FNMA's guidelines regarding Rural vs Suburban are vague and undefined at best
From the online guide:
"We will purchase or securitize mortgages that are secured by residential properties in urban, suburban, or rural areas. An "urban" location relates to a city, a "suburban" location relates to the area adjacent to a city, and a "rural" location relates to the country or anything beyond the suburban area. We do not designate certain areas as being acceptable or unacceptable. To be eligible for purchase or securitization, a mortgage must be secured by a property that is residential in nature -- based on the characteristics of the subject property, zoning, and the present land use."
Karl, ......You might also check the recent archives of discussion, as I know we beat to heck this Rural vs. Suburban debate a few weeks ago ! The postings will drift off to the humorous side.....but you will find a lot of answers within. Despite the "guideline" info FNMA may provide you will see that many a call one makes about stating the correct word is very specific to one's general market area and how that appraiser defines the subject location and that immediate market. Don't hold back on giving extra text description of that market.......remember, the reader/U.W./investor is likely in a major metropolitan city and has not a clue about where you are reporting. If "sand, rocks, cactus and many miles between homes describes your place as rural....so be it ".
Thanks Ross that is my usual approach (When the vehicle used to haul the water is more important than condition of home) Thats RURAL Rural Suburban gotta be the biggest of DEBATES with Underwriters this month they must have had a free seminar on it next month be something different.