There’s good news and bad news with the current housing market. The good news is, homes are selling, and the demand for homes is higher than the current market inventory can provide. This is great for home sellers. Unfortunately, the good news for some is bad news for others. Higher demand and smaller inventory make homes more expensive to buy and rental prices rise. This can make it more difficult for low income and moderate income families to purchase a home.

According to economist Lawrence Yun, just under 4 million homes were built since the recession recovery began 7 years ago, and that’s compared to the over 17 million people who have moved to the United States during those years. Supply and demand is starting to squeeze market prices back in the direction they were almost a decade ago.

The housing market in southern Utah has certainly been impacted by the national housing trends. It was only two years ago that Cedar City had around 400 homes (6-month average market) for sale, and that has dwindled to just under 300 homes currently. This has been great for families who have been waiting for a long time for their home’s value to rise in order to sell and make a profit. While the rising market competition has made things more challenging for moderate to low income families to get loans and find a home, it isn’t impossible to do.

In fact, in many parts of Utah, including Cedar City, there are government-sponsored loans that make buying a nice home a reality for people with less borrowing power. Among the best of these programs is one that is provided through the Department of Agriculture, known as the USDA loan. This type of loan is provided to individuals and families that meet certain income limits and have fair to good credit. If your credit score isn’t perfect, there is still hope you could qualify for this type of loan.

In addition to not requiring perfect credit, you can also get this type of loan without having a down payment. Because the government subsidizes the loan, having a large payment to put down isn’t necessary. If you are a first-time home buyer or someone who hasn’t owned a home in the last few years, you have a chance to qualify if you have a reliable source of income. You will also have to agree to be the primary occupant of the home, as this type of loan doesn’t work for people trying to buy a home to rent out.

It’s easy to access additional information from the USDA web site, and when you are ready to apply, you can visit the Department of Agriculture office in Cedar City, which is in the Forrest Service building. Simply be prepared to answer questions about your employment, credit, and to fill out an application for a loan. This is one of the best lending sources for people who live in rural areas and haven’t been able to get approved by traditional lenders.

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