Awareness of VA Housing Benefits
Important Veteran Housing Links:
- Veteran Home Loan Program
- 10 Things Most Veterans Don't Know About VA Home Loans
- Special Adaptive Housing Grants
- Homeless Veterans Contact
Fewer than 13% of the country’s 25 million veterans have utilized their VA home loan benefits, according to a Veterans Administration study released in 2009. Many service members don’t think they qualify for a VA loan or aren’t sure how to pursue one. Even more shocking is the fact that 1 out of every 3 veterans don’t even know that a VA home loan benefit exists according to a 2010 national survey conducted by the Veterans administration. These statistics point out the need for greater education and awareness regarding the benefits many veterans earned through their service to our country. Some of the advantages of a VA home loan are:
- No down payment is required in most cases. Conventional loans typically require a 5 percent down payment, and FHA loans require 3.5 percent.
- No monthly mortgage insurance premium to pay. FHA loans come with both an upfront and an annual mortgage insurance charge. Conventional buyers typically need to pay for private mortgage insurance unless they’re making a down payment of 20 percent or more.
- Limitation on buyer's closing costs. Sellers can pay all of a buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4 percent in concessions.
- Lower average interest rates than other loan types. VA loans continue to have the lowest average interest rates of all loan types.
- No prepayment penalties. VA buyers can pay off a loan early without any financial penalties.
- An assumable mortgage, typically subject to VA and/or lender approval. You may be able to have someone take over your mortgage payment, which can be a big benefit in an environment of rising interest rates.
- Foreclosure avoidance advocacy from the VA loan program. The VA has staff members who advocate on behalf of homeowners to find alternatives to foreclosure.
Housing Availability & Affordability
Housing availability and affordability are critical factors in the decision-making process of where veteran lives and works. Availability of affordable housing is currently a challenge across northern Michigan. It is our belief that through partnership and community awareness we can impact availability of housing for veterans across northern Michigan. It is our goal increase access to affordable housing for veterans by advocating for the:
- Increased workforce and student housing access for veterans in transition.
- Improved support for proud veterans requiring elder health care (in-home/nursing home access, etc.) in Northern Michigan.
- Community partnerships to develop affordable veteran housing options.