When you live, work and play in a small rural area of Maine, the Farmer's Home Administration became a pretty handy device.
For financing homes to buy with just a dollar down. Back in the late 1970's, 1980's the pet peeve of FmHA was insulation. Thermal standards when other lenders were not so up in arms, cranked about the number of insulation inches in your attic. Or the R-value of your cellar walls that FmHA wanted "banked" from the inside.
The thinking being, a warm family in a Maine home is a happy one.
The less money siphoned off from the household budget the better.
When talking about the cost to heat the sticks and bricks of a Maine home.
Money to make the house payment, to go to the movies, pay for kid's braces.
And other luxuries like oh, I don't know. Groceries, property upkeep, insurances bills and maybe a little left over for the vacation / retirement fund.
We've blogged before about FmHA on Active Rain.
I remember the thrill. Of the days where three foreclosed properties from the FmHA inventory of repossessions would hit the market all at once. And it was a real estate race to secure the signed paperwork from buyers before Sundown. Quite a rush to sell all the bunch.
To sell all three properties in one day.
Houses were cheap because of over 1400 square feet of living space and the attitude of dump them.
Kick these dinosaur too big smashers out of the program.
Replacing them with one floor ranch style homes that were more economical to heat, maintain.
And worked for the buyers in the crowd that were not fans, could no negotiate Maine home stairways so well.
But also offer financing on the already low prices of the foreclosures was the cherry on top.
Just 10% down and in the early 1980's an attractive fixed rate of 12 percent interest.
In a time of 16% plus adjustable rate interest rates to eenie meeney miney moe from local mortgage lenders in Maine.
The regular FmHA loans were made with that all important step right up, lay your dollar down.
And depending on your family size, the county in Maine where the property was being financed, up to a certain income bracket applied during application approval. Each of the sixteen counties had different threshold limits for price and family income.
Funding was like the tides coming in and going out off the Maine coast too.
FmHA would have lots of low income funds but sorry Charlie. Nothing in the cupboard for the moderate or upper income.
Delays, Congress holding up the home buyer or freezing the lending with moratoriums happened all the time. To vise grip clamp down, kink the funding hose to move the process on to the home buying closing finale. So plans for the house warming party could kick into gear to celebrate climbing out of the rent rut. Moving into the ranks of a home owner from the house sale, to becoming a property taxpayer.
The setbacks, road blocks just part of the navigating a property sale in Maine.
And the real estate agent or broker in Maine just worked harder, smarter. Dug in, became the little red hen. Around the glitches to get the house keys into the hands of a new home buyer within the guidelines available at the time of a property sale.