thereafter, groups are formed, building location is determined, and this process could take one month to nine months.
Generally you should anticipate 7 to 8 months construction time. Each week each household in the building group will be responsible for 25-30 hours of productive labor. The goal is to provide approximately 65% of the labor required to build homes for all the households in the group. Remember, no family moves until all the houses are complete.
Anticipate having a couple hundred dollars saved for a credit report, some basic hand tools, weather protective clothing, boots, etc. Before construction can begin you will have to purchase Builder's Risk Insurance, approx $400 +/-. When the homes are completed and prior to moving into your new home you may need an additional $500 +/- for your first year's homeowner's insurance.
That's a tough question, because your interest rate will be based on your income. In fact, as your income changes so may your interest rate, but never less than 1% and never more than the maximum rate at the time of your loan closing. We cannot even venture to guess at a number because there are so many variables. But we can say that through self-help housing programs since 1963 the USDA has loaned more than $1.7 billion to working families who have built more than 35,000 new homes.
As we have a limited budget and staff, it is not possible to fully prequalify all of our applicants. Much of the information we provide in this document are based on the questions we have received over the years. Most of the answers to your questions can be found here.
If, after reviewing this website and information we have provided through the mail, you still have questions, please email us at email@example.com or call us at (870) 741-5522.
There are a number of house plans available. They range in various sizes. The majority if the plans include 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. We've tried to find plans of modest houses that are relatively easy to build, that make efficient use of space, that fit together as a coherent neighborhood, and that have some "curb appeal." We try to accommodate the plan you select, but we must consider what you can afford, the lot size, and the size of your family.
NWRHA locates property where you might be interested in building. If you own your own property, the land will have to meet USDA building guidelines. We will gladly assist you with this phase of looking for property to build on. If you know of potential building lots, please contact our office by email or phone so that we can look into it.
We do very little screening at the time of the application. Thorough screening does not take place until we begin forming a building group. As a result, it is very difficult for us to be able to let you know if you will be in the next group in your area. The following items are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Although you may not qualify for a home now (some of the time this is due to credit history or too much debt). In the meantime, it makes sense to budget hard and clean up any credit issues because you can still work on qualifying towards the next building cycle. If you have a new phone number, have moved, or for some reason have difficulty receiving your mail, then you need to let us know ASAP, so that we can contact you when it is your turn to be part of a building group.
You will not know if you definitely qualify for the program and for the USDA 502 Home Loan until your turn comes for a home. We order and review your credit report after we receive your initial application and authorization for us to request your credit report. Applicants that appear to qualify for the program based on the results of the credit report will placed on our active waitlist. Applicants on the active waitlist will be called for a home opportunity before applicants that are not preliminarily qualified for a home loan. Therefore, it is extremely important if you are on our waitinglist and you have information that is important and may help you better qualify. This just might be the information we need to move you up to the active waitlist.
Applicants must earn less that 80% of the median income for one of the five counties. That's a number that is determined by the Federal Government and changes from year to year. (Call and we will let you know the current limits for your county) In addition, applicants show that they have stable and dependable income. The USDA prefers that an applicant have been on his or her present job for at least 6 months. Self-employed applicants must have 2 years net business income.
Finally, to qualify for a USDA home mortgage, applicants must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan.
Loans are for up to 33 years (38 years for those with incomes below 60% of the area median and who cannot afford 33-year terms). The promissory note interest rate is set by the USDA. Interest rates vary based on the applicant's income. They tend to be at or below market rate, and they can be as low as 1%. Very low income applicants must have enough income so that the payments they make for principal, interest, taxes, and insurance don't add up to more than 29% of their income, and their total debt can't add up to more than 41% of their income. For all other applicants, principal, interest, taxes, and insurance cannot add up to more than 33% of their income, and the maximum ratio of total debt to income remains at 41%.
Sometimes people make payments that do not show up on a credit report. You may pay rent, utility bills, auto insurance, and/or you may have been putting a little money in savings each month, which is another form of payment. But with none of the above, no checking account, and no other type of credit, it can be very difficult for us to help you get your home loan, even if you have good income! If this is the case, and you want to own your own home, you should at a minimum begin renting a place. Open a checking account and savings account.
Generally there is no quick and easy fix to getting ahead of debt obligations when you are behind. Budgeting is one very good way that has been proven to work. In the meantime, you may still apply to the self-help program. You will be put on our waiting list until your income and credit meet the program and loan qualification requirements. Here are some of the USDA 502 loan parameters pertaining to credit, the following is a list that includes, BUT not limited to the following:
All, debts, including existing utilities, should be current and have a history of timely payments.
Child support payments must be current.
Not more that one payment over 30 days late within the last 12 months.
There can be no outstanding collections within the previous 6 months.
There can be no charges offs in the last 3 years.
There can be no bankruptcy in the last 3 years.
There can be no debt delinquency.
All judgments must be satisfied in full.
Exceptions To the above rules are sometimes granted for situations that arise which are outside of your control. These are granted on a case by case basis only. This is not an all inclusive list of parameters. If you have any questions regarding your credit, please contact us and we can visit with you.
Mutual self-help housing provides an opportunity for many working, low-income families to achieve the American dream of homeownership. The program makes homes affordable by allowing families to contribute "sweat equity" to lower the cost of their homes. A self-help group is organized to provide labor for the group members' new homes. The group consists of 4 to 8 families who work together under the guidance of a construction supervisor.
The houses are built simultaneously and no family moves into their new house until every house in the self-help group is complete.
Applicants are chosen from the wait list for an opportunity to be in the next Building Group based upon a number of criteria including: date application received, credit history, income, and desired building area.
We are an Equal Housing Opportunity Provider. We provide housing without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, physical or mental handicap, familial status, national origin, or other protected class. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call Customer Service at 202-260-1026 (Voice), 1-866-632-9992 (Toll Free), 1-800-877-8339 and 1-866-337-8642 (TDD or Local Relay and Federal Relay Service). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
In accordance with federal law and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex or familial status.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).