Home Sweet home

Published 8:23 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2004

By By Lindsey Sherrill
An Atmore family celebrated Homeownership Month in June thanks to SouthTrust Mortgage Corporation, USDA Rural Development and Southern Real Estate.
John and Jennifer Blanton and their son moved into their home with help from the USDA Rural Development program. The program, funded by $13 billion from the Bush administration, has helped more than 188,000 families buy homes or make home improvements and over 2 million rural families receive home ownership assistance. It is available to help eligible buyers secure a home mortgage. Typically, no down payment is required and the applicant can borrow up to 100 percent of the appraised value of the property. The interest rate is negotiated between the lender and the applicant.
"The biggest obstacle for home buyers is having a sufficient down payment," Steve Pelham, state director of USDA Rural Development said. "USDA Rural Development's Guaranteed Loan Program is a great resource for rural, moderate income home buyers to get into a home with no down payment, minimal closing costs and no PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). These loans are offered by most lenders and mortgage companies and can be for new or existing homes."
In 2003 more than 1,300 Alabama families received assistance through USDA Rural Development's home financing programs totaling nearly $80 million. Rebecca Mullen, loan officer at SouthTrust, and Patty Helton Davis, associate broker for Southern Real Estate, have partnered on 12 such loans in Atmore.
"We are so happy to be in our home-it's a wonderful place to live," Jennifer Blanton said.
For more information about the home financing program, call the USDA Rural Development office in andalusia at (334) 222-6528 or email leonard.fagerstrom@al.usda.gov.

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