About a month ago, I started to really look at buying house in the (much) greater Memphis area. Coming from my last experience of buying a house in Southern California, it’s been a pretty crazy experience. For one, I can actually do it solo – which is crazy. The cost of living differences between California and Tennessee/Mississippi still catch me off guard in day to day life, but nowhere more so than in the housing market. In this area, it’s not weird for young people to be homeowners. Where I came from, my ex and I were definitely an anomaly (and only because of a perfectly timed house hunt that involved a fair payout when the house we were renting got foreclosed on, and because my family gave us a place to stay free of charge after we were displaced).
So I started the process of getting pre-approved for two separate loan types – FHA (for first time buyers – which I qualify as on a technicality, no complaints here), and a USDA rural development loan. There’s a few factors involved in the USDA loans – income levels and the location of the house you buy both matter. As the name says, it’s for rural housing – no downtown Memphis condos for me. That’s a-okay with me, since what I’m looking for pretty much requires “rural.”