The VA-backed home loan may be the widest-known real estate benefit for military members past and present, but it’s far from the only one.
Here’s a list of a half-dozen state-based programs, with an emphasis on states with significant military and/or veteran populations. It is by no means comprehensive; if you are looking for a home, do your research on the benefits such state programs can provide and on who qualifies for each of the varied offerings:
California. CalVet Home Loans can provide a below-market rate for some veterans, with special rates for first-time buyers. Check out the rate table for details.
Texas. The Homes for Texas Heroes program is offered through the Texas State Affordable Housing Cooperation. It includes special rates and benefits, including down payment assistance, for veterans (and some former spouses of deceased veterans) who are below certain income thresholds. The program also assists teachers, police officers, correctional officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
Washington: The House Key Veterans program provides down payment assistance for veterans below certain income thresholds. Eligibility rates vary by county. Some veterans can borrow up to $10,000 for down-payment purposes.
Alaska: The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation offers several loan programs for current and former service members. One example: Some veterans (active-duty troops aren’t eligible) can receive a 1 percent discount on the first $50,000 of their mortgage.
Nevada: The Home is Possible for Heroes program offers a below-market interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgage. There are restrictions, including a credit score of at least 640 for government-insured loans, qualifying income below $98,500 a year, and a home price less than $400,000. There’s also a fee of $675.
New York: The Homes for Veterans Program offers down payment assistance up to $15,000 for eligible veterans and co-borrowers.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.