Home Ownership and Veterans: The Best Programs for Veterans to Buy a Home


There are numerous military veterans and active-duty service members in the United States, and many need financial assistance to purchase a home. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, state and local governments, as well as various foundations guarantee or offer programs specifically designed to help veterans who are in this situation. Here are a few options offered by the federal and local government designed to promote active and non-active service members purchase a home.

VA Loans

  • No down payment is required as long as the sales price isn’t higher than the home’s appraised value.
  • Better terms and interest rates are offered versus loans from private banks, mortgage companies, or credit unions.
  • The borrower can borrow up to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan limit on a no-down-payment loan in most areas—and more in some high-cost counties. You can borrow more than this amount if you want to make a down payment.
  • There is no need for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is a type of insurance that protects the lender if you end up not being able to pay your mortgage. It’s usually required on conventional loans if you make a down payment of less than 20% of the total mortgage amount.
  • Fewer closing costs, which may be paid by the seller.

Dream Makers

Dream Makers provides matching grants for the down payment and closing cost assistance for active and non-active service members. Here are the criteria to qualify for a Dream Makers grant.

  • A first-time homebuyer or you have not owned a home for the last three years, or you have lost your home through divorce or disaster.
  • The gross annual income of all applicants used to qualify for a mortgage is no more than 80% of area median income, adjusted for household size.
  • Received mortgage pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from any lender.
  • All approved applications are valid for 90 days after being submitted. Any applicant that has not closed on their home within the 90-day period must reapply.
  • All loans must have a 25 or 30-year repayment term and a fixed rate.

Ohio Heroes Reward

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s rewards Ohio residents who are active and non-active service members, first responders, and teachers with a discounted mortgage interest rate. Here is the criteria required to qualify for the Ohio Heroes reward.

  • You meet debt to income ratios for your loan type.
  • You meet the credit score requirements.
  • Conventional, USDA and VA Loans: 640 or higher
  • FHA Loans: 650 or higher
  • You work in one of the following careers:
  • Veterans, active-duty military members or members of reserve components (including surviving spouses)
  • Police officers, firefighters, volunteer firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics
  • Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses (RN and LPN) and STNAs
  • Teachers (pre-K – 12th grade), administrators and counselors

If you or your spouse is a veteran and you’re looking to purchase a home, make sure you take advantage of the programs and grants offered to you. To learn more about VA loans and grants, check out these websites  https://www.usa.gov/veteran-housing or https://myohiohome.org/ohioheroes.aspx.