FLINT TWP. — Despite the current economy, owning a home out in the country isn’t as far-off a dream as some might think, thanks to a rural development loan program.
Rural development loans are popular and are keeping the loan officers at Mortgage 1 quite busy, said Penny Jones, district manager of the office at 2353 S. Linden Rd.
Open since June, it is Mortgage 1’s first office in Genesee County. The 20-year-old Sterling Heights-based firm has about 15 statewide locations and 10 affiliates.
“Our company is actually growing quite a bit right now, ’’ Jones said. “That’s why we wanted to open a branch here.’”
She is one of seven employees and actually looking to hire more licensed loan officers, she said.
“We’re home lending specialists and we offer all products,” Jones said confidently of their stake in the local real estate market which underwent dramatic changes in the past few years as the economy soured.
Rural development is a big trend right now, Jones said. A program of the US Department of Agriculture, it offers 102% financing for qualified moderate-income families purchasing single-family homes with little or no down payment or funds needed for closing.
Eligible properties are located in rural areas roughly west of Elms Road, north of Stanley Road, east of Vassar Road and south of Reid Road in Genesee County. Jones has a map in her office to show interested home shoppers where to look.
It applies to just about all of the Swartz Creek and Flushing areas as well as rural Clio and many areas on the outskirts of Genesee County, she said.
But she stresses that it is only one of many lending programs offered by Mortgage 1.
“We specialize in government programs,’’ Jones said. Those include VA, FHA and 203K loans which include funds to make repairs.
With an array of services to offer, Jones downplays talk about staying afloat in an economic downturn.
“We are very competitive in our rates and offer all loan products,” she said.
Jones said the Flint Township office was selected because of its central location, easily accessible from Grand Blanc, Flushing, Swartz Creek and Davison. Also the building in a bustling office complex formerly housed an insurance office and was move-in ready.
With the office well established, Jones said her focus now is to “get the word out that we are here and busy.’’
Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but can be scheduled after hours or on weekends by appointment, Jones said. They can be reached at 810-577-2890.