Whether your goal is to live on land that sustains your family, make a small income off your land, or simply live a rural lifestyle, we’re here to help. No matter what a homestead means to you, one thing is for certain: our programs are customized to fit your needs.
At United Ag Lending, we know agricultural financing. We’ve built programs to work and grow with other agricultural folks. Our consultation process is the first step that makes this level of customization possible. We start by getting to know your values and the expectations you have for your homestead. This guides us in molding our homestead loan program into what you need.
We’re going to cover what a homestead is, the requirements and benefits of our program, and then we’ll answer questions you may have.
What is a homestead?
A more traditional, agreed-upon definition of a homestead refers to agricultural land where the landowners sustain themselves with their own crops and livestock. It also describes situations where farmers sell crops locally for additional income.
Today, “homestead” is more or less a relative term that means different things to different people. For our homestead loan program, we expect our clients to live on the property, whether it’s a primary or secondary residence. This doesn’t mean you have to live off your goods or sell them.
If you don’t plan to support your family with your farm resources or you aren’t planning on farming at all, we still have a loan program for you. In this blog, we’ll let you know exactly what we look for in our loan programs and how you can get your hands on one.
How do I qualify for homestead financing with United Ag Lending?
When deciding to work with someone for an agricultural loan, there are a few key things we look for. They include: land use, location, and financial standing.
What will you be using the land for? As ag financing providers, we mostly work with clients who use their land for agricultural purposes. However, we’ve built our programs to bend with you and your goals. Do you want to live in a home on a big piece of land and not grow crops or raise livestock? Or, do you want to live in a home on a piece of land to pursue your hobbies? We have a program for you.
We see how other financial institutions place limitations on non-commercial farming and off-the-grid living, so we work hard to bridge the gap. Our customizable programs are designed to meet you where you are.
A hobby farm is exactly what it sounds like—farming as a pastime. It’s a program that we value and stand behind because we’ve seen how truly fulfilling it can be. To qualify, there needs to be a home on the land in which you live at least part of the time.
We’re open to hearing however you want to use your hobby farm loan—whether it’s recreationally or agriculturally.
Rural residential living
Our rural home loan program refers to clients who want to live in a home on agricultural land. Farming or no farming, on-grid or off-grid; this program is for those who enjoy a rural lifestyle.
Both the hobby farm program and rural residential program are similar in structure, just with different goals. The good news is it’s not your job to figure out which program fits your homestead best; it’s ours. During your initial consultation, we’ll learn about you and your goals and tailor the best program to you.
Along with discussing what you will be using the land for, we will also make sure the location of your land fits our requirements. The home you want to purchase must be a minimum of 5 acres and located in a rural area.
Another requirement of ours is that a client must be in good financial standing. At United Ag Lending, we verify this with a credit score check. For any of our loan programs, you must have a minimum credit score of 680.
Make sure you check all of these boxes before you begin looking for a homestead loan program:
◻️ Property is agricultural in nature
◻️ Property is a minimum of 5 acres
◻️ Land has a pre-existing home on it, serving as your primary or secondary residence
How can I use a homestead loan?
You can use homestead financing in any way that stays within our financing requirements. Maybe this means you want to use it to grow crops to sell for extra income and feed your family. Or maybe it means making your own wine and enjoying a rural lifestyle. It could even mean you want to make a living off your poultry farm through our commercial loan program.
The point is, we recognize your homestead idea as one-of-a-kind, and likely have a program that can support it.
Homestead program benefits
With a homestead mortgage through United Ag Lending, you can opt in to the following benefits:
- Make an income from your farm (though it cannot be your sole income)
- House up to 50 head of livestock on the land
- Own multiple parcels of land and parcels within reasonable proximity
- Explore loans for up to $2 million with Schedule F (Farm) income allowed
- Fixed 15- and 30-year terms available
- Purchase a home with up to 160 acres (more allowed on a case-by-case basis)
- Ag-exempt property allowed
- Cash out refinancing
- Consolidate land and construction loans into a permanent mortgage loan
- Can serve as your primary or secondary home
- Land value can exceed 30% of appraised value
- Have a horse facility with indoor/outdoor arena with no limitation on horse stables
- Have shed homes, barndominium with typical living quarters, log homes, or up to 3 homes on your property
Frequently asked questions: homestead loans
These are the common questions our ag experts answer about homestead loans (and other programs).
1. How do I know if I qualify for a homestead loan?
You more than likely qualify for a loan with us if you:
- Have a 680 or greater credit score
- Meet the 5+ acreage requirement
- Plan to live on the land
Contact us if you have any specific questions on requirements for your plans.
2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a loan before looking for rural land?
Although it isn’t required, we recommend seeking pre-approval before securing your specific land.
3. How many acres can a homestead be?
Homestead land can be up to 160 acres and no fewer than 5 acres.
4. Can United Ag Lending provide loans for construction, operations, equipment, or livestock?
No. We don’t offer loans for construction, farming operations, equipment, or livestock.
5. Can I make money from my homestead?
Yes, we allow farming income. It’s your personal choice if you want to sell your produce for extra income.
If farming as primary income is a priority to you, we recommend exploring our commercial farm loan program.
Loan terms and conditions
1. What is the required down payment?
We require a 25% down payment.
2. Can I combine multiple parcels of land into one loan?
Yes, we can finance multiple parcels of land together, whether they are contiguous or not.
3. What is the required home value for a loan?
We only require your home value to be 30% of the overall land value.
4. How long are your terms for financing land?
We can finance land and farms up to 30 years on a fixed-rate loan with no early payoff penalty. We also offer many other loan terms to fit your financial needs.
Talk with the experts
At United Ag Lending, our goal is to match you and your land with the best financing possible. The first step is meeting for a consultation so we can learn about your values and how we can tailor our homestead loan program to you.
Once we agree on a program that exceeds your expectations, we’ll guide you through the application process and be a resource you can count on.