Chris Olson learned firsthand that there is much more to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) than he thought. Now he wants to share his story with others.
Olson used USDA Rural Development’s direct home loan program to purchase a home in Cambridge, Minn. He learned about Rural Development’s home loan programs online.
“They really make sure you understand everything there is to know about owning a home,” Olson said. “Payments, budgets, expenses, home maintenance – the homeownership course covers all of that so you are fully prepared before buying the house.”
Olson’s monthly mortgage payment is actually less than what he was paying in rent. The home offers an ideal environment for Olson to raise his son Reed, 11, who has a disability.
“It shows my son that home ownership is possible,” Olson said. “It shows him that hard work and doing the right thing pays off.”
Because June is Homeownership Month, Olson was recognized during a special ceremony at his home on Monday, June 20. Rural Development Minnesota State Director, Colleen Landkamer, and other USDA officials presented Olson with a plaque to commemorate his achievement.
“Rural housing results in rural jobs,” Landkamer said. “By increasing the number of homeowners in rural communities, you’re increasing the number of people that shop at local businesses and contribute to the regional economy.”
For Olson – a single father working to make ends meet while raising a child with a disability – the direct program was the perfect match.
“Sometimes I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders,” Olson said. “The USDA program really helped out. There are people who will give you a chance. I felt like I was rewarded for doing the right thing and rebuilding myself.”
June is homeownership month. To find out how USDA can help you achieve your goals, click here.