In previous postings, Home HQ has spotlighted the home-loan programs offered to current and former service members by a number of states. The last installment is below, but before that, some links to the rest of the country.
Some caveats for all of the entries: Eligibility rules differ by state and from VA programs, and most state-run efforts include income and property-price limits, as well as other requirements that don’t have to do with military service.
State-based veteran housing benefits in:
- Alaska, California, Nevada, New York, Texas, Washington.
- Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oregon, Wisconsin.
- Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah.
- Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.
Colorado: Qualified veterans can participate in the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority’s FirstStep and FirstStep Plus products regardless of whether they are buying their first home. The program requires participants to have a credit score of at least 620, but those without a measured credit score can participate. Second mortgages offered via the program can be used to assist with closing costs, down payments and other expenses; visit the CHFA online for details.
Connecticut: The Military Mortgage Option offered by the state’s housing finance authority reduces the program’s interest rate by 0.125 percent for qualified participants seeking to buy their first home (or their first in at least three years). It’s open to current and former service members, as well as to surviving spouses and civil partners of troops who died in the line of duty or from a service-connected disability. Other rules apply, including income and property-price caps. The new home must be the owner’s primary residence.
Delaware: Qualified veterans can use the Delaware First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit even if they’re not buying their first home. Beneficiaries receive either 35 percent of their taxable interest as a tax credit or a $2,000 credit, whichever is lowest. Visit the above link for other restrictions and property-price limits, and head here for a list of approved lenders.
Paying your bills on time is a big part of the battle, but it's not the only step.
Illinois: The state offers veteran support via multiple programs, including @HomeIllinois ($5,000 in down payment and closing cost help, plus other benefits) and 1stHomeIllinois ($7,500 in down payment/closing cost help on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in certain counties). Unlike other program participants, veterans aren’t required to be first-time buyers. Get details, contact information and links for all the programs here (PDF), and learn more about 1stHomeIllinois here.
Iowa: The Military Homeownership Assistance Program, run by the state’s finance authority, offers eligible veterans $5,000 toward a down payment or closing costs. It’s open only to those with time on active duty during Operation Desert Storm/Shield and since Sept. 11, 2001, and to surviving spouses of those veterans; visit the link for full eligibility requirements, including financial and property restrictions.
Louisiana: Qualified veterans are eligible for a variant of the Louisiana Housing Corporation Market Rate Program that allows beneficiaries to secure VA-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans at “favorable interest rates.” Participants must have a credit score of 640 or better and must use a program-approved lender (PDF).
Maine: Qualified veterans (active-duty members, honorably discharged veterans and reserve-component members who’ve served 180 days in a combat zone) can get an extra 0.125 percent off their 30-year fixed-rate mortgage under the SaluteME and SaluteME Home Again programs, offered via the Maine State Housing Authority. The programs are offshoots of the First Home Loan program, which offers some participants $3,500 to help with a down payment, closing costs or related fees. Check the program’s website for other requirements and contact details.