Life in the big city is grand, but it comes with a high price tag. New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the world, and cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle aren’t too far behind. In the face of such high costs of living, plenty of people are deciding to opt out and move to a place in the country.

The term “the country” is all relative, of course. For some people, a place forty-five minutes from a major metropolitan area might as well be in the boonies. Others are only happy if they can live a mile or two from their nearest neighbor. But people who live in the very far reaches of an urban area and those who live in the most sparsely-populated county in the state have one thing in common: They may be eligible for USDA home loans with no money down financing.

USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture, but you don’t need to have a farm or ranch to take advantage of their home loans. No one from the government is going to come to your house and demand to see where you keep the cows. You generally have to meet minimum credit score requirements, but they’re nothing outrageous. You also need to meet certain income and household requirements. But the most important thing is the location of the house you’re looking to buy. If it’s not in an area that the USDA has deemed eligible for the rural program, then you’re unfortunately out of luck. You can always try to find another house that is eligible, though, if you don’t mind continuing your search. Eligibility areas can change with each census, meaning the current calculations are based on numbers from 2010, with the next update scheduled for after the 2020 census.

USDA loans are backed by the government and funded in part through borrower fees. The program is especially attractive for first-time homeowners. As an example, let’s say a newlywed couple is looking to buy a house. They can save for a few years to put twenty percent down, or they can look into a USDA home loan and start a family sooner.

Your home out in the country can be as rustic or as modern as you like. You can install an old-fashioned wood-burning stove or an elegant, modern range from Dacor. Plant a big garden in your backyard if you want to, It’s not like the Homeowner’s Association is going to issue you a fine, as there generally aren’t Homeowner’s Associations in rural and semi-rural areas.

Sure, you may have to drive twenty or thirty minutes to find a decent grocery store, but it’s worth it for the peace and quiet that comes with living far away from the hustle and bustle of a crowded city. There’s nothing quite like lounging on a hammock in your backyard during a summer night that’s clear enough for you to see the stars. If you’re tired of traffic jams and pollution, a USDA home loan could be the ticket to the country home of your dreams.