Stay Informed!

Agents may tell customers the bold highlighted text.

Hometown Hero Project has been deemed worthy to become a Public Benefit Corporation announced Scott Balsiger, HTH Project President at a celebration held at their headquarters.

“This is a tremendous honor and reinforces our deep commitment to create positive change in the community through our work. We are thrilled to be counted among other great Public Benefit Companies across America. All of us at HTH Project know that together we can improve and transform lives of our nation’s Heroes and their families”. Said Scott

“In our day-to-day business decisions we have a concern for the community and the Heroes who keep us safe, that approach is now reflected in our Public Benefit Corporation status.”

A Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) has a purpose that differs from traditional corporations, which is creating a positive impact on society in addition to seeking a profit.

To qualify as a Public Benefit Corporation, a company has a responsibility to take into account the interests of the community it serves and be a force for good and to continue doing so in order to maintain its earned status.

 

 

Hometown Hero Project is a Veteran owned, Public Benefit Corporation.

According to folklore, during the Civil War the United States Government promised benefits to all those that served. After the war, thousands of Veterans descended upon Washington D.C. to collect on these promised benefits and were instead issued a rolled parchment decree, tied in red tape, breaking many of the promises. Hence, the phrase “Government Red Tape” became synonymous with government bureaucracy.

Granted, a lot has changed since the Civil War, but one thing appears to remain consistent – the continued difficulty we Veterans encounter navigating, and thus receiving the Honor and benefits we were promised, entitled, and deserve.

What is 833-Hero-Help?

As a Veteran owned and operated business, the Hometown Hero Project launched 833-Hero-Help as a FREE resource to help cut through the red tape. The 833-Hero-Help project provides Veterans, Local Heroes,  and their families with personal assistance in locating and obtaining resources, and also implements direct referrals and outreach to our Veteran Preferred businesses.

How to obtain access to this program?

Veterans, family members, and friends can fill out our easy-to-use explaining what you or your Veteran’s needs and requests are, or you can call us toll free at 833-Hero-Help – we highly recommend our online form for the fastest response. Businesses can also contact us at (800) 863-2541.

Does this service actually work?

You Are Not Forgotten

“On the night of November 7, 2017 an honorably discharged Vietnam Era Veteran, Paul B., called the streets of Glendale, Arizona his home. Paul is over 60 years old and disabled. A concerned business owner, Ron Jacobs, notified our Veteran Help & Resource Division early the next morning. Within minutes, we made direct contact with Paul. We verified his situation, and within hours of notifying our Phoenix VA Community Resource & Referral Center liaison, Cynthia Montoya, Paul was given warm and friendly living accommodations.”

Extended Reach Program

On September 28, 2017 the fine folks of Goettl’s High Desert Mechanical, Inc., of Camp Verde, Arizona, reached out to the Hth Hero Help & Resource Division expressing a desire to giveaway a FREE Home Heating & Cooling system to two (2) deserving Veterans. Through our Extended Reach Program, HTH facilitated Email Blasts to all our Nonprofit and for profit contacts, posted numerous Facebook promotions and videos, as well as made television, radio, and print media outreach.

As a result, Goettl’s High Desert Mechanical, Inc. garnered extraordinary community exposure and goodwill for their generous gifts, and two deserving Veterans received a much needed Heating & Cooling upgrade for their homes completely free!     How Cool Is That!


Testimonials

“ResCare HomeCare is proud to be a national advertiser with the [Hometown Hero Project]! They provide us the opportunity to connect Heroes to our in-home care and support services via their on-line resource directory and within Veteran Clubs around the country.  In addition, an added value is our relationship with our Representative.  Through professional email introductions he has helped connect us  with local contacts that advocate and refer to our services.  Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely, Cathy Shiroda”

“I have been working with them for several years and I believe them to be a trustable organization.”

Dan Tillman, American Legion Prescott Post 9

“…Life Care Center went to Ed’s room to see her because of your call…. Thanks for the referral…she does appreciate your assistance and said that the wheels are now turning in the right direction and is thankful for all you have done! Thanks for your help in getting assistance for my longtime friend.”

Thanks again, Kathy Cayton

“Thank you Adam! I am forwarding to my brother in law.  I have a client that needs me to list his house and is a disabled vet.  I told him about your program this morning and he is so excited to get the info too.  Thanks again from all of us!  Please keep doing what you do!!”

