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18 states with home buying programs for veterans



Since the end of World War I, America has set aside November 11 as a day to honor all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, especially those who lost their lives preserving our nation’s freedom.

In an effort to honor veterans and their families further, states have developed homebuyer-assistance programs specifically designed for vets. While all 50 states have first-time homebuyer programs which veterans can apply for, even if they are not first-time buyers, some states have developed programs exclusively for veterans.

Current mortgage rates for VA loans

Based on the research we conducted earlier this year on the statewide first-time homebuyer programs in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., here are 18 states and their home buying programs specifically for veterans. Happy Veterans Day.


State Veterans Preference Program: In an effort to honor veterans, Alaska created a program dedicated solely to service men and women to assist with the home buying process. With the Preference program, qualified veterans can receive a 1 percent interest rate reduction on the first $50,000 of their original loan amount. Any amount on the loan beyond $50,000 will receive a blended interest rate rounded up to the next 0.125 percent.


The HOME Plus Program: An Arizona mortgage loan is paired with a down payment assistance grant equal to 4 percent of the mortgage amount. As with all grants, borrowers will not need to repay the money. Income and purchase restrictions are as follows: the household income of the borrower may not to exceed $88,340, and the total amount borrowed cannot exceed $353,360. The lowest FICO credit score to qualify is 640. U.S. Military personnel can be granted an additional 1 percent towards the down payment assistance.


Military Homeownership Program: The Military Homeownership Program is a first-time homebuyer program offering below-market rates to veterans, active duty, National Guard, unmarried surviving spouses or civil union partners of eligible veterans who died as a result of military service. Other exceptions may be included, contact a state housing representative for more details. This program can be combined with the Downpayment Assistance Program.

Veterans Homeownership Pilot Program: Funds for the Veterans Homeownership Pilot Program are limited and available at a first come first serve basis. The program offers a below-market rate for the first mortgage and a 0 percent second loan for the down payment assistance.


The Protectors, Educators and Nurses (PEN) Program: Eligible borrowers must be military, police, fire (including EMS workers and volunteers), education, or a health care worker in a state licensed facility. The PEN program offers $7,500 in down payment assistance. Borrowers must also meet the requirements of the Georgia Dream Program.


Military Homeownership Assistance Program: Eligible service members and veterans can receive a $5,000 grant to assist with a down payment or closing costs. The grant can be used with a qualifying mortgage or cash purchase. To be eligible, borrowers must have had an honorable discharge or be the surviving spouse of such an individual. Service members can purchase a single-family residence which includes "stick built" homes, modular or manufactured homes attached to a permanent foundation, condominiums, townhomes and properties containing up to four units where one unit will be used as the service member's primary residence.


Operation New Home Program: Veterans and active duty military are eligible for low-rate, fixed rate mortgages with little or no down payment. Veterans and military members do not need to be first-time homebuyers to qualify. Borrowers must meet purchase price and income eligibility limits. This program can be combined with the Advantage Program to offer down-payment assistance.


Maryland Homefront Program: This program offers active duty and military veterans an interest-rate discount of 0.25 percent on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This program can also be combined with Maryland’s down-payment assistance.


A Home for the Brave Program: Veterans of the U.S. armed services and active-duty military get an affordable mortgage with a low down payment. Spouses of soldiers, sailors or Marines killed in active duty also are eligible. Borrowers do not have to be first-time homebuyers, but they may not own more than one home upon closing. Financing of up to 97 percent is available for single-family homes and condominiums. Financing of 95 percent is available for two-, three- and four-family homes. Closing cost assistance also is available. In addition, grants from the Veterans Administration are available for disabled veterans who need to make accessibility upgrades.


First Place Loan Program: This program offers 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to first-time homebuyers and veterans. Homebuyers must meet minimum credit score standards, and must fall within income and purchase limits for their area of residence. Borrowers must occupy homes within 60 days of closing. Loans may be subject to federal recapture tax provisions. Down-payment assistance can be used in conjunction with the First Place Program.


Montana Veterans' Home Loan Program: As a way to honor all service men and women in the state of Montana, the Veteran’s Home Loan program was created. The program offers qualified veterans a first mortgage rate that is a full 1 percent below the current market rate. Qualified borrowers must contribute at least $2,500 of their own funds.


Military Home Program: Active military members who are first-time homebuyers can apply for first-mortgage loans with a low interest rate. As with the other two programs offered in Nebraska, homebuyers must have a minimum credit score of 640 to qualify. There is a maximum debt to income ratio requirement of 45 percent as well as income and purchase price limits.


Home Is Possible For Heros Program: For veterans, active duty and National Guard, this low interest rate purchase program “increases a buyer’s purchasing power.” Credit score, income and purchase price limits apply. Borrowers do not need to be first-time buyers. This Heros Program can be combined with a mortgage credit certificate for maximum savings.

New York

Homes for Veterans Program: The Home for Veterans Program often offers interest rates lower than the state’s “standard rates.”Homes for Veterans is coupled with down-payment assistance that caps at $15,000. Borrowers do need to contribute 1 percent to 3 percent in order to be eligible.

North Dakota

HomeAccess Program: The HomeAccess Program provides low-rate mortgage loans to single parents, veterans, the disabled and/or the elderly. The program is not exclusive to first-time homebuyers, rather is focused on families that may be overcoming hardships.


Ohio Heroes Program: The Heroes Program rewards qualifying professionals with 30-year fixed-rate loans with interest rates 0.25 percent lower than the market standard. Qualifying professions include: active military and veterans, fire fighter/EMT/paramedic, health care workers, police officers, teachers.


Homeownership for the Brave Program: U.S. military service members who get a loan through the Great Choice Program may also be allowed a one-half percent interest rate discount. To be eligible, you must be an active-duty serviceperson or National Guard member, veteran discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, reservist with at least 180 days of active-duty service, spouse of a service member or qualified veteran, or surviving spouse of a service member and qualified veteran.


Homes for Texas Heros: Offered through the State Affordable Housing Corporation (and not through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs), this loan program is designed specifically for allied health faculty member, corrections officer, county jailer, emergency medical services personnel, firefighter, juvenile corrections officer, nursing faculty member, peace officer, professional educator, public security officer and veterans. This is a 30-year, fixed-interest mortgage program with down-payment assistance of 3 percent, 4 percent or 5 percent that does not need to be repaid. There is no first-time buyer requirement. There is also a Mortgage Credit Certificate for those who qualify.


House Key Veterans Program: Veterans can get down-payment assistance of up to $10,000 in form of a second mortgage loan. The interest rate is 3 percent and there is a 10-year loan term.

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  1. Alberta Stephens December 21, 2016 3:56 pm

    Hello I'm seeking to buy a home I'm looking for a program to help educate me on the process as well as to walk me through it. Thank you in advance for all your help.V/R Alberta Stephens

    1. Editorial Team January 05, 2017 2:53 pm

      A good place to start would be by checking into a local HUD housing counseling agency in your area. You can find a state-by-state lookup tool here: https://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

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