Need a loan? Get out of town!

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The number of government-backed Rural Housing Guaranteed Loans doubled last year, because eager homebuyers sought ways to overcome stricter mortgage lending criteria. These loans have 102 percent financing, and gift funds are allowed, which equals a good lending option for cash-poor buyers who are willing to live away from big cities. However, there are income limitations. Your adjusted household annual income cannot exceed the median income of the area in which you seek to live. And you must buy a home in an area that is deemed “rural” by Department of Agriculture or, under certain conditions, in a small town or city.