God Bless! Shawn-Marie

“I recently started a veteran owned business and wanted to advertise to veterans.  Adam Moore from Veteran News Network (VNN) contacted me about running a video advertisement with the American Legion.  Adam and I were very excited to talk with one another, and we both were very excited to get my business advertised to our veterans.  The team at VNN was very professional and extremely helpful with digitally creating an advertisement for my business and helping me get in touch with various veteran associations in my area.  Adam continues to check in with me via phone or email to ensure
professionalism within VNN, my company, and veteran associations.”

William Clark, MS, ATC, EMT, Owner

“My Program Manager was so impressed with the beautifully framed announcement that we support Veterans and your organization!

Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and consideration. How nice of you to send us such a specific token of appreciation, and to endorse us as we support your organization.”

Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans (2018)  

VA provides grants to Servicemembers and Veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to help purchase or construct an adapted home, or modify an existing home to accommodate a disability. Two grant programs exist: the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant, and if applicable each can be utilized via the Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant.

I. Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant $81,080.00

SAH grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment. SAH grants can be used in one of the following ways:
  • Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
  • Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
  • Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing
  • Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant

Eligibility

  • Loss of or loss of use of both legs, OR
  • Loss of or loss of use of both arms, OR
  • Blindness in both eyes having only light perception, plus loss of or loss of use of one leg, OR
  • The loss of or loss of use of one lower leg together with residuals of organic disease or injury, OR
  • The loss of or loss of use of one leg together with the loss of or loss of use of one arm, OR
  • Certain severe burns, OR
  • The loss, or loss of use of one or more lower extremities due to service on or after September 11, 2001, which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude ambulating without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair *

Living Situation/Ownership

  • Permanent Home is owned by an eligible individual

Number of Grants You Can Use

  • Maximum of 3 grants, up to the maximum dollar amount allowable
* This eligibility criteria is limited to 30 recipients per fiscal year (FY).

II. Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant $16,217.00

SHA grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a home to accommodate the disability. You can use SHA grants in one of the following ways:
  • Adapt an existing home the Veteran or a family member already owns in which the Veteran lives
  • Adapt a home the Veteran or family member intends to purchase in which the Veteran will live
  • Help a Veteran purchase a home already adapted in which the Veteran will live

Eligibility

If you are a Servicemember or Veteran with a permanent and total service-connected disability, you may be entitled to a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. The information below provides an overview of VA’s housing grant programs for Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities:
  • Blindness in both eyes with 20/200 visual acuity or less, OR
  • Loss of or loss of use of both hands, OR
  • Certain severe burn injuries, OR
  • Certain severe respiratory injuries

Living Situation/Ownership

  • Permanent Home is owned by an eligible individual or family member

Number of Grants You Can Use

  • Maximum of 3 grants, up to the maximum dollar amount allowable

 III. Temporary Residence Adaptation Grant (TRA)

$16,217- $6,355

The TRA grant is available to help SAH or SHA eligible Veterans who are, or will be, temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. The qualifying disabilities for the TRA grant are the same as for SAH and SHA. In other words, a Veteran must be eligible for SAH or SHA in order to be eligible for TRA grant use. For TRA purposes, a family member is defined as a person related to the Veteran by blood, marriage, or adoption. Those eligible for an $81,080 grant would be permitted to use up to $35,553 and those eligible for a $16,217 grant would be permitted to use up to $6,355. Grant amounts are adjusted Oct.1 every year based on a cost-of-construction index. These adjustments will increase the grant amounts or leave them unchanged; grant amounts will not decrease. Under the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, TRA grant amounts do not count against SAH grant maximum amounts starting Aug. 6, 2013. The property may be located outside the United States, in a country or political subdivision which allows individuals to have or acquire a beneficial property interest, and in which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in his or her discretion, has determined that it is reason­ably practicable for the Secretary to provide assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing.

