USDA Eligibility Map Instructions to Find Your Home

Maybe you have heard the many USDA loan benefits such as no down payment, no loan limit, liberal income limits, low PMI, flexible credit requirements, and available for first time or repeat buyers. But to take advantage of a USDA guaranteed home loan, using the USDA eligibility map is a great first step. So, we have provided instructions to search for USDA eligible properties in any state. By using this easy to use home searching tool, it ensures buyers are looking in the USDA eligible areas.

USDA Eligibility Map Instructions

Besides getting a USDA pre-approval, it is key to understand which properties and areas are USDA eligible. First of all, do not think that USDA is just for small homes (no loan limit), very low income (some families can earn over $100k), and must be way out in the country. If that’s what a buyer thinks, make sure to read some of our other USDA articles or click on links throughout this article to see why this is such a popular way to buy a home. Actually, most of the U.S. is USDA eligible. Even whole counties, like Brunswick or Pender County NC, are USDA eligible. Now, buying in large cities probably will not work. But, expanding further out into the suburbs may work. Which is why using the USDA property eligibility map is so important.

So, here is how to look up USDA eligible properties

  1. Single family housing guaranteed (top left)
  2. Accept button (bottom right)
  3. You are now at the USDA eligibility map of the U.S.

USDA Property Eligibility Search Options

When you arrive at the map, there are two choices: Type in a specific address or to zoom into a local area. Unless you know a specific property already, we suggest starting the search by zooming into areas. Then, time is not wasted looking up addresses that may ineligible.

Searching for a USDA Eligible Area

  • Use the Zoom tool on the left to zoom in as close as street level on the map
  • Use your mouse to click and hold onto an area of the map so you can center the map for your desired area
  • Continue to zoom and move the map until you reach your area
USDA eligibility map
USDA eligibility map Charlotte NC areas
USDA Property eligibility
USDA Eligible and Ineligible Areas – Zoomed in Close

How to Read the USDA Map

Notice in the two USDA property eligibility maps above how there are orange shaded areas. These orange shaded areas are ineligible for USDA loans. See how the ineligible areas are in the most populated cities? But, as you move away, there are more USDA eligible areas. Basically, a property must be in the lighter shaded areas to qualify for a USDA loan.

Searching for a USDA Eligible Address

The second option is to search by a specific address. This is done very simply by typing the full address in the “find your address” box in the top left. Again, it is best to search an area first. You may find the whole county is eligible or the whole area is not eligible.

When typing an address, there are 3 possible results:

  • This address IS located in an eligible area
  • This address is not located in an eligible area
  • Unrecognized address entered

Below are what the 3 possible USDA map responses look like.

If the address is not recognized, it could be because of a typing error or a it may be new construction. In these cases, it is best to zoom in with the map to find where the property is located.

USDA eligible area
USDA eligible area
USDA ineligible area
USDA ineligible area
USDA unrecognizable address
USDA unrecognizable address

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Written By: Russell Smith