Veterans sacrifice it all to serve and protect our country. If you’re one of the 21 million veterans in the United States, your service is truly appreciated.
For eligible veteran homeowners or perspective buyers, there are programs and benefits available to help buy a home or refinance – and, in some cases, continue to save money through tax exemptions. However, 59% of veterans report being unfamiliar with the benefits at their disposal. If that sounds like you, these insights can help you understand your options.
VA loan basics
What is a VA loan?
VA home loans are designed exclusively for veterans and United States Armed Forces service members to help making the process of buying a home or refinancing easy and achievable. These loans are unique, offering special benefits to those who deserve it most.
If you’re currently serving in the armed forces or meet length of service requirements with an honorable discharge from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves, or National Guard, you may be able to qualify for a VA loan. Unmarried surviving spouses also qualify in some cases.
Top Benefits of a VA loan
VA loans come with some special benefits for Veterans to take advantage of. These are some of top perks:
- No Down Payment and Limited Closing Costs
In most cases, no down payment is required for VA loans and closing costs are limited for buyers. This means more options and less cash needed to get started.
- No MI Premium
Typically, no mortgage insurance premium is needed – offering savings compared to an FHA loan or a conventional loan with less than 20 percent down.
- Lower Interest Rates
With a VA loan, lower mortgage interest rates are often available, providing savings in your monthly payment and larger savings over the life of the loan.
- No Perfect Credit? No Problem.
While many loans have strict credit requirements, credit and qualification requirements may be more flexible. If your credit isn’t in perfect shape, you may still be able to qualify. At Cornerstone, we recently lowered the FICO requirement for VA loans to 580 with AUS approval.
- No Pre-payment Penalties
Saved up and want to pay off your mortgage early? With a VA loan, you can do just that without any additional fees.
We want to thank you for your service. Visit our website to learn more about our VA loan offerings.
Property tax exemptions for veterans
Almost every state provides property tax exemptions for veterans which can offer thousands in yearly savings, making the cost of homeownership even easier to manage.
How they work
Exemptions can vary by state, city, and county laws, as well as individual qualifications. Common exemptions available include Veteran, Disabled Veteran, Homestead, and Over 65.
In Texas, disabled veterans can qualify to deduct $5,000 to $12,000 from the taxable value of their property, depending on their disability rating. Texas veterans with a 100% disability rating are completely exempt from property taxes. Some states, like Maine, offer exemptions to veterans without disabilities, and their spouses, based on alternative requirements.
To find out about the localized exemptions available, you can reach out to your local municipal tax assessor’s office for specific information.
We offer programs just for veterans. Contact us to get started.
We’re truly grateful for the service of our nation’s veterans and active military. When you’re ready to buy, we’re here to help!
For educational purposes only. Please contact a qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed.