Whether using a loan from a nonprofit or through a federal government-backed program, Texas veterans have plenty of options for financing the purchase a home. Through these loan products or organizations, veterans do not have to worry about paying a high-interest mortgage or becoming over their head in debt.
The 2011 American Community Survey noted Texas is the state with the second highest veteran population, surpassed only by California. In 2011, Texas had more than 1.59 million veterans, accounting for 8.6 percent of the population 18 years old and above.
With Texas's high population of veterans, servicemen and servicewomen should take advantage of the various special financing programs to get the home of their dreams.
Here are three ways for veterans to buy a home in Texas:
1. Qualify for VLB's Veterans Housing Assistance Program
The Texas Veterans Land Board has offered this program for decades and is specifically designed for state residents. The Veterans Housing Assistance Program gives veterans the chance to buy a home with a low fixed-rate loan.
To qualify for the loan, veterans must be either an active duty military member, a member of the Texas National Guard or in the reserves for a certain number of qualifying years for retirement. They may also qualify if they served at least 90 active duty days. There is also an exception for veterans who have not served 90 active duty days if they were discharged early due to a service-related disability.
Before veterans can acquire a VLB loan, they will have to meet criteria for eligibility. The properties that qualify for a VLB loan include a single-family home, town home, condominium or particular multi-family units in the Texas real estate market. To qualify for this no down payment loan, veterans must show that their primary residence is Texas and live in the new home for three years or more.
Veterans have a variety of opportunities to qualify for home financing for an existing or new house.
2. Apply for a Land Loan
In addition to state programs, there are also land loans that could help veterans who want to build their own homes. With access to land for development, veterans have the option to build custom homes that fit their needs. These homes can also be constructed based on accessibility needs for injured or disabled veterans.
To acquire land to construct new homes, veterans can look at available residential acreage at the master planned community of Vintage Oaks in New Braunfels. This SouthStar Community features 3,300 acres and has amenities targeted to veterans, including the Timber Ridge Park and Veteran’s Walk. These features are designed to honor the service of the men and women who joined the nation’s armed forces and reserves. Timber Ridge Park offers a place for reflection in the idyllic location of New Braunfels, made with a commemorative stone pathway that will preserve the memory of veterans treasured by residents and owners at Vintage Oaks.
Nearby the parks are other amenities enjoyed by veterans who live at Vintage Oaks, including swimming pools and its Tuscan-style Clubhouse.
Veterans could apply for a VA loan to get the house or home improvements they want.
3. Obtain Financing from the VA
Finally, veterans could apply for a loan with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Similar to the VLB program, these loans do not require a down payment and usually have a low interest rate. With interest rates near historic lows, a VA home loan is a great option to qualify for a mortgage and get the financing to buy or build a home.
Veterans are eligible to apply if they fulfill minimum requirements for service in qualifying wartime and peacetime periods, are on active duty or are a National Guard or reserve member. The VA also noted veterans may still be approved for a home loan if they were discharged due to some factors, not excluded to hardship, illnesses and injuries.
Once they have secured a VA loan, veterans can either buy a house, condominium or manufactured home or elect to build one. A VA loan can also be used to make improvements on existing homes, such as through installing energy-efficient features like solar panels.
Through these products, veterans can not only enter the Texas real estate market, but also build themselves a home.
For more information on efforts to support land buying efforts for veterans, visit the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Texas veterans may qualify for local and federal programs to secure a home.