By Kevin Ronan
The State of Maine has a long rich tradition of military service. The Maine Bureau of Veterans Services reports there are over 30,000 veterans throughout Maine who are eligible for many benefits. Regretfully, most veterans are not aware of the programs and services available to help them achieve homeownership.
As a former Marine Corps officer and a licensed REALTOR®, I am passionate about assisting other veterans and their families achieve this goal. There are many housing programs and benefits available to veterans that will help them achieve their dream. My goal is to educate my fellow veterans on these programs and benefits and help them achieve their goal. In a previous issue of the Windham Eagle, I discussed MaineHousing benefits for first time home buyers, including veterans. Let us now discuss MaineHousing benefits for veterans and Veterans Administration benefits in greater detail.
The MaineHousing, Salute Me Program provides all qualified Maine Veterans, including all active duty, veterans, and retired military veterans a 0.25% discount on a First Home Loan 30 year fixed rate mortgage. If a veteran is not a first-time home buyer, the Salute Home Again Program may be a good option. This program waives the first-time home buyer requirements for those veterans who may have owned a home over the last three years and sold the property prior to the MaineHousing property closing.
How does a veteran apply for a MaineHousing program? Begin by contacting an approved MaineHousing lender to determine if you qualify. A list of approved MaineHouse lenders is available at MaineHousing.org. The buyer will be required to attend a home buyer education course which reviews the borrowing and buying process. The course is also required if the veteran wishes to enjoy the $3,500 Advantage incentive which is to be applied to closing costs and the down payment.
The VA Home Loan Program assists active duty, veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. VA loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. The VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide the borrower with more favorable terms. A VA loan can be used to purchase a home as a primary residence including new construction, an existing dwelling or to refinance an existing loan. Also, the VA Home Loan Program offers housing grants to service members and veterans with certain permanent service-connected disabilities which can be used to purchase or construct an adaptive home or modify your existing home to accommodate a disability.
I hope this article provides Maine Veterans and their families with the resources available to help them buy a home with the assistance of MaineHousing and the Veterans Administration. Achieving the goal of homeownership is closer than you think. If you have any questions or need any assistance with your real estate needs please contact Kevin Ronan. He is an Associate Broker affiliated with Alliance Realty, 290 Bridgeton Road, Westbrook for more information. He can be contacted at Kronan388@gmail.com or 207-838-4855.