Something changed on October 1, 2016. Zero Down loans on homes in Greenville became far less expensive and a very attractive option for home buyers in the Upstate.
When I ask clients how hard they think it would be to get a home for zero money down in Greenville, I usually get wild looks. They usually think they wouldn't qualify and that kind of opportunity would be rare.
Sassy Unicorn rare.
I hate to break it to you. This is where many home buyers have no idea what they are talking about. It's not rare at all and normal humans like you can qualify as long as they meet a few requirements discussed below.
It just got easier to get a home for zero down. I'm excited to share this post and also terrified that every time I say "Zero Down" you will think of a blaring car commercial that wakes all the sleeping babies. I intend for all the babies to stay asleep and all the people to know this is not a used car sale.
I want you to know that for some home buyers, this loan type makes the most sense. Think of it as a product. This product happens to be a zero down product. So...how does it work?
It's always been fairly easy to qualify for this loan, now it just makes a LOT more sense because the fees are significantly lower. Let's talk with Brent Honshell, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Loan Officer for how to get approved for a Zero Down Loan.
Brent's satisfaction rating with his clients is right up there with Zeus's ratings for most popular god. Brent has tons of 5 star reviews. You can check him out here:
What is a zero down home loan?
The way to get a home for zero down (or very very close) is through a USDA loan. USDA stands for the United States Department of Agriculture, so as you can imagine, the houses you can buy with this loan type are not in downtown. Usually, they are just outside city limits. It's helpful to have a real estate agent worth their salt guide you as to which properties are eligible and which are not.
Another thing to note is that a USDA loan is a government loan - the lender will require that the house is in good order for the loan to approve. This protects the buyer from purchasing a home in less-than acceptable order. (You can learn more in my post where I cover inspections: What to Expect When You Are Inspecting.)
Who can help me get a USDA home loan?
A loan officer can help you if you are ready to buy in the near future with a pre-approval letter for a USDA loan. They will also show you other loan types that may fit your goals better than a USDA loan, so stay open-minded!
Can I qualify for a 0 down USDA loan?
According to Brent, you can qualify with a credit score of 620, however it can be difficult. He says, "Once you reach a credit score of 640 you should have no problems." If you are nervous about your credit score holding you back, stop. Bad human. Get on the phone or fill out a form online and talk to a loan officer for 10 minutes and ask them what you qualify for. They can help you identify surprises that online credit score sites might gloss over.
Call the loan officer. Get educated.
There are a few restrictions on zero down loans, as follows:
- Total income (pre-tax) for a 1-4 person family must be below $75,650.
- Total income (pre-tax) for a 5-8 person family must be below $99,850.
- If you have over 8 people in your family, wow. You can still qualify, I'd double check with the lender to see what the total income restriction is in your area.
What will I save?
In short - up to $10,000, although probably not that much - the fees dropped from what they were last year. One of my clients who got a USDA loan is paying $10,000 less in fees and interest on his loan than what he would have paid last year. This is awesome. He also is bringing no money down to the closing table. To put it conservatively, you can save anywhere from $30/month to $100/month compared to USDA loans pre-October 2016.
Want to learn more? Leave a comment or get in touch with me directly and I'll introduce you to a great loan officer who can guide you to the next step. Onward!
David is a REALTOR®, New Homes Buyer Specialist, author of the only new homes website in the Upstate of South Carolina.
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