The USDA Loan assumes a very conservative perspective on financing homeowners who already own a home, unless the borrower can prove that the current home is not “adequate or suitable” for the borrower’s needs. Owning a house can be defined as not only being on the mortgage loan but also being on title to the property without being on the mortgage loan for that property. Factors that can determine when a house is not “adequate or suitable” include the following:
- Household size change in which the borrower’s family size now exceeds the room count of the current house. The assumption being made here is that there is more than 1.5 household residents per room. The room count generally includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, recreation room, and bedroom(s). Room counts do not include bathrooms, hallways, or foyers.
- In the case of divorce where the borrower remains on the mortgage loan, but the Courts have awarded the house to the ex-spouse.
- Job transfer in which the borrower has relocated more than 50 miles away from the current residence.
- Manufactured houses (i.e. doublewides) not on a permanent foundation.
- The current house is not suitable due to documentable health and safety related issue, which includes the disability or limited mobility of a household resident that cannot be accommodated without substantial retrofitting of the current house.
Under no circumstances will the borrower be able to obtain another USDA Loan if the existing home is already financed using a USDA Loan. When qualifying for a USDA Loan and the borrower already owns another house, the costs associated with the current house, including the mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowner insurance, condo or Homeowner Association Fees, and lot rent in the case of a manufactured home, will be considered a liability to the borrower when calculating their debt-to-income ratio.
If the borrower has two years of rental history, as documented on their tax returns, the mortgage liability can be offset by the rental income. Also, in the case of a court ordered divorce settlement where the borrower can document 12 months of on-time mortgage payments being made by their ex-spouse, the liability can be excluded.
Mortgage Loan Officer