IV. SAH, SHA & TRA Benefit Amounts

The SAH and SHA benefit amount is set by law, but may be adjusted upward annually based on a cost-of-construction index. The maximum dollar amount allowable for SAH grants in fiscal year 2018 is $81,080. The maximum dollar amount allowable for SHA grant in fiscal year 2018 is $16,217. No individual may use the grant benefit more than three times up to the maximum dollar amount allowable. A temporary grant may be available to SAH/SHA eligible Veterans and Servicemembers who are or will be temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member. The maximum amount available to adapt a family member’s home for the SAH grant is $35,553 and for the SHA grant is $6,355.

V. How to Apply

To apply for a grant, fill out and submit VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant. You can access this form by:
  • Applying online via www.ebenefits.va.gov
  • Downloading VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant and mailing it to your nearest Regional Loan Center
  • Calling VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 to have a claim form mailed to you
  • Visiting the nearest VA regional office. Find the office nearest you by visiting VA Regional Office Locations or calling VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000
Need more information or have questions? Contact a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) staff member via email at [email protected] or by phone at (877) 827-3702.

Video Spotlight:

Betty Rhoades, Chief, Specially Adapted Housing  Betty Rhoades, Specially Adapted Housing Expanded Eligibility 

Comprehensive Handbook for Contractors and Builders:

Specially Adapted Housing – Handbook for Design

 

A. Application for HISA benefits.

VA provides up to $6,800 lifetime benefits for service-connected Veterans/Service-members and up to $2,000 lifetime benefits for nonservice-connected Veterans to make home improvements and/or structural changes necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the Veterans’/Servicemembers’ home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. For application information, contact the Prosthetic Representative at the nearest VA medical center. VA Forms are available at: www.va.gov/vaform.

1.  Modifications can include but are not limited to:

Ramps allowing entrance to, or exit from, the Veterans/Servicemembers primary resi­dence; Widening of doorways to allow access to essential lavatory and sanitary facilities; Raising or lowering kitchen or bathroom sinks and/or counters; Improving entrance paths or driveways in immedi­ate area of the home to facilitate access to the home by the Veteran/ Servicemember; Improving plumbing or electrical systems made necessary due to installation of dialysis equipment or other medically sustaining equipment in the home.

(a) Application package.

To apply for HISA benefits, the beneficiary must submit to VA a complete HISA benefits application package. A complete HISA benefits application package includes all of the following:

(1) A prescription, which VA may obtain on the beneficiary’s behalf, written or approved by a VA physician that includes all of the following:

(i) The beneficiary’s name, address, and telephone number.

(ii) Identification of the prescribed improvement or structural alteration.

(iii) The diagnosis and medical justification for the prescribed improvement or structural alteration.

(2) A completed and signed VA Form 10–0103, Veterans Application for Assistance in Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations, including, if desired, a request for advance payment of HISA benefits.

(3) A signed statement from the owner of the property authorizing the improvement or structural alteration to the property. The statement must be notarized if the beneficiary submitting the HISA benefits application is not the owner of the property.

(4) A written itemized estimate of costs for labor, materials, permits, and inspections for the home improvement or structural alteration.

(5) A color photograph of the unimproved area.

(b) Pre-award inspection of site.

The beneficiary must allow VA to inspect the site of the proposed improvement or structural alteration. VA will not approve a HISA application unless VA has either conducted a pre-award inspection or has determined that no such inspection is needed. No later than 30 days after receiving a complete HISA benefits application, VA will conduct the inspection or determine that no inspection is required.

(c) Incomplete applications.

If VA receives an incomplete HISA benefits application, VA will notify the applicant of the missing documentation. If the missing documentation is not received by VA within 30 days after such notification, VA will close the application and notify the applicant that the application has been closed. The closure notice will indicate that the application may be re-opened by submitting the requested documentation and updating any outdated information from the original application.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 1717)

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900–0188.) §§ 17.3121–17.3124 [Reserved]

2. Approving HISA benefits applications.

a) Approval of application.

VA will approve the HISA benefits application if:

(1) The application is consistent with §§ 17.3100 through 17.3130, and

(2) VA determines that the proposed improvement or structural alteration is reasonably designed to address the needs of the beneficiary and is appropriate for the beneficiary’s home, based on documentation provided and/or through a pre-award inspection of the home.

(b) Notification of approval.

No later than 30 days after a beneficiary submits a complete application, VA will notify the beneficiary whether an application is approved. The notification will:

(1) State the total benefit amount authorized for the improvement or structural alteration.

