In response to a query from a client: ultimately the local Field Office in conjunction with the main office that issues the “Conditional Commitment” once loan file has been approved by our Underwriter. 99% of the time, determining eligibility is as easy as cross-referencing the property address against the Eligibility Map
On rare occasions it’s not so clear. I’ve personally been involved in a tug-of-war with the USDA Commitment issuer (in this case in Elk Grove, CA) who overturned eligibility on a property that even the local Field Office worker in Indio, CA (who was staring at the map) felt was eligible.
Remember, Appraisers do NOT determine geographic eligibility.