Now that the government shut down is over, USDA is up and running. There is more good news with USDA – originally on October 1st, the boundary lines were going to change. Currently USDA is allowing the boundary lines to stay the same as they were in 2013. That means that Northfield, Owatonna, Faribault, North Branch and several other cities are still eligible!
In Minnesota, the USDA offices are working on files from September 27, 2013. Remember they were closed for several days, so it's not as bad as it sounds! However, they will not rush files and they will not move files ahead of another file. Your file must be complete when it is submitted to USDA for approval. They are working on getting files approved as fast as they can.
USDA is also issuing conditional commitments that are subject to funding. That means your lender has to be willing to accept that conditional commitment and close the loan that way. Not every lender is willing to do that. Check with your lender to make sure they are willing to close your loan with that condition on it.
For those buyers that thought they couldn't use USDA rural development financing due to the boundary changes, you have a short window to get into a house! Right now the eligible areas will stay the same until January 15, 2014, barring any other Congressional action. If you were looking at this program and decided to use another type of financing, you may want to talk to your lender and see if you can go back to USDA. If you were waiting to find a home in those areas, you may want to look now!