Farmer Mac and the USDA offer two little known housing programs for rural homebuyers. National Mortgage News recently posted a story on the details of the program. Here’s a summary to help you better understand the programs, which encourage rural homeownership. The information may be good to share with your customers as part of your content marketing programs (emails, website, social media, etc.).

Farmer Mac is know more formally as the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. It was created by Congress in 1988 to build a secondary market for agriculture real estate and rural housing mortgages.

The news story provides this further explanation: “Among Farmer Mac's programs is one that targets buyers who want to move to the country and do a bit of farming, either full-scale or on the side. If you qualify, you are eligible for mortgages of up to $12 million (or $30 million on high-value properties of less than 1,000 acres).

There are no minimum or maximum acreage requirements. But if the property is less than five acres — not a lot of ground in some suburban markets — a minimum of $5,000 in annual gross sales of agriculture products must be documented. There is no such requirement for properties larger than five acres.

It doesn't make loans directly to borrowers. Rather, it purchases loans made by local lenders. And among the products it buys are part-time farm/residential mortgages made to so-called hobby farmers.

Eligible properties must be owner-occupied, single-family detached residences or second homes with enough acreage to support agricultural production.

To find a local lender that sells its mortgages to Farmer Mac, go to and fill out the pre-application form under the "borrowers" tab. An employee will contact you to help you find a lender serving your area.”

The USDA’s program is offered through its Rural Housing Service and is intended for those who want to live in the country, but don’t want to be farmers. It offers a variety of loans, grants and loan guarantees to build, buy or improve both single- and multifamily properties. To find out if a property is eligible for this kind of load, co to and enter the address.

The new story provides additional details: “Generally, houses can be no more than 1,800 square feet with a market value that does not exceed the applicable area loan amount.

The payback period for Section 502 mortgages is 33 years, though applicants with very low incomes who can't afford that extended loan term can stretch the loan out to 37 years.

There are limitations based on income and family size. But folks who have "moderate incomes" — up to 115% of the U.S. median — qualify."

Go here to read the complete story.