While the past couple years have been a financial challenge for many Americans, the goal of achieving the American Dream of homeownership remains strong. This is especially true in Iowa where USDA Rural Development has been very involved in making homeownership a reality for thousands of rural families. Thanks to additional funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a record 2,400 families in rural Iowa received $233.2 million in mortgage assistance from USDA Rural Development in 2010.
Ben and Angie Johnston moved back to Iowa from Texas last summer as Ben began his first year with the Garner Hayfield School District in north central Iowa.
One of the challenges of moving back was finding a house that would be comfortable for their eight children who range in ages from two to 12 years old.
“We found out pretty quickly that it’s hard to find a rental home in Garner, even harder to find one big enough for 10 people,” Angie said. “We saw a picture of a house with a white picket fence, antique bike with a basket of flowers leaning on the front, and the front porch. It was love at first sight.”
The Johnston’s home had four bedrooms when they purchased it with the assistance of a USDA home loan. After a little remodeling, the home now has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, a huge kitchen, a large dining room and plenty of room outside.
“The yard is the perfect size for our big family,” Angie said. “The long driveway doubles as a basketball court. Having a yard big enough for golf practice, outdoor games and a trampoline, has been such a gift.”
For more information about housing loans through USDA Rural Development please visit www.rurdev.usda.gov.