USDA Rural Development assists with home ownership

Their own home ... Tom and Marie Radway are new home owners in Philip. The corner lot and the lower windows add to the view of the world. Tom can see friends and relatives as they are dropping by to take advantage of the couples’s open door hospitality.

Tom and Marie Radway were living in the country. It was getting more and more difficult for Marie to make the 25-mile one way commute to work everyday knowing that her husband, Tom, a quadriplegic, was alone and unable to maneuver freely inside most of the trailer house they called home. The Radways decided it was time to look for a place within the city limits and began to research their options. They contacted the First National Bank in Philip, SD, for assistance.

FNB contacted the Rapid City USDA Rural Development Office. Together, they worked with the Radways to evaluate their eligibility for the various housing programs offered by USDA Rural Development. The Radways qualified for the USDA Rural Development guaranteed rural housing program, under which a loan is made to a borrower by a private lender for up to 102 percent of the appraised market value of the home. USDA Rural Development then guarantees the loan, reducing the risk to the lender.

The Radways also qualified for South Dakota Housing Development Authority's First Time Home Ownership program. First National Bank does not participate in these programs, thus referred the Radways to Great Western Bank in Rapid City. The end loan product - a three way partnership between Great Western Bank, USDA Rural Development, and South Dakota Housing Development Authority - provided 100 percent financing and an attractive interest rate, resulting in an affordable mortgage payment for the Radways.

Much thought and planning went into the design of the home. The main living area is spacious and has a circular lay-out for easy maneuvering of Tom's wheelchair. He is able to access the kitchen, living room, bedroom, bedroom closets and bathroom areas with ease. In addition, the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator are within reach so that Tom can make his own meals when his wife is at work. The doors are electric. Tom enjoys outside scenery, so the windows are low so they can provide Tom with an outdoor view from many angles within the home.

"Being in the condition I'm in, this home has changed my independence," said Tom. "I've become more of a social butterfly. Our door is open to anyone who wants to stop and visit. Living in town has increased visits from relatives, family and friends. This home has been a plus for me mentally and surrounds me with inner warmth. It is hard for me to verbalize all of the positive aspects, although one thing is for sure, it wouldn't have been possible without the assistance we received from USDA Rural Development."

As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in home ownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. For more information, contact a local USDA Rural Development office or visit their website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.