The brave men and women of the Armed Forces served and continue to serve this country. It’s only right that they get to benefit from affordable housing when they buy homes for their loved ones. When that time comes, veterans can access programs to help with their first home purchase and down payment.
As of the first quarter of 2017, 5.5% of homeownership programs in the U.S. cater to veterans or members of the military according to the Homeownership Program Index by Down Payment Resource. They can pair these special benefits with VA loans for zero down payments.
Some of these programs don’t require veteran homebuyers to be first-time homebuyers to avail of general down payment programs; others provide additional down payment and closing cost assistance.
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Homebuyer Programs for Veterans
The Down Payment Resource’s HPI, which tracks 2,400 homebuyer programs in the U.S., cited the following as examples of available homeownership programs with down payment assistance grants for veterans.
1. PenFed Foundation Dream Makers Program is a nationwide program that provides a $5,000 grant to veterans, active duty, reserve or National Guard members for their first home.
The grant can cover down payment and closing costs. How it works is that the national nonprofit organization will match the contribution made by the borrower toward his/her closing costs and down payment. That’s why any application for grants must be in before the loan closes or the grant will not be awarded.
To qualify, one must prequalify or get preapproval for a mortgage that is a 30-year fixed-rate with a minimum down payment of 3% and financing of 97%. The borrower’s income must not exceed 80% of the area median income.
2. Local- and state-based veteran homebuyers programs. Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership has provided affordable housing to 75 veterans in Metro Atlanta.
Under Florida First & MIlitary Heroes Program, veterans and active duty personnel who qualify for this program will be automatically eligible for down payment assistance through Florida Assist Second Mortgage Program.
In Arizona, Home in Five Advantage offers qualified military personnel a 1% down payment assistance in addition to its standard 2.5% to 3.5% down payment/closing assistance grant.
Homes for Texas Heroes Program provides DPA of up to 5% of the loan amount to veterans.
These are just examples of homeownership programs geared toward veteran homebuyers or have special benefits for qualified military personnel. [sc_content_link label=”Find down payment assistance programs in your area.”]
The national homeownership rate as of the second quarter of 2017 was 63.6%, down from 68.2% of a decade ago. With home prices rising, 3.5% of a median-priced home today can still be a hefty down payment to save up for.
This is the main reason why homebuyers program/standalone down payment assistance programs exist. Not only do they supplement or cover fully down payments, they can also help out with the costs associated with closing a mortgage.
Veterans will always have VA loans but they have other options in the form of housing assistance programs.