More good news to report today on USDA home loans. The democrats have presented H.R. bill 5017 to the House Financial Services subcommittee. Now there are two bills- H.R. 5003 (introduced by the republicans) and H.R. 5017 (introduced by the democrats). We now enter the “mark up” stage where the members of the subcommittee work to finalize a bill. “Mark up” is an anticipated 10 day period. As it is currently written HR 5017 increases the yearly appropriation to 30 billion, increases the up front guarantee fee from 2% to 3.5% and adds a .5 annual fee (creates monthly mortgage insurance) which USDA did not have before. If the bill is not passed, based upon current usage, funds will be exhausted by the 1st or 2nd week in May. Lets hope Congress acts to help homeowners for whom this program is the most affordable program available especially for first time homebuyers.