(2) State the amount of any advance payment, if requested by the beneficiary, and state that the advance payment must be used for the improvements or structural alterations detailed in the application. The notification will also remind beneficiaries receiving advance payment of the obligation to submit the request for final payment upon completion of the construction.

(3) Provide the beneficiary with the notice of the right to appeal if they do not agree with VA’s decision regarding the award.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 1717, 7104)

3. Disapproving HISA benefits applications.

VA will disapprove a HISA benefits application if the complete HISA benefits application does not meet all of the criteria outlined in § 17.3125(a). Notification of the decision provided to the beneficiary will include the basis for the disapproval and notice to the beneficiary of his or her right to appeal.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 7104) § 17.3127–17.3129 [Reserved]

4. HISA benefits payment procedures.

(a) Advance payment.

If the beneficiary has requested advance payment of HISA benefits in VA Form 10–0103, as provided in § 17.3120(a)(2), VA will make an advance payment to the beneficiary equal to 50 percent of the total benefit authorized for the improvement or structural alteration. VA will make the advance payment no later than 30 days after the HISA benefits application is approved. The beneficiary may receive only one advance payment for each approved HISA benefits application. A beneficiary must use the advance payment only for the improvement or structural alteration described in the application and must submit a final payment request, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, to document such use after the construction is finished.

(b) Final payment request.

No later than 60 days after the application is approved or, if VA approved an advance payment, no later than 60 days after the advance payment was made, the beneficiary must submit a complete final payment request to VA for payment. The complete final payment

(1) A statement by the beneficiary that the improvement or structural alteration, as indicated in the application, was completed;

(2) A color photograph of the completed work; and

(3) Documentation of the itemized actual costs for material, labor, permits, and inspections.

(c) VA action on final payment request.

(1) Prior to approving and remitting the final payment, VA may inspect (within 30 days after receiving the final payment request) the beneficiary’s home to determine that the improvement or structural alteration was completed as indicated in the application. No payment will be made if the improvement or structural alteration has not been completed.

(2) No later than 30 days after receipt of a complete final payment request, or, if VA conducts an inspection of the home under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, no later than 30 days after the inspection, VA will make a determination on the final payment request. If approved, VA will remit a final payment to the beneficiary equal to the lesser of:

(i) The approved HISA benefit amount, less the amount of any advance payment, or

(ii) The total actual cost of the improvement or structural alteration, less the amount of any advance payment.

(3) If the total actual cost of the improvement or structural alteration is less than the amount paid to the beneficiary as an advance payment, the beneficiary will reimburse VA for the difference between the advance payment and the total actual costs.

(4) After final payment is made on a HISA benefits application, the application file will be closed and no future HISA benefits will be furnished to the beneficiary for that application. If the total actual cost of the improvement or structural alteration is less than the approved HISA benefit, the balance of the approved amount will be credited to the beneficiary’s remaining HISA benefits lifetime balance.

(d) Failure to submit a final payment request.

(1) If an advance payment was made to the beneficiary, but the beneficiary fails to submit a final payment request in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section within 60 days of the date of the advance payment, VA will send a notice to remind the beneficiary of the obligation to submit the final payment request. If the beneficiary fails to submit the final payment request or to provide a suitable update and explanation of delay within 30 days of this notice, VA may take appropriate action to collect the amount of the advance payment from the beneficiary.

(2) If an advance payment was not made to the beneficiary and the beneficiary does not submit a final payment request in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section within 60 days of the date the application was approved, the application will be closed and no future HISA benefits will be furnished to the beneficiary for that application. Before closing the application, VA will send a notice to the beneficiary of the intent to close the file. If the beneficiary does not respond with a suitable update and explanation for the delay within 30 days, VA will close the file and provide a final notice of closure. The notice will include information about the right to appeal the decision.

(e) Failure to make approved improvements or structural alterations.

If an inspection conducted pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section reveals that the improvement or structural alteration has not been completed as indicated in the final payment request, VA may take appropriate action to collect the amount of the advance payment from the beneficiary. VA will not seek to collect the amount of the advance payment from the beneficiary if the beneficiary provides documentation indicating that the project was not completed due to the fault of the contractor, including bankruptcy or misconduct of the contractor.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 1717) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirement in this section under control number 2900–0188.)

