USDA’s geographic requirement might sound restrictive. After all, not everyone wants to own a home in a rural area.

In reality, though, USDA’s definition of ‘rural’ is pretty loose. About 97% of the U.S. land mass meets the USDA’s standard for a “rural area.” Many suburban as well as rural neighborhoods qualify.

If you are buying outside a major city, it’s worth checking into your area’s USDA eligibility status.