Dept. of Agriculture/Rural Development Loans
If you're looking to purchase your first home in a rural area of the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers various rural development loans to help. The Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan is available for those with incomes up to 115 percent of the area's median income. Applicants must also be currently without adequate housing, yet able to afford mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. Your credit history must also be reasonably good.
Section 502 loans, or rural housing direct loans, are geared toward low-income individuals or families; you can use the loans to buy, renovate or build a home in the country. A variation on this is the Section 502 Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan, which is geared at very low-income households looking to build their own home [source: United States Department of Agriculture].