Video Spotlight

HISA and Home Improvement Grants video: 

Comprehensive Handbook for Contractors and Builders:

Specially Adapted Housing Handbook for Design

Ask about personalized easy-to-read Specially Adapted Housing Resource manuals for customers.

Learn more about VBA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant at:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/adaptedhousing.asp

More than 21 million Veterans and Servicemembers live in the U.S. today, but only about 6 percent of them bought a home using a VA home loan in the past five years. That percentage could be much higher. http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/

Eligible Veterans often bypass the program as a viable option for a number of reasons. First, they may not know all the advantages. Second, they may think getting a VA loan is an arduous process to be avoided. Last, some lenders don’t take the time to teach Veterans about the program, or don’t know much about it themselves. The VA home loan is a program non-military home buyer’s wish they had access to. Our advice: Take a few minutes to learn these 10 facts about the program, and you’ll all but forget about any other home buying or refinance option.
  1. There is no down payment, and no mortgage insurance

These are perhaps the biggest advantages to a VA loan. You don’t need a down payment. None whatsoever. Most mortgage programs, such as FHA and conventional loans, require at least 3.5 percent to five percent down. That’s up to $12,500 on a $250,000 home purchase. With a VA loan, you can buy immediately, rather than years of saving for a down payment. With a VA loan, you also avoid steep mortgage insurance fees. At 5 percent down, private mortgage insurance (PMI) costs $150 per month on a $250,000 home, according to PMI provider MGIC. With a VA loan, this buyer could afford a home worth $30,000 more with the same monthly payment, simply be eliminating PMI. Using a VA loan saves you money upfront, and tremendously increases your buying power.
  1. Use your benefit again and again

Your VA home loan benefit is not one-and-done. You can use it as many times as you want. Here’s how. Assume you purchased a home with a VA loan. But now, you’ve outgrown the home and need something bigger. When you sell the home and pay off the VA loan completely, you can re-use your benefit to buy another home. Your entitlement is restored in full. But that’s not the only way to re-use your benefit. Eligible Veterans and Servicepersons can receive a one-time restoration when they pay off the VA loan, but keep the home. This scenario comes into play if you purchased the home long ago, and have paid off the loan. It also applies if you have refinanced the VA mortgage with a non-VA loan. In these cases, you can keep the home, and enjoy the benefits of VA home buying one more time.
  1. Your benefit never expires

Once you have earned eligibility for the VA home loan, it never goes away. Those who served 20, 30, even 50 years ago often wonder whether they can still buy a home today if they never used their benefit. If eligibility can be established, the answer is yes. Eligibility is based on the length of time served, and the period in which you served. For instance, a U.S. Army Veteran with at least 90 days in service during the Vietnam era is likely eligible. To check eligibility, first obtain your DD Form 214. With that document, a VA-approved lender can request your VA Certificate of Eligibility for you, or you can request it directly from VA’s eBenefits website, https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage You may be eligible to buy a home using a VA home loan, even if you served long ago.
  1. Surviving spouses may be eligible

More than 3,000 surviving spouses http://www.va.gov/opa/persona/dependent_survivor.asp purchased a home with their fallen partner’s VA benefit in 2015. Un-remarried husbands and wives of Servicepersons who were killed in action can buy a home with zero down payment and no mortgage insurance. Plus, the VA funding fee is waived. There’s no way to repay the spouse of a fallen hero, but this benefit surely helps them move forward after tragedy.
  1. VA Loan Rates Are Lower

According to loan Software Company Ellie Mae, VA loan rates are typically about 0.25% lower than those of conventional loans. The VA backs the mortgages, making them a lower risk for lenders. Those savings are passed on to Veterans. Additionally, VA loans come with some of the lowest foreclosure rates of any loan type, further reducing risk for lenders. No surprise here, but Veterans and Servicepersons take homeownership seriously. These factors add up to lower rates and affordable payments for those who choose a VA loan.
  1. VA loans are available from local lenders

The VA home loan is unlike most other VA benefits. This benefit is available from private companies, not the government itself. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not take applications, approve the loans, or issue funds. Private banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies do that. The VA provides insurance to lenders, http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/lenders.asp. It’s officially called the VA guaranty. The VA assures the lender that it will be repaid if the Veteran can no longer make payments. In turn, lenders issue loans at superior terms. In short, a VA loan gives you the best of both worlds. You enjoy your benefit, but have the convenience and speed of working with your chosen lender.
  1. Buy, refinance or tap into home equity

The VA home loan benefit is not just for buying homes. Sure, it provides unmatched home buying advantages, but you can also use it to refinance your existing mortgage, whether it’s a VA loan or not. Homeowners with a VA loan can use the Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/irrrl.asp, or IRRRL, to easily drop their rate and payment without an appraisal, or even paystubs, W2s or bank statements. The VA streamline refinance, as it is commonly known, gives VA loan holders a faster, cheaper way to access lower refinance rates when rates fall. Even homeowners without a VA loan can use a VA refinance. The VA cash-out loan is available to eligible Veterans who don’t have a VA loan currently. As its name suggests, a VA cash-out refinance can be used to turn your home’s equity into cash. You simply take out a bigger loan than what you currently owe. The difference is issued to you at closing. The VA cash-out loan amount can be up to 100 percent of your home’s value in many cases. Use the proceeds for any purpose – home improvements, college tuition, or even a new car. Many homeowners today are dropping their rate and taking cash out simultaneously, accomplishing two goals at once. But you don’t have to take out cash to use this VA loan option. You can also use it to pay off a non-VA loan. Eligible homeowners who pay mortgage insurance or are dealing with other undesirable loan characteristics should look into refinancing with a VA loan. It can eliminate PMI, get you into a stable fixed-rate loan, pay off a second mortgage, or simply reduce your rate to make homeownership more affordable.
  1. Lenient guidelines for lower credit scores, bankruptcy, foreclosure

Unlike many loan programs, a lower credit score, bankruptcy or foreclosure does not disqualify you from a VA home loan. Shop around at various lenders, because each will have its own stance on past credit issues. However, VA guidelines do not state a minimum credit score to qualify. This gives lenders leniency to approve loans with lower scores. In addition, VA considers your credit re-established when you have established two years of clean credit following a foreclosure or bankruptcy. Many homeowners across the U.S., military and civilian, experience bankruptcies and foreclosures due to a loss of income, medical emergency or unforeseen event. Fortunately, these financial setbacks don’t permanently bar VA-eligible home buyers from ever owning again. The exception, though, is a foreclosure involving a VA home loan. In this case, you may need to pay back the amount owed on the foreclosed VA loan to regain eligibility. But for most home buyers with past credit issues, a VA home loan could be their ticket to homeownership.
  1. Funding fee waivers

VA typically charges a funding fee, http://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/purchaseco_loan_fee.asp, to defray the cost of the program and make home buying sustainable for future Veterans. The fee is between 0.50 percent and 3.3 percent of the loan amount, depending on service history and the loan type. However, not everyone pays the VA funding fee. Disabled Veterans who are receiving compensation for a service-connected disability are exempt. Likewise, Veterans who are eligible for disability compensation, but are receiving retirement or active duty pay instead, are also exempt from the fee.
  1. Buy a condo with a VA loan

You can buy many types of properties with a VA loan, including a single-family (free-standing) home, a home of up to four units, and even manufactured homes. But condominiums are commonly overlooked by VA home buyers. Condominiums are ideal starter homes. Their price point is often lower than that of single-family homes. And, condos are often the only affordable option in many cities. The VA maintains a list of approved condominium communities. Veterans can search by city, state, or even condominium name on VA’s condo search tool, https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal/VBAH/VBAHome/condopudsearch. It’s not a short list. For example, there are more than 2,400 approved condo communities in Washington State, about 1,000 in Texas, and a staggering 9,000 in California. As a Veteran or Servicemember, consider the array of home types when shopping for a home.
  1. Last, but not least – Because You Have Earned It!

