USDA is a 100% financing offered on properties in "rural areas". Currently all of Bryan and Effingham Counties qualify. As far as Chatham County the property must be West of I95. USDA Guaranteed loans are for median income households, but they do take into account all household income. Even if you have a teenager in the home working that income must be counted. There are also direct loans offered from USDA for lower incomes. There is the serious possibility that the qualifying areas for USDA may change in March. As we all have seen the growth in Pooler, it is not so rural anymore.
Many times if you are considering a property that qualifies for USDA you need to let your Lender know. The Lender may not offer this loan as a first option because it does limit where you can purchase. One slight draw back with USDA is there are two under writing processes, so the loan process can be a little longer. But the wait is worth 100% financing. Most local Lenders do offer USDA Guaranteed loans.