Well, I am back and PROMISE to be a bit more active.  Anyway, I will be more active on

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Ok, to the reason I am here, typing.  We know there has been a dramatic shift in our government and politics (I promise NOT to be political) and with that uncertainty the markets and other things will fluctuate and adjust to what they THINK will happen.  

Currently the “markets” are up in anticipation of a better business climate as well as regulations being relaxed to “encourage business”  Now, what is good for business is not always good for consumers.  Example: “The Fed” and interest rates.

“The Fed” or Federal Treasury Department is preparing to raise interest rates.  For business this is great because they will reap the benefits from the increase in rates but consumers will PAY MORE FOR MONEY. 

You may wonder why they increase or “raise rates”?  The Fed raises rates technically for insurance or “emergencies”.  See, they raise rates to be able to lower them later in times of a bad economy.  Like when there is a recession (like we had not too long ago) they lower the rates to encourage people to borrow money (for cars, houses, refinancing etc.), then they raise them once they feel we are “doing well” economically to be able to lower them again later.  They feel that if they keep them low, they will not have the opportunity to lower them later because banks can only operate under a certain amount of interest.

So they lower it in times of financial distress and raise it again in time when they think people can afford to pay more for money.  

The talk is that The Fed can raise rates as soon as next week.  Usually it is only about .25% or a quarter of a percent.   So get ready.


The GOOD NEWS IS… there are several NEW or adjusted programs to support buyers and thus sellers.  This post will name a few of them.


First, the USDA Rural Development Program.

The Particulars of the program are:

Who: US Department of Agriculture.  The person to contact for this program from the USDA is: 

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 9.22.59 PM

USDA Contact Information

What:  They give great loans to this that qualify (credit, area and income).  It is not necessarily the lender BUT it finances and insures the loan.  That is important the “insures” mean that they say they will pay the lender if you don’t (the lender likes that but they will come get your house).

This program helps lenders work with low and moderate income families living in rural areas to make homeownership a reality. Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, which in turn creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural areas.

Banks Affiliated with USDA Loan Program

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 8.19.15 PMUSDA PA Banks March 2017


Where:  The areas of course you can imagine would be generally considered “rural” but it does include some suburban areas.  Here is a link to a page that you can put in areas and check for their availability.

Click Below:


When:  It is happening NOW and will happen until our government decides to draw it to a close.

Why:  This program assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants may build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in an eligible rural area. The program provides a 90% loan note guarantee to approved lenders in order to reduce the risk of extending 100% loans to eligible rural homebuyers.  

Clicking the Link Below  will take you to a PDF Fact sheet you can print out.

You are quite welcome !




Another Newer program that is BACK is the First Front Door Program.



This program is closing cost support for purchasing a home.  Again, closing costs  are ALL THE COST associated with buying the house or more accurately CLOSING on the house (the money you need when you sign all the papers and get the keys).

Usually the closing costs for a residential home with an FHA, mortgage (or any mortgage that needs about 3.5% down payment). is about 10% of the price of the house (In Philadelphia).  IT is a bit less but I always estimate high for buyers because NO ONE LIKES SURPRISES.  

We work with seller’s assist to bring that number down, but that is another blog.  

The First Front Door program will give you $3 for every $1 (they give three dollars for every one of your dollars you use for closing).  

There are too many banks that participate to list them all so, I will just give you the Link:



This is a great program and really helpful.  Closing Costs are one of the biggest hurdle people currently have with buying a home (From my survey in a previous post #1 Credit, #2 Closing Costs).


In closing, I know it seems like my job to tell you to Buy a house but buying is a great investment and IT IS my job to tell you best times to do that.  


See you at the next blog post, in a week.

About dirktherealtor

Realtor at Realty Mark - CityScape. I am a tech savy eRealtor with expertise in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, specializing in 1st time home buyers/ sellers and investors. Father of 2 active children, living in the Cheltenham area of Pa. I am active in the community and online.

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