The preceding 10 facts are just a few, and there are actually many more reasons, http://themortgagereports.com/13222/10-biggestbenefits-of-a-va-home-loan, to use your VA loan benefit. You’ve certainly earned it. The freedom afforded to this country by members of all branches of the military, past and present, is not easily repaid. But consider this program a small “thank you” for your service and dedication. Video Spotlight: Top Benefits of VA Home Loan Program VA Home Loans Part 1 VA Home Loans Part 2
  1. Key Home-Buying Investment Decisions:

  • As active duty, the housing allowance is tax free. See the Basic Allowance for Housing – BAH – by rank and zip code, at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm
  • Consider buying only if you plan to stay put for at least 3 years – five is better
  • Limit housing costs to no more than 30% of take-home income
  • Consider the property’s rental possibilities as part of the buying decision just in case you are unable to immediately sell when you are ready to move
  • If you reside near a military community, try to keep your mortgage payment a few hundred dollars below the BAH of the average rank in the area. That way you will always have a pool of potential renters
  • Consider Kitchen, Bath, and basic curb appeal improvements to add the most value to the property

 

 

OVERVIEW

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) mission is to provide eligible Veterans every opportunity to retain their home or avoid foreclosure. VA urges all Veterans who are encountering problems making their mortgage payments to speak with their loan servicer as soon as possible to explore options to avoid foreclosure or contact the nearest Regional Loan Center at (877) 827-3702.

OPTIONS TO AVOID FORECLOSURE

The following options are generally available to all borrowers to avoid foreclosure:

  • Repayment Plan – The borrower makes their regular installment each month plus part of the missed installments.
  • Special Forbearance – The servicer agrees not to initiate foreclosure to allow time for borrowers to repay the missed installments.
  • Loan Modification – Provides the borrower a fresh start by adding the delinquency to the loan balance and establishing a new payment schedule.
  • Additional time to arrange a private sale – The servicer agrees to delay foreclosure to allow a sale to close if the loan will be paid off.
  • Short Sale – When the servicer agrees to allow a borrower to sell his/her home for a lesser amount than what is currently required to pay off the loan.
  • Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure – The borrower voluntarily agrees to deed the property to the servicer instead of going through the foreclosure process.

VETERANS WITH VA-GUARANTEED HOME LOANS

Loan servicers have the primary responsibility of resolving loan defaults, so it is imperative borrowers contact their loan servicer as quickly as possible.  However, in cases where the  servicer is unable to help the Veteran borrower, Loan Guaranty has Loan Technicians in nine Regional Offices who take an active role in interceding with the servicer to explore all options to avoid foreclosure.  Servicemembers or Veterans with VA-guaranteed home loans can call (877) 827-3702 to reach the nearest Loan Guaranty office where Loan Technicians are prepared to discuss potential ways to help save the home.

VETERANS WITH NON-VA GUARANTEED HOME LOANS

For a Veteran or Servicemember with a conventional or sub-prime loan, VA does not have the legal authority to intervene on the borrower’s behalf. It is imperative that the borrower contacts his/her servicer as quickly as possible.  Visit VA’s home loans website or call toll-free (877) 827-3702 to speak with a VA Loan Technician for advice on approaches to take with your servicer.

OTHER ASSISTANCE

In addition to the resources offered by VA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers assistance to homeowners by sponsoring local housing counseling agencies. To find an approved agency in your area, please search the HUD Office of Housing Counseling website, or call HUD’s interactive voice system at (800) 569-4287.

Access VA Home Loans website, http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/veteran_borrowers.asp, for additional information on VA loans, and to watch videos of Veterans who have completed some of the workout options listed above.

SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT

Veteran borrowers may be able to request relief pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). SCRA is intended to ease the economic and legal burdens on military personnel during their active service.  In order to qualify for certain protections available under the Act, the borrower must request protection under the Act, and the loan must have originated prior to the current period of active military service.  SCRA may provide for a lower interest rate, or prevent foreclosure, or eviction.

Please contact your nearest VA Loan Technician at (877) 827-3702 if you have any questions.

 

  1. 1. To obtain a VA Guaranty Home Loan, you must have a Certificate of Eligibility. Click here and apply online for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or by completing this fillable  VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility, and simply mail it in. Lenders can also obtain COEs for Veterans online
  2. We can then help you find a local Veteran Preferred Realtor and Lender to assist you through the process of buying a home. The lender will complete an application and work with you to determine the amount of loan for which you qualify. After you provide a pre-qualification or pre-approval to the realtor they will be able to show you homes within that price range.
  3. Select a home and sign a purchase agreement or a contract with a builder. It is important to note that your sales contract should include a provision making it void if you are unable to attain VA-Guaranty financing. The lender will then order an appraisal of the property, and help you clear the final conditions required to close on your new home.